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Driving on Suspended License Fourth Degree with DWI

Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Monmouth County and Surrounding Areas

It is a felony of the fourth degree to drive while your license is suspended under certain circumstances. Many people are surprised by how harsh the penalties may be in connection with this charge. If you are convicted under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, there is a mandatory period of ineligibility for parole, which means that you will go to jail if you are convicted. It is critical to retain an experienced Monmouth County DWI lawyer to defend against this charge. Tara Breslow can help you vigorously fight for your rights when you have been charged with driving on a suspended license in the fourth degree with DWI. She provides aggressive yet compassionate representation.

Driving on Suspended License Fourth Degree with DWI

Under N.J.S.A 2c:40-26, it is a crime of the fourth degree to drive while your license is suspended in violation of R.S.39:3-40 or C.39:4-50.4a when you have previously been convicted of driving with a suspended license. In other words, the first part of this law provides that it is a fourth-degree crime to drive with a suspended license either if you have previously been convicted of driving while suspended for a DWI-related charge, or if you have refused to submit to a chemical test and were previously convicted of driving with a suspended license for one of those two charges. You face the possibility of a mandatory term of imprisonment.

Similarly, you may also be convicted of a crime of the fourth degree if you drive with a suspended license in violation of R.S.39:3-40, if your license was already suspended or revoked for a second or subsequent violation of R.S.39:4-50 or C.39:4-50.4a. In other words, if you drive on a suspended license after having two or more DWIs or a subsequent DWI offense, you face the possibility of a mandatory term of imprisonment.

If you are convicted for the first time under this code section, you face a fixed mandatory minimum sentence of at least 180 days (around six months) in jail, and additional penalties will be tacked on if you were intoxicated, caused a bodily injury, or were within 1,000 feet of a school zone. You will not be eligible for parole for those six months. This is a starkly different punishment from a first offense of driving on a suspended license under section 39:3-40.

Municipal Court Charges Involving Driving on a Suspended License

While driving on a suspended license fourth degree with DWI is heard in Superior Court, charges of lesser offenses related to driving on a suspended license are heard in municipal court. A first offense of driving on a suspended license is punished with a fine of $500 plus a surcharge, and a second offense of driving on a suspended license carries a fine of $750 and imprisonment in the county jail for up to five days. Driving on a suspended license fourth degree with DWI carries substantially harsher penalties than even a conviction for a third offense, which carries a fine of $1,000 plus imprisonment in the county jail for 10 days. When someone is charged with driving on a suspended license based on a DWI conviction, they face a fine of an additional $500, surcharges, a license suspension period of 1-2 years, and jail time of up to 90 days (around three months).

While municipal court offenses carry less significant penalties, it is still important to keep your record clean and fight the charge to the extent possible. You should retain a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with all of the defenses that may be appropriate so that you can avoid or minimize any consequences of the charge.

Consult an Experienced DWI Defense Attorney in Monmouth County

If you have a suspended license based on a DWI, the penalties are enhanced, and the enhancements are only harsher if you have repeat convictions on the suspension or the DWI, even if they were out of state. However, there are potential defenses that an experienced Monmouth County attorney may be able to raise, such as procedural arguments or circumstances that may convince a prosecutor to show leniency and downgrade the matter to municipal court. The Law Office of Tara Breslow may be able to provide a strong defense. We treat all of our clients with respect, educating them on their cases and providing information that will allow them to make knowledgeable decisions. Ms. Breslow limits how many matters she handles, so each client receives the personal attention that they need. Our firm represents people in Red Bank, Freehold, Eatontown, Middletown, Holmdel, Tinton Falls, Long Branch, Toms River, Seaside Heights, Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Rumson, Fair Haven, West Long Branch, Ocean, and Long Beach Island, among other areas of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Contact us at (732) 963-0742 or through our online form to set up a free appointment with a drunk driving attorney.