A DWI conviction can impact your life in many ways and for a long time, even after you’ve paid off all the fines and fees, served any jail time sentenced, completed any mandated alcohol education classes, and fulfilled the requirements of any additional legal penalties you received.
How long a DWI conviction remains on your record depends on the type of record. In fact, a few different personal and legal records may contain information about your DWI and affect you in other aspects of your life.
Types of records that reveal your DWI
Consider the following types of records where your DWI conviction may appear, and for how long it will remain on each:
- Your New York driving record – Your official driving record will contain your DWI conviction for 15 years. This is also the period of time in which second or subsequent DWIs can significantly impact the penalties you receive. Additionally, aggravating circumstances such as causing an accident while driving drunk can extend the time the conviction appears on your record.
- Your insurance-related driving record – Your official driving record also informs your auto insurance rates, although your insurance rates typically will not be affected for the entire fifteen years. Instead, depending on the severity of your DWI conviction and your driving history, your auto insurance company may decide to increase your premiums for 3, 5, or 7 years.
- Your criminal record – Having a DWI conviction on your criminal record could affect your ability to find employment or obtain a house or apartment lease, and could impact your life in other ways. Unfortunately this type of conviction remains on your criminal record forever, and there is no way for it to be sealed or expunged unless your case was dismissed or you were acquitted. However, with help from a skilled lawyer, you may be able to obtain a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct that would prevent you from being denied employment on the sole basis of your past DWI conviction.
In truth, the very best way to prevent the lasting effects of a conviction for driving while intoxicated is by fighting the charges in the first place with support from a qualified DWI defense attorney. A lawyer can advise on your options for negotiating a plea deal for a lesser crime or may even be able to have the charges dismissed entirely.
Consult a reliable criminal defense attorney for help keeping a DWI off your record
Just because you’ve been charged with DWI does not automatically mean you’ll be convicted. You have the right to defend yourself, and you should do everything you can to avoid the lasting effects a DWI conviction could have on your life. To learn more about how Sayegh and Sayegh Law can help you, call (914) 222-8161 or contact us online today.