Being charged with a DWI in New York is serious. If you have been charged with a DWI, you must understand the consequences of what you are facing. Because the penalties can be severe, it is a good idea to consider talking to a traffic ticket lawyer.
What is a DWI?
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) means that you are driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If you are driving a commercial vehicle at the time you are stopped, the BAC threshold is lower. Commercial drivers can receive a DWI with a BAC of 0.04%.
Even smaller amounts of alcohol can affect your reaction times and judgment. Alcohol hinders your ability to safely drive a motor vehicle. Your level of impairment depends on the following factors:
- The amount you’ve had to drink
- Whether you’ve eaten before or during your drinking
- Your body weight
- How much time you spent drinking
- Your gender
Driving with smaller amounts of alcohol can result in lesser alcohol-related charges. A DWI is among the worst alcohol-related offenses.
Penalties for a DWI
The first New York DWI conviction is a misdemeanor. This can result in a minimum fine of $500 up to a maximum fine of $1,000. In addition, a jail sentence of up to a year and a license revocation of up to a year could be imposed depending on the circumstances of your case.
Subsequent DWI offense penalties include:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Jail time of up to seven years
- Driver’s license suspension of up to one year
Other penalties for DWI convictions can include:
- Increased insurance rates
- Having a criminal record
- Being required to install an ignition interlock device on your car
The state of New York takes DWI charges seriously. And if you are charged with aggravated DWI (having a BAC of 0.18% or higher), the consequences are even worse.
What to Do If You Are Arrested for DWI
Doing the right thing after a DWI arrest can help protect your rights and could result in a more favorable outcome for you. Steps you should consider after being arrested for a DWI are discussed below.
Submit to a BAC Test
New York’s implied consent law states that if you are arrested for a DWI, you automatically give your consent to taking a test to determine your BAC. Refusal to take a test will result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
Talk to a DWI Lawyer
The legal process is complicated. Obtaining a lawyer who is experienced in cases that involve drunk driving can mitigate the circumstances of your arrest. They also know how to consider all of the available evidence and build a defense that could result in reduced charges or dismissal of your case.
Post Bail If Possible
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be required to post bail. If you can pay the upfront fee charged by a bond company, they will post your bail for you. You will be required to attend all of your court hearings, or your bond could be revoked.
Prepare for Your Arraignment
The arraignment is the court hearing where you will be notified of your charge publicly and will be required to enter a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Your DWI defense attorney will be able to help you understand the ramifications of each plea.
Get the Help You Need After a Drunk Driving Charge
The drunk driving attorneys at New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers have experience representing drivers who have been charged with DWI traffic violations in Central New York, and they can offer you effective representation. Contact our office today.