What constitutes a Felony DUI in our state, and how is it different from a misdemeanor DUI in New Jersey?In New Jersey, a felony DUI is a DUI charge that involves serious bodily injury to another person. This type of DUI is considered a “third-degree” offense and can result in significant jail time of up to 5 years and fines up to $15,000. A misdemeanor DUI in New Jersey is a first-time or second-time DUI offense that involves only property damage or no property damage. These types of DUIs are typically punishable by up to 3 months in jail and fines of up to $1000.
Are there specific criteria or aggravating factors that elevate a DUI to a felony in New Jersey?Yes. In New Jersey, a DUI can be elevated to a felony in certain circumstances. These include: having three or more prior DUI convictions; causing serious bodily injury to another person while driving drunk; or driving under the influence with a minor in the car.
How many prior DUI convictions are necessary for a DUI to be considered a felony in New Jersey?In New Jersey, a DUI can become a felony if the defendant has three prior DUI convictions within the past ten years.
What are some common aggravating factors that can lead to a Felony DUI charge in New Jersey?1. Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test
2. Driving with a suspended or revoked license
3. Driving with a blood alcohol level of .15% or higher
4. A prior conviction for DUI within the past 10 years
5. Accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death
6. Transporting a minor while under the influence
7. Driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs
What are the potential penalties and consequences of a Felony DUI conviction in New Jersey?In New Jersey, a felony DUI conviction may result in the following penalties and consequences:
1. Incarceration: Depending on the severity of the offense, a felony DUI conviction can lead to up to 10 years in jail.
2. Fines: A felony DUI conviction can result in fines of up to $15,000.
3. License Suspension or Revocation: A felony DUI conviction can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for up to one year.
4. Ignition Interlock Device: You may be required to install an ignition interlock device for up to one year after your release from jail.
5. Probation: You may be put on probation for up to one year after your release from jail or after your license suspension or revocation is over.
6. Alcohol Education Classes: You may be required to attend and complete alcohol education classes as part of your sentence.
7. Community Service: You may be required to perform community service as part of your sentence.
8. Loss of Employment: Depending on the severity of the offense, you may lose your job due to a felony DUI conviction.
9. Higher Insurance Rates: Your insurance rates may increase dramatically if you are convicted of a felony DUI offense.
10. Loss of Gun Rights: You will lose the right to purchase and own firearms if you are convicted of a felony DUI offense in New Jersey.
Is there a mandatory minimum sentence for Felony DUI convictions in New Jersey?No, there is no mandatory minimum sentence for felony DUI convictions in New Jersey. The decision of what sentence to impose on a convicted offender is left to the discretion of the court, and may involve a variety of factors such as the offender’s criminal history, the circumstances of the offense, and the impact on any victims.
How do prior DUI convictions from other states impact Felony DUI charges in New Jersey?Prior DUI convictions from other states can be used to enhance a Felony DUI charge in New Jersey. Depending on the severity and number of prior DUI convictions, the felony DUI charge can be elevated to a more severe degree of offense. For example, a third-degree Felony DUI charge can be elevated to a second-degree Felony DUI charge if two prior DUI convictions from other states are proven.
Can a Felony DUI result from DUI-related accidents causing injury or death in New Jersey?Yes, a felony DUI can result from DUI-related accidents causing injury or death in New Jersey. Depending on the severity of the accident and the nature of the injuries caused, a felony DUI charge can be filed. The penalties imposed can include jail time, fines, mandatory alcohol treatment, and a suspension of one’s driver’s license.
Are there distinctions in penalties between Felony DUI and DUI involving drugs in New Jersey?Yes. In New Jersey, a felony DUI is defined as a third or subsequent DUI offense, while a DUI involving drugs is treated like a first or second offense. The penalties for a felony DUI in New Jersey can include up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000. For a DUI involving drugs, the penalties can include fines up to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, and loss of driving privileges for up to two years.
Do commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders face unique consequences for Felony DUI in New Jersey?Yes. Felony DUI charges can result in more severe consequences for CDL holders in New Jersey. Those with a CDL can face long-term or permanent revocation of their license, even after completion of a sentence or probation. Additionally, CDL holders can be subject to additional fines and other penalties if convicted of a felony DUI.
What is the role of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in Felony DUI cases in New Jersey?In New Jersey, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are required for any court imposed suspension that results from a felony DUI conviction. An IID is a breathalyzer-like device that is installed in a vehicle and requires the driver to blow into it for the vehicle to start. The IID will only allow the vehicle to start if the driver’s breath alcohol content is below a preset level. If the driver fails to blow into the IID or blows a positive result, the vehicle will not start and an alert will be sent to the motor vehicle commission. The purpose of IIDs is to prevent individuals who have been convicted of felony DUI from operating vehicles with alcohol in their system.
Is there a possibility for plea bargains or reduced charges in Felony DUI cases in New Jersey?Yes, plea bargains and reduced charges are possible in felony DUI cases in New Jersey. Depending on the individual case and the specific circumstances, a plea bargain may include a reduction of charges as well as a lesser sentence. However, depending on the severity of the felony DUI, it may not be possible to reduce the charges or secure a plea bargain.
Can individuals with Felony DUI convictions regain their driving privileges in New Jersey?Individuals with felony DUI convictions are not generally eligible to regain their driving privileges in New Jersey. If someone has been convicted of a felony DUI, they will not be able to apply for a new license or have their license reinstated after the revocation period ends. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission does not typically issue licenses to individuals with felony DUI convictions.
How does a Felony DUI affect employment opportunities and background checks in New Jersey?A felony DUI conviction in New Jersey can have a serious and long-lasting effect on employment opportunities and background checks. Having a felony DUI on one’s criminal record can make it difficult to find a job or even to keep a job. Employers may be unwilling to hire someone who has a felony conviction, especially one for DUI. Additionally, many employers will conduct a background check before considering a prospective employee. A felony DUI conviction will likely show up on this background check, and could be a major deterrent for the employer.
Are there diversion programs or rehabilitation options for Felony DUI offenders in New Jersey?Yes, there are diversion programs and rehabilitation options for felony DUI offenders in New Jersey. The Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Program allows eligible offenders to receive treatment and education in lieu of jail time. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Corrections offers various alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, for eligible offenders. Finally, many private treatment centers in New Jersey offer highly specialized services and individualized care for DUI offenders.
What rights and legal options do individuals charged with Felony DUI have in New Jersey?In New Jersey, individuals charged with felony DUI may have the right to an attorney, to remain silent, to plead guilty or not guilty, to have a jury trial, and to present evidence on their behalf in court. Individuals charged with felony DUI may also have the right to challenge any evidence against them and to appeal any conviction or sentence. Additionally, individuals charged with felony DUI in New Jersey may be able to apply for pre-trial intervention or a conditional discharge from the court.
Can a Felony DUI conviction impact child custody and visitation rights in New Jersey?Yes, a felony DUI conviction can certainly affect child custody and visitation rights in New Jersey. Depending on the severity of the offense, the court may decide that it is in the best interest of the child(ren) that the parent with the felony DUI conviction have their parental rights terminated or limited. The court will look at a variety of factors when making a determination regarding child custody and visitation rights, including but not limited to the following: whether the offending parent poses a danger to the children; if the parent has completed any necessary rehabilitation programs; how long since the offense; and the level of involvement of the parent in the children’s lives.
Is there a statute of limitations for prosecuting Felony DUI cases in New Jersey?Yes, there is a statute of limitations for prosecuting felony DUI cases in New Jersey. The statute of limitations is five years from the commission of the offense.
How does our state handle out-of-state DUI convictions in relation to Felony DUI charges in New Jersey?In New Jersey, if a person is convicted of a DUI in another state, their out-of-state conviction could be considered a prior offense for the purposes of increasing the severity of a DUI charge in New Jersey. If someone has two prior convictions of DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) from another state, they could face felony DUI charges in New Jersey. They can also face felony charges if they have three or more prior convictions for either DWI or DUI from any state.
What resources or organizations provide support and guidance for individuals facing Felony DUI charges in New Jersey?1. The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC): This organization provides guidance and resources to individuals facing felony DUI charges in New Jersey. The ABC website provides information on the law, legal penalties, and other important information for individuals facing felony DUI charges.
2. Legal Services of New Jersey: This organization provides free legal advice and representation to individuals facing felony DUI charges. They can provide assistance in understanding the laws in New Jersey related to DUI charges, as well as represent individuals in court proceedings.
3. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): MADD is a national organization dedicated to preventing drunk driving and helping those affected by it. They provide resources, education, and support to individuals facing felony DUI charges in New Jersey. The MADD website provides information about the legal process, including potential consequences and penalties associated with a conviction.
4. The New Jersey State Bar Association: The State Bar Association provides valuable assistance to those facing felony DUI charges in New Jersey. They provide information and referral services to help individuals find attorneys who specialize in DUIs, as well as other legal resources.