Underage DWI Lawyers in Morris County NJ
Underage DWI Attorney in Mount Olive NJ
In the State of New Jersey, a DWI is a serious offense regardless of age. However, for someone under the age of 21, a DWI conviction carries with it perhaps even more severe consequences, because of the illegality associated with drinking underage in the first place. If you or your loved one has had the misfortune to be charged with underage drinking and driving, driving while intoxicated in a school zone, refusal to submit to a breath test, drug dui or assault by auto in Morris County, you cannot afford to face these charges alone. The team of DWI / DUI lawyers on staff at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall fully understand what a conviction can do to your life. If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DWI in Morris County, in towns like Madison, Roxbury, Parsippany, Dover, Denville, Rockaway, Montville or Boonton, we can help. Please contact our Morristown office at 973.309.7050 and set up a free consultation with any one of our eight Morris County DWI attorneys. Now here is some key information on underage dwi charges, including the applicable penalties if convicted.
N.J.S.A. 39:4-50: Underage DWI Lawyer in Roxbury NJ
Like all other DWI offenses, an underage DWI is governed by NJSA 39:4-50, the state’s drunk driving statute. The difference is under what portion of the statute an underage driver is assessed. Two things are important to note at this stage.
First, there are two elements of a DWI offense, operation and intoxication. Operation is often proven in one of three ways. The most obvious way is through direct evidence, meaning the arresting officer actually witness operation or intent to operate the vehicle by the underage person. The second way the state satisfies its burden is if the defendant admits to driving the vehicle. The last way, through circumstantial evidence, which is arguably the most difficult, but the state will satisfy its burden if based on the circumstances it can create the inference that the driver had to have been driving the vehicle in order for it to be where it was.
None of that is different in an underage or adult DWI case, the real distinction in an underage DWI case is in the proof of intoxication element. The key difference is in fact that the state does not need to prove intoxication. Under NJSA 39:4-50.14, the state need only show that the driver’s BAC was greater than .01% in order for the driver to be guilty of an underage DWI. Typically speaking, this is done through the use of the state’s breathalyzer test.
What are the Penalties for Underage DUI in NJ?
If the state can successfully show this, then the driver will lose their license for 30-90 days starting on the day of conviction or on the day the driver turns 17. The driver will also have to perform between 15 and 30 days of community service. It is of note that there are usually other things such as intoxicated driver’s resource programs and other little fees that only serve to make the offense more time-consuming and costly to the driver.
On the other hand, if the driver was in fact intoxicated, meaning their BAC was or exceeded .08%, then the driver is treated as if they were an adult. However, if the person is under 17 at the time of the conviction, then the suspension will run from their 17th birthday until it is done, depending on what number offense this is for the person. For a first offense DWI, the suspension would typically be one year. For a second offense, the suspension would be two years. For third or subsequent offenses, the suspension would run for ten years. All of these offenses are also accompanied by fines, surcharges, the possibility of incarceration, the possibility of community service, the possibility of rehab programs, and also the installation of an ignition interlock device in most cases.
Underage DUI Defense Attorneys Serving all of Morris County NJ
Needless to say, for a person just starting out their life, an underage DWI conviction can have serious consequences. You need the best representation that you can get to help you minimize your exposure to liability. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against DWI offenses, including countless underage DWI cases. So please, if you or someone you love has been charged with an Underage DWI in Morris County, in towns like Chatham, Jefferson, Washington, Butler, Lincoln Park, Morris Township or Denville do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation about the particulars of your case.