The Consequences of A DWI

Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC Profile Image

Practice Areas: DUI and DWI

Getting a DWI can change your life in many ways. Not only will you experience legal trouble because of the charge, but you may also experience problems at work and at home. Below is some basic information about DWIs and how they can impact your future.

 

What Is a DWI?

Driving under the influence, or DWI, is a charge you may face if you are arrested while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In the State of New York, you may be charged with DWI if you have a blood alcohol content over 0.08, or if the police officer has any other reason to believe you may be driving while intoxicated. If you are under the age of 21 or driving a commercial vehicle, the threshold for a DUI charge is lower.

If your BAC is 0.18 percent or higher, your charge will be "aggravated DWI," which is a more severe charge.

Legal Ramifications

If you are convicted of DWI, the consequences you will face will depend on your past convictions, the specifics of the incident and other factors. Some of the possible penalties for DWI convictions include:

 

  • Charged as a misdemeanor if there are no prior DWI convictions within the last 10 years. The maximum penalty is 3 years of probation or one year in jail.
  • Charged as an E felony if there was one prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years. The maximum penalty is 5 years of probation or up to 4 years in prison.
  • Charged as a D felony if there were two prior DWI convictions within the last 10 years. The maximum penalty is 5 years of probation or up to 7 years in prison.

 

If you are under the age of 21 or you refuse to take a chemical test, you may face additional penalties, including revocation of your drivers license.

Other Consequences

The legal penalties you face when you are convicted of DWI are only part of the story. A DWI conviction can affect your relationship with your current employer, and it can make it more difficult for you to get another job in the future. If you have a professional license (i.e. nursing, series 7, etc.) if may be affected by a criminal conviction or a felony conviction. DWI convictions appear on background checks, and most potential employers will ask you to disclose any prior convictions on your job application anyway. In addition, a DWI conviction may affect your ability to travel to other countries, including Canada.

Because the possible consequences of a DWI conviction are so severe, it is important to hire a qualified attorney if you are facing this charge. An experienced DWI attorney will be able to help you fight for your rights in court, and achieve the best possible outcome.

 

From the Author: Help For A DWI Charge

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