Will i have to pay a surcharge after a dui?
A conviction for a DUI in New Jersey can result in a wide variety of penalties, including potential jail time, fines, and suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, a conviction for A DUI will also lead to the imposition of a surcharge by the Motor Vehicle Commission. A surcharge is a penalty that must be paid in addition to any fines and penalties ordered by the court as part of your sentence. If you are facing a DUI conviction in New Jersey (especially if you have had prior DUI or DWI convictions), you need to understand how surcharges work.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in New Jersey
New Jersey’s DUI statute imposes increasingly severe penalties for a conviction, depending on the level of your intoxication at the time of your arrest and whether you have had any prior convictions. Penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction include:
- First time conviction: Up to 30 days in jail, license suspension of up to 3 months, between $250 and $400 in fines, potential ignition interlock requirement for six to 12 months, alcohol/substance abuse assessments, mandatory classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center; if your BAC is 0.10% or higher, the license suspension is for seven to 12 months and the fines are increased to $300 to $500
- Second conviction: Two to 90 days in jail, 30 days’ community service, fines of $500 to $1,000, 12 to 48 hours of classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, two years’ license suspension, and an ignition interlock requirement
- Third and subsequent convictions: 180 days in jail, up to 90 days’ community service, up to $1,000 fine, 10-year license suspension, and an ignition interlock requirement
Offenders will also be required to pay various court costs and fees, as well.
New Jersey’s Surcharge System
The Automobile Insurance Reform Act of 1982 established a surcharge system for DUI convictions. Under New Jersey’s surcharge system, a person who commits a first or second DUI offense will be assessed a $3,000 surcharge by the MVC, payable in three annual installments of $1,000. For a third and subsequent conviction, the surcharge increases to $4,500 payable over three annual installments of $1,500. Your private auto insurer may also impose further surcharges to maintain your coverage.
Why You Need a DUI Defense Attorney in New Jersey
Driving while intoxicated is considered a petty offense in New Jersey. This means that a DWI/DUI charge is not treated like a criminal charge. This means that if you are charged with a DUI in New Jersey you will not receive the same full scope of constitutional protections and procedures that you would in criminal court. Even though the surcharges imposed by a DUI conviction can have a significant financial impact, courts in New Jersey have ruled that these surcharges do not constitute sufficient punishment to turn a DWI into a criminal offense.
Because the procedures and rights in a DWI/DUI proceeding are so different from a criminal trial – and because the financial and personal consequences of a conviction can have serious negative impacts on you for years to come – you need an experienced DWI defense lawyer to protect your rights and interests and to fight to get you the best possible outcome to your charges.
Contact an Experienced Clark DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Team Law represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Clifton, Trenton, Camden, Passaic, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 540-1394 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, in addition to offices located in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.