Defending Felony DWI Charges in New York State: Strategies and Considerations
A felony DWI in New York State is a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense that is charged as a felony because the defendant has one or more prior DWI convictions within the past 10 years. The penalties for a felony DWI conviction can include up to 4 years in prison, a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, and a driver’s license revocation for at least one year. Other possible penalties include probation, community service, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
A second DWI conviction within 10 years is a Class E felony, while a third or subsequent DWI conviction within 10 years is a Class D felony. The penalties for a Class D felony are more severe, and can include up to 7 years in prison, a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, and a driver’s license revocation for at least 18 months.
There are a number of factors that can affect the penalties for a felony DWI conviction, such as the defendant’s prior criminal record, the circumstances of the offense, and the victim’s injuries, if any. If you have been charged with a felony DWI in New York State, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and your options.
You can be charged with a felony DWI if you:
- Are convicted of a DWI within 10 years of a prior DWI conviction or convictions for an alcohol-related offense (other than DWAI)
- Are convicted of a DWI while transporting a child under the age of 16
- Cause an injury or death while driving while intoxicated
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about felony DWI in New York State:
- A felony DWI conviction can have a significant impact on your life, including your employment, housing, and ability to travel.
- You may be required to attend a DWI treatment program.
- You may be required to pay restitution to the victim of your crime.
- You may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
Penalties for Felony DWI Charge in New York State
In New York State, a felony DWI charge is a Class E felony and is punishable by:
- Up to 4 years in state prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Revocation of driver’s license for at least 1 year
- 5 years of probation
- Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in each automobile you own
If you are convicted of a felony DWI, you will also be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment of $750 ($250 per year for 3 years).
It is important to note that these are just the potential penalties for a felony DWI conviction. The actual penalties you face will depend on the specific facts of your case. If you have been charged with a felony DWI, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and your options.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the penalties for felony DWI in New York State:
- The penalties for a felony DWI conviction can be even more severe if you have a prior criminal record.
- You may also be required to complete community service or attend substance abuse treatment programs.
- A felony DWI conviction can have a significant impact on your life, including your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or obtain a loan.
If you have been charged with a felony DWI, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you and develop a defense strategy.
Building a Robust Defense Strategy
Evaluating the Traffic Stop: The foundation of any Felony DWI defense begins with a thorough examination of the traffic stop. Was there probable cause to initiate the stop? Were the proper procedures followed by law enforcement? Any violations of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights can significantly impact the case’s validity.
Challenging Sobriety Tests: Felony DWI cases often involve field sobriety tests, which can be subjective and prone to human error. Our experienced attorneys meticulously scrutinize the administration of these tests to identify any inconsistencies or improper procedures that could undermine their reliability.
Questioning Chemical Tests: Chemical tests, such as breathalyzers, urine or blood tests, are crucial pieces of evidence in Felony DWI cases. However, these tests are not infallible. Our legal team will investigate whether the testing equipment was properly calibrated, maintained, and operated by certified personnel. If there are discrepancies, the validity of the test results can be called into question.
Medical Conditions and Prescription Medications: Some medical conditions and prescription medications can lead to impaired driving without the presence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Our defense strategy explores the possibility of a medical condition or medication affecting the defendant’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Constructing Alternative Explanations: We work closely with our clients to gather detailed accounts of the events leading up to their Felony DWI charge. By understanding the context and circumstances, we can build alternative explanations for their behavior that may not necessarily point to impairment.
Our legal team is well-versed in the nuanced laws of New York State, including its Felony DWI statutes and sentencing guidelines. Depending on the specifics of the case, we can pursue various legal avenues:
Negotiating Reductions: Through skillful negotiation, we aim to secure reductions in charges or penalties, such as obtaining a plea deal to a lesser offense or pursuing enrollment in a substance abuse education program.
Challenging Evidence in Court: If necessary, we are prepared to take the case to trial. Our experienced litigators will present a strong defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge evidence in court to achieve the best possible outcome.
Protecting Driving Privileges: Felony DWI convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. We will advocate for our clients to retain their driving rights whenever possible.
Facing a Felony DWI charge in New York State can be a daunting experience, but the DWI Team is dedicated to providing unwavering support and exceptional legal representation. Our extensive knowledge of the legal landscape, combined with our commitment to protecting clients’ rights, empowers us to construct robust defense strategies tailored to each unique case. From dissecting the traffic stop to challenging sobriety tests and negotiating favorable outcomes, we stand as the shield against Felony DWI charges, advocating for the best interests of our clients at every turn.