DWI Lawyer New York

When faced with DWI charges, people often panic. The penalties for these crimes in New York (NY) are growing, especially with multiple offenses. DWI charges can affect your personal and professional life and leave you frightened. 

DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Some states refer to this charge as DUI, OUI, or OWI. No matter your charges or location, getting help from a New York DWI attorney or law firm will protect your rights and ensure you receive the legal guidance you need. Whether you are in New York county, Kings county, Nassau county, Bronx county, Suffolk County, or Westchester county, scheduling a free consultation with a local attorney for a DWI conviction will be beneficial.

Understanding Your Charges Is Essential

Understanding a DWI conviction should be your priority. No matter the severity of the charges, there are always options for defense. The following are some DWI charges.

  • First offense DWI
  • Multiple DWI offenses
  • DWI with drug involvement
  • DWI with accidents and serious injuries
  • Underage DWI

The severity of the charges increases with each DWI offense or when drugs or accidents are involved. DWI convictions are not to be taken lightly. A DWI charge can carry a hefty penalty that could lead to jail time, especially if you have a prior DWI conviction. 

What Constitutes a DWI Charge in New York City?

New York City charges drivers with a DWI if their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. You can even be charged with a DWI for refusing a blood alcohol test. 

Under New York City law, there are a few different ways you can be charged with driving under the influence. You need to be aware of the following. 

  • Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of .02% or higher if you are under the age of 21 (the legal drinking age)
  • Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher
  • Operating a motor vehicle while you are substantially impaired, which is considered impaired driving

What Are the Penalties for DWI in New York?

If you are arrested on suspicion of DWI or impaired driving, the charges can lead to serious penalties. You could face fees, loss of your driving privileges, and jail time. The following provides information on some penalties for DWI charges in New York.

The First DWI

  • One year in jail
  • $1,000 in fines
  • Loss of driving privileges for six months

The First DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired)

  • 15 days in jail
  • $500 in fines
  • Loss of driving privileges for 90 days

The Second DWI

  • Four years in jail
  • $5,000 in fines
  • Loss of driving privileges for one year

The Second DWAI

  • 30 days in jail
  • $750 in fines
  • Loss of driving privileges for six months

The Third DWI

  • Seven years in jail
  • $10,000 in fines
  • Loss of driving privileges for one year

The Third DWAI

  • 180 days in jail
  • $1,500 in fines
  • Loss of driving privileges for six months

How Do Officers Prove DWI in New York?

There are multiple methods of proving a driver is driving under the influence. Officers may use a urine test, breathalyzer, or blood test. 

New York law also allows an officer familiar with the signs of intoxication to give an opinion on whether or not the driver is driving under the influence. Officers may look for the following signs: 

  • The smell of alcohol on your breath
  • Bloodshot and watery eyes
  • Flushed skin
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination and balance

If an officer observes any of the above, it can be used as evidence for presumptive drunkenness. The officer’s observations are admissible in court. 

New York Requires Drivers to Submit to a Blood Test

When an officer suspects a driver is under the influence and ability impaired, the driver is required by the legal system to submit to alcohol and drug testing. Although it is the law that drivers submit, many refuse, resulting in penalties.

By law, officers must check a DWI defendant’s blood alcohol level within two hours of arrest or obtain a positive breathalyzer test. While some people refuse to submit to testing, it is in your best interest to follow the law and instructions from the arresting officer, especially if you have a previous criminal conviction. 

Those who refuse to submit to blood alcohol testing will face the following penalties. 

  • For the first offense, you will lose your driver’s license for one year. 
  • For the second offense, you will face a license suspension for 18 months if you have a previous DWI criminal offense or refusal within five years. 
  • For the third DWI arrest, your driver’s license will be suspended for 18 months if you had a prior DWI criminal record or refusal in the last five years. 

In addition to the above, a driver who refuses to submit to blood alcohol testing could lose their license permanently, based on previous and current charges. You do not have the right to refuse testing without facing penalties if you’re suspected of driving while ability impaired. 

Additional Penalties for a DWI in New York

  • You will likely be forced to pay up to $400 in court surcharges. 
  • You will pay for a driver responsibility assessment which costs $250 per year for three years. 
  • You will be required to have an Interlock device installed on your car. 

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

The state of New York implements field sobriety testing to determine if drivers are driving under the influence. Officers carry out these tests when they suspect a driver is under the influence. 

The Walk and Turn Test

You will be asked to take several steps, heel to toe, and walk in a straight line. You will then turn on one foot and walk back to the officer. 

Someone who is under the influence will have a difficult time walking in a straight line. Unfortunately, this test can also present false implications for those with medical conditions that cause balance problems.

The One Leg Stand

For this simple test, officers will ask a driver to stand on one foot for several seconds. Signs alerting officers of intoxication include swaying, hopping, or using their arms to balance. 

Some individuals with health issues that cause balance problems could be accused falsely of driving under the influence. 

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

During this test, officers will ask you to visually follow a pen or object. The officer will gauge your response and look for exaggerated eye movements. 

Like the above field sobriety tests, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test can have false positives for those with neurological conditions and disabilities. 

What Are the Legal Defenses for DWI in New York?

Depending on your charges, there are multiple effective defense strategies New York DWI attorneys can use. You must choose a skilled DWI lawyer who offers diversified experience with the ability to provide a strong defense. 

The following are some legal defenses that may be available to you. 

  • A lack of probable cause
  • Faulty testing equipment or lab procedures
  • Health issues that make you appear intoxicated
  • Errors or mistakes on your part or the part of the officer
  • Inaccuracy in field sobriety testing
  • Violations of Miranda Rights
  • Evidence of mental alertness
  • Testimony from witnesses

When Do You Need New York DWI Lawyers?

In the state of New York, DWI cases either result in a misdemeanor or felony. The seriousness of the charges will depend on the severity of the crime and your previous DWI offenses. 

The timing of hiring a DWI defense lawyer in New York is essential for your defense. You should not wait to hire a lawyer because these professionals will protect your rights and best interests throughout the process of your arrest and trial. 

Consider the following reasons for hiring a DUI defense attorney in NY. 

  • Before speaking to the police, you should ask for a lawyer. DWI lawyers will provide the legal guidance you need for making the right decisions. 
  • A DWI charge is serious and can threaten your personal life, livelihood, and future. Getting assistance from a lawyer will help protect your reputation. 
  • A DWI attorney can help you get the charges reduced or even dropped, depending on your case. 
  • A lawyer will help determine your eligibility for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. After completing this program, you can petition the court to get your charges dropped. 
  • Lawyers will help you understand your charges and legal options for defense. 

You Have the Right to a New York DWI Attorney

Your right to legal counsel falls both under constitutional and state law. Your right to legal counsel can be triggered by any of the following. 

  • The commencement of DWI criminal charges, which typically takes place at the arraignment
  • Defendants can obtain NYC DWI lawyers before the arraignment
  • You can also ask for a DWI attorney before being questioned by the police

How to Select a New York DWI Lawyer

If you have never been arrested for DWI, you still need a lawyer. Even if the charges are only a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in prison and lose your license. 

A DWI charge is a serious offense that requires expert legal guidance. Finding the right lawyer is essential. Consider the following. 

  • Search for a lawyer or law firm with extensive experience in the courtroom. 
  • Ask how long the lawyer has been practicing law and representing DWI offenders.
  • Choose a DWI defense lawyer who is reliable and trustworthy. 
  • New York DWI attorneys should make you feel comfortable discussing your charges.
  • Select a New York DWI law firm that can give you the strongest defense possible. 

Hire a New York DWI Lawyer

If you have been arrested for DWI in NY, it is your right to seek legal counsel, and you should do it right away. Do not speak to the police until you hire and talk with New York DWI attorneys who will represent your DWI case. 

A lawyer cannot guarantee any outcome for your case, but they will become your advocate and work to achieve the best possible outcome. Now is the time to get criminal defense help for your DWI cases.