What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for a DWI?


Getting charged with a DWI is a frightening and frustrating experience, especially if it’s your first DWI. However, it is very important to stay calm and think clearly in order to plan your course of action after your initial arrest. Getting back your driving privileges is a priority, but unfortunately, it often comes at a cost. Read on to learn more about what usually happens after someone is arrested for a DWI in New York, as well as your recommended next steps with help from The Gallucci Law Firm.

What is a DWI?

A DWI is often confused with a DUI, but the definition and penalties vary by state. In New York, DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DWAI (driving while ability impaired) are considered as different offenses, and the term DUI is not used in New York. A DWAI is considered a motor vehicle offense in New York but often has a less severe charge than a DWI, which is considered a crime in NY. DWI charges often include fines, probation, potential jail time, and the loss of your license. An experienced attorney will try to get a DWI plea bargained down to a DWAI. New York also has a Zero Tolerance Law, which applies to those under age 21 who are caught drinking and driving with a BAC between .02 and .07.

Laws related to these offenses are different in New Jersey. In New Jersey, a DUI (driving under the influence) is considered a serious traffic violation, rather than a misdemeanor, crime, or felony. If certain factors are present, such as there being a child in the car at the time of arrest, this offense can lead to criminal charges. 

Arrest Process

  • Chemical Test

You will most likely be commanded to take a chemical test when you are arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving. This test is required in most states, and is punishable under the law if you refuse to take it. These chemical tests, such as the breathalyzer test, gather information regarding your current intoxication levels. By looking at the results, your arresting officer will record the level of drugs or alcohol in your blood at the time of your arrest.

  • Booked and Jailed 

After the chemical test, you will be driven to a jail and fingerprinted. Some states allow for you to be released immediately if someone can pay your bail and drive you home, while other states require that you are held until you are completely sober.

  • Summons

At the time of your arrest, usually at the jail, you will be given a ticket or summons that tells you when you have to appear in court to face your DWI charges.

Contacting a DWI Attorney

DWI charges are serious and complex, as the various laws surrounding them vary by state and district. It is recommended that you seek out a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling the intricacies of DWI cases and charges. This will help ensure that you are able to successfully argue your case in court.

License Suspension and Options

License suspension is one of the most difficult penalties of a DWI arrest. A skilled attorney can help you appeal for a hardship license or a conditional license so you can regain your privilege to drive. These license types are not always available depending on the severity of your case, and are given by the judge rather than the DMV. These license types allow those charged to drive to their place of work (as well as school and medical appointments if the license is conditional). Your attorney may also request a 20-day stay, which will add time to your suspension but give you a 20 day period to visit the DMV and attain a post-conviction conditional license. 

Experienced DWI Attorney in New York

If you have recently been arrested for a DWI and are seeking legal assistance, The Gallucci Law Firm is here for you. Criminal defense attorney Mario Gallucci has over 30 years of experience in Criminal Defense and Litigation, including the tri-state area’s laws regarding driving while intoxicated. When you choose The Gallucci Law Firm to handle your case, you can trust that you are getting an attorney who knows the ins and outs of DWI laws and how to handle them in court. Please contact us today at The Gallucci Law Firm in Staten Island so we can review the details of your case and craft a defense plan for you.

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