Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo 2024
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2024
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Badge - Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

DUI - The Hidden Costs

Former prosecutor Anthony Kearns and former police officer Victor Rotolo have years of experience representing clients in DUI and other motor vehicle violations. The attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law understand that each case is unique and requires an individual approach. They focus on the particulars of your case to help minimize the consequences.

Victor Rotolo successfully argues before the NJ Supreme Court in a case of constitutional import, in which the Court ruled that a DUI conviction cannot be used in any later DUI case for sentencing purposes if, (1) the individual plead or was found guilty, and (2) the individual was not advised of his/her right to counsel and, as to indigent individuals, the right to assigned counsel.

DUI in New Jersey

DUI motor vehicle violations come with harsh penalties. Once convicted of a DUI in New Jersey, you will face fines of up to $1,000; suspension of your driver’s license for up to 10 years, and possible jail time. Penalties are dependent on your offense record and the particulars surrounding your individual case.

Educational and Prevention Programs

Upon your conviction for a DUI, you will have to pay a fee to the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, a network of county and regional centers where convicted drivers are detained, educated and evaluated to determine the need for additional intervention services. You’ll also have to pay fees to a number of other funds, including the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund, the Drunk Driving Fund, and the Neighborhood Services Fund.

Annual Surcharge and the Consequences for Not Paying

In addition to those fees, you will be ordered to pay a surcharge to the New Jersey Violations System. This surcharge is assessed annually for a period of three years following your conviction. The amount varies depending on the record of your offense.

Failure to pay this surcharge can lead to additional problems. The State can:

  • refuse to reinstate your driving privileges until the surcharge is paid in full;
  • prevent you from selling property;
  • report you to a collection agency;
  • charge additional fees for collection and interest.
DUI Penalties Move with You

Moving out of State does not get you off the hook for this surcharge. If your driving privilege is suspended in New Jersey, you will be reported to the National Driver Registry, which is used by other states when issuing or renewing licenses within their jurisdiction. You can be refused a driver’s license in those states if you fail to pay your surcharge in New Jersey.

Furthermore, if you hold a New Jersey driver’s license and are convicted of a violation in another state equivalent to a New Jersey DUI, you can be assessed the New Jersey surcharge.

Ignition Interlock Devices

The court also may require you to get an ignition interlock device (IID), which will prevent you from starting your vehicle if your blood alcohol content (BAC) reads 0.05% or higher. You also will have to pay all costs associated with the IID, including installation, monthly service fees for calibration and monitoring, and removal once the penalty period has expired.

The Effect of a DUI on Your Insurance

Most insurance companies, when learning of a DUI conviction, consider you a high risk. You will no longer be eligible for “safe driver” discounts, and your insurance rates most likely will increase dramatically.

In assessing your risk as a customer, insurance companies consider such factors as the specific details surrounding your DUI conviction; how long you have been their customer; and whether you have any other moving violations or insurance coverage lapses on your record. Depending on the answers to these questions, your coverage can be terminated altogether.

Potential Loss of Income

There are no provisional licenses in New Jersey, meaning if your driver’s license is suspended as a result of a DUI, you are not allowed to drive at all during that suspension period – not even to work or school. If you are unable to make alternative transportation arrangements, you risk losing your job. You also risk losing any professional licenses you may hold, the right to obtain a driver’s license in another state, and even the ability to travel to some other countries.

More Hidden Costs

Other hidden costs associated with a DUI conviction include the cost of having your license restored, and any related jail and / or court costs, including lawyers’ fees. However, with so much at stake, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced DUI attorney when faced with these charges.

In New Jersey, the validity of the DUI charge can be put into question. The attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law are experienced with defending against DUI charges. They will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your specific case in an effort to mitigate the consequences. Call our offices today at (908) 534-7900 to set up a consultation.

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian