How Many Hours of Community Service Will You Need If Convicted of a DUI in New Jersey?
The state of New Jersey imposes several mandatory penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) offenders. The repercussions may include fines, jail time, driving license suspension, surcharges, and participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). If you are convicted of a DUI, you may even be required to put in community service hours.
How many hours of community service will you need to do if convicted of a DUI? This article delves into this pertinent question. If you have been charged with a DUI in New Jersey, consult a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI in New Jersey
The penalties for a DUI in New Jersey, even a first-time conviction, can be harsh.
According to New Jersey Government Law 201487, possible punishments for a first-time offense, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of between .08 and .09 include:
- A civil fine of $250 to $400
- 12 to 48 hours’ participation in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
- A yearly state surcharge of $1,000 for 3 years
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for 3 months
DUI Sentencing Alternatives: Community Service
If you receive a jail term sentence, your attorney may argue for an alternative sentence, such as community service. While community service is a mandatory component of sentencing in subsequent convictions, community service is commonly offered to first-time defendants that require help with alcohol addiction. It can also be imposed on offenders who register a high BAC reading.
Community service involves engaging in monitored labor projects overseen by the county probation department. The department may also set the terms of your obligations unless the judge does so themselves. Typically, a first-time offense could warrant 15 to 30 days, where one day is equal to six hours of work.
Underage Drivers with DUI
New Jersey drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted to consume alcohol and, consequently, will face penalties if found driving with a BAC level of as low as .01. in such cases, there may be mandatory community service of 15 to 30 days, depending on the BAC levels.
What Happens If You Don’t Fulfill Community Service?
The probation department in your resident county will usually monitor your community service obligations.
Should you fail to show up at the placement site or cooperate with the program or site staff, you will be considered in violation of a court order. The court may then impose additional penalties, which may include jail time.
Talk to a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
How many hours of community service will you need to do if convicted of a DUI? Since community service is not mandatory for first offenses, the exact number will usually depend on the specifics of your case. Are you underage? Did you refuse to take a breathalyzer test? What was your BAC level?
If you are facing DUI charges in New Jersey, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer. Attorney Matthew V. Portella has been fighting for the rights of criminal defendants in the state for over 25 years.
Contact him online today or call his Haddonfield or Pleasantville offices at 856-245-5914.