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First Offense DUI Defense Attorney in New Jersey

Facing a DUI for the first time is an overwhelming experience. Although New Jersey treats driving under the influence as a traffic offense rather than a crime, you can still face harsh penalties such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time. With such high stakes, you need the help of a first offense DUI lawyer.

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our experienced first-offense DUI lawyers will fight for your rights and liberty. With our legal team on your side, you can optimize your chances of a favorable result in your case. Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact us now for a free case review to learn more about how we can help you.

Why You Need Our Lawyers for a First-Time DUI Charge in NJ

Many people believe that a first offense for driving under the influence might result in lenient penalties. So, do you need a lawyer for a DUI first offense?

Trying to handle your case on your own carries several risks. The fact that a DUI is not a criminal offense in New Jersey means that you have no right to a trial before a jury of your peers. Your case will be heard only by a judge. Additionally, you won’t have an opportunity for a plea bargain. Working with a skilled and experienced attorney can optimize your chances of avoiding negative outcomes.

The legal team at William Proetta Criminal Law has successfully handled thousands of cases in New Jersey, many of which were DUI/DWI cases. We have the experience you need to pursue the desired results. With a thorough familiarity with prosecutors and courts in Union, Hudson, Ocean, and Middlesex counties, we understand what it takes to secure beneficial rulings in these jurisdictions. We also offer a free review of your case so you can have transparency about your options. Working with us will give you the support and personal attention you deserve at this challenging time.

What Happens After Getting Arrested for DUI in NJ

Getting arrested for DUI/DWI can be a jarring and stressful experience. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect after being taken into custody:

  • The officer will take you to the police station and ask you to submit to a chemical breath test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This test is mandatory in NJ. Refusal will result in losing your license and an ignition interlock device.
  • Your car will likely be impounded. You’ll have to pay fees to retrieve your impounded vehicle.
  • The officer will issue you a ticket for the DUI and any other traffic violations.
  • You may be eligible for immediate release. However, you may have to post bail to leave jail until your court date if you have separate, related criminal charges.
  • You’ll receive paperwork regarding your first appearance in municipal court. At your first court date, you’ll formally hear of the charges against you. You will also have a chance to enter a plea.

Fines and Penalties for a First-Time DUI Charge in NJ

The fines and penalties you will face upon a first-time DUI conviction in New Jersey vary according to your BAC levels at the time of your arrest:

  • BAC of 0.08 percent to 0.09 percent: If your BAC is greater than 0.08 percent but less than 0.10 percent, you will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for three months. You may face up to 30 days in county jail and have to pay $250 to $400 in fines.
  • BAC of 0.10 percent to 0.14 percent: If your BAC is 0.10 percent to 0.14, you will have to install an IID for seven months to one year. You may also face up to 30 days in jail and have to pay a fine of $300 to $500.
  • BAC of 0.15 percent or more: With a BAC of 0.15 percent or more, you will have a license suspension of four to six months. You will also be required to install an IID during the license suspension period and for 9 to 15 months after. You may face up to 30 days in jail with a $300 to $500 fine.

For all BAC levels, you will also have a $1,000 surcharge on your car insurance for three years and six hours of compulsory classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for two consecutive days.

About First Offense Charges of Underage DUI

A separate law applies in cases where the intoxicated driver is under the age of 21.

If a driver under the legal drinking age has a BAC level of 0.01 percent or higher, the penalty is:

  • A 30- to 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • 15 to 30 days of community service
  • Required participation in an alcohol and traffic safety education program

Potential Legal Options When Facing a First-Time DUI Charge

Your first-offense DUI attorney can use a number of different defenses to help you avoid conviction, including:

  • The arresting police officer had no probable cause to pull you over: If the officer did not have a reasonable basis to believe you had committed a traffic violation, we can move the court to dismiss your case on these grounds.
  • The arresting police officer had no basis to arrest you: Even if the law enforcement officer had probable cause to stop you, they must conduct field sobriety tests correctly to have probable cause to arrest you. If they failed to do so, your first DUI arrest would be invalid.
  • You had no intent to operate the vehicle: We can challenge the charge if you were arrested for DUI but were not operating the vehicle and had no intent to operate it.
  • There was not enough evidence that you were intoxicated: Our attorneys can move to dismiss improperly administered tests, eliminating the evidence required to secure a conviction.

How Our Firm Can Help You Seek the Best Outcome After a First DUI Charge

Having an experienced DUI defense lawyer in your corner can make all the difference when you’re facing a first offense DUI charge in New Jersey.

Some of the ways we can help include:

  • Thoroughly reviewing your case and identify any potential defenses
  • Advocating for you in hearings to try to minimize the length of your license suspension or seek driving privileges
  • Presenting evidence of mitigating circumstances to minimize penalties, such as your lack of a prior record or strong character references

Get Help from Our NJ First Offense DUI Defense Lawyers

Getting charged with a first offense DUI in New Jersey is daunting. But you do not have to face this challenge alone. The attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law have the experience to guide you through the process toward the most favorable outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free case review.