New York DWI First Offense
The State of New York is serious about penalizing drunk drivers; in fact, consequences of a Driving While Impaired (DWI) conviction include large fines, a license suspension term, probation, mandatory rehabilitation, and even the possibility of serving up to one year in jail for a first-time offense. Having a drunk-driving charge on your record can also have long-term effects and complicate your ability to get a job, apply for insurance, and even get a house.
If you have been recently charged with DWI, your best option for a positive outcome is to educate yourself about the consequences and immediately seek representation from an experienced defense lawyer in New York to help you through the process.
Here's a list of possible penalties:
Fines: Getting a DWI in New York is expensive; fines range from $500 to $1,000, but there are many other charges incurred along the way, such as the $250-a-year driver responsibility assessment fee that is mandatory for three years.
Driver's License Suspension: First-time offenders usually have their license suspended for six months. However, if you participate in a voluntary drunk-driving program, you can receive a conditional permit that allows you to drive to school, work, legal and health-related appointments.
Probation: The state reserves the right to sentence drunk drivers to a probation term of up to three years; however, this can be reduced at the judge's discretion.
Jail time: The state can also sentence drunk drivers to a jail sentence of up to one year; however, jail time could be suspended in lieu of probation.
Mandatory Rehabilitation/Education: There are a few alcohol and rehabilitation programs drivers facing DWI charges can take in order to help their case in court,; however, New York makes it mandatory for all first-time offenders to at least attend the victim-impact panel.
Driving While Ability Impaired
If you are a first-time offender and were arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) lower than .13, there is a chance that you could have your charges lowered from Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) to a Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). The main difference between the two charges is that a DWAI is considered a traffic violation and a DWI is a misdemeanor criminal offense.
If you are successful in getting your charges lowered, you will face reduced penalties, including a $300 to $500 fine and a license suspension for only 90 days.
Know What's Right for Your Case
An attorney can look at your case and help you decide if it is better to fight your charges or negotiate a plea bargain to have your DWI reduced to a DWAI offense. If you would like to talk to a defense attorney in your area about your case, please call or submit your information on line. There is no charge for a consultation.