DWI

Police at scene of an accident

New York DWI Attorney

Representing Clients on  Long Island – Suffolk & Nassau Counties

DWI is the acronym for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. In New York the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for a DWI is:

  • .02% if you are under 21 years of age
  • .08% if you are 21 or older
  • .04% if you have a commercial vehicle license and operate a commercial vehicle.

Severe Penalties for New York DWI Convictions

New York penalties for DWI first offense convictions are as follows:

  • Jail – Up to one year
  • Fine – from $500 to $1,000
  • License suspension – 6 month minimum
  • Mandatory surcharge
  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening and/or Alcohol Evaluation

Penalties are increasingly severe for the second and third offenses. Note: NY law provides for a five-year look back in DWI cases.

Of particular importance are recent changes in NY DWI law. The 2010 changes:

  • Make driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a child 15 years of age or younger in the vehicle a class E felony.
  • If you are the parent, custodian or legal guardian of the child in the vehicle, the arresting officer must file a report with Child Protective Services (CPS).

DWI Charges Involve Two Types of Cases

You will have to deal with two separate cases, if you are charged with a DWI. One case is criminal and the other, a civil law matter, is administrative in nature (handled by the DMV) and pertainsto your driver’s license and driving record.

Because criminal law governs the criminal portion of your DWI arrest, you must generally appear in court for arraignment, pre-trial hearings and a trial or negotiated disposition. A case disposition may include sentencing, such as jail sentence, fines and alcohol education class, which are determined by the judge. While most drunk driving convictions are classified as misdemeanors when no injury is involved, you could still spend up to a year in county jail. If your drunk driving incident resulted in serious injury or someone died, you may be charged with a felony, and may be sentenced to more than a year in a New York State prison.

The second aspect of your DWI charge is a New York Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles hearing in which your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked.

DWI Conviction Repercussions

Regardless of your DWI charge is misdemeanor or a felony, if you are convicted you have to deal with any number of repercussions, which will in turn affect your family. Not only will you have fines and court costs, loss of your driver’s license and a possible jail sentence, but you may also have to cope with:

  • Ignition interlock device
  • Driver responsibility assessment
  • Community service
  • Criminal record
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Cancellation of insurance
  • Job loss

Seeking Legal Help to Protect Your Rights

When you are facing DWI charges, retaining an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

At the Commack, NY law firm of Marianne S. Rantala, P.C., we regularly defend clients facing DWI charges in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We understand the scientific procedures involved in Breathalyzer, blood and other tests law enforcement officers administer to prove your guilt. As your attorney, we are always prepared to question the reliability, accuracy and validity of the tests you were given and take every step necessary to protect your legal rights.

Contact a New York DWI Attorney

Take advantage of our firm’s free initial consultation when you need an experienced DWI attorney. Contact the law office of Marianne S. Rantala, P.C., in Commack, NY, to find out how we can help. Call (631) 627-3433 to arrange a confidential consultation.