Individuals with prior DWI / DUI conviction(s) often mistakenly believe that their past will haunt them forever. However, some prior convictions can be reopened and possibly re-fought, or the prior conviction can be limited in a manner that it will not cause jail time in the current matter. A New Jersey DWI attorney with experience obtaining post-conviction relief will evaluate each individual’s driving history to determine whether it’s possible to clear the record, or minimize the effect of a prior DWI.
At Levow & Associates, in every 2nd or greater alleged offense, we always review the prior convictions to see if we can have success on the client’s behalf to limit suspension or jail time in the current case.
In New Jersey, a DWI is considered a traffic violation, not a criminal offense, so drunk driving convictions cannot be expunged from the record.
Post Conviction Relief entails investigating prior convictions to see if errors were committed by the court, the State or defense counsel. If any of these errors merit attempting to reopen the old case, a Petition for Post Conviction Relief would be filed in the old court, alleging the errors committed, and stating why the matter should be reopened. There are two goals for successful Post Conviction Relief:
- Reopen the case, vacate the conviction, and either negotiate a better result than that which was originally obtained, or go to trial in the matter, seeking to win the case; or,
- Obtain an order from the original court stating that based on the errors alleged in the Petition, the conviction from the original court cannot be used to enhance any jail time in the current matter. For example, as an alleged third offender, the motorist is facing 180 days in jail. By obtaining an order that states the prior conviction can’t be used to enhance the jail time in the current case, the motorist would be subject to a jail sentence in the second offense range, which is 2 to 90 days.
The varieties of post-conviction relief available depend on many factors, including the type of conviction and the punishment assessed.
Successful Post Conviction Relief can reduce license suspension and keep the driver out of jail, thereby dismantling hurdles to employment, relationships, professional licenses, and housing, in addition to providing emotional relief to individuals who wish to close the door on an unpleasant chapter in their lives. A New Jersey DWI lawyer skilled at obtaining post-conviction relief will review each individual’s driving record to determine whether post conviction relief is viable.
We at Levow & Associates believe it is foolish not to investigate prior convictions. We always attempt to win the current matter, but it is important to address all alternatives. If your suspension can be reduced or you can avoid jail because we were able to find reasons to convince the prior court to grant relief, this is one more avenue of relief for you in the current matter.
If you would like to discuss how Post Conviction Relief could affect your case, please call Levow & Associates at 877-593-1717 , or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.