It is not secret that a conviction for driving while impaired, or DWI, is a serious offense that can bring about major consequences. In New York, a DWI is a misdemeanor offense, which means that a conviction will create a permanent criminal record for the accused. It is essential that someone facing a DWI charge in New York secure an attorney with experience defending against DWI charges. The attorneys with the DWI GUYS understand how stressful a DWI charge can be, as well as how confusing related laws can sometimes be. The following information serves as a brief introduction to what you can expect throughout the judicial process involved with a DWI.
The Judicial Process
If an officer suspects that you have been driving while impaired due to the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will conduct a series of preliminary tests to confirm suspicions. These tests may include roadside sobriety testing, blood testing, a Breathalyzer test, other forms of chemical testing, or a combination of all of the above. New York has what is known as an “implied consent” law, meaning that through obtaining your driver’s license and driving in New York, you have already agreed to submit to testing related to suspicion of a DWI. Refusal to submit to these tests can result in an automatic one-year suspension of your New York driver’s license, and the penalty increases if you have refused to take such tests on more than one occasion.
Once an officer has determined that you have been driving while impaired because of the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will arrest you. Your will likely remain in jail until all appropriate paperwork has been completed and a court date has been determined, depending on the location of where you have been arrested. You may also be required to pay bail before being released.
Your first hearing will be an arraignment for your charges. At the arraignment, you will be informed of certain rights available to you as well as the details of the charges against you. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may be scheduled for additional hearings involving your driver’s license. Perhaps most critically, you will also be asked how you wish to plead to the charges against you. It is important that you seek the help of an attorney with experience in the DWI legal process to help you make an informed decision about your pleading most appropriate to your circumstances. We have prepared a guide with additional information about what to expect at your DWI arraignment that can be accessed by clicking here.
Following your arraignment, additional court appearances may be scheduled. The judge will let you know the reason for those additional hearings at that time, and your attorney can help explain the purpose for any additional appearances in more detail.
If you are a first-time offender, the following penalties may apply to you.
- Fines between $500 and $1,000, up to one year in jail, or a combination of both;
- Six-month revocation of driver’s license;
- Six-month discretionary revocation of your vehicle registration;
- A court surcharge of around $400, depending on the court in which your case is being heard;
- Three-year probationary period;
- Yearly driver responsibility assessment for three years, at a cost of $250 per year;
- Attendance at victim impact panels; and
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of at least six months.
In some cases, prosecutors may be willing to work with first-time offenders by offering reduced charges. While this is not always the case, an experienced attorney can help explore these types of options for you.
Finding Help for a DWI Charge
The DWI GUYS focuses on DWI charges in New York, and can use that experience to help you. If you are facing DWI or related charges, it is a serious matter that can have devastating long-term effects. Having the right attorney with you throughout the process can make a major difference, and will help ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you are facing a DWI or related charge, contact the DWI GUYS to schedule a consultation today and feel less stress tomorrow.
DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Statewide Defense with Corporate offices Central located for The DWI GUYS at 432 N. Franklin Street, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-800-394-8326. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.