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Bellmawr DWI Attorney

Representing People Charged with Drunk Driving and Other Traffic and Criminal Offenses in Camden County

There are about 1 million drunk driving arrests in the United States each year, making DWI/DUI perhaps the most common criminal offense charged in the country. Even in a relatively small borough like Bellmawr, you are more likely to encounter the police in the context of a drunk driving arrest than most other infractions. Indeed, given Bellmawr’s position at the crossroads of I-76, I-295, and the New Jersey Turnpike, you know that local law enforcement maintains constant vigilance for any potential sign of driving under the influence.

The Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, can advise and represent you if you are one of those Camden County residents who have been arrested and charged with DWI/DUI. Our Bellmawr DWI attorney, Matthew V. Portella, has extensive experience defending clients against not only DWI charges but a wide range of other New Jersey traffic as well as criminal offenses, including weapons charges, drug possession, sexual offenses, and burglary and robbery charges. Every New Jersey resident charged with traffic and criminal offense has the right to the effective assistance of counsel, and our office can provide you with that.

The Penalties for Drunk Driving in New Jersey Escalate with the Number of Prior Offenses

DWI/DUI is the traffic offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The commonly cited threshold for DWI/DUI in New Jersey is having a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent, which is typically measured by a breath or blood test following an arrest. But it is important to understand that the 0.08 percent threshold is just one way that a New Jersey prosecutor can prove DWI/DUI. It is possible to be charged, tried, and convicted of drunk driving based on other circumstantial evidence, such as the observations of an arresting officer.

The severity of a New Jersey DWI/DUI conviction generally depends on whether or not this is your first offense. A first DWI/DUI conviction carries the following penalties if your BAC is a .08 or .09 percent or if you refuse to give breath samples for testing purposes :

  • a fine of between $250 and $400;
  • up to 30 days in jail;
  • loss of your driver’s license until an ignition interlock device (IID) is installed in your car, which must remain in place for 3 months;
  • completion of a two-day course at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center; and
  • an additional surcharge of $1,000 for 3 years on your auto insurance policy.

Even with a first offense, these penalties can still be increased based on certain aggravating factors. For example, if the state can prove that your BAC was between 0.10 and 0.15 percent, you can face a higher fine and have to keep an ID in your car for up to 1 year as opposed to 3 months.

With a second DWI/DUI conviction, the penalties are even more harsh and include:

  • a fine of between $500 and $1,000;
  • at least 48 consecutive hours in jail and up to 90 days;
  • suspension of your driver’s license for a period of between 1 and 2 years;
  • mandatory use of an IID during the period of driver’s license suspension and for between 2 and 4 years after your driver’s license is restored; and
  • 30 days of community service.

For a third conviction, the consequences are significantly more onerous and include:

  • a fine of $1,000;
  • up to 180 days in jail, with up to 90 days credited for serving in a drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program;
  • suspension of your driver’s license for 8 years, followed by the use of an IID in your car for a period of 2 to 4 years;
  • 30 days of community service; and

Additional Penalties for DWI as a Minor or Driving with a Suspended License

Another key consideration in a DWI/DUI case is the age of the defendant. As you know, the legal age to purchase or consume alcohol in New Jersey is 21. This means that if you are below the legal age, any amount of alcohol in your system is considered illegal. In practical terms, you can be tried and convicted of underage DWI/DUI with a BAC of between 0.01 and 0.07 percent if you are under the age of 21. A person under the age of 21 convicted of underage DWI/DUI will have their driving privileges suspended or postponed for 30 to 90 days and be required to perform 15 to 30 days of community service.

It is also important to note that anyone caught driving with a suspended license due to a prior DWI/DUI conviction can be charged with a separate criminal offense that carries a possible jail term of a mandatory minimum period of 180 days up to 18 months.

We Help Camden County Residents Charged with Traffic and Criminal Offenses

Any traffic or criminal charge must be taken seriously, whether it involves a DWI/DUI, a drug charge, or a sexually based offense. Bellmawr DWI/DUI attorney Matthew V. Portella and his team can review your case and advise you of your best course of action for defending yourself in court. Contact him today to schedule an initial consultation.

Madison Smith
Madison Smith
2024-05-20
My wife and I had the best experience you could imagine with Matt Portella. We are both hard working public servants that were subjected to an unwarranted legal mess. The situation caused us a lot of undue stress. We live out of the NJ area and googled lawyers in Haddon Township for the best representation possible. Thank God we went with Matt. We chose him because he looked tough, energetic, and had great reviews. That is exactly what we received. He TRULY worked for us. He remained personable and sustained thorough communication throughout the entirety of the debacle. We would HIGHLY recommend Mr. Portella for a legal defense issue. Five stars.
Brad Shuttleworth
Brad Shuttleworth
2024-05-20
Mr. Portella is an amazing criminal defense attorney. He knows the law, and especially the system and the people involved in the system.
Ricardo Rivera
Ricardo Rivera
2024-05-16
Matt and his staff are the best. They helped me several times for traffic violations and once for a criminal charge. I would never go to court without Matt and his staff by my side.
Harriet Monshaw
Harriet Monshaw
2024-03-28
Principal and staff were more then professional. Thank you. I would definitely recommend Mr. Portella to a friend.
Deirdre Curry
Deirdre Curry
2024-03-26
Matt and his team were incredible throughout a long and challenging process. Matt made sure to keep in contact and explain each step thoroughly. He ensures his clients needs are addressed and tailors his approach to achieve the best possible outcome. He stopped at nothing when it came to pushing for what I wanted. He built an amazing case and was able to get me to the best resolution possible. His attention to detail and care for others sets him aside from most lawyers. It’s a difficult decision when choosing your representation, but if you want a trustworthy, dedicated, and talented lawyer, you can stop your search here and go with Matt Portella. Thank you Matt and Team - your hard work changed my life!!
Timothy Buckley
Timothy Buckley
2024-02-22
Criminal law is not my firm’s area of expertise so when a friend needed someone, I sent them to Matt. Matt gave them attentive, in depth and honest advice to help them see the strengths and weaknesses in their case. I would highly recommend Matt.
smith family!
smith family!
2024-02-15
Hes a smooth talker, that pretends to care! at the end of the day you are paying for a “plea lawyer” .. he makes you up front and then stops working from there on. I messed up and got in a fight i get it.. but at the end of the day, he had me sitting in county for 7 months, not doing anything besides going on multiple vacations!
Tom P.
Tom P.
2024-02-01
Mr. Portella could not have represented myself or my case any better. He and his office continuously updated me throughout the legal process, and during the court hearing Mr. Portella did an excellent job in defending me.
Todd Weber
Todd Weber
2023-12-30
Mr. Portella's representation was superlative, his personable style assuaged our concerns. He commands my highest recommendation.
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