Buffalo DWI Attorney
When you are pulled over for drunk driving, you might be thinking that your life is ruined. DWI penalties in New York carry a heavy charge, but hiring the right Buffalo DWI Attorney can make all the difference. Contact John Dudziak at our Buffalo office today for a free consultation.
If you have been charged with drinking and driving, first you need to understand the difference between a DWI and a DWAI. DWI stands for ‘Driving While Intoxicated,’ while DWAI means ‘Driving While Ability Impaired.
The difference is slight, but significant. DWI’s occur when you have been charged with driving with BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .08% or higher. DWAI’s are slightly lesser offenses, occurring if you have been charged with a BAC of .05% and .07%. Our skilled Buffalo DWI attorney can help defend you from the dwi penalties that come after.
Your First DWI Offense (New York)
For your first DWI offense, classified as a misdemeanor, fines can range between $500 and $1,000 with the possibility of up to a one-year Jail Sentence. Further, you will lose your Driver’s License for a minimum of 6-months. If you are under 21, you will lose your Driver’s License for even longer – at least a year, or until you turn 21 years old.
Your Second DWI Offense (New York)
If you have been charged with a DWI for the second time within 10 years, it will be classified as a Class E Felony, and fines will range between $1,000 and $5,000. You could possibly receive up to a 4-year Jail Sentence, and your Driver’s License will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year. If you are under 21 years of age, you will lose your Driver’s License for at least a year or until you turn 21 years old.
Your Third DWI Offense (New York)
Your third DWI offense within 10 years will be classified as a Class D Felony. Fines for the third DWI offense will range between $2,000 and $10,000, and you could spend up to 7 years in Jail. As with your second DWI offense, your Driver’s License will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year. Further, if you are under 21 years of age, you will lose your Driver’s License for at least 1 year or until you turn 21 years old.
Additional New York DWI Penalties
In addition to the above consequences, for DWI offenses you could also receive a period of probation of up to 3 years, face a driver responsibility assessment of $250 per year for up to 3 years, and/or receive a possible revocation of your registration for a minimum of 6 months. Finally, you might be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel and be forced to install in ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle you own for a minimum of 6 months.
Frequently Asked DWI Penalty Questions
Is a DWI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
- A DWI can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Usually, first time DWI penalties in New York are misdemeanors. However, if you have had a previous DWI, even if it was ten years ago, you could still face felony charges.
Will I go to jail for a DWI?
- If you’re charged and convicted with DWI, there are several factors that a sentencing judge will consider when determining your sentence. One of those things that a sentencing judge may do is to put an individual in jail. It depends entirely on your previous record. Your attorney could certainly conduct a sentencing memorandum with the sentencing judge, where they will sit down together, and put together a biography of who the client is, and why they should not go to jail. Your attorney might base this on the many good and positive things that you have done in an effort to lead a good, law abiding life, and demonstrate that this was an out-of-character experience. Then, hopefully, you will stay out of jail.
Can I lose my job over a DWI?
- It is very tricky. 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. They require that their employees have a clean license so their liability rates and insurance rates do not go up; however, on the flip side, if you work for an employer that does not require a license, the odds are that you would probably keep your job. However, that is determined on a case-by-case basis.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’re held to a different standard such as a New York State schoolteacher, a police offer, or an attorney, certain ethical mandates require that you notify your employer.
Will I lose my license?
- That depends. This is an extremely complicated area in DWI law. There are several factors that come into play, and these factors vary from individual to individual, from case to case. Only an attorney will be able to educate and instruct you.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
- An Ignition Interlock Device is a mechanical device installed on any vehicles you own and operate. This IID device requires you to blow into an intake tube, allowing the device to measure your Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”). If your blood does not contain any alcohol, the device will allow your vehicle to start. After the vehicle starts, you will also be subjected to a second “rolling” breath sample within 5 to 15 minutes. After that first initial rolling sample, the device will require additional rolling samples randomly imposed every 30 minutes or so (they will never be longer than 30 minutes apart).
We can help with DWI Penalties
If you have been charged with a DWI or any alcohol-related driving offenses in New York, our skilled Buffalo DWI Attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal system and protect your rights. Give us a call today to schedule your FREE consultation.
As a former Erie County Assistant District Attorney, former Town Attorney and Prosecutor for Lancaster, John M. Dudziak understands the law, and has the skills necessary to protect your rights. He is available 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week.