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Frequently Asked Questions About DWI in New York

Rockland County DWI Defense Lawyer

Manhattan DWI Defense Attorney

In the state of New York, a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is always serious. The penalties associated with a conviction can be severe, and the consequences to your life can be far-reaching. If you have been charged with any type of drunk-driving related offense, you need a qualified defense attorney who will stand up and fight for you. You need The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC.

Q. What Is DWI in New York State?

A. According to New York State law, the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. The number of drinks required for you to exceed the legal BAC limit depends on a number of factors, including your weight, body composition, and how much you have had to eat.

Q. Is DUI the Same as DWI?

A. The offense that is called driving under the influence (DUI) in other states is known as driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Q. What Is Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol?

A. If you are driving a vehicle and your BAC is greater than 0.05 but less than 0.08, you could be prosecuted for driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol). DWAI/Alcohol is a traffic violation for a first offense, but the penalties increase dramatically for a second or subsequent offense.

Q. What Happens If I Refuse a BAC Test?

A. By driving on the public roads of New York State, you give your implied consent to submit to BAC testing if you are arrested on suspicion of DWI. If you refuse such a test, your license is subject to an immediate suspension, and prosecutors can use your refusal as evidence that you knew you were guilty. You can still be charged with DWI even if you refuse BAC testing. The arresting officer can use other observations, such as your eyes, clothes, slurred speech, or the results of field sobriety tests to justify the arrest.

Q. Does the Officer Need a Reason to Pull Me Over?

A. In order to initiate a traffic stop, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that a criminal offense or traffic infraction has taken place. If the officer initiates a stop without reasonable suspicion, the stop may be deemed unlawful, and any resulting charges against you could be dropped.

Q. What Are the Penalties for DWI in New York?

A. A first-offense DWI charge in New York State is usually a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and six (6) month revocation of your driver's license. If you have a prior DWI conviction, your current charges can be "bumped up" to felony charges, with a corresponding increase in the possible penalties.

Q. What Is Aggravated DWI?

A. If you are accused of operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.18 or higher, you could be charged with aggravated DWI. Such charges are also possible for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher with a passenger under age 16 in the vehicle. Aggravated DWI is usually a misdemeanor for a first offense, and penalties include up to one (1) year in jail, fines of up to $2,500, and a one (1) year license suspension.

Q. What Happens If I Am Caught Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License?

A. If your driver's license is suspended or revoked as a consequence of a DWI conviction or refusing a BAC test, you are not permitted to drive unless you have obtained a conditional license. A conditional license allows you to drive to and from work, school, and other approved places at certain approved hours. Driving outside of these hours or without a conditional license could lead to serious consequences.

Q. How Can I Beat a DWI Charge in New York City?

A. The first step in beating a drunk driving charge is enlisting the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney at The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC. We know what is at stake when you are facing DWI charges, and we are equipped to provide the skilled guidance you need. Contact our office by calling 646-580-6675 and schedule a confidential consultation today. We serve clients in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Mt. Vernon, White Plains Mineola, New City, New York County, Bronx County, Kings County, Queens County, Westchester County, Nassau County, Rockland County, and the surrounding areas.

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