If you get stopped and arrested for a DWI in New York, the first thing you should do is hire an attorney who specializes in DWIs. New York considers a DWI to be a criminal offense, so it is very important to find an attorney who can defend you against the DWI charges. You may want to interview several attorneys before hiring one. This is to ensure you can ask questions about their experience handling DWIs, their success rate, and their background. It is also important that you feel comfortable with an attorney, since your wallet, if not your freedom depends on upon good communication and them being able to help you with the charges.
In New York, there are several guidelines to determine if a person is driving while intoxicated. If your BAC is .08 or greater and you are over 21, you will be charged with a DWI. If you are driving a commercial vehicle and your BAC is .04 or higher, you will be charged with a DWI. If you are younger than 21 and your BAC is .02 or greater, you will be charged with a DWI.
In New York, the first DWI offense is considered a misdemeanor. You will be fined anywhere from $500 to $1000 and could be sentenced to up to a year in jail. The court will also suspend your license for at least six months and you will have to pay a conviction surcharge.
If you receive a second DWI within the next ten years, you will be charged with a Class E Felony. This carries a mandatory five days of jail time in NY and you could be sentenced up to four years in prison. You could also be ordered to perform 60 days of community service. You will lose your license for up to one year and will be charged fines which range from $1,000 up to $5,000.
If you receive another DWI within ten years, you will be charged with a class D felony. This time, you will spend at least ten days in jail and could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. You will also lose your license for up to a year. The NY judge can also order an interlock device to be installed on your vehicle. You will also be ordered to attend mandatory alcohol evaluation and ordered to pay fines between $2,000 and $10,000.
If you are under 21, New York has a zero tolerance for driving while intoxicated. You may lose your license for anywhere from three to six months. You may also be forced to pay fines or even sentenced to jail. If you refuse to take the alcohol detection test, you may also lose your license.
If you are charged with a DWI in New York, it is a good idea to hire a law firm who specializes in DWIs and who knows the New York laws. The attorney will work with the prosecutor and the court to determine if your case goes to trial. They may be able to get your charges or fines reduced. Their help can certainly be worth the cost.