What Happens If a Pennsylvania Resident Gets a DUI in New Jersey

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Many Pennsylvania residents find themselves driving in New Jersey every day. As one of the six states that border Pennsylvania, New Jersey is a popular destination to travel for business, daytrips, dinner, or vacation. If a Pennsylvania resident is driving on New Jersey roads, this means that he or she will be subject to New Jersey’s driving laws during that time, including New Jersey’s strict laws against and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or marijuana.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident that is arrested, charged, or convicted of DUI or DWI in New Jersey, it is important to contact an experienced drunk driving attorney who is licensed in New Jersey and who regularly practices in New Jersey courts as soon as possible. An NJ attorney will be more familiar with the local court systems and how to defend your case, and you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed completely.

If you are convicted of drunk driving, drugged driving, or driving while high in the Garden State, the consequences could be severe and even result in you losing your out-of-state Pennsylvania driver’s license.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Driver Licenses Compact (DLC)

The state of Pennsylvania is technically part of the Drivers License Compact (or DLC), which was created to provide uniformity amongst participating states regarding documentation and record keeping for licenses, suspensions, convictions and other information related to driving privileges in the United States. The only states that are not members are Georgia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Tennessee.

However, it is important to recognize that Pennsylvania includes some exceptions to its participation in the DLC – specifically that Pennsylvania does not assess points for minor offenses and will only transfer points from another state under certain conditions.

What This Means if You are a PA Resident Who Gets a DUI or DWI in New Jersey

First, if you are convicted in New Jersey, you will be subject to all penalties under New Jersey law, including fines and potential jail time. Furthermore, Pennsylvania does recognize out-of-state drunk driving convictions. This means that if you are convicted in New Jersey, the New Jersey state motor vehicle commission will report the conviction to the Pennsylvania Division of Motor Vehicles (PennDOT), and it will become a part of your driving record. If you are in a position where this could affect your job, employment prospects, parole, or other status, you will want to contact a New Jersey licensed attorney to defend against the charges before you are convicted – especially if you have a CDL or commercial driver’s license.

At the same time, Pennsylvania will not suspend a resident’s Pennsylvania driver’s license because of an out-of-state DUI conviction if it is the person’s first actual DUI or DWI conviction – meaning there are no previous DUI/DWIs including one that was resolved through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.

Pennsylvania will treat the out-of-state conviction as a violation of Section 3802(a)(2) prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle with the blood content of at least .08 but less than .10. Therefore, it is possible that you could lose your driving privileges on New Jersey roads under New Jersey’s laws, but still be allowed to drive elsewhere under your Pennsylvania license.

Nonetheless, if you are convicted in New Jersey (or another state), it is important that you divulge this information if you ever apply or re-apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s license. Failure to answer license application questions truthfully could result in your license being canceled, suspended, or otherwise voided.

New Jersey DUI Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help Residents from Another State who are Arrested in this State

Whether you live in New Jersey or you are just visiting, a charge for driving under the influence is a serious matter. If you or someone you know is arrested or charged with drunk driving, drugged driving, or driving while high, only a good defense can help get the charges dismissed. A good attorney can make a big difference. To speak with an experienced DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.