Out of State DWI in New Jersey

When visiting another state, one of the worst possible things that could happen is to get arrested for a crime. Drivers from New Jersey who are arrested for a DWI in other states face unique legal issues that can complicate their cases and increase the severity of their legal penalties.

Here's some basic information about what an out of state DWI entails for you.

Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC)

What a lot of people don't understand when they get charged with a DWI in another state is that a conviction could lead to the suspension of their driving privileges both in the visiting state and their home state of New Jersey. This is all due to the fact that New Jersey is apart of the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC). This compact is comprised of 46 states and is intended to ensure that home state authorities are aware of traffic criminal offenses that are committed outside of state lines.

The member states of this compact have agreed to document and share all reported instances of traffic-related citations, convictions, penalties imposed and other relevant information with each other's licensing departments, but this is only if the state a motorist is visiting is apart of the compact. As of now, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, and Michigan are the only states that don't take part in the IDLC. But these non-member states still tend to suspend licenses temporarily until the motorist leaves.

Penalties for an Out of State DWI in New Jersey

If you are from another state and have been arrested in New Jersey for driving while impaired, you will still be held accountable for mandatory sentencing and penalties for a DWI conviction. They include:

First DWI Offense (BAC 0.08% - 0.09%)

  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
  • A fine of $250 to $400
  • The suspension of your license for 3 months
  • The potential installation of an ignition interlock device for 6 months to a year
  • Probation
  • Community service

First DWI Offense (BAC 0.10% - 0.14% or with drugs)

  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
  • A fine ranging from $300 to $500
  • The suspension of your license from 7 months to 1 year
  • The potential installation of an ignition interlock device from 6 months to 1 year
  • Probation
  • Community service

First DWI Offense (BAC 0.15% and higher)

  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
  • A fine ranging from $300 to $500
  • The suspension of your license from 7 months to 1 year
  • The potential installation of an ignition interlock device from 6 months to 1 year
  • Probation
  • Community Service

When you've been charged with an out of state DWI, your fate is entirely in a judge's hands. They have the discretion to cut you a break or carry out the full extent of the law. Their decision will solely be based on the nature of your arrest, your criminal history, your BAC, the officer's testimony, and other relevant factors. These penalty guidelines are strictly suggested as parameters for sentencing, it doesn't mean that your outcome will necessarily reflect as such.

If you were arrested in New Jersey but live in another state, look for counsel in your home state to help you navigate the unique process in your home state.

Tips For NJ Residents Who Are Charged With an Out of State DWI

An out of state DWI is a massive inconvenience that can haunt you for years after it occurs, regardless of where you reside. To avoid having a DWI on your record, your only option is to fight the charge. It's important you make the appropriate steps while in the process of an arrest and onward to make matters easier for you in this situation. Here are two important tips that could benefit motorists from out of state who are suspected of driving under the influence:

Document everything

In out of state DWI cases, the likelihood of a conviction hinges on the information gathered from the account of an arresting officer versus your version of what occurred. Law enforcement officials are required to submit a police report explaining why they pulled you over, how you performed on your field sobriety tests, your BAC upon arrest, and whether or not you were compliant, and other factors.

If an officer is given the opportunity to provide a detailed statement of what occurred during a trial hearing, you should take advantage of that opportunity also. Although it may be difficult to keep your composure while being arrested, it's important to stay in the moment and try to remember as many details about your arrest and the moments before and after it.

Even the most minor details could make the largest difference in the outcome of your DWI case. A police report is basically an officer's perceived account of events, not necessarily what actually happened. If you fail to document your own version of this incident, the courts will have only the officer's account of what happened to go off of when making a decision.

Seek legal counsel

As most people are aware, you have the right to an attorney. But some are reluctant to seek counsel or outright refuse because they don't think it's necessary. DWIs are complex cases that require the assistance of a seasoned attorney. A legal professional can explain the legal system in a way that you can understand, and they can identify if your rights have been violated or if your arrest was lawful. With your freedom, driving privileges, career, and future opportunities at stake, there is no harm in consulting an attorney who can weigh your options, assess the potential outcome of your case and present a solid defense. With an attorney on your side in this predicament, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney

At the Lento Law Firm, we're familiar with how other states adjudicate DWI convictions, and how a New Jersey conviction will transfer to another state. For more information about your case and Mr. Lento's representation, contact our firm either online or by phone at 888-535-3686.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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