Joey Jackson Law PLLC

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Our Attorneys Defend First-Time Drunk Driving Arrest Charges In New York

If you are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York, and you have no prior convictions for DWI in the past 10 years in any state, you will be treated as a first-time offender.

Unfortunately, New York is tougher on first-time DWI offenders than many other states. In some states, you can escape a first DWI without a criminal record. In New York, a first DWI conviction is a misdemeanor crime that can be elevated to a felony crime in some circumstances. New York law also limits the district attorney’s options with regard to plea bargains.

At JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC., we know how important it is to keep a DWI off your criminal record and to retain your driving privileges. We have worked in the criminal courts of New York City for over 25 years, so we know how to counter the prosecution’s evidence and obtain the best possible result for you through negotiation or, when necessary, at trial. You can rely on our team to diligently research, prepare, and present your case professionally, persuasively and powerfully.

What To Expect After A First-Time DWI In New York

DWI most commonly involves alcohol. The specific charge will depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest:

  • BAC of .05 or less = No offense has been committed.
  • BAC over .05 but less than .08 = Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol) if there is additional evidence that your ability to drive was impaired, such as failing field sobriety tests or weaving.
  • BAC of .08 or higher = Driving while intoxicated (DWI).
  • BAC of .18 or higher = Aggravated DWI.

To convict you of DWI, the district attorney (also known as the prosecutor or prosecution) must present compelling evidence that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In response, your attorney will make every possible effort to show that the evidence against you is flawed and does not support the charge. For example, if your BAC was on the borderline between two of the above offenses, the charge might be reduced to a lesser offense. Your attorney may even be able to convince the district attorney that no DWI charge at all is warranted.

See our DWI Overview page for additional information.

Penalties For A First-Time DWI In New York

Here is what you can expect if you are convicted:

  • A first-time DWAI/Alcohol conviction is only a traffic infraction. The statutory penalty is a fine of $300 to $500, or up to 15 days in jail, or both. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for 90 days.
  • A first-time conviction on any other DWI charge (whether involving alcohol, drugs, or a combination) is a misdemeanor crime punishable by a fine of $500 to $1000, or up to one year in jail, or both, plus a six-month revocation of your driver’s license.
  • A first-time Aggravated DWI conviction is also a misdemeanor but is punishable by a fine of $1000 to $2500, or up to 1 year in jail, or both, plus driver’s license revocation for one year.

In both DWI and Aggravated DWI cases, you can also be sentenced to a period of probation during which time you must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

The penalties for repeat DWI violations are significantly harsher, which is yet another reason to hire a strong attorney and avoid a first conviction if at all possible.

See our DWI Penalties page for additional information.

Call Us For First DWI Defense

If you have been charged with a first-time DWI, you will want to do everything possible to avoid adding a DWI conviction to your criminal record. Contact the Manhattan law office of JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC., at 833-563-9522 to arrange a consultation with one of our top DWI defense attorneys.