Criminal defense attorney Peter Cordovano helps people who have been arrested for DWI or DWAI in the Hudson Valley. A drunk driving arrest or citation is serious business with possibly severe repercussions in many areas of your life. Whether this is your first DWI arrest, or if you have been convicted of drunk driving in the past, the law office of Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. will work to get you the best result possible in your given circumstances.
New York Drunk Driving Laws
If you are pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving and measure .08% or more on a chemical test of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated, or DWI, which is a misdemeanor in the state of New York. Having .08% or higher BAC is DWI per se, but you can also be charged with common law DWI on other grounds, such as when your arrest is based on a refusal to submit to a chemical test or is based on the results of field sobriety tests and observations of the arresting officer.
Penalties for DWI can include a fine from $500 to $1,000 and up to a year in jail, along with a minimum six-month suspension of your driver’s license. And that’s just for a first offense! If you have previously been convicted of DWI, a second offense can land you in jail for up to four years while also being saddled with fines from $1,000 to $5,000. You would also face a minimum one year driver’s license suspension.
If your BAC is between .05% and .08%, you can be cited for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), which is a traffic infraction as opposed to a crime, but still with serious consequences. A first DWAI can be punished with a $300 to $500 fine, up to 15 days in jail, and a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license.
These consequences are serious enough, but you should also know that for subsequent offenses, a traffic infraction DWAI can be a misdemeanor, and a misdemeanor DWI can be a felony. The “lookback” or “washout” period for drunk driving offenses in New York State is ten years, so your third DWAI in ten years is charged as a misdemeanor, and just your second DWI in ten years is a felony. It is important to fight even a first offense and try to get the best outcome possible, to protect yourself now and into the future.
Help is Available for New York DWI/DWAI Arrests and Citations
It is up to the police to be able to prove that you are guilty of the offense you have been charged with, and you have the right to have an attorney represent you and defend you. In drunk driving cases, the police must have had legal cause to stop and search or test you in the first place, and these grounds can sometimes be challenged. Also, the evidence being used against you can often be challenged as well, whether challenging the quality and accuracy of the equipment used, the observations and interpretations made by the arresting officer, or the effect that over-the-counter or prescription medications may have had on the test results. Other defenses may be available as well.
Attorney Peter Cordovano is an experienced and effective negotiator and litigator who can evaluate your case and advise you on your options. Whether negotiating a plea bargain or defending you in court, Mr. Cordovano provides valuable advice and strong representation to get you the best result that meets your particular needs. If you have been arrested for DWI or cited for DWAI in Ulster, Orange or Dutchess County, contact Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. in Highland for help.