In the State of New York, being charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a grave offense. This situation becomes increasingly complex when coupled with the offense of driving with a suspended license.
As you might imagine, the consequences of this particular infraction are severe. Let’s take a look at how exactly your life could be affected as a result of this charge.
According to New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) § 1192, drivers charged with DWI have operated a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The severity of the charges and penalties vary depending on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the number of previous offenses. In the state of New York, a BAC over 0.08 is considered intoxicated.
If it’s a first-time DWI offense, it’s considered a misdemeanor with penalties including up to 1 year in jail, fines from $500 to $1,000, and a minimum six-month license suspension. When a DWI charge is associated with driving on a suspended license, it escalates the seriousness of the situation. As per the VTL § 511, this could be considered Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) in the first degree, a class E felony, when the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Penalties for this offense can include a fine between $500 and $5,000, and a maximum imprisonment of up to 4 years.
Beyond the immediate legal penalties, these charges lead to significant real-world consequences, affecting personal, professional, and financial aspects of life.
- Insurance: A DWI conviction can dramatically increase car insurance rates. According to a 2021 study by The Zebra (page 19), New York drivers with a DWI could see their insurance premiums more than double.
- Employment: Convictions for DWI and driving on a suspended license can harm current employment and future job prospects, particularly in fields that require driving or a clean record.
- Personal life: The loss of driving privileges can severely limit personal freedom, affecting day-to-day activities and responsibilities.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Given the severe implications of a DWI charge, while driving on a suspended license, one of the essential steps you can take is to secure skilled legal representation. Hiring an attorney who specializes in DWI and suspended license cases can provide you with the defense strategy best suited to your situation. They can potentially help in reducing charges, negotiating lighter sentences, or even challenging the validity of the charge based on the circumstances of your arrest.
Use the form on this page or call (800) 384-5297 for a free consultation today.