What Are the Penalties for a First Offense DUI in NJ?

If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs (39:4-50), you are facing serious penalties. The Law Office of Jason T. Komninos can fight to defend you against a DUI charge.

39:4-50 applies to anyone who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.

Being under the influence of any drug, even a legal drug or prescription drug, can lead to a conviction under this statute.

Penalties for a first offense DUI:

License suspended for 7 to 12 months.

A fine of $300 to $500.

Mandatory attendance at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) for 12 to 48 hours.

A possible jail sentence of up to 30 days.

Additional monetary penalties such as court costs and surcharges.

How can I avoid these penalties?

Unfortunately, New Jersey law does not allow a reduction of a DUI charge to one that carries lesser penalties. However, you may have defenses that could lead to a dismissal of the charge.

The police must be able prove that you were operating your motor vehicle while under the influence of a drug. One of the procedures the police use in a DUI case is called a Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE). The Law Office can review the DRE report in your case for any possible defenses.

The police can also use a blood test to prove drug influence. However, there are certain legal and procedural issues that must be followed to provide a valid blood sample for use in court. For example, the police must either obtain your consent for a blood test or obtain a warrant from a judge.

A DUI case is worth fighting. Do not assume that the only option is to plead guilty. Drug cases are more complicated than alcohol DWI cases, where a reading above the legal limit on the breath test machine is enough to convict a defendant.

If you are facing a DUI offense in New Jersey, you should retain an attorney to protect your rights. Call 201-343-4622 to schedule a consultation.