Second DUI Offense Requires Mandatory Confinement
- January 2, 2015
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Roger Dent struck two vehicles stopped at a red light and was charged with driving under the influence (DUI)(N.J.S.A. 39:4-50), careless driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-97), possession of an open container of alcohol (N.J.S.A. 39:4-51(b)) and failure to wear a seatbelt (N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2(f)). The defendant was convicted of DUI in municipal court and sentenced to 180 days in prison as a third offender, as well as 10 year loss of driving privileges and substantial fines. Dent had three prior convictions for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Due to one of the prior DUIs being without counsel, that particular DUI could not be used to enhance any future custodial sentences for DUI pursuant to State v. Laurick, 120 N.J. 1 (1990). Following appeal of the municipal court decision, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County. Dent was sentenced to 60 days in prison as a second-time DUI offender which, pursuant to the judge, he could serve in the County Supplemental Labor Service (CSLSP), frequently referred to as SLAP. In State v. Dent, the State appealed the sentence as contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)(2) and (3) which specifies a minimum 48 hour period of incarceration which is also not to exceed 90 days and that said sentence “shall not be suspended or served on probation…” but the statute does allow for “county jail, to the workhouse of the county wherein the offense was committed, to an inpatient rehabilitation program or to an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center…” The NJ Appellate Division held that, pursuant to State v. Johnson, 42 N.J. 146, 174 (1964), “imprisonment was intended to be mandatory” for second-time or subsequent DWI offenders and remanded the matter to the Superior Court for resentencing. Dent’s argument that his 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center satisfied the 48 hour incarceration period may be considered by the Law Division as credit against any sentence he may be given thereby. If you are convicted of DUI you face serious penalties including loss of license for up to 10 years, incarceration for up to 180 days and substantial fines. You should obtain an experienced DUI attorney immediately to help fight your case. For more information about DWI, drug DUI (DUID), controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, refusal to submit to a breath test or other serious motor vehicle offenses in NJ visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.