Your Trial Advocates - We Fight for You
Schedule Your Consultation
Car keys next to empty shot glass, with handcuffs in background

Do You Need an Attorney for a First Offense DWI?

Getting charged with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense for the first time can be an incredibly daunting and stressful experience. You may feel overwhelmed, unsure of what to expect, and worried about the potential consequences.

While it's true that being a first-time offender can sometimes result in a more lenient sentence, it's important to remember that a DWI is still a serious charge in New York. The penalties for a first DWI conviction can include a fine between $500 and $1,000, up to one year in jail, and a minimum six-month driver's license suspension. On top of these penalties, you may also be required to attend a Drinking Driver Program and to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. With so much at stake, it's often in your best interest to have an attorney who specializes in DWI cases by your side. They can help you navigate the complex legal process, protect your rights, and potentially negotiate a reduced sentence.

Understanding New York's DWI Laws

New York state considers you to be driving while intoxicated (DWI) if you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, if your BAC is between 0.05% and 0.07%, you can still be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol).

Both of these offenses carry serious consequences, and the severity of penalties can increase based on factors like your BAC level at the time of arrest, prior convictions, and other circumstances.

Here are the potential consequences for a first-time DWI conviction in New York:

  • DWI: First-time offenders may face a fine of $500 to $1,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both. Additionally, the DMV imposes a minimum six-month license suspension.
  • DWAI/Alcohol: First offenders may be fined from $300 to $500, sentenced to 15 days in jail, or both. The DMV imposes a six-month license suspension.

However, New York's DWI laws become more complex when considering other variables like underage drinking, commercial drivers, and repeat offenses. For example, the Zero Tolerance Law is a regulation that applies to drivers under the age of 21. According to this law, an underage driver who is caught with a BAC level of 0.02% to 0.07% will be charged with a violation. If convicted, the driver faces a six-month license suspension along with a $125 civil penalty and a $100 fee for suspension termination.

Mitigating First-Time DWI Consequences

An experienced DWI attorney can help first-time offenders mitigate the consequences of their charges. They have an in-depth understanding of the laws and procedures related to DWI cases, and they can evaluate your case from different angles to identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecution's evidence.

Potential defenses could include improper administration or inaccurate results of BAC tests, violations of your rights during the arrest, or lack of probable cause for the traffic stop. By challenging the validity of the evidence, an attorney could have your charges reduced or even dismissed.

A DWI attorney can also guide you through every step of the legal process, from the arraignment to the trial. They will represent you in court, negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf, and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. In some cases, they might be able to negotiate a plea deal that reduces a DWI charge to a less severe charge, like a DWAI, which carries fewer penalties. If you are convicted, they can advocate for lenient sentencing, such as probation or community service, instead of jail time, depending on the circumstances of your case.

If you're facing a first-time DWI charge, trust your case with the seasoned attorneys at Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC. Our team has years of experience in successfully handling DWI cases and protecting our clients' rights. We employ strategic legal defenses tailored to your specific case to get the best possible outcome for you.

Don't let a DWI charge define your future - turn to Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC for a robust legal defense. Contact us online or call us at (516) 218-5131 to schedule a confidential consultation.