Being accused of drunk driving is no small thing. A criminal conviction on one of the many criminal offenses related to drunk driving can negatively affect an individual's life for years to come. Jail, prison and fines may all be real potential penalties, and a conviction can cause severe damage to one's reputation. Fortunately, there may be criminal defense options available to those who are accused of these crimes, but the first step to crafting a compelling legal strategy is to be aware of the law. We hope this post proves informative in that regard.
New York has a number of drunk driving-related laws. These laws are divided up based on a number of factors. For example, the level of intoxication may increase or decrease the severity of a charged offense, as, too, will the accused individual's criminal history. For example, a first time DWI conviction could result in up to a year in jail with a fine of up to $1,000 and a license revocation for at least six months, a third DWI can leave a convicted individual facing up to seven years in jail, $10,000 in fines and license revocation for at least a year.
Aggravated DWIs are those that involve blood-alcohol content levels that are above 0.18 percent. A first conviction for this offense can result in penalties that include a one year license revocation and a year in jail, in addition to up to $2,500 in fines. A second DWI conviction can leave a person facing up to four years in jail and $5,000 in fines. He or she may also wind up with a license revocation for at least a year and a half.
A quick glance at these facts shows that there is often a lot at stake when being accused of drunk driving. For this reason, accused individuals need to ensure that they are protecting their legal rights and doing everything they can to weaken the prosecution's case. To learn more about how to do so, these defendants can discuss their case with a qualified criminal defense attorney.