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Ten Year Step-Down

Jackson NJ DWI Attorney

The lawyers at our firm receive many calls from potential clients regarding expunging a DWI or removing it so that it cannot be used against them in the future. Erasing a conviction from a motor vehicle record is not possible but use of a prior DUI conviction in Jackson or another town is significantly limited by the Ten (10) Step Down Rule. If you have been charged with a second offense, third offense or are otherwise interested in seeking relief because a prior conviction was more than 10 years ago, you should contact our Toms River NJ Office to speak to an attorney. Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a powerhouse firm of eight highly skilled DWI attorneys, including former prosecutors like Matthew Dorry who have served in Toms River, Little Egg Harbor, Jackson, Stafford Township, Berkeley, Manchester, Beach Haven, Beachwood, Point Pleasant Beach, Eagleswood, Long Beach, Ocean Gate, Ocean Township, Pine Beach, Surf City, Tuckerton and South Toms River. For a consultation anytime 24/7 with a lawyer, call (732) 286-6500.

The 10 year drop off is created under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)(3).  This section of the NJ DWI Law provides that:

A person who has been convicted of a previous violation of this section need not be charged as a second or subsequent offender in the complaint made against him in order to render him liable to the punishment imposed by this section on a second or subsequent offender, but if the second offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense, the court shall treat the second conviction as a first offense for sentencing purposes and if a third offense occurs more than 10 years after the second offense, the court shall treat the third conviction as a second offense for sentencing purposes.

The essence of this language is that a DWI that occurred immediately prior to your pending charge will not be counted as a prior conviction if at least 10 years has elapsed since the last violation. For example, if you are convicted for a second offense which occurred over 10 years after the first offense, you will be sentenced as a first offender. The key point to keep in mind in applying this rule is that the violation dates are to be used in determining whether a 10 year step-down applies. A common question posed by perspective clients concerns the ability to utilize a step-down more than once. While this is possible, the result does not yield a double elimination. In order words, if you go another 10 years without a violation, you can receive a step-down but only "one step". Alternative relief will therefore have to be sought for the offender who is trying to avoid jail as a third or subsequent offender when the violation would represent a fourth conviction or more (e.g. fourth would only be reduced to a third by the step-down). This frequently involves an attorney seeking post conviction relief under State v. Laurick.

Manchester Township NJ DWI Lawyer

Manchester Township has more than a healthy number of DWI offenses annually, as do several other municipalities in Ocean County. If you were arrested for DWI in this or another municipality in the region, consulting with a savvy defense lawyer is definitely something you need to do. Attorneys at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the knowledge and skill to properly advise you with over 100 years of combined experience. To take advantage of a free consultation with an attorney, call us at (732) 286-6500.

What Clients Say About Our Ocean County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Exemplary attorneys. I hired them for a DUI and an expungement. I was happy with the results for both cases. Special thank you to Samera for always answering all of my calls and questions JC
I'm 45 years old and this was my first time ever getting in trouble with the law. I was in need of a lawyer and after careful research, I called John F. Marshall Attorneys and was introduced to Abe Basch. Abe was professional, supportive and very thorough. I had three charges against me, one civil and two criminal. I was so scared and expressed that to Abe. The first day I had to go to court, I was an absolute nervous wreck but Abe prepped me and kept my anxiety levels down by going over the process of the courts thoroughly with me. He fought to get my charges dismissed and won all three cases (two court appearances). Abe is positive, confident and he ensured I felt the same way. I'd like to say thank you to Abe for working so diligently on my cases to get them dismissed. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest! I highly recommend Abe for any charges you may be faced with. Rose C.
I was out of state on a family emergency and I had to retain council asap as a boy friend was sitting in county jail with the new no bail point system and Mr marshal and staff made me feel Soo much better knowing that my detained loved one was in such great hands! He spoke to me as I was outta state kept in touch allowed me to work out payment due to the situation and just all out the difference in my bfs voice alone with all the medical problems and such he was going threw sounded better than he had since the first day he was there and was Soo happy that Mr marshal went that day retained to see him in the jail and have him ready for court which wasn't supposed to be till Friday but again Mr marshall and team got it so we can get him now on wendsday and all I have to say is if your looking for a real down to earth lawyer that will work with you and help in anyway possible and I can't for get the team at the office TONI and everyone else thank you again I'd give 100 stars if I could! Nicole J.
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