Being accused of driving under the influence can be a scary time in your life. The best way to combat this fear is to speak with a New York first-time DWI/DUI lawyer who can help explain the legal process to you. Once you understand what may happen next and what may be expected of you, it will make the situation less worrying.
You should also know that you are not alone, and a skilled DWI DUI attorney can advocate for you.
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Instead of the more common term of DWI DUI, New York uses the acronyms DWI and DWAI to differentiate driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol.
The phrase Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is for drivers influenced by any intoxication. A person accused of a DWI must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or display other signs of intoxication.
For drivers who have consumed alcohol, the phrase is Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI). For a DWAI, the BAC of the driver is above .05 but less than 0.7. There is another law for drivers with a BAC of .18 or higher referred to as Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI).
Lastly, for drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 to .07, the state has a zero-tolerance law. Someone facing a DUI offense must speak with a New York first-time DUI lawyer to understand which type of charge they may face accurately.
The penalties in New York vary greatly depending on whether it is a first, second, or third offense. If this is the first incident, an individual will face a much more reduced outcome. One should also know the difference between a revoked and suspended license.
A revoked license is complete removal of a license, requiring an individual to reapply for a new one. With a suspended license, a person can begin driving again once the period has passed.
For a first-time DWI, the fine can range from $500 to $1,000. While there may be a chance of a jail sentence, the maximum for a first-time offense is one year.
However, the driver must have their license revoked for at least six months for a first-time DWI.
For a DWAI specifically for alcohol, the acceptable ranges from $300 to $500. The maximum potential jail sentence is 15 days. Lastly, the driver will have their license suspended for 90 days. Under the zero-tolerance law, the driver has to pay a $125 civil fee and a $100 fee to terminate the suspension. There is no jail time, but the license will be suspended for six months.
For a DWAI specifically for drugs, the fine will also range from $500 to $1,000. Again, there is the possibility of a jail sentence, but the maximum is one year. Finally, for a first-time DWAI with drugs, the driver will have their license suspended for at least six months.
If the DWAI is based on a combination of alcohol and drugs, the fine and jail terms are the same, but the driver will have their license revoked for at least six months.
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If you are in a situation where you are being accused of driving under the influence, it is helpful to speak to a lawyer to understand what exactly you are being charged with. New York has several different laws depending on your BAC, differentiating between alcohol and drugs.
Since New York does not charge drivers with a DWI/DUI, a lawyer can explain if you are charged with a DWAI, DWI, or fall within the zero-tolerance law. A New York first-time DUI lawyer can also help you fight these charges to avoid the maximum punishment.
Schedule a no-cost, no-risk case consultation with the Leading New York-New Jersey DWI/DUI Law Firm, The Kugel Law Firm.
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