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DUI/DWI Charges: What to Expect

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are serious offenses that can have significant legal and personal consequences. Understanding what to expect when facing these charges, the legal process involved, and effective defense strategies can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case. Catanzaro Law is committed to helping clients navigate these complex legal waters and work towards favorable outcomes.

Understanding DUI/DWI Charges

In New Jersey, DUI/DWI charges are issued when a driver is found to have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or when impaired by drugs, whether prescription or illegal. These charges are serious and can result in severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

Arrest and Charges

The process begins with the arrest. If an officer suspects you are driving under the influence, they will conduct a series of field sobriety tests and may administer a breathalyzer test. If you fail these tests, you will be arrested and charged with DUI/DWI.


Following your arrest, you will attend an arraignment where the charges against you will be formally read, and you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It’s crucial to have legal representation at this stage to advise you on the best course of action.


During the pre-trial phase, your attorney will gather evidence, request police reports, and examine the legality of the traffic stop and arrest. This stage is critical for building your defense strategy.


If your case goes to trial, both the prosecution and defense will present their evidence and arguments. The judge or jury will then determine your guilt or innocence based on the evidence presented.

Potential Penalties

Penalties for DUI/DWI in New Jersey can be severe and may include:

  • Fines: Substantial monetary penalties.
  • License Suspension: Temporary or permanent loss of driving privileges.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Installation of a device that prevents your vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on your breath.
  • Jail Time: Incarceration, particularly for repeat offenders.
  • Community Service: Mandatory community service hours.

Effective Defense Strategies

Defending against DUI/DWI charges requires a strategic approach. Some effective defense strategies include:

  • Challenging the Traffic Stop: Questioning the legality of the initial stop.
  • Questioning the Accuracy of Tests: Investigating the accuracy and administration of breathalyzer and field sobriety tests.
  • Examining Procedural Errors: Identifying any errors made by law enforcement during the arrest.
  • Presenting Alternative Explanations: Offering valid reasons for behavior that may have been interpreted as intoxication, such as medical conditions.

How Catanzaro Law Can Help

At Catanzaro Law, we understand the complexities and nuances of DUI/DWI cases. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing robust legal representation to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. We work diligently to:

  • Analyze Evidence: Thoroughly review all evidence and police reports.
  • Build a Strong Defense: Develop a comprehensive defense strategy tailored to your case.
  • Negotiate with Prosecutors: Seek reduced charges or alternative sentencing options when possible.
  • Represent You in Court: Advocate on your behalf in court, striving for the best possible outcome.

Facing DUI/DWI charges can be daunting, but with the right legal representation, you can navigate this challenging time more confidently. Catanzaro Law is here to provide the support and expertise you need to defend yourself effectively. If you or a loved one are facing DUI/DWI charges, contact us today for a consultation. We are committed to helping you achieve the most favorable outcome in your case.


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