All DWI charges are serious. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, even first-time offenders may have to pay an expensive fine and spend time behind bars. A conviction may also hurt your employment opportunities, and the courts will likely suspend your license. Fortunately, there may be a defense that works in your favor, which is why your first call should be to a DWI attorney.
If you are facing a charge for driving while intoxicated in New York, then it is important to know whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanors carry lighter sentences than felonies.
One of the most common reasons why a suspect would face a felony DWI charge is for repeat offenses; however, there are other circumstances that can lead to a felony charge. Examples include vehicular assault and driving with children.
If New York police have arrested you for driving while intoxicated, then Goldberg & Allen, LLP can structure your defense. A New York City DWI lawyer from our firm can investigate your arrest, gather evidence and aggressively fight for a positive outcome to your case. Call us today at 212-766-3366 to schedule a consultation.
Until then, here are four aggravating factors that could make a DWI offense a felony in New York City:
- Vehicular Assault
If an intoxicated driver causes an accident that seriously injures another person, then he or she may face vehicular assault charges. Drinking or taking drugs before driving is an act of willful negligence, and if your intoxicated driving kills another person, then the consequences can be particularly severe.
- Previous DWI Convictions
Every time a court finds you guilty of driving while intoxicated, the consequences are likely to be more severe. Repeat offenders often face felony DWI charges, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If you commit a second DWI violation within 10 years, then the charge will be a Class E felony. The fine will be $1,000 to $5,000, and the maximum jail sentence will be four years. You will also lose your license for at least one year.
If you commit a third DWI violation within 10 years, then the charge will be a Class D felony. The fine will be $2,000 to $10,000, and the maximum jail sentence will be seven years. You will also lose your license for at least one year.
- Particularly High BAC
If you are driving with a BAC of at least 0.08 percent and you are over 21 years old, then New York police can charge you with driving while intoxicated. However, if your BAC is at least 0.18 percent, then you will face aggravated DWI charges. If you commit this offense multiple time within 10 years, then you will face a felony charge.
- Transporting Children
If police catch you driving while intoxicated with children in the vehicle, then you will face a felony DWI charge.
All DWI charges are serious, but a felony conviction can have long-lasting consequences. Fortunately, there may be a defense that works in your favor. Call Goldberg & Allen, LLP at 212-766-3366 to speak with a DWI lawyer, or visit USattorneys.com to learn more about DWI laws in New York.