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Driving on a DUI Suspension

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What Happens when You are Charged with Driving with a Suspended License after DWI Conviction in Burlington County and New Jersey

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If you plead guilty, or are convicted of, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving under the Influence of Drugs, or Breath Test Refusal in New Jersey, it is very likely that your driver’s license is going to be suspended. But what happens if you continue to drive despite the fact that you no longer have a valid license? Since the law states that you must have a license in order to operate a motor vehicle in NJ, you can expect to be charged with another offense. Moreover, because drunk driving violations are taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, you are likely to face specific charges for Driving While Suspended for DWI, and those charges carry enhanced penalties that can include further license suspension, heavy fines, and even jail time. Beyond that, these penalties would be in addition to any penalties imposed for the original DWI offense.

To learn more about charges for Driving While Suspended for DWI in New Jersey, keep reading.

Charges for Driving with a License Suspended for a DWI Offense in New Jersey

The charges and penalties for driving with a license suspended for a DWI offense are addressed by N.J.S.A. 39:3-40(f)(2) (for traffic offenses) and N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26 (for criminal offenses). A charge for Driving While Suspended for DWI is unique compared to typical Driving While Suspended charges because courts are able to impose much tougher penalties when the license suspension stemmed from an operating a motor vehicle while impaired offense such as DWI, DUI, or refusing a breath test.

The reality is that even if you only drove once while your license was suspended and were unlucky enough to be pulled over by police that one time, it won’t matter to law enforcement or prosecutors. You will still be charged with Driving While Suspended due to a DWI, and you will still be subject to sentencing enhancements that include possible jail time.

Elements of the Charge for Driving under DUI Suspension

The good news is that just because you’ve been charged with driving on a suspended license doesn’t mean that you are certain to be convicted. In fact, having a strong DWI defense attorney on your side can help enormously when it comes to challenging the prosecution and winning at trial. That’s because the prosecutor will need to prove three elements in order to secure a conviction in the case:

  1. You were operating the motor vehicle. The prosecutor must show that you were the driver of the car and not just a passenger. Moreover, it may be possible to contest this element if you were found asleep behind the wheel, but the keys were not in the ignition.
  2. You were not legally allowed to operate the vehicle because your driver’s license was suspended. This element requires the prosecution to show that you knew about your license suspension, or at least that you should have known because the prosecutor’s office and/or the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission had attempted to inform you of the suspension.
  3. Your license was suspended because of a charge for DUI. Since a guilty plea is essentially the same as a conviction, the prosecutor may be able to show that you pleaded guilty to a DWI charge or that the judge found you guilty of driving under the influence and subsequently suspended your license.

What Are the Penalties for Driving While Suspended for DWI in NJ?

If your driver’s license has been suspended for a DWI/DUI conviction, you are not allowed to drive under any circumstances. Failure to obey this clear-cut traffic law, and failure to abide by the terms of your license suspension, could result in harsh consequences. That’s because the DWI statute imposes severe penalties for Driving While Suspended for DWI. Some of those penalties include the following:

Will You Go to Jail for Operating a Vehicle during a DWI Suspension Period?

The most important thing to understand about the penalties for Driving While Suspended for DWI is that jail time is a very real possibility. As with most of the penalties for this offense, both the likelihood and scope of any jail sentence being imposed will depend in large part on whether this is the first time you’ve been charged with driving while your license was suspended because of a DWI. The range of penalties set forth by the statute vary, with first offenses resulting in the most lenient punishments and subsequent offenses resulting in more severe punishments:

You’re not Alone – Contact our Evesham Township Law Office Today

If you have been charged with driving while your license was suspended for DUI, or any other traffic or criminal offense in Burlington County, do not hesitate to contact us 24/7 at (609) 850-8284 or by messaging us for a free consultation with a seasoned criminal and DWI defense lawyer. When you need knowledge and skilled defense on your side, we can help.

Contact Us

Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted.

Burlington Office

525 Highway 73,
Suite 104, Marlton,
New Jersey 08053
Phone: 609-850-8284
By Appointment Only

Hamilton Office

100 Horizon Center
Boulevard, Hamilton,
New Jersey, 08691
By Appointment Only

Point Pleasant Office

3828 River Road,
Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
By Appointment Only

Middletown Office

180 Kings Highway,
Middletown Township,
New Jersey 07748
By Appointment Only