First Time DWI Arrest.
Getting arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New York State is no laughing matter. DWI, DWAI – Drugs or, DWAI-Combined Influence are misdemeanor criminal acts that carry sentences of:
- up to one (1) year In jail,
- fines of between $500.00-$1,000.00 dollars,
- probation for up to three (3) years,
- revocation of the Defendant’s driver’s license for at least six (6) months,
- a NYS surcharge of up to $400.00,
- an additional DMV driver responsibility assessment fee of $250.00 a year for three (3) years and
- the requirement that the Defendant pay for the installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device in every automobile the Defendant owns or operates during the term of probation for no less than six (6) months.
To make matters worse, if the motorist submits to Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test and scores a 0.18% BAC or higher, they are charged with an Aggravated DWI and face additional fines of up to $2,500 dollars and mandatory revocation of the driver’s license is increased to one (1) year.
Finally, any motorist convicted of a DWI also faces higher auto insurance premiums and the stigma of having a criminal conviction.
Needless to say, if a plea to a reduced charge is offered by the District Attorney in lieu of a DWI conviction most defendants’ jump at the offer. However, there is no requirement nor is there any standardized rule mandating the how, when and why a District Attorney makes a reduced plea offer. Yet it is common, that some District Attorney’s will offer a reduced charge for a First Time DWI Arrest, down to DWAI (violation) if certain criteria are present such as:
- a BAC of 0.13% or less
- the incident was free of an accident or physical injury and
- the defendant cooperated with the arresting officer(s)
In New York State, a DWAI violation is dramatically different from a DWI misdemeanor. For starters, a DWAI is not a crime it is a traffic infraction. A defendant who pleads guilty to a DWAI faces the following sentencing penalties:
- up to 15 days in jail,
- fines of $300.00-$500.00 dollars
- suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license for ninety (90) days
- a NYS surcharge of up to $260.00
- a DMV driver responsibility assessment fee of $250.00 a year for three (3) years
- mandatory attendance and completion of the Victim Impact Panel (VIP) class and,
- the Drinking Driver Program where a conditional license may be obtained during the suspension period.
No two incidents or DWI Arrest’s are alike. Just because you know a person who’s obtained a favorable outcome or heard about a person who had a DWI charge dismissed by no means guarantees that you will have the same experience. Whether your goal is to beat the charges outright or reach a reasonable plea deal. The most successful outcomes in DWI matters are obtained by a legal representative who possesses the skills and experience capable of resolving the unique issues present in every case. Sometimes it is necessary to flush out the weak points in the Peoples case. This is accomplished with an in-depth investigation of the arrest, discovery demands, and motion practice. On the other hand, a First Time DWI Arrest that lacks aggravating factors may not be as difficult to negotiate. Regardless, if you are arrested and charged with a DWI, a DWAI, DWAI-drugs or DWAI-combined influence, you need legal representation to protect your rights and explain your options for the best possible outcome. Call my office to schedule a free confidential consultation.