Many drivers are unsure of the DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) rules and regulations when it comes to an incident that occurred outside their home state. The exact rules and regulations are distinct to each state’s laws and DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) but essentially, if a New Jersey driver is sentenced with a DWI/DUI in another state, it is the same as being charged in New Jersey. All states but five (Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Tennessee) have consented to and signed the Driver’s License Compact. This agreement between the states effectively treats vehicular offenses committed in other states as if they were committed in the home state. Thus, as long as the driver’s home state has a “substantially similar” statute to the statute the driver violated, the home state will treat it as if the offense happened within the home state.
If you are experiencing the following, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today to speak with one of our dedicated and experienced Bergen County DUI attorneys.
What are the consequences of a DWI in New Jersey?
The penalties New Jersey drivers can encounter for being sentenced in another state for DWI/DUI can be severe. The driver’s license will likely be suspended in the state of the incident for the length of time defined by the statute and surcharges may apply. Moreover, the state-of-incident will then report the vehicular offense to the driver’s home state in order for the home state or DMV to apply its punishment. This can suggest a suspension of the driver’s license in the home state, fines and surcharges, and the more strict penalties that come with subsequent offenses or higher BACs (ignition interlock device, community service, prison time). Being disciplined in both the state-of-incident and the home state is constitutional and does not infringe the double jeopardy provision of the Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution.
What if I have a subsequent or prior offense?
If a driver obtains a DWI/DUI in New Jersey after being sentenced for the same offense in another state, New Jersey will likely treat the driver as a two-time offender. This suggests that even though it may be the driver’s first DWI/DUI in New Jersey, the driver will not be punished as a first-time offender. The rules are the same for an out-of-state driver getting convicted of a DWI/DUI in New Jersey. There are particular exceptions to this, but they are complex and the counsel of an attorney is recommended.
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Contact the Law Office of Carl Spector for an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for you. When your future is on the line, don’t settle for less than the best possible legal representation.