Prosecution and Defense

Is DWI a Criminal Charge in New Jersey?

A DWI charge is only traffic offense only in New Jersey. If a person is convicted for a DWI, then this will not give you a criminal record. Since DWI is considered only to be a traffic offense only, there are no jury trials for DWI cases in New Jersey.

Since DWI is not a criminal offense you are not finger-printed. Therefore, the arrest record will not show up in any criminal data base. If you are convicted in New Jersey of DWI, then the conviction will only show up in the Motor Vehicle Commission records.

In most of the other states a DWI offense is a criminal charge. If you live in another state and if you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey, the conviction will transfer to your home state “administratively,” but not criminally. In simpler terms, other than a probable additional loss of driving privileges in your home state, you will not be prosecuted again for a criminal offense. However, it will count in the future as an enhancing factor if you are charged in your home state with a subsequent DWI.