If you’re a New Jersey driver and you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Florida, it will help to know how your case here will affect you in your home state.
New Jersey law (Section 39:4-50) says that an out-of-state DUI will lead to substantial consequences in New Jersey, as if you’d had the DUI there. You will likely face an administrative license suspension hearing in the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).
In some cases a Florida lawyer may be able to reduce your charge to what’s known as a “wet reckless” (Florida Statute 316.192(5)). In Florida that is reckless driving with alcohol or drugs involved. This is as opposed to a dry reckless, with no alcohol.
The wet reckless is normally a good deal for a Florida driver, but for a NJ driver there is a risk that you’ll face an MVC hearing at home. You would have to prove to them that your case was not based on a BAC of 0.08 or above, and that might rule against you.
We recommend hiring a Florida DUI lawyer who understands out-of-state issues. In our office we handle cases in South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties). We have relationships with New Jersey DUI attorneys and will discuss your case with them to make sure any deal we make for you will protect you in New Jersey. And if you are not offered a good deal, we are ready to take your case to trial.
For out-of-state drivers, going to trial is easier than for in-state drivers. You may be suspended in Florida while your case is pending, but that pre-trial suspension should not affect you in New Jersey.