Each year, police departments across New Jersey ramp up their DWI enforcement efforts during the holiday season. If you are facing a DWI charge, you need to make smart decisions and avoid mistakes that could make it more difficult to have a successful defense. With this in mind, here are five tips for what NOT to do from an experienced Freehold DWI lawyer.
1. Do NOT Ignore Your DWI
Even though it is the holiday season and you want to focus on spending time with your friends and family, you cannot ignore your DWI. In fact, you should already be preparing for your arraignment—which could be happening within the next few days. You also need to start considering your options for fighting the DWI charge or seeking a reduced sentence, and there may be steps you can take while your case is pending to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
2. Do NOT Plead Guilty
Just as you should not ignore your DWI, you also should not plead guilty so that you can “move on” and enjoy the holiday season. If you plead guilty to a DWI, you will face the consequences for years to come. If you were driving drunk, you may have a variety of defenses available, and even if you cannot avoid a conviction entirely, pleading guilty will not give you the best result—not even close.
3. Do NOT Overlook Possible Defenses
From police misconduct to unreliable Alcotest results, there are numerous potential ways to fight a DWI charge in New Jersey. If you overlook possible defenses to your DWI, you could end up facing steep penalties you do not deserve. A Freehold DWI lawyer can examine all potential defenses to your drunk driving charge and build a defense strategy focused on protecting you to the fullest extent possible.
4. Do NOT Underestimate the Consequences of a DWI Conviction
In New Jersey, DWI charges carry steep penalties. Even if you are a first-time offender, you are facing fines, surcharges, loss of driving privileges, mandatory alcohol education and ignition interlock device installation, and even possible jail time. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.10 percent or above or you are a repeat offender, you are facing even steeper penalties. Additionally, a conviction will greatly increase the cost of your insurance and your insurance company may not want to reinsure you when your policy lapses. It also bears mentioning that you could lose your job or be unable to get certain employment opportunities if you are convicted. You could also lose your security clearance and be unable to travel outside the United States (e.g. Canada bars non-Canadians who have a DUI conviction from crossing into Canada).
5. Do NOT Try to Handle This Situation Yourself
Defending against a DWI charge in New Jersey is not easy and given the potential consequences, it is not something you should try to handle on your own. A Freehold DWI lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. can help, and it will be well worth it to put an experienced lawyer on your side.
Discuss Your Case with a Freehold DWI Lawyer in Confidence
If you are facing a DWI charge in Freehold, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential consultation. To find out what we can do to fight your New Jersey drunk driving charge, call 877-435-6371 or request an appointment online now.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending DWI and criminal cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.