New York Second-Offense DWI Lawyer

Drunk and drugged driving represent conduct that is undeniably hazardous not just to those who engage in it, but also to the public at large. As a result, legislators have promulgated a series of laws designed to deter and punish such incidents, enhancing the penalties for individuals who have prior convictions in the same realm.

If you are facing prosecution for driving while intoxicated or while ability impaired, and this is not the first time you have been similarly charged, a New York second-offense DWI lawyer is prepared to advocate on your behalf. Contact an experienced DWI attorney that can devote the time and resources necessary to defend your case. 

Important Facts About DWI/DWAI Convictions

The basic elements of drunk and/or drugged driving charges and convictions within this state are outlined by New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1192. A DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge will issue if a motorist's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, or if a law enforcement officer determines that they are impaired to a substantial extent while operating a vehicle.

It is possible to be charged with aggravated DWI if an operator's BAC is found to be .18 percent or greater or they have been stopped or impaired driving and there is a passenger under 15 years of age in the vehicle.

The offense of DWAI (driving while ability impaired) is a different, yet similar allegation, conviction on which requires a showing that the accused driver's ability to act as a reasonable and prudent motorist was impaired to any degree. It is possible for a DWAI charge to be lodged in relation to the consumption of alcohol, drugs or a combination thereof.

Penalties for Second-Time DWI/DWAI Offenders

It is certainly true that even a first-time impaired driving conviction can result in rather serious ramifications. However, those imposed on second-time offenders are almost certainly going to be markedly worse. Typical sentencing scenarios include:

  • up to four years in prison and/or $1,000-$5,000 in fines and at least a one-year license suspension for a felony second-time DWI or DWAI-drugs or DWAI drugs and alcohol within ten years of the first conviction
  • up to one year in jail and/or monetary fines of $500-$1,000 and a license suspension of at least one year for a misdemeanor second-time DWI or DWAI-drugs or DWAI drugs and alcohol within ten years of the first offense
  • up to 30 days in jail, fines of between $500 and $750 and a license suspension of at least six months
  • drivers found guilty of DWI who have a prior DWI conviction within five years may be sentenced to jail for five days or 30 days of mandatory community service

Those convicted of second-offense DUI and DWI are required to undergo alcohol assessments, and second-offense DWI offenders are subject to compulsory installation of ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.

Ongoing Harm Caused by Multiple DWI/DWAI Convictions

Perhaps one of the most difficult realizations for those convicted of a second DWI/DWAI offense is that even after their sentence has been served, the detrimental effects of their crime will likely linger for a long while. Those who have been found guilty of this conduct more than once will have built a criminal record which can result in:

  • Employment dismissal
  • Difficulty obtaining new employment
  • Undesirable changes to custodial agreements
  • Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
  • Harm to immigration/naturalization status
  • Overall damage to personal reputation and familial relationships

A skilled New York second-offense DWI lawyer can attempt to mitigate these difficulties.

Working With an Attorney

Though it may seem like the deck is stacked against you once charges are filed, it is critical to explore all possible avenues of legal defense. When it comes to fighting back in the face of the innumerable harms multiple drunk or drugged driving convictions can bring, there really is no substitute for a New York second-offense DWI lawyer.