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Aggravated DWI Laws

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What Is Aggravated DWI?

In the state of New York, drunk driving charges are called "Driving While Intoxicated", or DWI. Normal DWI charges are filed when a person has been found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08. However, aggravated DWI charges may result if the person has been found to have a BAC of 0.18 or higher. These are more serious charges that result in greater legal consequences than normal DWI charges.

The reasoning behind this is that studies show that a person’s response time and reactions become more and more impaired as their BAC gets higher. Thus, New York and other states impose greater legal consequences for aggravated drunk driving cases.

What Are Some Penalties for Aggravated DWI?

Normal DWI charges may land a person fines ranging from $500-$1,000, as well as a license suspension of 6 months to a year. However, aggravated DWI charges in New York may involve penalties such as:

  • Fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, and/OR up to 1 year in jail
  • 3 years probation
  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 year (in some cases, the person’s registration can also be revoked for a year at the judge’s discretion)
  • Surcharges of $395 or $400 depending on the exact jurisdiction
  • Required attending of a Victim Impact Panel
  • Installation of a working ignition interlock device in any vehicle that the person will be driving during their probation periods
  • Some persons may be eligible for a conditional license and the Drinking Driver Program

What Happens If a Person Gets a Second Aggravated DWI Charge?

First-time aggravated DWI charges are normally filed as misdemeanors. A second aggravated DWI conviction is filed as a felony charge, and may result in increased penalties. For instance, the person’s license may be revoked for 18 months instead of one year.

Also, recent New York laws have made it more difficult to obtain plea bargain deals for first and second-time aggravated DWI charges. Lastly, refusing to take a DWI test (such as a breathalyzer test or chemical test) can result cause problems for the defendant. Various defenses may be available in any DWI case, such as involuntary intoxication, faults with testing procedures, and other factors.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for an Aggravated DWI Case in New York?

New York laws on aggravated DWI charges can often result in some very strict penalties. It may be in your best interests to hire a qualified criminal lawyer if you need help with any of the drunk driving lawyers in your area. An experienced attorney can help determine whether any defenses apply to your case, and whether your charges can be lowered. Also, your attorney can be on hand to guide you through the court process.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 11-08-2016 10:00 AM PST

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