New York DWI

Each year close to 100,000 people are arrested in New York State for intoxicated driving. Under New York law if you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). A DWI charge is generally associated with alcohol intoxication where your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or greater while a DWAI is generally associated with being intoxicated by drugs. In common vernacular, DWI is regularly used to describe any type of intoxicated driving. If you are arrested for suspicion of DWI/DWAI you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. The charge will be based on the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system and whether or not you have prior convictions for intoxicated driving. The consequences of being convicted can include a fine, license suspension, and incarceration. In addition, an intoxicated driving conviction will remain on your criminal record permanently as in New York DWI and DWAI convictions cannot be later expunged. If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should immediately contact an experienced New York DWI lawyer who will review the facts of your case and work closely with you to develop a strategy to fight these charges. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes and other serious crimes such as assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

DWI and DWAI offenses

If a police officer has reason to believe that you might be intoxicated based on erratic driving he or she can pull you over and conduct a breathalyzer test or some other field sobriety test. If you fail you will be charged with an intoxicated driving offense. Driving while ability impaired by drugs means that you are intoxicated by an illegal drug such as a controlled substance, or even by a legal prescription drug. Field sobriety tests other than breathalyzers are also to used to establish probable cause for arrest. Blood or urine tests can later be used to detect the presence of drugs.

  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated. You will face this charge if you have a BAC of 0.18 or more. You will also face this charge if you drive while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. The penalty includes up to one year in jail, a mandatory fine of $1,000-$2,000, and a mandatory license suspension for at least one year. For a second offense within 10 years the penalty includes up to 4 years in prison, a mandatory fine of $1,000-$5,000, and a mandatory license suspension for at least 18 months. For a third offense within 10 years, the penalty includes up to 7 years in prison, a mandatory fine of $2,000-$10,000, and a mandatory license suspension for at least 18 months. V.T.L. § 1192.2-a
  • Driving while intoxicated . You will face this charge if you have a BAC of more than 0.08. The penalty includes up to 1 year in jail and a license suspension of at least 1 year. V.T.L. § 1192.2.
  • Driving while ability impaired by drugs. You will face this charge if you are intoxicated by drugs. The penalty includes up to 1 year in jail and a license suspension of at least 6 months. V.T.L. § 1192.4
  • Driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. The penalty includes up to one year in jail, a mandatory fine of $500-$1,000, and a mandatory license suspension for at least 6 months. V.T.L. § 1192.4-a. For a second offense in 10 years the penalty includes up to 4 years in prison, a mandatory fine of $1,000-$5,000, and a mandatory license suspension for at least 12-18 months. For a third offense in 10 years the penalty includes up to 7 years in prison, a mandatory fine of $2,000-$10,000, and a mandatory license suspension for at least 12-18 months.

A DWI or DWAI charge can be raised in severity if as a result of driving while intoxicated you cause an accident that causes the death of serious injury of another person, or if you cause significant property damage. Furthermore, there may be consequences to refusing a field sobriety test or chemical test.

Possession of a controlled substance offenses

If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated by drugs, you may also face a drug possession charge if the police officer find drugs in your vehicle or on your person. The specific charge that you face depends on several factors include the type of drug, the amount of drug, and whether or not you were previously convicted for a drug possession offense. The possible charges include:

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree . It is a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you face up to a year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree . It is a class D felony with a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.06
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree . It is a class C felony with a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree . It is a class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree . It is a class A-II felony with a possible penalty of up to life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is the most serious criminal possession charge . It is a class A-I felony with a possible penalty of up to life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Even if you have been arrested for suspicion of DWI or DWAI you could end up not only having your driver's license revoked, but you could also be required to pay a steep fine and end up in jail. However, there are a number of ways to challenge a DWI or DWAI arrest that only an experienced attorney will understand. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of DWI, DWAI, drug possession, as well as other drug crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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