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First Offense DWI Lawyers in Newark, NJ

Aggressive DWI Attorneys Beat Drunk Driving Charges in Essex County, Union County & Middlesex County, NJ

With drunk driving accidents on the rise in New Jersey, NJ prosecutors are really cracking down on Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenders throughout the state. This is even true for first-time offenders, which is bad news for anyone who gets busted for drinking and driving on a New Jersey highway or road. That’s because N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which governs DWI violations in the State of New Jersey, imposes severe penalties for first offense DWI convictions.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, Andrew John Calcagno can help you fight the charges and avoid the most significant penalties. Mr. Calcagno is the founder of Calcagno & Associates and leads an experienced, aggressive legal team with decades of combined experience defending clients against DWI charges and traffic tickets in East Orange, West Orange, Plainfield, Wayne, and Middletown, NJ.

DWI Violations in Elizabeth NJ and Elsewhere in Union County

NJ law requires anyone operating a motor vehicle on a roadway in New Jersey to maintain a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of below .08 percent. Anyone exceeding the legal limit of .08 percent BAC can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated. Moreover, a person whose BAC is above .10 percent may be subject to enhanced penalties. There are also special penalties imposed on commercial drivers, underage drivers, and repeat offenders (including second offense DWIs and third offense DWIs).

BAC is a measure of a person’s volume of alcohol per a liter of blood. Law enforcement officers in Union County, Hudson County, and everywhere else in New Jersey typically use an Alcotest device to administer a breath test when the officer has reasonable grounds for the test.

Contrary to popular belief, it is rarely in a person’s best interests to refuse to submit to a breath test when requested by a patrol officer. That’s because Breath Test Refusal is a violation of NJ traffic laws and typically results in suspension of the offender’s license, in addition to other penalties. Moreover, you can still be charged with a DWI even if you do not take the breath test.

Penalties for a First Offense DWI Violation in Jersey City, NJ

Although DWI violations are technically considered traffic offenses, not criminal offenses, in New Jersey, the consequences of a DWI conviction in municipal court are still severe. For instance, a first offense DWI conviction could potentially result in:

  • Jail Time: Up to 30 days in the local county jail.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: Suspension of driving privileges in NJ for three months.
  • Monetary Fines: The fines for a first-time DWI offender range from $250 to $400.
  • Surcharges: Additional monetary penalties come in the form of surcharges imposed by the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The surcharges for a first offense DWI conviction are typically $1,000 per year for a period of three years.
  • Alcohol Education Classes: First-time DWI offenders can be required to attend up to 48 hours of alcohol education classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
  • Ignition Interlock Devices: Although first-time offenders are not always required to attach a breathalyzer device to their cars, it is ultimately up to the discretion of the court.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Aggressive Plainfield, NJ DWI Attorney Today

The best way to avoid DWI penalties is to secure sound legal representation as soon as you are arrested. Do not make the mistake to trying to negotiate the charges on your own. Let a qualified DWI and DUI defense lawyer like Andrew Calcagno talk to the local prosecutor and the arresting officer and work out the best possible outcome for you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may even be possible to contest the results of the breath test and get your DWI charges dismissed. In the event that your DWI case goes to trial, Mr. Calcagno and his team of skilled DUI defense lawyers are fully prepared to fight on your behalf and win in the courtroom.

If you have been charged with a first offense DWI in New Jersey, contact Calcagno & Associates today to discuss your case and explore your legal options. You can also schedule a free consultation at one of our conveniently located offices: Newark, Cranford, Westfield, Red Bank, or Clifton.


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“The amount of pride and overall care he has for his clients is felt immediately. When I first meet him, I never felt rushed or pressured to sign up with him. Andrew and his staff are caring, knowledgable people that make you feel at home.”
- Louis