Driving while intoxicated (also known as driving under the influence) is a serious matter in New York, and depending on the circumstances, prosecutors could bring misdemeanor or felony charges.
Even if they prosecute it as a misdemeanor, a conviction could impact your driving privileges and car insurance rates, and leave you with a criminal record. Working with a trustworthy traffic attorney could greatly reduce the consequences you face.
The Nanuet DUI lawyers at StolzenbergCortelli, LLP have represented many drivers facing these charges and know how to negotiate with prosecutors to benefit the accused driver.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 describes crimes related to driving while impaired. Anyone arrested for driving while under the influence faces an immediate license suspension and potentially several charges. It is critical for an accused to understand the consequences of each charge.
The law states that anyone driving on the roads in New York consents to have their bodily fluids tested for alcohol and drugs if an officer reasonably believes they might be driving while impaired. Refusing the test is not crime but is treated as an administrative violation.
The local County Court will hold a hearing regarding a test refusal within ten days of a DWI arrest. It is critical for a driver charged with refusing a chemical test to work with a Nanuet DUI attorney from StolzenbergCortelli, LLP. They could obtain testimony from the arresting officer that could help avoid some of the harsh consequences of refusal and might be helpful in the driver’s DWI defense.
A driver convicted of refusing a chemical test faces a $500 fine, and their driver’s license could be revoked for between one and five years if they have prior DWI convictions.
A prosecutor could charge a driver with DWAI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .05 and .07. The legal BAC limit is .08, so a driver is unlikely to face a DWAI charge unless they exhibit other evidence of impairment.
DWAI is a violation, not a crime. However, it has significant potential consequences, notably a 90-day license suspension.
A DWAI conviction counts as a prior conviction if a person is arrested again on a driving while intoxicated charge. Depending on the timing, the prior DWAI conviction could significantly enhance the severity of a subsequent charge.
The law presumes a driver is intoxicated if their BAC exceeds .08. If it is the driver’s first offense, they will likely face a misdemeanor charge unless they caused an accident that resulted in serious injuries.
Conviction of misdemeanor DWI leads to fines and driver’s license revocation for six months. A person could get a conditional license to drive under limited conditions, but it will not be issued unless the driver enrolls in the Impaired Driver program.
When a driver in Nanuet has two convictions for either DWAI or DWI within ten years, the third offense could be charged as a felony DWI. If the prosecutor charges a Class E felony and obtains a conviction, the driver’s license will be revoked for at least one year, they could face fines up to $5000, and go to prison for up to four years.
If the driver had two DWI convictions within five years, the prosecutor could bring a Class D felony DWI. Upon conviction, they face a mandatory sentence of at least 10 days in jail or 60 hours of community service, and a possibility of up to seven years in prison and five years of probation. A judge could impose fines of up to $10,000.
A Nanuet DUI attorney from StolzenbergCortelli, LLP could raise multiple defenses to drunk driving charges. Depending on the circumstances, challenging the police officer’s probable cause to pull the driver over could be fruitful. Questioning the officer’s skill at administering roadside sobriety tests, the accuracy of the machine they used to determine the driver’s BAC, and the quality of lab results also could be effective defenses.
In other cases, negotiating with the prosecutors might produce a sentence that minimizes the consequences to the driver. A lawyer could work closely with a driver to achieve the result that best meets the driver’s needs.
New York prosecutes impaired driving offenses aggressively. If you were arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need an attorney who will be just as aggressive in defending you.