How Long Will a DUI Stay on My Record in New Jersey?

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. DUI, also known as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in New Jersey, is the act of driving a car while being affected by the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It is a perilous crime that can result in serious injury and death, which is why the penalties are so severe. In New Jersey, a DUI will remain on your driving record forever. If you were recently arrested for a DUI, a Mercer County DUI lawyer can help.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in New Jersey?

Penalties vary depending on the specifics of your situation. In general, the consequences include:

First offense:

  • Short-term license suspension
  • Fines totaling $250 – $400
  • Use of an IID (ignition interlock device) for three months
  • Mandatory hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • Jail time totaling 12 hours to 30 days

Second offense:

  • One-year license suspension
  • Fines totaling $500 – $1,000
  • Use of an IID for 2 to 4 years
  • Mandatory program completion at an IDRC
  • 30 days of community service
  • Jail time totaling 48 hours to 90 days

Third offense:

  • Eight-year license suspension
  • Fines totaling $1,000
  • Use of an IID for 2 to 4 years
  • Mandatory program completion at an IDRC
  • 30 days of community service
  • Jail time totaling 180 days

Even if it is only your first offense, a DUI will be a permanent fixture on your driving record, causing hefty insurance surcharges for extended periods. Keep in mind that the details of your case can cause your penalties to be more or less severe.

Will I Have a Criminal Record After Getting a DUI?

Being convicted of a DUI in New Jersey will not result in a criminal record. New Jersey is one of the few states that consider a DUI a traffic violation, not a criminal offense. So although your DUI will be permanently etched on your driving record, you can avoid a criminal record altogether. This is beneficial as having a criminal record can greatly affect your daily life.

If you apply for a job or try to rent a house or apartment, your potential employer or landlord is within their rights to perform a background check. Depending on the extent of your criminal record and which crimes you have committed, it can negatively impact your chances of landing a job or home. Since a DUI will not appear on your criminal record in New Jersey, a background check will not show your conviction.

Can I Get My DUI Expunged?

In short, no you cannot get your DUI expunged. An expungement is only an option for criminal offenses which, as we established, a DUI is not in New Jersey. You can never have your DUI expunged from your driving record. That is why it is imperative that you work with a skilled attorney to avoid a conviction when possible.

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