Is DWI a Felony in New York? (2024)

Is DWI a Felony in New York? (2024)

On Behalf of vitalianolaw | Jan 01, 2023 |

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have severe consequences for those convicted. One question that many people have is whether a DWI is considered a felony in the state. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances of the case and the individual’s prior record.

  • If a person has three or more DWI convictions within the past 10 years, the current DWI charge will be a felony.
  • If a person causes injury to another person while driving intoxicated, the charge would be elevated to a felony.
  • If a person was driving with a suspended or revoked license due to a prior DWI conviction and caused injury to another person while driving intoxicated, the charge would be a felony.
  • If a person was driving with a child under 16 in the car at the time of the DWI, the charge would be a felony. It’s important to note that these are just a few examples, and there may be other circumstances in which a DWI is a felony.

Consequences of a Felony DWI

If an individual is convicted of a felony DWI in New York, they may face more severe penalties than those for a misdemeanor DWI. This can include longer jail time, higher fines, and a longer license suspension.

A DWI conviction can also have other negative consequences. For example, it can make it more difficult to find employment, as many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with criminal records. It can also affect an individual’s ability to obtain certain professional licenses, such as a commercial driver’s license.

Seeking Legal Help

It’s important for individuals charged with a DWI to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you:

  • Understand the charges you are facing and your options for defending against them.
  • Navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected.
  • Work to minimize the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, such as jail time, fines, and license suspension.
  • Prepare for court proceedings and represent you in court.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce or dismiss charges.
  • Appeal a DWI conviction if necessary.
  • Provide guidance and support throughout the legal process. It’s important to remember that the legal process can be complex and overwhelming, especially if you are facing a DWI charge. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options and work to protect your rights and interests.

Top Elements of an Effective DWI Defense

If you have been charged with a DWI, it’s important to understand the elements of an effective defense. Here are some key elements that can help build a strong defense:

  • The stop and arrest. The police must have a valid reason for stopping and arresting you for a DWI. If the stop or arrest was not conducted properly, it might be possible to challenge the validity of the charge.
  • Field sobriety tests. These tests are used by police to determine if someone is intoxicated. These tests can be subjective and may not be accurate in certain situations. If the field sobriety tests were administered improperly or the results were not reliable, it may be possible to challenge the charge.
  • Breath or blood tests. Breath and blood tests are used to measure the alcohol level in a person’s system. These tests can be inaccurate and may be challenged if the equipment was not properly calibrated or if the test was not administered correctly.
  • Expert testimony. An expert witness, such as a toxicologist, may be able to provide valuable testimony on the accuracy of breath or blood tests and the effects of alcohol on an individual’s ability to drive.
  • Defense strategy. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney to develop a defense strategy that is tailored to your specific case. This may involve challenging the prosecution’s evidence, presenting alternative explanations for the circumstances of the case, or negotiating a plea bargain.

By understanding the elements of an effective DWI defense, you can work with your attorney to build a strong case and protect your rights. However, it’s important to remember that every case is unique, and the specific and effective defense strategies will depend on the circumstances of your case.


Q: Can I Refuse to Take a Breath or Blood Test if I’m Stopped for a DWI in New York?

A: In New York, drivers are required to submit to a breath or blood test if they are arrested for a DWI. If you refuse to take a test, you may face additional consequences, including a fine and an automatic license suspension.

Q: What Are the Potential Consequences of a DWI Conviction in New York?

A: The potential consequences of a DWI conviction in New York can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the individual’s prior record. Some potential consequences may include jail time, fines, community service, alcohol education classes, and a license suspension.

Q: Can I Get a Hardship License if My License Is Suspended Due to a DWI Conviction in New York?

A: It may be possible to obtain a hardship license if your license is suspended due to a DWI conviction. A hardship license allows you to drive for specific purposes, such as commuting to work or school. However, obtaining a hardship license is not guaranteed and will depend on the circumstances of your case.

Q: Is It Possible to Get a DWI Charge Reduced or Dismissed?

A: It is possible to get a DWI charge reduced or dismissed, but it will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Working with an experienced attorney can increase your chances of getting a charge reduced or dismissed. In addition, your attorney may be able to negotiate with prosecutors to have the charge reduced to a lesser offense or to have the charge dismissed altogether.

Contact The Vitaliano Law Firm Today

If you have been charged with DWI, it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Vitaliano Law Firm is dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and providing aggressive representation in court. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling DWI cases, and we will work diligently to help you get the best outcome. Contact us today for a consultation.