DWI in a School Zone

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Rumson NJ DWI in a School Zone Defense Attorneys

New Jersey’s aggressive approach to those accused of DWI and DUI violations is further evidenced by the significantly enhanced penalties imposed upon drivers who commit DWI offenses in a school zone. For example, individuals accused of a first offense DWI in a school zone are facing consequences including a period of driver’s license suspension that is essentially double the term associated with a typical first offense DWI. Considering the potentially catastrophic consequences, an individual charged with DWI in a school zone should speak with a seasoned defense attorney immediately to discuss the circumstances of their specific case and to evaluate their options.

It is important to note that State law does not consider the individual’s lack of knowledge that he or she was driving within a school zone a viable defense. Similarly, the presence, or lack thereof, of children in the vicinity at the time of the offense has no impact on the charges or penalties imposed upon conviction, nor does the fact that school was not in session. In addition, an individual can be charged with DWI in a school zone if he or she is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated within 1,000 feet of school property or while driving through a designated school crossing.

The knowledgable defense attorneys at Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have assisted countless clients in successfully resolving their DWI in a school zone cases in New Jersey. With a variety of specifically-formulated tactics for fighting these charges, they examine every component of these cases in order to identify procedural errors that may provide the leverage necessary to reduce or dismiss the charges against their clients. If you or someone you love has been charged with DWI in a school zone, find the answers to your pressing questions by contacting the offices of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington at 732-440-3950. Initial consultations are always provided free of charge. 

DWI in a School Zone in Monmouth County: N.J.S.A. 2C:39:4-50(g)

The New Jersey Criminal Code addresses offenses involving DWI in school zone in subsection (g) of N.J.S.A. 2C:39:4-50stating the following with regard to these offenses:

(g) When a violation of this section occurs while:

(1) on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;

(2) driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 if the municipality, by ordinance or resolution, has designated the school crossing as such; or

(3) driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 knowing that juveniles are present if the municipality has not designated the school crossing as such by ordinance or resolution, the convicted person shall: for a first offense, be fined not less than $500 or more than $800, be imprisoned for not more than 60 days and have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of not less than one year or more than two years; for a second offense, be fined not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000, perform community service for a period of 60 days, be imprisoned for not less than 96 consecutive hours, which shall not be suspended or served on probation, nor more than 180 days, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served performing community service in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances and have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of not less than four years; and, for a third offense, be fined $2,000, imprisoned for 180 days and have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of 20 years; the period of license suspension shall commence upon the completion of any prison sentence imposed upon that person.

A map or true copy of a map depicting the location and boundaries of the area on or within 1,000 feet of any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board produced pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1987, c. 101 (C.2C:35-7) may be used in a prosecution under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

It shall not be relevant to the imposition of sentence pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection that the defendant was unaware that the prohibited conduct took place while on or within 1,000 feet of any school property or while driving through a school crossing. Nor shall it be relevant to the imposition of sentence that no juveniles were present on the school property or crossing zone at the time of the offense or that the school was not in session.

Penalties for DWI in a School Zone in New Jersey

The penalties associated with a conviction for DWI in a school zone in New Jersey are significantly more severe than those associated with DWI offenses not committed within 1,000 feet of school property. The consequences imposed upon those convicted of DWI in a school zone may include a lengthy period of driver’s license suspension, hefty fines, a term of imprisonment, and program attendance at one of the State’s Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers (IDRC). It is important to note that the penalties below for second and third offenses for DWI in a school zone are solely applicable in cases in which the defendant was convicted of DWI in a school zone previously. 

First Offense DWI in a School Zone:

  • Driver’s License Suspension: period ranging from 1 to 2 years 
  • Imprisonment: maximum sentence of 60 days  
  • Fine: ranging from $500 to $800 
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): between 12 and 48 hours of program attendance

Second Offense DWI in a School Zone:

  • Driver’s License Suspension: minimum of 4 years
  • Imprisonment: minimum of 4 days, maximum of 180 days (90 of which may be served through performance of community service)
  • Fine: ranging from $1,000 to $2,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): dictated per State evaluation and treatment classification

NOTE: To impose the aforementioned penalties, the first offense must have been committed within a school zone. 

Third Offense DWI in a School Zone:

  • Driver’s License Suspension: period of 20 years
  • Imprisonment: term of 180 days (90 of which may be served at an inpatient program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center)
  • Fine: $2,000
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): dictated per State evaluation and treatment classification

NOTE: To impose the aforementioned penalties, the first and second offenses must have been committed within school zones.

Contact Red Bank NJ DWI in a School Zone Defense Lawyers for Assistance

For additional information as to how these Monmouth County DWI in a school zone defense attorneys can assist you or someone you love in combating the State’s case and delivering the best chance of success, contact the West Long Branch, New Jersey office of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington at 732-440-3950 or toll free at 888-328-9131.

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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