10-Year Stepdown in Ocean County

Brick NJ DWI Defense Lawyers Explain

A possible defense to your Ocean County Driving While Intoxicated charge has to do with your sentencing classification. As you can see from our DWI Penalties page, the penalties associated with drunk driving increase with each subsequent offense. If you are facing a second or third DWI offense, a potential beneficial ruling for your situation by the Appellate Division stated that if ten (10) years have passed between your first and second DWI charges, or if ten (10) years have passed between your second and third DWI charges, you may be sentenced on the same level as your previous offense because the charges should be “stepped down” due to the amount of time that has elapsed between the charges.

Therefore, for example, if you had been charged and convicted of Drunk Driving in 1990 as a first offender, and received a second DUI offense in 2000, then you may be charged as a first offender for your second charge despite the fact that you are a second offender. As a First DWI Offender, you are looking at seven months to one-year loss of license rather than two (2) years.

Similarly, if you are charged with your Third DWI Offense in 2010 and your Second DWI Offense occurred in 2000, you can be sentenced as a Second Offender rather than a Third. As such, you would be facing a two (2) year license suspension rather than a ten (10) year license suspension.

As you can see, many strategies can be employed against Drunk Driving charges in New Jersey. Please contact the experienced and hard-working DWI lawyers at the William Proetta Criminal Law for a free initial consultation regarding your Ocean County, New Jersey drunk driving charge.