Lookback Period for Priorability
Priorability is how the state and the court will treat any prior convictions when sentencing a current New Jersey DWI / DUI convicted driver.
Like most states, New Jersey has a "washout" or "lookback" period for prior DWI / DUI convictions that determine whether an accused motorist will face additional punishment as a multiple drunk driving defendant.
Prior drinking and driving convictions impact nearly every aspect of a NJ DWI / DUI case, from general defense strategy to sentencing. Multiple-offense drunk drivers face greater license suspensions, fines, jail terms, and other punishment.
For example, a driver convicted of a first-time NJ DWI / DUI offense with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .15 percent faces fines between $600 and $800 plus surcharges and fees, a four to six month license suspension, mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installed for the period of suspension plus nine to twelve months after the suspension, and up to 30 days in jail.
However, a driver convicted of a second NJ DWI offense within 10 years faces a fine of up to $800, a one to two-year license suspension, IID installed for two to four years, and up to three months in jail. A third conviction within 10 years will result in a fine of up to $1,325, an eight-year driver's license suspension, IID installed for two to four years, and mandatory six months in jail.
In some cases, it's possible to have prior drunk driving convictions stricken from the record in order to avoid the severe consequences of a multiple DWI conviction. A New Jersey DWI attorney experienced in post-conviction relief can advise whether this is possible in each individual case.
The repercussions of multiple DWI / DUI convictions in New Jersey are harsher than ever before. The surest way to protect the accused driver's rights is to have a New Jersey DWI attorney experienced in defending multiple drinking and driving cases at the motorist's side. A skilled NJ DWI defense lawyer will examine every avenue available to minimize or even eliminate the consequences of a multiple-offense drunk driving arrest.
At Levow DWI Law, P.C., we always review our client's prior convictions to determine whether we can neutralize the effect on the current matter. Please contact us today to review your options. Call (877) 593-1717 for a free New Jersey DWI consultation.