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Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC Nov. 17, 2023

DWI FAQ 

In 2021, according to statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were about 21,624 misdemeanor and 3,757 felony DWI arrests statewide. In New York State, motorists are prohibited from operating a vehicle while intoxicated, ability impaired, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you've been arrested and charged with a drunk driving-related offense, understanding what to expect or the next step to take is a way to prevent further stress. 

At the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC, we're committed to offering comprehensive guidance and skilled representation to clients in their DUI/DWI cases. Our knowledgeable New York State criminal defense attorney can answer some of your frequently asked questions about DUI charges. In addition, we will build a strong defense to help fight your charges and keep your driving record clean. Our firm proudly serves clients across Westchester County, New York, and the surrounding areas, including Yonkers, Harrison, and White Plains.  

Can I refuse the breath and/or blood test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI? 

If you're suspected of driving impaired or intoxicated, a law enforcement officer can ask you to stop your vehicle. They may request some DUI tests – Breathalyzer or blood tests. Essentially, you're within your rights to refuse the portable breath test or preliminary alcohol screening at the roadside. 

However, after a lawful arrest, you must take the breath or blood test requested at the station. It is a violation of New York's Implied Consent Law to refuse a chemical test after a lawful arrest for DWI with probable cause. If you refuse, your driver's license will be revoked immediately. You will also face other administrative penalties and legal consequences. 

If I've been charged with a DUI, will I go to jail? 

Facing DUI/DWI charges in New York State can be frightening and overwhelming. If convicted, you may be subject to lengthy jail time, hefty fines, DMV demerit points, a criminal record, license revocation, and other life-altering implications. A strategic lawyer can represent you aggressively in court, uphold your driving privileges, and make sure you do not suffer any consequences or end up in jail. 

Will I lose my license? How will I get to work? 

Unfortunately, a DWI conviction in New York State may result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. However, you can get a conditional or hardship license – if you're eligible and after attending a hardship hearing within three days of your arraignment. The hardship license affords you some specialized driving privileges. Thus, you may be able to drive to your workplace, school, medical appointments, court-ordered substance abuse DWI program, and other court-approved places. 

What should I expect during the hearing? 

At the hearing or arraignment, the judge will inform you of all the charges filed against you. Also, the judge will enlighten you about your rights and address the issue of bail. In addition, you will be asked to make a plea – "Guilty," "Not Guilty," or "No Contest." 

If you plead guilty or no contest, the judge will sentence you and impose the available penalties. However, if you plead not guilty, the judge will set a date and time for future court proceedings about your drunk driving case – including a preliminary hearing, pretrial conference, discovery, or trial. 

Is it worth it to fight a DUI? 

Fighting your drunk driving charges is absolutely worthwhile. If you're convicted for a first DWI or DWAI in New York State, you may be facing: 

  • Fines of between $500 and $1,000. 

  • Up to one year in jail. 

  • Mandatory alcohol or substance abuse program. 

  • One-year license suspension. 

  • Other far-reaching legal consequences. 

With your personal reputation, future, quality of life, and career in possible jeopardy, fighting your DUI/DWI charges is definitely worth it. 

Are there any ways to reduce my sentence?

In New York State, you may be allowed to reduce your DWI charge or sentence through the following: 

  • Negotiating a favorable plea agreement. 

  • Voluntary completion of a Pretrial Diversion Program. 

  • Completion of rehabilitative programs such as DUI First Offender Program or Impaired Driver Program (IDP) 

A reliable attorney can explore other sentencing alternatives – including house arrest, community service, weekend jail, or rehab – or work with the prosecutor to get the charges against you dropped. 

Is hiring an attorney necessary?

YES. Hiring an attorney to represent you in your drunk driving case is extremely important. A highly-skilled DUI/DWI defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you, investigate every aspect of your case, and strategize an effective defense to help fight your charges. In addition, your legal counsel can fight vigorously for your rights, identify weaknesses in the prosecutor's case, attempt to establish your innocence and help keep your driving record as clean as possible. 

Strong & Reliable Legal Representation

When facing DWI allegations, retaining a highly-skilled criminal defense lawyer is imperative for effective legal representation in your case. At the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC, we're committed to protecting individuals charged with drunk driving from the worst possible situation. Our dependable attorney can investigate your case details, dispute the allegations against you with factual evidence, and help uphold your driving privileges and freedom. 

Contact us at the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC, today to schedule a simple case assessment with a seasoned DUI/DWI defense attorney. Our trusted lawyer can help you navigate the New York State criminal justice system and represent you aggressively at every phase of the legal process. We proudly serve clients across Westchester County, New York, and the surrounding areas, including Yonkers, Harrison, and White Plains. 


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