In New York, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge is treated as a serious offense. If you are convicted of DWI, you could face harsh penalties, including incarceration. It is critical that you take a DWI charge seriously. Failing to obtain experienced legal counsel to help you fight this charge is likely to result in an incredibly unfavorable outcome.
At DWI Tom, we have a long history of helping those arrested for DWI fight the charges they face. Our experienced team of first-offense DWI attorneys in Rochester will do everything we can to help you beat a DWI charge or at least minimize the consequences you face. Contact us today and schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.
First-Offense DWI Conviction Penalties in Rochester
The penalties for a DWI in New York are severe. While the penalties for first-time offenders are not as severe as those for repeat offenders, they can still be significant. New York treats a first-offense DWI as a misdemeanor, but incarceration is a possibility if convicted.
The legal consequences of a first-offense DWI in New York include:
- A mandatory fine of $500 to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year, but with no minimum sentencing requirement
- Revocation of your driver’s license for a minimum of six months
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle once your driving privileges are restored
To give yourself the best chance of avoiding these penalties, it is essential that you hire an experienced first-offense DWI lawyer serving Rochester.
Penalties for an Aggravated DWI Charge
Depending on the details of your case, you could be faced with an aggravated DWI charge after an arrest. An aggravated charge can result in significantly increased penalties.
For example, rather than a fine of $500 to $1,000, you will be looking at a fine of $1,000 to $2,500. Furthermore, the minimum driver’s license suspension term will increase from six months to one year.
An aggravated DWI will be charged under two different circumstances. You could face this charge if you were driving with a child aged 15 or younger at the time of your arrest or if chemical tests showed your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be above 0.18%.
Other Consequences Resulting from a First-Offense DWI Conviction
When charged with a DWI, there are a variety of other consequences that could arise from this charge beyond the legal ramifications mentioned in the previous section. Some of the other difficulties that can arise from a conviction include problems with:
- Increased insurance rates
Your auto insurance rates will increase significantly after a DWI conviction. The additional money you will pay for insurance coverage over the next few years after your conviction will likely far exceed the cost of the fine assessed by the court.
When applying for a new job, potential employers are likely going to run a background check. A DWI on your record will significantly decrease your chances of securing employment. While a DWI can make securing any position more difficult, in some situations, it will disqualify you entirely.
As with employment, having a DWI on your record can create challenges when attempting to pursue higher education. A DWI will potentially bar you from enrollment in certain educational institutions.
If you are already enrolled in a college or university at the time of your DWI conviction, you could face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
Negotiating a Plea Deal
After a DWI arrest, your Rochester first-offense DWI lawyer will work to beat the charges against you or even convince a judge to dismiss the charges entirely. Unfortunately, these outcomes are not always possible. Your attorney will attempt to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor if a conviction seems likely.
A plea agreement can mean that you will plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for dismissal of your DWI charge or pleading guilty to the original charge, but with an agreement that you will face the minimum penalties.
A common plea deal in first-offense DWI cases is to plead guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving. In this scenario, you would face a much smaller fine, no minimum license suspension term, no installation of an IID in your vehicle, and likely no jail time.
Refusing to Submit to Chemical Testing
In New York, you must submit to chemical testing in a suspected DWI case. Refusal to comply with a law enforcement officer’s request for you to take a breathalyzer or submit to another chemical test could result in additional fines, as well as the immediate suspension of your driver’s license.
Common Defenses Used in DWI Cases
When facing a DWI charge, there are a variety of defenses your Rochester first-offense DWI lawyer can use. Determining the best defense for your situation will depend on the specific details of your case.
One common argument is to call into question the validity of the chemical test results. Chemical testing is notoriously unreliable, with countless examples of situations where the results of these tests have been proven to be incorrect. Between equipment malfunctions and human error, there are a variety of ways in which a chemical test can return faulty results.
Another defense often used in these cases is to argue that your rights were violated. From failing to read you your Miranda Rights during an arrest to mishandling evidence and breaking the chain of custody, there are a variety of violations that could occur in your case. The results could range from the exclusion of certain evidence to your case being dismissed outright.
Get Help from an Experienced First-Offense DWI Lawyer Serving Rochester Today
When dealing with a DWI charge, it is critical that you secure the services of an experienced DWI attorney. Attempting to fight these charges on your own is unlikely to result in a favorable outcome.
At DWI Tom, we are prepared to fight for you. Contact us by giving us a call, using our chat tool, or completing our online contact form. We offer free initial consultations, so don’t hesitate to reach out today and speak with a member of our legal team.