A first-time driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction in New York, when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at least 0.08% but not above 0.18%, is typically a misdemeanor charge. Not a big deal, right? Wrong.
The state of New York takes DWI convictions seriously, and there are several related consequences – some of them financial – that make driving after a few drinks not worth the risk of harming someone or your future, especially when options such as Uber, public transportation, a designated driver or even a friend’s couch exist.
If you are charged with DWI, you should retain a lawyer, who will examine your case and represent you in court. Not every DWI arrest ends with a conviction, but if it does, there are several consequences. For example, a first-time DWI conviction might result in the following:
- A $500 – $1,000 fine and/or a maximum jail term of one year
- Loss of driver’s license for at least six months
- Miscellaneous fees and costs: towing fees, alternate transportation, court costs
- Higher insurance premiums
- Once permitted to drive again, installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for six months or more, which costs $75/month, plus installation costs
- Probation for six months up to two years
What Does DWI Probation Involve?
Let’s suppose that as a first-time DWI offender, the prosecutor recommends and the court accepts probation for you instead of jail time. A probation officer’s role is to both protect the public and ensure you follow the rules, or terms, of your probation. In Westchester County, N.Y., the county where Yonkers is located, the probation department oversees about 1,500 misdemeanor and felony DWI cases.
A probation officer is assigned to you. It is important to keep every appointment and fulfill each condition of your probation, which could include:
- Scheduled meetings with your parole officer
- Random drug testing
- Community service
- Attending a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) meeting. A VIP session, which is presented in collaboration with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, gives DWI victims an opportunity to tell their stories and how a drunk driver changed their lives.
- Attending New York’s Impaired Driving Program. This 16-hour class provides information aimed at preventing future DWI incidents. By participating in this program, you might be eligible for a conditional license or driving privileges.
Experience Matters When It Comes to DWI Cases
If you are arrested for DWI in Westchester County or New York City, it’s important to have an experienced legal team on your side, such as the Yonkers DWI lawyers at Sayegh & Sayegh. They have in-depth knowledge of the complexities of DWI arrests, including how police are permitted to conduct DWI stops and how breathalyzer machines work and are calibrated. They will represent you in court and, if needed, be available to you throughout probation if you are convicted. Call (914) 222-8161 or contact us online to discuss your case with a Sayegh & Sayegh attorney today.