DWI Defense in New York & New Jersey
If you were recently arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you need a competent legal proponent to stand by you through the legal process. DWI laws in the Tri-State Area are very severe, and without a skilled and experienced attorney, cases such as these can result in jail time, loss of your driver’s license, and other penalties.
What is DWI?
There are various charges associated with a DWI, which stands for driving while intoxicated, or also in some circumstances driving while impaired. A DWI charge refers to when an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level while driving a motor vehicle is 0.08 percent or higher. A person 21 years old or older, with a BAC level of 0.08 percent to 0.17 percent is considered legally drunk and will be charged with a DWI. A person younger than 21 years old with a BAC level of 0.02 percent to 0.07 percent and a commercial driver with a BAC level of 0.04 percent are also considered legally drunk and are DWI offenders.
What is the Difference Between a DWI and DUI?
Similar to a DWI is a DUI, which stands for driving under the influence. In New Jersey and other states across the country, there is no difference between DWI and DUI, with the term being used interchangeably without fault. However, there are a few states that consider a DUI or DWI to be separate charges. New York, for example, does not actually use the term DUI. Drivers in New York can actually be charged with either a DWI or DWAI. A DWAI is when a driver’s BAC does not reach 0.08 percent but is between 0.05 percent and 0.07 percent. DWAI charges can also include illegal substances. If you were driving under the influence of drugs at the time, you could be charged with a DWAI-Drugs.
How Are You Charged with a DWI?
To be charged with a DWI, the police must identify whether or not you have consumed alcohol and how much through the use of observation, field sobriety tests or preliminary alcohol screening (PAS). The PAS is a pre-test to determine an arrest and if found intoxicated, the police will proceed in the arrest. After an arrest occurs, you will be required to take a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in your system. This is mandatory under the implied consent laws, which every driver in the United States automatically consents to once they receive their drivers’ license.
Refusal to take the chemical test can result in punishment. For example, your license can be suspended for one to two and a half years or even permanently revoked depending on whether it’s your first, second or third offense. The police will confiscate your driver’s license and provide you with a temporary driving permit paper that expires on the court appearance date. An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) will also be installed in your vehicle as a condition of probation or conditional discharge.
Penalties for DWI Crimes in New York
Penalties for DWI charges depend on your age, the substance impairing you and the number of times you’ve committed the offense. In all states, a first-offense DWI is considered a misdemeanor. If charged, you may be ordered to pay a mandatory fine of $500 to $1,000, serve up to six months or one year of jail time and have your driver’s license revoked for at least six months.
A second-time DWI offense within 10 years is classified as a felony. If charged, you may be ordered to pay a mandatory fine of $1,000 to $5,000, serve at least a four year jail term and have your driver’s license revoked for at least one year. A third-offense DWI is also classified as a felony. If charged, you may be ordered to pay a mandatory fine of $2,000 to $10,000, serve at least seven years of jail time and lose your license for at least one year.
No matter if you are a first, second or third time DWI offender, you will be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment of $250 a year for three years. Additionally, you will have to install and maintain a functioning ignition interlock device on the vehicle you operate during the term of probation or conditional discharge.
DWI Attorney in New York and New Jersey
New York has imposed strict laws regarding drunk driving, and if convicted of a DWI, it can be a stressful and intricate matter. Mario Gallucci is a devoted criminal defense attorney at The Gallucci Law Firm, who realizes how stressful criminal cases can be. He has won some of the most important and most difficult cases in New York, New Jersey, and Federal Courts. With his expertise and knowledge of criminal defense, Mario can protect your rights and help get you justice. Contact The Gallucci Law Firm today for legal advice concerning your criminal case.