6 Privileges You Could Lose Because of a DWI
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man or woman charged with DWI must be in a want of answers, ranging from “Holy moly! What happened last night?” to “Is life as I know it over?” Yes, that did escalate quickly.
As a DWI attorney, I have noticed that the questions most clients ask me, however, pertain to their driving privileges and their jobs, and not about the escalation. Well, the truth is that if you have been charged with a DWI you are likely going to lose some privileges, straight off the bat in certain states. There is no absolute answer from most of these questions. It ultimately depends on the extent of your offense, your driving history, prior arrests and DWI infractions and most importantly, your attorney.
1. Will I Lose a Professional License?
Folks who have professional licenses such as teachers, engineers, lawyers, or doctors should consult a DWI attorney as soon as possible upon arrest. The individual’s professional license is in jeopardy. With certain professions, the individual may be required to report the arrest to their licensing board. Not only could the individual lose their license, the arrest might even have adverse effects on their ability to continue working in that field, or even possess that license in the future. There might even be further repercussions and punitive measures taken by the organization that employs them.
2. Will I Lose My CDL License?
If you drive for a living, specifically a commercial vehicle, it is vital that you contact a seasoned DWI attorney as soon as possible upon arrest. The reason for this is that Section 1196 7G of the vehicle and traffic law states that a certificate of relief from disabilities will not allow an individual to continue to drive a commercial vehicle. In addition, a conditional license that is often granted by the Department of Motor Vehicles does not allow an individual to continue to drive their commercial vehicle.
Additionally, what most people do not realize it that if they acquire a DWI charge on vacation and off work, while driving a personal vehicle, it still affects their ability to drive a commercial vehicle. A conditional license will not be extended to further your employment, whether you are a truck driver or a cab driver. A seasoned ad dedicated attorney can help by doing certain things or addressing the hearing in certain ways that might result in an outcome favorable to you.
3. Will I Lose My Driver’s License?
Can you? Absolutely. Will you? Well, that depends on the attorney whose service you retain.
If you have been charged with DWI or DWAI, it is entirely possible that you are going to lose your license either permanently or for a short period of time, at the very least. When you are arraigned in court, there is something called a suspension pending prosecution. This means that if you have submitted to a chemical test, more commonly known as the breath test, and scored a 0.08 or higher, the judge shall suspend your license pending the outcome of the matter.
You may, pursuant to the Department of Motor Vehicles, obtain a conditional license under certain parameters. You are encouraged to talk to your attorney about these things down the road. But you need to start talking to a seasoned DWI attorney at the earliest. Because there are time restraints at the arraignment and short hearing periods afterwards.
4. Will I Lose My Job?
A lot of my clients often are plagued with worry about losing their jobs. I am routinely asked if somebody can lose their job as a result of a DWI. The answer to that is that it is entirely possible. Depending on where you work or what your employer’s policies are, you very well could lose your license. I have had clients in the past who have worked for pharmaceutical companies, or trucking companies, or taxi companies who absolutely require a clean license. Most companies within these industries require that their employees have a clean license so their liability rates and insurance rates do not go up. If you work for an employer who does not require a license, the odds are that you will probably keep your job.
I always encourage my clients to look at their employee handbook, or if they hire me, I contact the employer on their behalf, which is also tricky because most individuals do not want their employer to know. If you are held to a different standard such as that of a New York State schoolteacher, a police officer, or an attorney, certain ethical mandates require that you notify your employer.
5. Will I Lose My Pistol Permit?
It is more likely than not. I recently had a client who was arrested for DWI, and he informed me that he had a pistol permit and what he didn’t realize was the fact that just an arrest could trigger the immediate loss of that firearm privilege. Furthermore, an individual needs to realize that any conviction of 1192 offense, which is driving while impaired, which is the violation, or the misdemeanor offense driving while intoxicated, could trigger a hearing to be held to determine the length of the possible loss of your pistol permit.
6. Can I Leave the Country?
If you have been charged with a DWI, it is understandable if you want to flee the country.
Just kidding. I empathize, but it is not the smartest course of action.
A large number of people living in Buffalo often have business in Canada. Some even hold steady jobs in Canada. If you have been charged with a DWI, I cannot impress upon you strongly enough how important it is that you find an attorney. Then, advise them that you have business in Canada or a foreign country. Canada has been known to bar US citizens who have been convicted of a misdemeanor DWI, or in certain circumstances, driving while impaired, which is a violation. Sometimes, however, they do not make that distinction.
In addition, if you want to enter Canada, you are required to apply for a Minister’s Permit with the Canadian Consulate. That is an incredibly narrow niche, and quite a particular area of the law. I recommend that you research the matter thoroughly in order to get the right information.
DWI convictions may also affect you from entering or traveling to or from other countries. This depends on the specific rules of the country, which is something you need to research before you make travel plans.
Whether you have been arrested for a DWI or DWAI in Buffalo or WNY, it is extremely important to hire an attorney to fight for you. John M. Dudziak is an experienced DWI Attorney in Buffalo NY, and will defend your
freedom. Download Our Free DWI Guide