Getting charged for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have life-altering consequences. Many social events, from sports games to office parties, serve alcohol. It’s possible to get behind the wheel of a car feeling confident in your ability to safely drive only to be pulled over or caught up in a roadblock. Occasionally, people have false positives on breathalyzer tests as a result of medical conditions. Other times, there could have been an issue with the way law enforcement administered the test. Whatever your personal situation, if you’re facing DWI charges, you need to talk with an attorney.
If you simply plead guilty to avoid court and other issues, the DWI charge could cause a lot of issues. Even speaking with law enforcement in hopes of clearing up a misunderstanding could hurt your case. As soon as you’ve been arrested or charged with a DWI offense, you need to speak with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney. The consequences for a DWI offense are high. You shouldn’t risk losing your license, your freedom, even your job.
DWI penalties are serious, even for first-time offenders
You may imagine that if this is your first offense, the courts will be lenient. Many times, they are anything but. Penalties for drunk driving have less to do with the immediate impact of your one mistake and more to do with deterring you and others from driving under the influence in the future. The courts may try to prevent a future infraction by ordering the maximum sentence in your case. If you plead guilty or are convicted, your first DWI charge could result in a $500 – $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail and the loss of your license for at least six months.
The standard cutoff for blood alcohol content for a DWI is anything that is 0.08 percent or higher. If your BAC is 0.18 percent or higher, you could face aggravated DWI charges, which carry more severe penalties. Although the maximum jail sentence is still one year, the fine increases to between $1,000 and $2,500. You’ll also lose your license for at least a year. Subsequent offenses carry increasingly high fines, jail times and periods without your license. Losing your license or going to jail could mean losing your job and financial security.
Your attorney can help you create a thorough defense
If you believe medical conditions contributed to your DWI offense, an attorney can help you create a medical defense. Your attorney can help you explore all the legal options available. For first time offenders, the state may be willing to reduce or eliminate the charges if you commit to substance abuse therapy. The best way to determine what options are available to you is to speak with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001