180 Days In Jail For Driving While Suspended For DUI
- September 19, 2014
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James French had been convicted of 9 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) events prior to being stopped by police in Warren County, NJ who observed him to be driving erratically and to have an inoperable brake light on his vehicle. He was sentenced, by Warren County Superior Court Judge Ann Bartlett, to 90 days in jail followed by 90 days in an inpatient treatment facility. The Prosecutor appealed French’s sentence as not meeting the requirements of the applicable statute. In 2011, the NJ State Legislature passed new legislation, N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(b), directed at driving while suspended for DUI. The statute was drafted by the legislature to punish those driving while suspended for multiple DUIs. N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(b) makes driving while suspended for a second or subsequent DUI or refusal to submit to chemical breath tests a 4th degree criminal offense and requires a 180 day jail sentence with no possibility of parole. Under DUI Statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, a 3rd or subsequent DUI is punished by a minimum 180 days in jail, 90 of which may be served in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. In State v. French, the NJ Appellate Division decided that the legislative intent in drafting N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(b) was to levy a higher penalty on those who would continue to drive while suspended for DUI. In reversing the decision of the Warren County Superior Court Judge, the NJ Appellate Division determined that the statute plainly includes a 180 day jail sentence without eligibility for parole and makes no provision for inpatient rehabilitation. DUI is a very serious offense with substantial consequences including jail and loss of driving privileges which may result in loss of your job and other consequences. If you are facing DUI charges, you should obtain an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. For more information about DUI, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), underage DUI, drug DUI, controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle or other serious driving infractions in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.