Are Most People Surprised At The Collateral Consequences Of A DWI?
Yes, I do think they are surprised. They think that it is going to be a fine, and maybe a short suspension, but that they do not realize that they could go to jail. They do not realize what the consequences of not having a license in New Jersey can be. In addition to losing their license, they are losing their license in a state where there is no work license for a suspended person and where there is no ability to get anywhere. There is no public transportation. They are going to get arrested if they try to drive.
What Are The Financial Consequences Entailed In A DWI Conviction?
They are facing a $3000 minimum DUI surcharge and a $1000-$2000 in fine. They are facing an ignition interlock requirement. The bottom line is that they are in serious, serious trouble. The fines could add up to $10,000 total.
Are There Any Travel Restrictions Associated With DWI Charges?
Yes. There are other countries as well; especially countries where you need to get into the country with a visa. You can be denied entry with a DWI, even though in New Jersey, a DWI is treated as a traffic offense. In other countries, it is not. I would refer any sort of questions of that to an immigration lawyer, but I do know people that have had problems getting into Canada with a DWI on their driving record.
Can A DWI Conviction Affect Employment Prospects?
If you are an airline pilot, a flight attendant or you fly internationally for business, importing, exporting or something like that, then it could certainly have a significant impact on your ability to travel.
How Can Jobs That Involve Security Clearances Be Affected By A DWI Conviction?
I have not had any clients who have had a security clearance affected, but I have had clients who have had employment issues, especially nurses. I have had nurses and people who are in school for nursing who cannot take the classes needed for their nursing degree, because it requires them to be in a school setting. They cannot teach any classes either. Teachers, they have problems being involved with children once they have a DWI on their record. You also have people in the financial industry. Anyone under the offices of FINRA has to contact FINRA whenever they have been arrested. An attorney can have an impact on their life. It is up to the board of BAR examiners and for the BAR association.
Can A DWI Conviction Impact Family Law Issues Like Child Custody?
I just had that happen recently. I had a client of mine who I represented on a DWI matter, actually more than one. He was served with an order to show cause to prevent him from having any access to his girlfriend’s ex-husband’s children. He is marrying someone, she has children from a prior marriage, and her ex-husband is trying to use the DWI to show that he has bad character and that he is not someone who should be with the children. The fact of the matter is that it causes people to think you are a bad person, when you are not. A DWI is a traffic offense. You should not have been driving perhaps, but it does not mean you are a criminal. People will treat you that way and that is why we fight these cases.
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