DWI First Offense
You don’t have to fit the stereotype of a “criminal” to be faced with criminal charges. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of people charged with a first offense DWI are social drinkers who underestimated how much they had to drink or simply made a error in judgment when getting behind the wheel. Despite this, when you are arrested for drunk driving and facing charges, it’s normal to feel ashamed and embarrassed.
In addition to the shame, you are likely frightened. You are facing serious potential penalties for drunk driving, penalties that can haunt you for months and even years to come.Charged with a crime in New York? Please call (888) 435-4744.
When you first saw those police lights in your rear-view, you likely panicked—you knew what was going to happen. Most people who drive drunk believe they won’t get caught. They think they can make it home. But one red light or one too many swerves and you can find yourself cuffed and stuffed in the back of a police car.
New York DWI Penalties
DWI is defined as operating a vehicle while intoxicated and with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than .08%. If your BAC is measured at .18% or higher, you could be charged with aggravated DWI and face even more serious penalties.
A first offense DWI, where your BAC is between .08% and .17% can result in the following:
- Jail time of up to 1 year
- Fines of $500 to $1,000
- Six month driver’s license suspension
If you are charged with aggravated DWI, and this is your first offense, the potential penalties include:
- Jail time of up to 1 year
- Fines between $1,000 and $2,500
- 1 Year driver’s license suspension
It is highly unlikely you will serve any significant amount of jail time for your first offense.
Because this is your first drunk driving offense, you will likely be allowed to serve probation or participate in some other diversionary program in lieu of jail time. Knowing for certain what options are available in the jurisdiction in which you are charged is something your defense attorney can help with.
Underage Drinking and Driving / Under 21 DWI Laws
If you are under the age of 21 and caught drinking and driving, you face New York’s Zero Tolerance Law. This law means you can be arrested and charged no matter how much you’ve been drinking—there’s no minimum blood alcohol requirement here.
Your first encounter with this Zero Tolerance law can result in:
- $125 DMV penalty
- 6 month loss of driving privileges
- $100 suspension termination fee
Regardless of your age or social standing, a New York DWI charge is a serious matter indeed. If you are facing charges of drunk driving in the state of New York, you need an aggressive defense lawyer on your side, ensuring your rights are protected and your best interests looked after.
From challenging the validity of the traffic stop to thoroughly evaluating the officer’s actions during the investigation stage, your criminal defense attorney should leave no stone unturned in ensuring you get the best results possible in your case.
Contact our offices today to discuss your DWI charge and how we might be able to help.