New York DWI Laws Overview

At The Kugel Law Firm, Rachel Kugel offers a free DWI Defense Strategy session. This is a session devoted to delving into the details of your case and discussing the possible strategies and options that may exist. You don’t have to wait days for an in-office appointment or spend hours in traffic. You can call The Kugel Law Firm right now and schedule your Free DWI Defense Strategy Session ASAP over the phone. The office can also immediately provide you via email with more information, articles, and resources to fully understand and defend your charges.  Call: 212-372-7218 Email: Kugellaw@gmail.com

New York DWI Penalties

A DWI (Or DUI, they are interchangeable phrases in NY) is a serious criminal charge that carries with it severe penalties with potentially lifelong consequences. Under New York DWI law even a first offense DWI is a misdemeanor criminal offense that could leave you with a criminal record. You will have a right to a jury trial on your New York DWI charge.

 There are serious penalties associated with a New York DWI charge including: -Loss of License -Potential Jail Time -Potential Probation -Costly Fines -Surcharges -Classes -Community Service -Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device Charges and penalties can depend on many factors. For example the BAC reading, whether you have prior offenses, whether there was an accident involved in the incident, whether or not you took a breath test, whether there was a minor in the car, and many other factors.

Pre-Conviction Issues

Under New York law if you are charged with a DWI and the State can show a certified copy of a breath test reading of .08 or more, the Court can suspend your license at the time of your arraignment. So, even though you have only been accused your right to drive can be taken. You need to be prepared for this possibility and be aware that there may be ways to get driving again including a Pringle hearing, a hardship hearing, and a conditional license issued from the DMV. Often this is the first barrier we need to get through to get you functioning again ASAP. It is important that you speak with a lawyer ASAP so that you can find out the likelihood of a suspension pending prosecution being a reality in your case and what you might be able to do about. Don’t get caught off guard. Getting a driving privilege after a suspension pending prosecution requires some advance effort and planning so speak to a lawyer as soon as you can.

Overview of Penalties for Specific Offenses  

 DWI Misdemeanor Penalties -Fine $500-1,000, -Up to 1 year in jail, or both -Probation of 3 years; -Revocation of your driving privilege for at least 6 months -Surcharges and assessments of $1,000 and up -Victim Impact Panel -Drinking Driver Program -Installation of Ignition Interlock Device for at least 6 months. As of 2012 New York now has a new charge of Aggravated DWI, which is based on a BAC of .18 or more. The penalties are more severe than the regular DWI in that the fines are a minimum of $1,000. The license revocation is also more severe at a minimum of 1 Year.   DWI Felony Penalties If you have been convicted previously of a misdemeanor DWI within the previous ten years, or have a child in the car at the time of your DWI you may be subject to the following felony penalties. -Fine $1,000-5,000, -Surcharges and assessment of $1,000 and up. -Up to 4 years in state prison -Period of probation of 5 years; -Revocation of your driver’s license for at least 1 year. -Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device   DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) Penalties Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol charge can be based on the observations of an individual driver or on a BAC reading of .05-.07. A DWAI charge is a violation and not a crime. A person convicted of DWAI may be subject to the following penalties: -Fine $300-500 -Loss of license for 90 days. -Jail up to 15 days.   New York Chemical Test Refusal Penalties If you have refused to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol or drug content in your breath, urine, or blood then you may be charged with a separate offense of Refusal. This charge is a completely separate matter from your DWI charge and you can be found guilty of Refusal whether or not you are found guilty or not guilty of your DWI. You will have a right to a Refusal Hearing that will take place separately from any criminal or violation matters in Court. The rules at this hearing are very different from the rules in Court. The defenses are very specific and the strategy necessary to defend or minimize in these cases is unique. Therefore if you are facing the additional charge of Refusal you should speak to an attorney familiar in defending DWI matters as soon as possible. Only a lawyer who is well versed and experienced in this area of law will be able to give you a sense of the full impact of a Refusal on your specific overall case and a strategy to deal with that impact. If you are found to have refused a chemical test you will be subject to the following penalties: -Assessment $500 -Loss of license of at least 1 year. *A refusal finding can have a significant impact on your ability to obtain a conditional driving privilege whether or not you win your DWI case.


This list of penalties is meant to give an overview only. The list is not exhaustive. For example if the person charged has a CDL license their New York DWI case will have an impact on both their personal privilege to drive as well as their ability to operate as a commercial driver. If the person charged is facing something other than his first offense DMV penalties and license suspensions may be different then indicated here. In addition, new DMV penalties can further restrict a person’s ability to get their license back and the timelines of any suspension or revocation. Last, people charged who are under 21 may face additional license suspensions.   It is extremely important for anyone facing a New York DWI charge to consult with an attorney to understand his or her rights, penalty exposure, and possible defenses right away. If you are charged with a DWI or related offense, don’t lose hope these cases can be defended against and can be minimized. Contact an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and your options. At The Kugel Law Firm Rachel Kugel offers a free DWI Defense Strategy session. This is a session devoted to delving into the details of your case and discussing the possible strategies and options that may exist. You don’t have to wait days for an in-office appointment or spend hours in traffic. You can call The Kugel Law Firm right now and schedule your Free DWI Defense Strategy Session ASAP over the phone. The office can also immediately provide you via email with more information, articles, and resources to fully understand and defend your charges. Call: 212-372-7218 Email: Kugellaw@gmail.com

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