In New Jersey, drivers can face a myriad of criminal penalties related to drug and alcohol use or possession, even if not actually charged with driving under the influence. The penalties associated with these infractions can be costly, and it may be necessary for a driver to move to protect his or her interests when facing these charges.
Drug and alcohol-related crimes and infractions carry serious penalties. Whether it is a driver's first offense, or he or she has previous DUI or DWIs, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced defense attorney. In some cases, it may be appropriate to fight these charges or move to mitigate some of the potential penalties.
What charges could drivers face for drugs or alcohol?
You may find it beneficial to be aware of the related offenses that you could face, either in addition to or instead of a DUI/DWI. In New Jersey, these charges and their associated penalties include the following:
- Driving or riding with an open container: If caught while driving with an open alcohol container, you may have to pay a $200 fine for the first offense. For a second offense, you may have to pay a $250 fine and do 10 days of community service.
- Driving with license suspended for DUI/DWI offense: If police catch you behind the wheel while your license is currently suspended for a DUI/DWI, you could face additional fines of $500, additional surcharges and more time added to the suspension.
- Driving while possessing drugs: If caught with drugs in your possession, you could lose your license for two years and pay a $50 fine.
When facing allegations of criminal activity of any kind related to alcohol or drugs, it is wise to first seek the help needed in order to understand the legal options available to you and perhaps mitigate potential consequences.
Protecting yourself against criminal charges
You may think that any of the above charges are not serious enough to merit the need for defense help, but you may be wrong. Any time you are in legal trouble, you would find it beneficial to take immediate action to protect your interests by reaching out for experienced counsel.
Your future is too important to risk, even if it is against what you would consider to be a minor infraction. When you know your defense options, you can make practical decisions that provide you the best opportunity to protect your current and future interests.