Westchester NY DWI Attorney
Also Serving Clients in White Plains
Most drivers know the dangers of drinking and driving. It poses a serious danger to you and everyone else on the road, and the State of New York takes it very seriously. In spite of that, simply being arrested for a DWI offense doesn’t mean your situation is hopeless. If you’ve been arrested for impaired driving, contact a Westchester DWI lawyer for a free consultation if you or a loved one is facing charges.
Can You Go To Jail For A DWI In NY?
If you are charged with a DWI in the state of New York, the first thing to figure out is whether your case will be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, as a first-time offender, your case will be dealt with as a misdemeanor. A couple of aspects can impact this and make your first-time offense reach the Felony level, like for example if you have a kid in the backseat, or if you are impaired by a combined impact of alcohol and drugs. The court can sentence a person to up to one year in jail.
Call (914) 268-6855 now or contact the Law Office of Michael D. Litman online to get started on planning your defense with our Westchester DWI attorney.
For us, your DWI defense is personal. Your fight is our fight. A DWI conviction can carry serious legal penalties and can have strong effects in your personal and professional life. The Law Office of Michael D. Litman is here to fight alongside you and guide you through this difficult process. We’ll show you your options and work to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.
As a citizen, you have the right to defend yourself against the charges facing you. You also have the right to expect that the police will follow proper procedures during your arrest. The Law Office of Michael D. Litman is dedicated to protecting your rights, from beginning to end.
Personalized DWI Legal Services
Every case is different and your DWI defense is customized to fit your needs. From the initial consultation onward, we work to learn all we can about the details of your arrest and the charges against you. All DWI cases are unique—as your lawyers, we will work to find the details of your case that give you the best possible chance of dismissal or acquittal on your charges.
We handle all kinds of DWI cases, including:
New York’s Impaired Driving Laws
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is the most basic charge for intoxicated driving. It occurs when a driver operates a vehicle while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, or there is other evidence of intoxication. Because of their increased responsibility, a commercial driver can be charged with DWI when their BAC is .04 percent or higher.
The penalties for driving while intoxicated include:
- Fines of up to $500 to $1,000
- Jail time for up to one year
- License revocation for at least 6 months
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for one year
- Worsened penalties for subsequent offenses
Aggravated driving while intoxicated (Aggravated DWI) occurs when an individual operates a vehicle while having a BAC of .18 or higher. The increased BAC means that an individual’s ability to operate a vehicle is even more reduced than with a standard DWI, leading to stronger legal penalties such as fines of up to $2,500.
When Drugs Are Involved
Driving while impaired by a drug (DWAI/Drug) occurs when an individual is found to be driving while impaired by one drug. Driving while impaired by a combination of drugs is covered by another charge.
The penalty for driving while impaired by a drug, as a first offense, is:
- Fines of $500 to $1,000
- Jail time for up to one year
- License revocation for at least six months
- Worsened penalties for subsequent offenses
Driving While Ability Impaired By Alcohol
Even though an individual’s driving ability may not be reduced as severely when he or she has had less to drink, any noticeable impairment in driving ability could lead to a charge of driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol). This occurs when an individual has a BAC of between .05 and .07 percent, or when there is other evidence of impairment.
The penalty for driving with ability impaired by alcohol is:
- Fines of $300 to $500
- Up to 15 days’ jail time
- License suspension for 90 days
Significantly, the State of New York defines DWAI/Alcohol as a violation, rather than as a misdemeanor. As a result, individuals charged with misdemeanor DWI sometimes seek a plea bargain where the DWI is reduced to the lesser violation charge of DWAI/Alcohol in exchange for pleading guilty. A skilled DWI attorney will be able to tell you whether this is a possibility in your case.
Zero Tolerance Law
Drivers under the age of 21 are not supposed to be drinking in the first place, let alone driving with measurable amounts of alcohol in their system. That’s why the State of New York has a Zero Tolerance Law covering impaired driving on the part of underage drivers. The Zero Tolerance Law applies when a driver under the age of 21 drives with a BAC between .02 and .07 percent.
The penalty for breaking the zero tolerance law is:
- $125 fine
- 6 months’ license suspension
- $100 fee to terminate the suspension
Other Possible Effects of a DWI Conviction
Being convicted of a DWI will almost definitely lead to an increase in your car insurance premiums, around 76 percent on average in New York. This can lead to financial stress, forcing you to drive with reduced coverage or, in extreme cases, force you to stop driving at all.
DWI convictions can also make it more difficult for you to pass a background check. Whether in the case of employment applications, housing applications for renters, or any other situation where an individual needs to pass a background check, a DWI conviction can be a handicap. While it may not necessarily lead you to lose out on a job offer or a new rental, it will almost certainly prove to be a hurdle.
In addition to all this, DWI charges carry a certain social stigma. Everyone knows how dangerous drunk driving can be, and many have lost loved ones because of a drunk driver. It’s very possible that your relationship with friends and family will be strained if they find out you’ve been convicted. All the more reason to get in touch with a skilled DWI attorney and find out the best way to defend yourself.
Protecting Yourself following Arrest
If you find yourself being arrested for a DWI charge, the most important thing is that you don’t incriminate yourself any further. Do not admit to anything, including having drunk any alcohol. You are not required to talk to the police officer. Don’t try to talk the officer out of arresting you. If the officer has already taken out the cuffs, the decision is already made. It’s much more likely that you’ll say something that will hurt your case, instead of being able to convince the officer to change his or her mind.
The time of your arrest is a time to reduce harm by keeping quiet and cooperating with the arresting officer, not a time to argue your case or try to get out of being arrested. You have the right to remain silent. This is the time to use it.
The next step is to defend yourself. If you’ve been arrested for DWI, the District Attorney’s Office is already preparing the case against you. You need a plan to defend yourself and a solid understanding of your options. Talk to a skilled Westchester DWI lawyer to figure out what to do to make the best of your situation.
Call (914) 268-6855 now for your free consultation from our Westchester DWI defense lawyer. Don’t face your legal challenges alone.
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