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I am a NJ resident that was convicted of DUI in '01. I was arrested recently in PA for DUI. Will the 1st one still matter?

Mount Laurel, NJ |

I am wondering how this will affect my job and how the consequences will vary depending on if it is considered a first or second offense.

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Attorney answers 4


Yes. All states have enhancement provisions for DWI's depending on how recent the prior conviction. A second offense carries stiffer penalties and usually some sort of requirement to serve jail time. You should immediately hire a very DWI Lawyer. In Pennsylvania, try Justin McShane. You should not wait or delay. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to have preserved vital exculpatory evidence.


According the Pennsylvania law, they look back a total of 10 years to determine prior offenses. So, depending the date of offense on your first case, you could be looking at 2nd offense penalties which range anywhere from 5 to 90 days based upon your breath test readings. The real question is will the Pennsylvania prosecuting attorney find out about the New Jersey offense. That question is more appropriate for an attorney practicing in that area of Pennsylvania. However, experience has shown that with the creation of the National Driver Registry, out of state priors are easier to find today than they were a few years ago.


Mr. Case is correct. However in NJ there is a step down provision if the conviction is 10 years prior. The relevant dates are the offense dates not the conviction dartes. (State v. Bischoff) So if the first event occurred before the February date of the new ticket you have gone 10 years. I do not know if Pa. has this also. I also do not know if the lesser suspensions in Pa. associated with a first offense apply to this case. If you are convicted in Pa. Trenton will be advised and the step down should be argued on your behalf.


Regardless of what PA does, NJ will suspend your license for two years, unless the prior DWI was over ten years ago, in which case the MVC will suspend you for 7 months. You will also be subject to the MVC surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years.