Every day, drivers in our state are arrested for drunk driving. While not all of these drivers will be convicted, many of them will see some form of penalty. In 2021, there were 21,529 people who were issued tickets for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the state of New York, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Facing any kind of drunk driving charges in New York is a very serious matter and one that should be handled by a professional.
Dec. 3, 2018
Can a DWI Be Reduced in NY State?
If you’ve been charged with a DWI, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind right about now. How serious are the charges against me? What’s the worst sentence I could receive? Will I go to jail? Is there any way for me to reduce the charges against me?
The good news is that in some circumstances, a DWI can be reduced in New York. A defendant can potentially reduce a DWI/DUI conviction to a lesser DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) conviction through a plea agreement. This article will take a look at what’s involved in a DWAI charge (as opposed to a more severe DWI/DUI) and how you might be able to get the plea deal process started.
Can a DWI Be Reduced in NY?
A DWI can potentially be reduced in NY to a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). While a DWI is a misdemeanor, and therefore a criminal charge, a DWAI is considered a violation, which is not a crime. This means it’s unlikely to have the negative long-term consequences that a DWI would have.
Is a DWAI a Misdemeanor in NY?
DWAI is not a misdemeanor, it is a violation. As a violation, a DWAI can still lead to as much as 15 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. However, that’s a lot less than the $1,000 fine, license suspension, and potential for a year in jail that come with a first-time DWI conviction.
So the answer to “can a DWI be reduced in NY” is: yes. Under some circumstances, a DWI can be reduced. Now, how can a DWI be reduced in NY? Let’s take a look.
How to Get DWI Reduced in NY
A DWI charge can sometimes be reduced to a DWAI if a plea bargain can be worked out. If you’re wondering how to get DWI reduced in NY, ask your criminal defense attorney if you are eligible for a plea bargain reducing the charge to a violation. You will be more likely to be offered a plea bargain if there are no aggravating factors associated with your cases, such as a prior DWI arrest, high blood alcohol level, or an accident, to name a few. You will need to discuss the specifics of your case with your attorney.
In a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for having the more severe charge dropped. A plea bargain is a binding arrangement usually undertaken when neither the prosecution nor the defense wants to risk taking the case to trial.
Pleading Down a DWI in NY
An experienced DWI attorney will understand the process of pleading down a DWI in NY. An attorney may attempt to dismiss the charges against you before engaging in any process that could lead to a plea deal.
It goes without saying that you should never accept a plea agreement if you are innocent of the DWI charge. But if you were intoxicated by alcohol, or impaired by drugs when you drove, you should consider talking to your attorney about your plea bargain options.
Since 2014, the Law Office of Michael D. Litman has been representing the criminal defense needs of the citizens of White Plains, Westchester County, and the New York Metro area. With attorney Michael Litman defending his clients since 2007, we have the knowledge and the experience to help with all your DWI charges.
If you have questions or need to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us today at (914) 268-6855. Our firm will work with you from the arraignment all the way through the trial.
Many people are familiar with the concept of plea bargaining in the criminal justice system. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and defense that allows an accused person to plead guilty to a lesser offense or accept a reduced sentence in exchange for not going to trial.
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