Driving While Suspended for DWI in New Jersey

On March 3, 2015 – the Appellate Division in State v. Perry, clarified what constitutes Driving While Suspended for DWI in New Jersey as it applies to the Criminal Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26.  If a person has previously been convicted two or more times of Driving While Intoxicated or gets charged twice for driving while suspended during a first DWI suspension, they were facing criminal prosecution for Driving While Suspended for DWI if that person was found driving during the suspension period before their driving privileges were restored.  If convicted of a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, a person is facing a fourth degree crime which carries with it the possibility of an eighteen (18) month sentence with a mandatory 180 day period of parole ineligibility.

The Appellate Division in State v. Perry clarified what it means to be Driving While Suspended for DWI in New Jersey for purposes of exposing a driver to the criminal charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26.  The Appellate Division ruled that the driving conduct must take place during the actual suspension period for the underlying DWI in order for the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26 to become enforceable.  There were a number of people who were facing prosecution under the criminal statute who had already served their DWI suspension period but were not “restored” as drivers because for whatever reason (lack of funds, forgetfulness etc…) failed to pay the administrative restoration fee to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).  The Court in Perry ruled that only those caught driving during the actual period for the DWI suspension could face criminal prosecution.  Those found driving after the actual DWI suspension period but before paying the restoration fee to the MVC could not be prosecuted under the criminal N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26 statute.

If you or a loved one are facing any type of Motor Vehicle or Criminal Charge please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Thomas V. Campo for a free consultation at 732-691-3427.

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