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Got a DUI less than 5 years ago in NJ then got another DUI in PA. Will they take my NJ drivers license away?

Somerville, NJ |

I got my first DUI in NJ about 3 years ago. License was suspended for a bit. Just now I got a second DUI in PA but I still live in NJ and have a NJ drivers license. Will NJ know about my PA offense and take away my license?

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Attorney answers 4


Nj and Pa are member of the interstate compact. If Pa suspends you for DWI Harrisburg will notify Trenton. If what you are convicted of is similar to an NJ DWI you will be suspended 2 years. Fight in Pa.


Mr. Cheser is correct. You need to fight the PA charge if you want to keep your NJ license.

Law Offices of James A. Abate (732) 412-2364


I agree with my colleague. Good luck to you.

Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
T: (201)875-2600
F: (201)549-8700

Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.


If you are convicted of DWI in PA, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) will be notified. NJ MVC will generally then take against your NJ driving privileges (your NJ license) independent of what happens in PA. There might be defense issues, but these very limited once an out of state conviction carries over to NJ.

The law and process is known as the law of "reciprocity." Since you have a prior DWI conviction 3 years ago, NJ MVC will suspend your license for 2-years. You can fight (and win) the PA case (to avoid the reciprocal suspension) or another option would be to explore whether the prior case can be re-opened - a procedure known as Post-Conviction Relief. If you can re-open and win the prior, PA might give you ARD (a Diversionary Program) as a 1st offender (which NJ MVC should not regard as a conviction) - or worst case if you are convicted in PA, NJ MVC would treat the conviction as a 1st offense (and suspend either 90 days of 7 months depending on the BAC). I would suggest speaking with and possibly retaining a NJ DWI Defense Lawyer to explore your options as far as the NJ issues are concerned. You obviously need a PA DWI lawyer to handle the DWI there.