How likely am I to get jail time for a DWI offense in New Jersey?
Although drunk driving is not a criminal offense in NJ – it is considered a traffic violation – you can still be sentenced to jail time if you are convicted. In most cases, a first-time offender will not get jail time. Judges do have the discretion to sentence a first-time DWI offender to up to 30 days in the local county jail, but they rarely do this.
A person convicted of a second DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey is probably going to be ordered to serve time in jail: the mandatory minimum sentence is two days in the county jail, with the possibility of a 90-day sentence. In most instances, a second offense DWI conviction will result in the minimum sentence – unless the offender registered an excessively high blood alcohol content (BAC) or caused significant property damage or serious injury in a DWI accident.
A conviction for a third DWI offense within a 10-year period will result in the offender being subject to a mandatory sentence of six months in county jail. However, at the discretion of the judge, it may be possible to get three months of this sentence converted into community service or a requirement to attend alcohol education classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
Former Prosecutor John W. Tumelty Can Help You Beat DWI Charges in Atlantic City and Avoid Jail Time
DWI and DUI charges are extremely common in many parts of South Jersey, where law enforcement is always on the lookout for intoxicated motorists on roads and highways. If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in Atlantic City, Hammonton, Middle Township, or any other part of NJ, you need to speak with a qualified DWI defense attorney right away. John Tumelty has more than three decades of experience handling drunk driving cases in Atlantic County, Cape May County, and throughout New Jersey. Call or email Mr. Tumelty anytime to discuss your specific DWI charges.