New York DWI Lawyer
According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were 33,424 arrests for DWI in New York State in 2020. A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge is a serious matter in New York that carries severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Prosecutors and law enforcement personnel prioritize prosecuting those charged with DWI offenses and seek harsh punishments. If you are facing a DWI charge in New York, it's important to contact an experienced New York DWI lawyer who can help protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we understand the impact that a DWI conviction can have on your life, both personally and professionally. Our team has extensive experience in handling DWI cases in New York and will work tirelessly to defend your rights.Types of DWI Related Charges
In New York, there are several types of charges related to driving while intoxicated (DWI), each with varying degrees of severity and potential consequences. Here are the most common types of DWI-related charges in New York:
- DWI: This is the most common type of DWI charge in New York. It is usually levied against individuals who were found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or if they were driving while under the influence of drugs. NY Veh & Traf L § 1192.3
- Aggravated DWI: This charge is brought when the driver's BAC level is 0.18% or higher, which is more than twice the legal limit in New York. This is considered a more severe offense than a standard DWI charge, and can result in steeper fines and penalties. NY Veh & Traf L § 1192.2-a
- DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired): This is a less serious charge that is typically levied against drivers who are found to have a BAC between 0.05% and 0.07%, or who exhibit other signs of impairment while driving. NY Veh & Traf L § 1192
- DWAI-Drug: This charge is brought when a driver is found to be operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, including prescription drugs or illegal substances. NY Veh & Traf L § 1192.4
- Aggravated DWAI: This is a more serious charge that is brought when a driver's BAC level is between 0.18% and 0.26%, or if they are under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.
- Underage DWI: Underage DWI in New York refers to the act of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs by an individual who is under the legal drinking age of 21. In New York, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or higher.
It's important to note that the penalties for each of these charges can vary depending on a number of factors, including the driver's BAC level, whether they have prior convictions for DWI, and whether there were any aggravating factors present at the time of the arrest.
In addition to these charges, drivers in New York can also face other related charges, such as vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter, if they are found to have caused an accident while driving under the influence.
It's important to understand the potential consequences of each of these charges and to seek the advice of an experienced New York DWI lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.Evidence of DWI in New York
Evidence of DWI in New York plays a critical role in determining whether or not a person is guilty of driving while intoxicated. In New York, there are a variety of different types of evidence that can be used to establish DWI, including field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, blood tests, and observations made by police officers. Each type of evidence has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to understand the limitations and potential issues with each type of evidence in order to build a strong defense against DWI charges.
Field sobriety tests are a common type of evidence used to determine whether or not a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These tests are typically administered by police officers during a traffic stop or roadside sobriety checkpoint, and they are designed to measure a driver's balance, coordination, and ability to follow instructions. Common field sobriety tests include the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. While these tests can be useful in establishing probable cause for an arrest, they are not always reliable indicators of DWI, as they can be affected by a variety of factors, including weather conditions, medical conditions, and nervousness.
Breathalyzer tests are another common type of evidence used to establish DWI in New York. These tests measure the amount of alcohol in a person's breath, and they are often administered at the scene of a traffic stop or at a police station after a person has been arrested for DWI. While breathalyzer tests can provide strong evidence of DWI, they are not always accurate, and there are a variety of factors that can affect their results, including the temperature and humidity of the environment, the presence of other substances in a person's system, and the calibration of the testing equipment.
Blood tests are also commonly used to establish DWI in New York. These tests measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in a person's bloodstream, and they are often administered at a hospital or other medical facility after a person has been arrested for DWI. While blood tests can provide very accurate evidence of DWI, they are not always reliable, and there are a variety of issues that can arise during the testing process, including contamination of the sample, errors in handling and processing, and the presence of other substances that can affect the results.
Saliva tests are used to detect the presence of drugs in a person's system, and they can be administered by law enforcement officers during a traffic stop or at a police station. The saliva test involves taking a swab of the inside of the mouth and analyzing the sample for the presence of drugs. The test is quick and non-invasive, and it can detect the presence of drugs in the system within a few hours of use. The results of the test can be used as evidence in a DWI case.
It is important to note that saliva tests are not always reliable, and false positives can occur. In addition, the results of a saliva test may not accurately reflect a person's level of impairment at the time of driving. Therefore, the results of a saliva test should be carefully evaluated by the defense to determine whether they are admissible as evidence in court.
Observations made by police officers are another important type of evidence in DWI cases in New York. These observations can include things like the smell of alcohol on a person's breath, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and erratic driving behavior. While these observations can be helpful in establishing probable cause for an arrest, they are not always reliable indicators of DWI, as they can be affected by a variety of factors, including fatigue, allergies, and medical conditions.
In addition to these types of evidence, there are also other factors that can be used to establish DWI in New York, including witness testimony, video evidence, and accident reports. Each type of evidence has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to carefully review all of the evidence in a DWI case in order to build a strong defense against the charges.
If you have been arrested for DWI in New York, it is important to speak with an experienced counsel as soon as possible who can help you understand the evidence against you and develop a strong defense strategy that takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of each type of evidence. With the right legal representation, you may be able to challenge the evidence against you and avoid the serious consequences of a DWI conviction.Penalties for DWI Conviction in New York
Penalties for DWI convictions in New York are severe and can result in significant fines, jail time, and other consequences. The penalties vary depending on the circumstances of the offense, such as the driver's BAC level, whether there was property damage, and whether anyone was injured or killed.
For a first-time DWI offense in New York, the penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, and a driver's license suspension of at least six months. In addition to these penalties, a court may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the offender's vehicle. An IID is a device that prevents a car from starting unless the driver has a sober breath sample. The length of time the IID must be installed varies depending on the circumstances of the offense, but it can be up to three years.
For a second DWI offense within ten years, the penalties are more severe. The fine increases to up to $5,000, and the offender may face up to four years in jail. The driver's license suspension is also longer, usually for at least one year, and may be as long as 18 months. The court will also require the installation of an IID in the offender's vehicle for up to five years.
For a third DWI offense within ten years, the penalties are even more severe. The fine increases to up to $10,000, and the offender may face up to seven years in jail. The driver's license suspension is also longer, usually for at least one year, and may be as long as 18 months. The court will also require the installation of an IID in the offender's vehicle for up to five years.
In addition to these penalties, a DWI conviction can have other consequences, such as increased insurance rates, difficulty finding employment, and damage to a person's reputation. Therefore, it is important to have experienced legal representation to help you fight the charges and mitigate the consequences.
Furthermore, it's worth noting that even if you are not convicted of a DWI, you may still face administrative penalties, such as license suspension or revocation. In New York, when you are arrested for DWI, the police officer may confiscate your driver's license and issue a temporary license. You have only 15 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension of your license, so it's crucial to act quickly and hire an experienced DWI attorney in New York who can help you navigate the administrative process.DWI in New York and Leandra’s Law
DWI is a serious offense in New York that can have severe legal and personal consequences. In response to a tragic incident that occurred in 2009, the New York State Legislature passed Leandra's Law, also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act. This law significantly increased the penalties for driving under the influence with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle.
Under Leandra's Law, in addition to increased jail time and fines, the driver may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle, which prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The offender may also face license revocation or suspension.
Leandra's Law creates a new offense called "Aggravated DWI with a Child Passenger," which applies when a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.18% or higher while driving with a child passenger. This offense carries even harsher penalties, including up to four years in prison for a first offense and up to 15 years for a second offense.
Leandra's Law also requires that any driver convicted of a DWI offense in New York with a child passenger must have an IID installed in their vehicle for at least six months. The device must be calibrated to prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver's BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08%.
It's important for anyone facing a DWI charge in New York, especially under Leandra's Law, to seek the guidance of an experienced New York DWI lawyer who can help the defendant understand their legal options, including the possibility of plea bargaining or alternative sentencing, and can work to minimize the legal and personal consequences of a DWI conviction.Notable New York DWI Case
People v. Frase (N.Y. App. Div. 2002). In this case, the defendant was arrested for DWI after being involved in a car accident. At the hospital, the police officer requested a blood test without a warrant, and the defendant's blood was taken and tested for alcohol content. The defendant was charged with DWI based on the results of the blood test. The defendant's lawyer argued that the blood test was an illegal search and seizure, and the evidence should be suppressed. However, the trial court denied the motion to suppress, and the defendant was found guilty of DWI.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, reversed the trial court's decision and suppressed the evidence obtained from the warrantless blood test. The court held that the warrantless blood test violated the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court noted that there were no exigent circumstances that would have justified the warrantless blood test, and the police had sufficient time to obtain a warrant before the blood test was administered.
The Frase case is significant because it establishes that warrantless blood tests in DWI cases are generally illegal without a warrant or exigent circumstances. This ruling has been cited in numerous subsequent cases and has been an important precedent in protecting the Fourth Amendment rights of DWI defendants.
People v. Frase is an important case in New York DWI law, as it clarifies the legal requirements for obtaining blood tests in DWI cases. The case underscores the importance of protecting individual rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, and highlights the critical role that courts play in ensuring that law enforcement officials abide by constitutional requirements.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
DWI charges in New York are serious and can have long-lasting consequences for those who are convicted. Not only can a conviction lead to significant fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges, but it can also have personal and professional implications. A DWI conviction can result in damage to a person's reputation, employment prospects, and relationships. It is important to note that being charged with a DWI does not necessarily mean a conviction will follow. There are many defenses available to those who are facing DWI charges, and an experienced DWI attorney in New York can help navigate the legal process and work to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients. With the right legal representation, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome and move forward with your life. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.