Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About DWI in New York

When you are arrested for drunk driving or a loved one is facing charges, you will have many questions. What will happen? What can I do? What do all these legal terms mean?

The best way to get the information you need is to talk with an attorney who has experience handling these cases in the city or town where the arrest happened. However, there are some questions that are frequently asked by individuals who are facing drunk driving charges.

If you need answers to your specific questions, call my office at 845-206-4501 locally or call me toll free at 888-324-0551. I can give you honest and clear advice about what you can expect in your case.

What is the Difference Between DWI and DUI?

DWI stands for "driving while intoxicated." It is the legal term used in New York for drunk driving offenses. Other jurisdictions call this offense "driving under the influence" or DUI. While the terms are often used interchangeably, the correct term to use in New York is DWI.

Is DWAI the Same as DWI?

No, these are two different offenses in New York. Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is a traffic infraction. DWI is a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. While DWAI is a lesser offense, it does have penalties that are similar to DWI.

What Happens When You Get a DWI in New York?

If you are arrested for a DWI, you have two choices. You can negotiate a plea agreement or you can take your case to trial. Additionally, if you are charged with DWI, your license may be suspended or revoked and an ignition interlock device may be placed on your car.

Will I Go to Jail?

Whether or not you will go to jail will depend on the circumstances in your case. For example, if you are convicted of a DWI for the first time, you may face up to one year in jail. If, however, it is your second DWI offense and your case is being charged as a felony by the prosecutor, you could face up to one year in county jail or up to four years in state prison.

Will a DWI Affect My Job?

It depends on your situation. If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), then your CDL will be revoked, even if you are arrested while driving a personal vehicle. If you are convicted of a DWI misdemeanor or felony, then you may have increased difficulty in finding future employment.

Is a DWI a Felony in New York?

Yes, based on several circumstances. One such circumstance is when you have been convicted and sentenced on a DWI misdemeanor in the past. If you arrested for a second DWI, within 10 years from the date of your original sentence, then you will be charged with a felony.

A second method of being charged with a felony is what is known as Leandra's Law. If you are arrested for a DWI with a passenger in the vehicle who is less than 16 years of age, then you will be charged with a felony. These are but two ways to get a felony charge in New York for DWI.

What is Implied Consent?

If you have a driver's license, and you are suspected of driving while intoxicated, then you have consented to participate in a breath test. This is known as implied consent, and it is the law in New York. For this reason, you may be charged with a separate refusal allegation if you refuse when asked to take a breath test by a police officer.

Will an Ignition Interlock Device Be Put On My Car?

If you are convicted of DWI, aggravated DWI or felony DWI, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device placed on any car that is titled, registered or operated by you during the time period set by the court.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a DWI Arrest?

An attorney with experience in this area can help you weigh your options, understand the penalties you face and take action after an arrest. I am attorney Glenn R. Bruno, Esq., and I have more than 20 years of experience defending clients in the Hudson Valley.

Call me for straightforward advice about the charges you face at 845-206-4501 locally, toll free 888-324-0551. If you prefer, you can e-mail me to schedule a consultation.