We have answers to your frequently asked questions
Why types of cases do you cover?
The Law Office of Steven Ellman specializes in DUI/DWI cases, traffic offense/violation cases, personal injury litigation (from minor injury up to accidental death), and criminal defense cases.
We specialize in assertively, passionately, and successfully securing favorable verdicts for our clients, stand with you every step of the way, and pledge to advocate for you with respect, compassion, communication, and transparency.
How long have you been at attorney?
For over 35 years Attorney Steven Ellman has been aggressively, passionately, and successfully advocating for his clients. Whether in the courtroom or at an arbitration hearing, Steven is laser-focused on helping his clients resolve their legal issues promptly, receive fair compensation where applicable, and move forward with their lives.
Is it possible to defend against a DUI?
Absolutely. There are many ways to defend against a DUI charge. If you were arrested, contact a DWI attorney as soon as possible.
What penalties does New Jersey impose for DUI?
Penalties for a conviction will vary in severity depending on whether it’s your first, second, or third offense.
- First Offense – All DUI and Refusal convictions require installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in a motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the driver. Proof of IID installation is required to have driving privileges restored.
- On a first offense DUI conviction, the driver must surrender his/her New Jersey license to the court, which then forwards the license to the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The driver is suspended until he/she gets an IID installed in the car he/she plans to drive, brings proof of installation to the MVC, pays a restoration fee of $200, and gets a new picture ID with “INTERLOCK” printed at the top.
- How long your license will be suspended and the IID must remain installed depends on your BAC. If the conviction is for driving under the influence of drugs, license suspension is 7 to 12 months, with no IID.
- Fines for a first offense in court are between $600 and $800. Surcharges out of court are $3,000 to the State plus insurance company surcharges that range from $3,000 to more than $10,000. Alcohol classes are required for 12 to 48 hours. Jail can be imposed for up to 30 days.
- Second Offenses – For a second DWI conviction, if you are convicted with a BAC of 0.08% or above, or if the State proves you were DWI based on your physical behavior, your New Jersey driving privileges will be suspended for 1 to 2 years. Fines are around $800. You must be sentenced to jail for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 90 days. You must perform 180 hours of community service. Your driving privileges will be restored when you show proof of installation of an IID in the car you intend to drive. You are restricted to only driving a vehicle that has an IID installed for 2 to 4 years following your suspension. You will also have to pay costly surcharges: $3,000, payable at $1,000 every year for 3 years to the State, and a range of $3,000 to more than $10,000 in surcharges from your insurance company.
- Third Offenses – On a third or greater conviction, the jail term is a mandatory 180 days served in a county jail. It is possible to serve up to 90 days in an in-patient rehabilitation facility. New Jersey driving privileges are revoked for 8 years. Fines and assessments in court total more than $1,325; surcharges out of court are $4,500 to the State, and there will be additional surcharges due to your insurance company ranging from $3,000 to more than $10,000. An IID must be installed for 2 to 4 years following your suspension.
If I’m asked to submit to a breath test, can I refuse?
You can, but you’ll be charged with a violation for doing so. According to New Jersey statute, you do not have the right to refuse a breath test without possible penalty. In New Jersey, the operation of a motor vehicle on any public or semi-public road, street, highway, or other area carries an “implied consent” that you will submit to breath testing.
If I refused the breath test, are there defenses to that charge?
Yes, depending on the facts of your case. If you were charged with Refusal, contact your attorney to discuss your case, and they will analyze your best course of action going forward.
If sentenced to jail time, do I have any options other than spending time in jail?
For 1st and 2nd offenses, if you are sentenced to jail, you may have other options, specific to your situation. For 3rd or greater offenses, you must go to jail for 180 days, however, 90 of those days may be served in an in-patient drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility.
If I have prior DUI convictions, can I have them overturned or nullified so that they do not affect a current arrest?
Yes, it’s possible to have prior convictions not considered in a current case. This is called Post Conviction Relief.
Does a prior DUI conviction from more than 10 years ago count as a previous offense?
If they are your 1st and 2nd offenses, DUI convictions that occur more than 10 years apart will be treated as unrelated when sentencing for the second. In this case, a 2nd conviction will be sentenced as a 1st offense. However, a 3rd conviction that occurs more than 10 years after the second will be sentenced as a 2nd offense rather than another first.
What is the DUI law with regard to being under 21 years old?
In addition to any penalties imposed under the usual DUI or other criminal laws, a BAC of between .01 percent to .08 percent will result in the loss of your rights to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey or to get a license to drive in New Jersey for 30 to 90 days. You will also be sentenced to community service for 15 to 30 days and will need to satisfy the IDRC fee and program requirements.
The Law Office of Steven Ellman is a great team! I had a situation and they assured me that I would make out with a positive result, and I did. I highly recommend this firm for anyone looking for a representative; prices are reasonable and the staff is always there with advice. They were very helpful and you can depend on them with your court dates and questions. Overall I want to thank the Law Office of Steven Ellman for being beneficial to my life at the time, and keeping me from the negative!