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DWI defense: 3 tips to protecting your rights and your license

When you went out for the night with your friends you didn't think about drinking too much and getting behind the wheel. Instead, all you focused on was having a good time. Unfortunately, if you did drive recklessly as a result of being intoxicated, then you could face a DWI.

There is no minimum jail time for a DWI in New York. There are maximum jail times allowed by the state. Here is a little bit more about what you can expect if you are faced with a DWI charge.

Penalties

There are several penalties for alcohol-related offenses in New York. These include fines, license restrictions and jail terms in some cases. Here are a few examples.

  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated: $1,000 to $2,500 in fines with up to a year in prison. Licenses are revoked for at least one year.
  • Driving while intoxicated: Fines from $500 to $1,000 along with a maximum of a year in jail and revocation of the driver's license for at least six months.

These are just for first-time offenses. If this is not your first offense, the fines and penalties will be higher.

What happens if you refuse the chemical test?

If you refused to provide a breath or blood sample, then you can pay a civil penalty of $750. You will also face a license revocation for at least one year. Commercial drivers will lose their licenses for 18 months.

What should you do if you're facing a DWI charge?

If you were arrested for a DWI, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and your license right away. Fines and other penalties can have a lasting effect on your life, even if they seem relatively minor. For instance, if you need your vehicle for work, you could lose your job or end up spending much of your hard-earned money getting to work through other means. Similarly, if you have to go to jail, you may lose your job and harm your reputation, making it harder to find work or get the sympathy and assistance you need from others.

Your attorney will discuss the case with you to look for places where mistakes were made or to help you keep your license and stay out of prison. There are usually options, especially when you're a first-time offender with so much on the line. No one wants to see you suffer as a result of a single mistake.

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Suffolk County Defenders Association New York State Defenders Association | Founded 1967 New York State Bar Association Suffolk County Bar Association | NY 1908

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