DWI / DUI Lawyer

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Driving under the influence (DUI) remains a grave concern for law enforcement and the general public in New York and nationwide. With stringent laws and severe penalties, a DUI charge can significantly impact your personal and professional life. If you find yourself facing DUI charges in New York, securing the services of an experienced New York DWI / DUI lawyer is crucial.

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Importance of Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer

DUI Lawyer

The decision to hire an experienced DUI (Driving Under the Influence) lawyer after facing DUI charges can significantly influence the outcome of your case. Below are the primary reasons why securing a seasoned DUI attorney is essential:

Understanding of New York DUI Laws

The state of New York has complex DUI laws, and it’s not just about the alcohol level in your bloodstream. Various factors are considered, including the driver’s age, the type of vehicle, the presence of minors, and more. An experienced New York DUI lawyer understands these nuances and will be able to strategize based on your specific circumstances.

Experience with Courtroom Procedures

Legal proceedings can be daunting. Without proper knowledge of courtroom procedures, protocols, and jargon, representing yourself might lead to unfavorable outcomes. On the other hand, a seasoned DUI lawyer is familiar with the courtroom environment and can guide you throughout the process, ensuring that all procedures are correctly followed.

Protection of Your Rights

While law enforcement and the justice system aim to be fair, mistakes can happen. You may be unaware of some of your rights, which may be overlooked. A dedicated DUI lawyer ensures that your rights, such as the right to a fair trial and proper representation, are upheld throughout the process.

Negotiating Skills

If you’re considering pleading guilty or the evidence against you seems overwhelming, it’s easy to assume there’s no way out. However, experienced New York DUI lawyers often have the skills to negotiate on your behalf, potentially leading to reduced charges or penalties. These negotiations can be pivotal, turning a potential felony charge into a misdemeanor or even dropping some charges entirely.

Emotional Support

Beyond the legal support, facing DUI charges can be emotionally taxing. You might feel isolated, ashamed, or stressed. Having a DUI lawyer by your side means having someone who understands the emotional turmoil associated with these charges. They can provide the reassurance and clarity you need during this challenging time.


With their extensive experience, New York DUI lawyers can quickly analyze your situation, gather necessary evidence, and build a strong defense. Their familiarity with the system ensures no wasted time, increasing your chances of a positive outcome.

Knowledge of Local Practices and Personnel

Each jurisdiction can have its own set of unwritten practices, and knowing these can be advantageous. A local DUI lawyer will be familiar with the judges, prosecutors, and court personnel in your area, and this familiarity can sometimes make a difference in how your case is approached and resolved.

Penalties for Being Found Guilty of DUI in New York State

New York State takes driving under the influence (DUI) offenses seriously, and the penalties for being convicted can be severe. The specific consequences depend on a variety of factors, including the nature of the offense, the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver, and whether it’s a first-time or repeat offense.

Here’s an overview of potential penalties for DUI offenses in New York State as of 2021.

Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol):

  • First Offense: Fine of $300 to $500, up to 15 days of jail time, and a 90-day license suspension.
  • Second Offense (within 5 years): Fine of $500 to $750, up to 30 days in jail, and a 6-month license revocation.
  • Third Offense (within 10 years): Fine of $750 to $1,500, up to 180 days in jail, and a 6-month license revocation.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving with BAC of 0.08% or higher or 0.04% for a commercial vehicle:

  • First Offense: Fine of $500 to $1,000, up to 1 year in jail, and a minimum 6-month license revocation.
  • Second Offense (within 10 years): Fine of $1,000 to $5,000, up to 4 years in jail (if charged as a Class E felony), and license revocation for at least 1 year (18 months for commercial drivers).
  • Third Drunk Driving Charge (within 10 years): Fine of $2,000 to $10,000, up to 7 years in jail (if charged as a Class D felony), and license revocation for at least 1 year (18 months for commercial drivers).

Driving with a BAC of 0.18% or higher (Aggravated DWI):

  • First Offense: Fine of $1,000 to $2,500, up to 1 year in jail, and a minimum 1-year license revocation.
  • Second Offense (within 10 years): Fine of $1,000 to $5,000, up to 4 years in jail (if charged as a Class E felony), and a minimum 18-month license revocation.
  • Third Offense (within 10 years): Fine of $2,000 to $10,000, up to 7 years in jail (if charged as a Class D felony), and a minimum 18-month license revocation.

Zero Tolerance Law (Drivers under 21 with a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%):

Fine up to $125 and a 6-month license suspension. Subsequent offenses can lead to longer suspensions or revocations.

Chemical Test Refusal:

A civil penalty of $500 ($550 for commercial drivers) and license revocation for at least 1 year (18 months for commercial drivers). For drivers under 21, it’s a 1-year revocation for the first refusal and a minimum of 18 months (or until age 21) for subsequent refusals.

Chemical Test Refusal within a “No Tolerance” Policy:

  • $300 civil penalty and 1-year license revocation.
  • Additional penalties may include:
  • Mandatory installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device.
  • Participation in the New York State Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and associated costs.
  • Increased insurance rates.
  • Permanent criminal record, which can affect employment opportunities and more.

It’s essential to consult with legal counsel when facing DUI charges in New York, as the specifics of each case can influence the exact penalties faced.

Common DUI Charges

Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a severe offense in many jurisdictions. Being charged with a DUI/DWI not only brings the primary charge of intoxication while operating a motor vehicle, but it can also come with additional tickets or citations based on the specifics of the incident. Here are some common tickets or charges that may accompany a DUI:


This is the primary ticket given to someone found to be operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above the legal limit, which is commonly 0.08% in many jurisdictions.

Open Container Violation

If the police find open alcohol containers in the vehicle, drivers and sometimes passengers can be ticketed.

Reckless Driving

If someone’s driving is particularly erratic or dangerous due to their intoxication, they might be charged with reckless driving in addition to DUI.


Intoxicated drivers sometimes drive too fast or too slow, leading to a speeding ticket or a ticket for driving suspiciously below the speed limit.

Minor in Possession or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

If an underage passenger in the vehicle has access to alcohol, there might be additional charges related to minors.

Child Endangerment

In many jurisdictions, a person driving under the influence with a child in the car could face child endangerment charges.

Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer

In places with implied consent laws, refusing to take a breathalyzer or blood test can result in a separate charge or an automatic suspension of one’s driving license.

Driving on a Suspended License

If someone is caught driving under the influence and already had their license suspended or revoked for a previous offense, they could receive an additional charge.

Possession Charges

If a vehicle search uncovers illegal drugs or unregistered firearms, this could lead to possession charges in addition to the DUI.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

If an intoxicated driver gets into an accident and then goes without reporting it, they could be charged with a hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.

Resisting Arrest

If the driver resists arrest when apprehended for DUI, additional charges can be levied against them.

Failure to Obey Traffic Signs/Signals

Running stop signs, red lights, or other traffic signals while intoxicated can result in separate citations.

Illegal U-turn or Wrong-Way Driving

Intoxicated drivers sometimes make egregious driving errors like driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street or making illegal U-turns.

It’s important to note that while DUI might be the primary reason for a traffic stop, any other infractions the arresting officer notices can compound the driver’s legal challenges. This makes the services of an experienced DUI attorney even more crucial for those charged.

When Do You Need a Lawyer When Facing a DWI Charge in New York?

Facing a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge in New York is a serious legal matter with potentially significant consequences. It’s essential to understand when you should seek legal representation in such situations:

Immediately After Arrest

It’s generally recommended to seek a lawyer as soon as possible after arrest. Early legal intervention can protect your rights, preserve crucial evidence, and provide guidance during questioning.

If You’re Unsure About Your Rights

If you’re not clear about your rights, such as the right to remain silent or the right to refuse certain tests, you should consult with an attorney to ensure you’re adequately informed.

When You Have Prior Convictions

If you’ve been previously convicted of DWI or related charges in New York or any other state, the stakes are much higher for subsequent offenses. An experienced DWI attorney can navigate the complexities associated with prior convictions.

If There Was an Accident or Injury

If your DWI incident resulted in an accident, especially if there were injuries or fatalities, the charges and potential penalties become significantly more severe. Legal representation is crucial.

If You Believe Your Rights Were Violated

If you feel that the arresting officers violated your rights at any point during the arrest, you need an attorney to review the circumstances and challenge any potential misconduct.

Challenging the Evidence

An attorney can help review and potentially challenge the evidence against you. This might include the validity of the breathalyzer results, the procedure used during chemical tests, or the reason you were initially pulled over.

To Negotiate a Plea

An experienced DWI attorney can help negotiate a plea deal, which might result in reduced charges or penalties. When entering into such negotiations, it’s essential to have someone knowledgeable about the intricacies of New York’s DWI laws.

During the DMV Hearing

After a DWI arrest, you’ll also have to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) concerning the potential suspension of your license. Representation during this administrative hearing can help protect your driving privileges.

When Considering Trial

If you’re considering challenging your DWI charge in a trial, you’ll need an attorney to represent you in court.

To Understand Potential Penalties

New York DWI laws can be complex, and penalties can vary based on the specifics of the charge, such as BAC levels, whether minors were present in the vehicle, or if it’s a repeat offense. An attorney can provide clarity on potential outcomes and penalties.

When Seeking Expungement or Sealing of Records

If you want to explore options for sealing your record or getting an expungement in the future, consult with a lawyer about the necessary steps and eligibility criteria.

Contact New York Ticket Defenders Today

Facing a DUI charge in New York is serious, but remember that you’re presumed innocent until proven guilty. Having someone with the experience and dedication to defend your rights and provide the best possible representation is crucial. If you are in such a situation, seeking a New York DUI lawyer should be your first step. Contact us today.

New York DUI Lawyer FAQs

Navigating the complexities of DUI laws in New York can be daunting. Having a skilled DUI lawyer is critical in understanding the process and your rights. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding New York DUI lawyers.

1. Why do I need a DUI lawyer if I’ve been charged in New York?

Answer: New York has strict DUI laws with significant penalties. A DUI lawyer is familiar with the nuances of these laws, courtroom procedures, and can strategize based on your specific situation. They can guide you through the process, potentially negotiate reduced charges or penalties, and ensure your rights are upheld.

2. How much does a DUI lawyer cost in New York?

Answer: The cost can vary widely depending on factors like the complexity of the case, the lawyer’s experience, and the area of New York. Some lawyers charge a flat fee, while others may bill by the hour. It’s essential to discuss and agree on fees upfront before hiring an attorney.

3. Can a lawyer guarantee that my DUI charges will be dropped?

Answer: No lawyer can or should guarantee a specific outcome. However, an experienced DUI lawyer can assess your situation, provide advice on your best legal options, and work diligently towards the most favorable outcome.

4. What happens if I refuse a breathalyzer test in New York?

Answer: New York operates under “implied consent” laws. Refusing to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test can result in an immediate license suspension, fines, and may be used against you in court.

5. How long will a DUI stay on my record in New York?

Answer: A DUI conviction in New York will result in a permanent criminal record. However, the impact on your driving record and insurance rates may vary over time. It’s essential to consult with an attorney about potential long-term consequences and any opportunities for record sealing or expungement.

6. Will I lose my license after a DUI arrest?

Answer: It’s possible. If convicted of a DUI, you may face a license suspension or revocation, depending on the specific charges and whether you have prior offenses. There are also potential suspensions for refusing chemical tests.

7. Can I challenge the evidence against me?

Answer: Absolutely. An experienced DUI lawyer can review the evidence, such as breathalyzer results, field sobriety test procedures, and the reason for the initial traffic stop. If there are any inconsistencies or violations of your rights, this evidence may be challenged in court.

8. What is the difference between DUI, DWI, and DWAI in New York?

Answer: In New York, DUI is a general term for driving under the influence. DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) usually refers to driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) is a lesser offense and might be charged for those with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.07%.

9. Can a DUI affect my employment?

Answer: Potentially, yes. A DUI conviction results in a permanent criminal record, which employers may see during background checks. Some professions, especially those requiring driving, may have strict rules regarding DUI convictions.

10. What should I do immediately after a DUI arrest in New York?

Answer: Stay calm, be respectful to law enforcement, understand your rights (such as the right to remain silent), and consult with a DUI attorney as soon as possible.

If you have any more questions or need further information, it’s essential to reach out to a skilled New York DUI attorney.