Toms River Ten-Year Step-Down DWI Law

If you or your loved one is facing a second or subsequent NJ DWI offense then you are probably aware that you face at least a two year license suspension for a second offense and a ten year suspension for a third offense. However, a possible statutory defense to your Ocean, Monmouth or Middlesex County DWI charge is the 10-Year Step-Down rule.

Whether you are facing a first offense, second offense, or third Driving While Intoxicated charge, McGuckin Law is here to help. New Jersey Attorney General regulations preclude plea-bargaining drunk driving cases and also prohibits provisional or work hardship licenses following DUI convictions. Therefore, the best offense is a diligent, aggressive and knowledgeable defense. McGuckin Law defends people like you facing Refusal, DWI in a School Zone, Drug DUI, and Underage DWI throughout the Jersey Shore including Toms River, Edison, Sayreville, Wall, Middletown, Jackson, Howell, Ship Bottom, Manahawkin or Tinton Falls, call us today at 732.924.4200.

Tinton Falls DWI Step-Down Rule

The NJ Appellate Division provides that if TEN years have passed between your first and second DWI charges, or if TEN years have passed between your second and third DWI charges, then you may be sentenced at the same level as your prior offense. Please note that the ten-year step-down rule applies when ten years have elapsed between the offense dates, not between dates of disposition at court or trials.

Example 1:

Bob was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated in Woodbridge in 2006 as a first offender, and was arrested for a second DUI offense in Toms River in 2017. Bob may be charged as a first offender despite the fact that it was actually his second offense.

This is big news for Bob because rather than facing a two-year suspension on a second offense, he would be facing a 3 month to seven month loss of license pursuant to the statute.

Example 2:

Lori was charged with her Third DWI Offense in Wall Township in July 2018, after a Second DWI Offense in Jackson in August 2008. Unfortunately for Lori, she CANNOT be sentenced as a second offender rather than a third because ten years had not elapsed between the dates of offense.

If Lori’s first offense occurred in June, however, she would be in luck. She would be facing a two (2) year license suspension rather than a ten (10) year license suspension.