How Will an Out-of-State DUI Conviction Affect Your New Jersey License?
While visiting family members in Ohio, you have a couple of drinks in celebration at a local bar. While driving back to your hotel, the police pull you over for speeding. The officer smells alcohol on your breath and asks you to step out of the car. You take a breathalyzer test and it shows that you over the limit. The police arrest you for DUI. In the morning, you plead guilty in court. What happens next? Will this affect your license in New Jersey?
When you get a DUI conviction in another state, you’re probably concerned what happens next and how this can affect your license. What happens is you may be subjected to two different punishments. Let’s examine the issue.
A DUI Conviction in Another State
New Jersey is part of the Driver License Compact — an interstate compact that allows states to exchange information about license suspensions and traffic violations of any non-residents. So using the example above, let’s say this isn’t your first DUI offense. Ohio will receive your driver’s record from New Jersey and use that information when handing down your punishment in court. Although Ohio does not have the power take away your license, it can impose fines and even jail time.
But that’s not all. Ohio will then let New Jersey know of the DUI and then you have a new headache to deal with. New Jersey will treat the out-of-state DUI conviction as if you committed the offense in the state. That means more fines and the possibility of jail time. And yes, unlike Ohio, New Jersey will suspend your license for the offense.
What About a Prior Out-of-State DUI Conviction?
Let’s say you just moved to New Jersey and have a prior DWI when the incident occurred. What happens then? New Jersey will take that as your first offense. But it’s important to note that if the prior conviction happened before the state lowered the legal limit, a good DUI attorney can argue that the conviction should not be counted against you.
Confused? It can be. That’s why it’s very important that you speak with an experienced DWI lawyer whenever you are charged with drunken driving. If you are accused of a DUI in New Jersey or were convicted in another state, get legal help now. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.