DWI in New York

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A DUI or DWI in New York is a serious traffic crime that can cause harsh penalties for the offender. If you are arrested for a DWI, you will want to seek legal advice right away.

There are a number of complexities involved with a DWI that an experienced and professional criminal defense attorney can guide you through. These include the potential defenses and technicalities, as well as probable penalties.

Understanding the legalities of a DWI in New York is essential. It will help you to make the right decisions if that unfortunate event does occur. The Law Office of James Lynch and Associates is here to guide you through your DWI, to make sure that your rights are upheld, and to make sure unfair tactics are not used against you. We will fight for you to receive a fair penalty and to not be treated harshly.

What is the difference between DUI and DWI in New York?

While many states consider DUI and DWI to be different crimes, New York uses the terms interchangeably. In fact, in New York, the accurate name is Driving While Intoxicated, which makes the appropriate label for the offense DWI. New York also uses DWAI as an acronym for Driving While Ability Impaired.

It’s important to understand the difference between DWI and DWAI, as there are different penalties and different considerations for each. The type of offense that you are charged with will influence your fines, the length of jail time you may receive, as well as the length of license suspension.

DWI is a charge you receive when you are driving while legally intoxicated, which means that you are over the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08%. A DWAI charge is given when your BAC is between .05 and .07%.

DWAI comes with less severe penalties, however it is still a criminal offense. Whether you receive a DWI or a DWAI, you will want to seek legal assistance from the experts at The Law Office of James Lynch and Associates to help you. These are criminal charges that you won’t want to face on your own.

What Are the Penalties for a Conviction for DWI in New York?

In New York, Driving While Intoxicated is a crime. Due to the fact that alcohol can impair your judgement and coordination, serious and devastating consequences can happen whenever someone drives under the influence. In order to prevent people from driving while intoxicated or under the influence of any drugs or alcohol whatsoever, New York doles out stiff penalties for those who do.

There are a number of types of penalties for those who are charged with a DWI in New York including fines, jail time, license suspension, surcharges, insurance increases, and a criminal record.

Fines for DWI

In New York, fines for receiving a DWI are typically based on the offender’s BAC and range from $300 to $2,500. Second and third DWI charges carry fines of up to $10,000.

Jail time from DWI

One of the most serious penalties of a DWI is jail time. The amount of jail time you receive will depend on a number of factors and your attorney will help you determine the defense that you can use in hopes of getting a lighter sentence.

DWI offenders in New York will typically receive up to one year in jail for their first offense. A second and third offense within ten years can land the offender in jail for up to seven years.

Surcharge for DWI

Anyone convicted of a DWI in New York can have their license suspended or revoked for up to one year. If the license is revoked, they must reapply for a new license at the end of the revocation period instead of simply having it reinstated.

Insurance increase due to DWI

New York has a mandatory surcharge of $260 to $400 that DWI offenders will be required to pay on top of their other fines.

DWI Criminal record

After a DWI conviction, auto insurance providers tend to raise rates 76% on average. This increase lasts for at least ten years.

License suspension or revocation for DWI

A DWI is a criminal offense which means that anyone convicted of one will have a permanent criminal record. A criminal record can affect a number of key areas of one’s life, including work and housing.

Common Defenses to DWI in New York

Your experienced NY DWI attorney from The Law Office of James Lynch and Associates will be able to help you determine the best defense for your case. With a great defense, you can have your penalties reduced or even dismissed.

Common defenses for DWI in New York include the argument that the breathalyzer was faulty either due to poor test administration or inaccurate calibration. This defense can work because the protocols that police are supposed to follow are very straightforward and intentional. If the following of those protocols is called into question, the breathalyzer test may be thrown out, which can lead to a dismissal of the DWI charges.

It is also possible for an experienced attorney to dispute the results of the breathalyzer test if the offender’s BAC was very close to the limit.

Another, often more successful defense is that all evidence of the case was obtained by officers illegally. If this defense is accepted, all evidence of the DWI will be thrown out, which includes items found in the vehicle, the results of a breathalyzer test, and any statements that the defendant made to officers.

This defense accuses officers of stopping the vehicle unnecessarily without legal reasons to do so. If your attorney can show that there was no probable cause for the vehicle to be stopped and searched, then all evidence will be thrown out. In the same way, if it can be shown that officers coerced a confession from the defendant, the confession will be suppressed.

As soon as you are charged with a DWI in New York, you will want to contact The Law Office of James Lynch and Associates. The experienced team of attorneys will guide you through the legal process and help you during this difficult time. They will listen to your case and help you determine the best defense in order to receive a reduced penalty or even a dismissal.

Your Questions About DWI in New York, Answered

If you or someone you know has recently received a DWI in the state of New York, you likely have a lot of questions. We have compiled this list of frequently asked questions to assist you and guide you through the DWI process.

If you are asked to submit to a breathalyzer or other test by a police officer, you can face some pretty serious consequences, whether you end up being convicted of DWI or not. A refusal to breathalyze in New York can result in a $500 civil penalty and a license revocation of no less than one year. You could even face jail time and refusing a breathalyzer does not mean you will get out of a DWI conviction. The judge can still convict you based on other evidence collected at the scene including officer statements, dash cam video and the field sobriety test.

In New York, most cases of DWI are charged as misdemeanors. But, if you are charged with aggravated DWI, that can be charged as a felony. If you get two or three DWIs during a 10 year span, those can also be charged and prosecuted as felonies.

Yes, it is certainly possible to win a DWI case in New York. The outcome depends on the evidence and facts of the face and how the case is presented. That is why it is so important that you are represented by a qualified lawyer with ample experience fighting and winning DWI cases in court. Our attorneys have a history of winning these types of cases, and if a win is not possible, a lot of the times we are able to get the charges reduced.

How you are penalized for a DWI in New York depends on your DWI conviction history and the seriousness of the offense you are charged with, your BAC at the time of arrest and whether it is a traffic infraction, misdemeanor or something more serious like a felony. Based on those factors, the DWI in New York penalties range from:

  • A fine from $300 up to $10,000
  • Up to 7 years in jail
  • Probation
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • A driver assessment for three years for $250
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • In addition to these judicial consequences, it is likely that your insurance premiums will increase for a few years.

In New York, drug-related or alcohol offenses will stay on your driving record for 10 years.

A conditional license is one that allows you to drive to work, your doctor’s office, school or your children’s school or daycare and alcohol or drug treatment programs. A conditional license only allows you to drive during a specific time period that is decided on by the court. If you violate that, your license will be revoked permanently. However, depending on how high your BAC was, you may be ineligible to receive a conditional license. But, an experienced attorney should be able to challenge that revocation.

We understand that getting charged with DWI can be an embarrassing, sometimes shameful and scary time. That is why it is so important that you find superb legal counsel to guide you through the court process and help you get the best outcome for your case. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about the DWI process in New York.