New York Felony DWI Lawyers
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence in New York is against the law. The crime is called driving while intoxicated. According to state law, you cannot have 0.08 percent or higher of alcohol in your bloodstream while operating a motor vehicle. The level of alcohol in your bloodstream is called BAC.
Generally, DWI can be a misdemeanor offense. As a misdemeanor, you face jail time, fines and other penalties such as license revocation.
A Misdemeanor DWI May be Upgraded to a Felony in New York
A DWI may be upgraded by the prosecutor’s office under one of two circumstances: the age of your passenger or number of prior DWI convictions.
Leandra’s Law outlined in VTL 1192.2a(b) makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and with a passenger under 16 years old. The other circumstance is when the current DWI charge is “bumped” up to a felony because of a prior DWI conviction.
The previous DWI charge must be somehow related to driving while intoxicated. It includes a previous conviction of:
• DWI: Driving while intoxicated. You must have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
• Vehicular Manslaughter: Vehicular manslaughter is the crime of killing another human being while operation a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
• Aggravated DWI: Aggravated DWI is the crime of driving while intoxicated too. Instead of having a 0.08 percent BAC, you have a BAC of 0.18 percent.
• DWAI by Drugs: Driving while impaired by drugs is the criminal act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, not alcohol.
Penalties for Felony DWI According to Leandra’s Law
You cannot have a minor 16 years old or younger in your motor vehicle while driving while intoxicated. If convicted, you face a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. In addition, you face felony time. Felony punishment is time in prison for a minimum of one year.
The punishment under Leandra’s Law are:
• About four years in prison in prison for a Class E felony if it is a first-time offense. This means you were accused of driving while either intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs. Your passenger was younger than 15 years old.
• Time increases to 15 years in prison if you are a first-time offender. This is a Class C felony. This felony crime means that you were accused of driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle. That minor sustained serious physical injury while you were operating the motor vehicle while intoxicated.
• Up to 25 years in prison for a first-time offender for a Class B felony. This means you were accused of driving while intoxicated or impaired and the passenger was under 16 years old. The minor died during the DWI.
Penalties According to the Upgraded DWI Felony
If you are arrested for a DWI or DWI-related conviction within a 10-year period, you can face a felony DWI charge. If you are convicted of felony DWI, you face a Class E felony. The punishment for a Class E felony is:
• About four years in state prison. A misdemeanor DWI requires only serving about one year in county jail.
• Fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
• License revocation for one year or more
• Probation for five years
• Installation of an ignition interlock device. The device prevents you from operating a motor vehicle unless the breathalyzer attached indicates you are not intoxicated.
• Attend an Victim Impact Panel
• Pay $520 surcharge and a three-year assessment to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The total of the assessment is about $750.
Contact a Criminal Attorney about Your Felony DWI
One key to fighting a felony DWI is to attack the elements prosecutors need to use to prove their case. This means challenging whether you were over the BAC limit. If you are accused of another DWI within a 10-year period, we must get the charge decreased or dropped. We must show the prosecutor there is no reason to charge you with felony DWI.
Let’s discuss you case during our initial consultation. Our consultation is free. During our consultation, we will discuss your version of events. We will then let you know the defenses available to you to fight the criminal charge.
While we work to get your felony DWI charge dismissed or dropped, we will prepare for trial. Our goal is to obtain a not guilty verdict so you can put the criminal charge behind you. Contact immediately for help. We are here for you.
May 17, 2018
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