Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) occur more often than most people think. Though many people would never consider getting behind the wheel of a car while impaired, it’s easier than you may realize to be over the legal limit. If you are caught, one mistake can carry years of consequences.
If you’ve been arrested on DUI charges, it’s important to know the basics about the process and what to expect. Though you may not face a lifetime in jail, many DUIs have significant consequences that have a substantial impact on your daily life.
Understanding what you’re facing allows you to make empowered decisions when choosing your attorney and to build your case.
The first thing that happens when a police officer determines that you’re driving over the legal limit is an arrest. They will bring you to a police station and get your information into the system. From here, you can have someone come and pick you up. You’ll have to find an attorney right away so you can start building your defense. Then, you will have to go to court to argue for your innocence. You will automatically face significant punishments if you don’t hire an attorney.
In most situations, a DUI is a misdemeanor. Though this is a lesser category of charges, it still carries significant weight. If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, you can expect to face jail time, fines, and license suspension. The specifics depend upon your history and whether you’ve had DUI convictions within the past 10 years.
If you have more than two DUIs within 10 years, or if you kill or seriously injure someone while under the influence, you can face felony charges. This means prison time, higher fines, and longer license suspensions. Felonies are serious offenses and can make it more difficult for you to get a job or find housing.
It’s important to know that you do have options when it comes to your DUI charge. First, you do not have to accept the situation and take the punishment. Instead, you can fight your charges with the help of an experienced New York DUI attorney. Also, just because you were arrested on DUI charges does not mean you are guilty. There are many ways to fight a DUI charge, including:
An attorney can help you determine what argument is suitable for your case. But, of course, every situation is different, so not all arguments will work for every case. This is one reason having an attorney is essential.
What Is the Penalty for a DUI in New York?
Your specific penalty for a DUI will depend on your situation. If it’s your first misdemeanor DUI, you’ll receive up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and a six-month license suspension. However, all these limits increase as you accrue more offenses. If you hurt someone or kill someone, there are more significant penalties. Your consequences depend on the unique circumstances of your offense.
Do You Lose Your License Immediately After a DUI in NY?
Any license suspension you receive will occur at your arraignment. This is your first court appearance, where the judge will inform you of your charges and answer questions you may have. Your attorney can and should answer your questions before this point, as it’s essential to hire your attorney right away.
Is a DUI a Felony in NY?
DUIs are referred to as wobbler offenses because they don’t necessarily fall under one category. Sometimes they’re considered misdemeanors, while other times, they are felonies. You will be charged with a felony if you’ve had more than two DUIs within the last 10 years. A DUI is also considered a felony if you seriously injure someone or kill someone while committing the crime.
How Long Do You Lose Your License for a DUI in NY?
The minimum license revocations for DUIs range from 90 days to one year. However, in difficult situations where the driver puts themselves or others at risk, the license suspension may be longer. It’s possible to have your license permanently revoked in serious situations. You may also face mandatory interlocking devices after you get your license back.
In the meantime, most people must rely on rideshare apps, friend and coworker favors, and public transportation to get around.
There is a lot on the line when you’re facing DUI charges. If you’re convicted, you can face difficulty finding a job, holding stable housing, and much more. This is aside from the potential jail time and fines that you face. In addition, if you need to drive to get to work, bring your kids to school, or run errands, a license revocation can have a substantial impact. For these reasons, it’s vital to hire an attorney who can represent you. With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to minimize your sentence or be acquitted of the charges altogether.
Trust The Vitaliano Law Firm to be there for you. We have been working within the New York legal system for many years. We know how the system works and how to best prove your innocence based on your unique situation. Our experience allows us to fight your case with confidence and give you the best chance of walking free. We work diligently day and night to maintain our clients’ innocence and ensure that one mistake doesn’t affect your entire life.
For more information on how we can help you or schedule a consultation with a member of our team, please contact us online today.