When is a Prior DWI Arrest and Conviction Considered a Prior Offense

I am currently representing a DWI client who has several prior DWI and DUI offenses. However, all of these are for out-of state convictions. These always raises some interesting issues as it pertains to the enhanceablility of a second or subsequent DWI or DUI conviction. As you may know, a conviction for a second offense will result in a 2 years loss of license and up to 90 days in the county jail. A third or subsequent conviction for DWI or DUI will is a mandatory 6 month jail/prison sentence and a 10 year loss of license.

However, not all convictions a prior convictions for the purpose of New Jersey’s DWI laws. This is a particularly prevalent issue for older convictions, especially where the prior conviction was based on a statute that is not substantially similar to the per se (Breathalyzer readings) New Jersey offense  as it existed at the time of conviction. Also, there are differences in other state’s DWI laws as they relate to driving while impaired as opposed to driving under the influence.

A blog is really not the place to address all the legal issues that a situation such as this raises, but I would be happy to provide some information during a free consultation.


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