In New Jersey, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that can carry significant penalties. A DWI defense attorney’s job is to advocate for and protect their client’s rights with both prosecutors and the court. Often, we are able to get a DWI charge reduced to something less serious, or even dismissed altogether. A conviction is not necessarily the end of a case, though. A defendant who has been convicted of DWI might have several options for continuing to fight for their rights.
How DWI Convictions Happen
Before discussing a DWI defendant’s options after a conviction, it is important to understand how convictions occur. In New Jersey DWI cases, a conviction can happen when:
– A defendant pleads guilty; or
– A municipal court judge finds the defendant guilty after a trial.
A defendant can enter a conditional guilty plea, which allows them to appeal the verdict on certain grounds.
Appealing a conviction is not the only way to continue fighting. Post-conviction relief (PCR) gives defendants an opportunity to challenge a conviction in the same municipal court that found them guilty.