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Long Island Multiple DWI Defense Attorney

Under New York law, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense. Even more serious is being charged with a DWI while having prior DWI convictions. In these circumstances, the penalties are enormous and can include lifelong felony status. For more than 100 combined years, the attorneys at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP have successfully defended residents of New York from overzealous prosecution. Our criminal defense lawyers take pride in our passionate defense of the accused, ensuring that the most basic tenant of the American criminal justice system -– innocent until proven guilty –- is defended.

How You Can Be Charged with a DWI on Long Island

Under New York law, there are five types of DWI-related charges: (i) DWI per se, (ii) driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI-Alcohol), (iii) driving while ability impaired by a single drug other than alcohol (DWAI-Drug), (iv) driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of drugs or alcohol (DWAI-Combined), or (v) common law DWI.

For DWI per se, the prosecution must prove that your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded the legal limit. In the State of New York, the BAC legal limit is 0.08. It is called DWI per se because per se means “in and of itself” in Latin. Therefore, New York law assumes that operating a motor vehicle with a BAC in excess of the limit is in and of itself operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. To gain a conviction for DUI per se, the prosecution must only prove that your BAC exceeded the legal limit and that you were operating a motor vehicle during this period –- your impairment is a non-rebuttable presumption. Additionally, the DWI per se charge may be upgraded to aggravated DWI (AGG DWI) if your BAC is in excess of 0.18.

However, even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you may still be charged with a DWI. For DWAI-Alcohol, your BAC must be more than 0.05. Because there is no per se assumption that your ability is impaired, the prosecution must prove that your BAC was in excess of 0.05, that you were operating a motor vehicle, and that your driving ability was impaired by the alcohol. Conversely, DWAI-Drug requires a showing that you were under the influence of a single drug other than alcohol and that your driving ability was impaired. For DWAI-Combined, the prosecution must show that you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol and that your driving ability was impaired.

Even if your BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08 or the DWAI-Alcohol limit of 0.05, you may still be charged with common law DWI. A common law DWI requires the prosecution to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and that your abilities were impaired due to the influence of alcohol.

Penalties for Multiple DWI Convictions

Although DWI is normally a misdemeanor charge, the different charges can be upgraded to felony charges if the accused has prior DWI convictions. Multiple DWI convictions carry both criminal penalties and penalties associated with your driver’s license. For multiple DWI convictions, the following penalties may apply:

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (AGG DWI)

  • Fine of $1,000 to $2,500
  • Maximum 1-year imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 1 year

Second AGG DWI in 10 years (class E felony)

  • Fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Maximum 4-years imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 18 months

Third AGG DWI in 10 years (class D felony)

  • Fine of $2,000 to $10,000
  • Maximum 7-years imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 18 months

DWI or DWAI-Drug

  • Fine of $500 to $1,000
  • Maximum 1-year imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 6 months for DWI
  • Driver’s license suspended for at least 6 months for DWAI-Drug

Second DWI or DWAI-Drug in 10 years (class E felony)

  • Fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Maximum 4-years imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 1 year

Third DWI or DWAI-Drug in 10 years (class D felony)

  • Fine of $2,000 to $10,000
  • Maximum 7-years imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 1 year

DWAI-Combined

  • Fine of $500 to $1,000
  • Maximum 1-year imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 6 months

Second DWAI-Combined in 10 years (class E felony)

  • Fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Maximum 4-years imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 1 year

Third DWAI-Combined in 10 years (class D felony)

  • Fine of $2,000 to $10,000
  • Maximum 7-years imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 1 year

DWAI

  • Fine of $300 to $500
  • Maximum 15-days imprisonment
  • Driver’s license suspended for 90 days

Second DWAI in 5 years

  • Fine of $500 to $750
  • Maximum 30-days imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 6 months

Third or subsequent DWAI in 10 years

  • Fine of $750 to $1,500
  • Maximum 180-days imprisonment
  • Driver’s license revoked for at least 6 months

As noted, some DWI charges can be felony criminal charges, which if you are convicted of, carry significant additional lifelong penalties, including:

  • Loss of voting rights while in prison or on parole.
  • Disqualification from serving on a New York State or federal jury.
  • Possible ineligibility to receive federal financial aid for education.
  • Inability to achieve certain licensures or work in certain professions (e.g. firefighter or teacher)
  • Prohibition of owning or possessing a firearm.
  • Potential grounds for deportation if not a U.S. citizen.

Contact Our Multiple DWI Defense Attorneys in Nassau County

The penalties for multiple DWI convictions are extremely onerous in the State of New York. We leverage our decades of experience to aggressively defend you and ensure you are protected from severe penalties. If you have been charged with DWI in Long Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island, or the Greater New York City area, please contact our offices for a free consultation.