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Mandatory Minimum DUI Sentences

If you have been charged with a DUI in New Jersey, then you have to be aware of mandatory minimum sentences. A mandatory minimum sentence means that a judge is required by law to impose certain penalties. The law sets a “floor” that the judge cannot go below when imposing DWI jail-time, fines, ignition interlock requirements, community service and Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC) courses.

Recently, the United States Supreme Court in Alleyne v. United States addressed the burden of proof that the prosecution has for establishing that a mandatory minimum sentence must apply. In Alleyne, the legal issue involved mandatory minimum sentences for gun law violations. The Supreme Court stated that for the enhanced penalties to apply, the prosecution must prove all elements of a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although Alleyne addressed gun laws, the ruling applies to DUI cases as well. For first offenses, the penalties are increased if a breath test or blood test result was .10% BAC or higher. This fact must now be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, a DWI lawyer should argue that the State of New Jersey must prove prior DWI convictions beyond a reasonable doubt before a judge can increase the mandatory minimum penalties for a second or third offense. This burden of proof may be more difficult to meet when the DUI conviction was in another state.

The following is a list of mandatory minimum sentences for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time DWI offenders:

License loss

Fines, fees & surcharges

Prison term

Community service, IDRC & Interlock

7 months–
1 year

$300–$500 fine
$230 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund
$100 to AERF*
$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

Up to 30 days

12–48 hours IDRC*
BAC 0.15% or greater: ignition interlock device during license suspension and 6 months – 1 year following restoration

Repeated DUI convictions

Offense

License loss

Fines, fees & surcharges

Prison term

Community service, IDRC & Interlock

2nd offense within 10 years

2 years

$500–$1,000 fine
$280 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund
$100 to AERF*
$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

48 hours–
90 days

30 days CS
12–48 hours IDRC*
Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration

3rd offense within 10 years of 2nd offense

10 years

$1,000 fine
$280 IDRC* fee
$100 to drunk driving fund
$100 to AERF*
$1,500/year (for 3 years) surcharge
$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

180 days

Up to 90 days CS (can reduce period of imprisonment)
12–48 hours IDRC*
Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration

Call Kevin Leckerman now to discuss defenses that can win a DWI case.

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