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WE PROVIDE WHITE GLOVE SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Long Island DWI Lawyer

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: December 16, 2023)

Last Updated on: 16th December 2023, 12:52 am

Long Island DWI Lawyer – Your Guide to Understanding DWI Charges

Hey there! Dealing with a DWI charge can be really stressful and confusing. As your friendly neighborhood Long Island DWI lawyer, I wanted to write up an article walking you through the basics of DWIs here on Long Island. I’ll try to keep it simple and avoid too much legal jargon – just some helpful info in plain English!

First up, what does “DWI” stand for? It stands for “Driving While Intoxicated.” Basically, it means you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not a great situation to be in, but let’s talk about how to handle it.

There are a few different types of DWI charges here on Long Island. The main ones are:

  • DWI – This is when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. It’s the most common DWI charge.
  • Aggravated DWI – This is when your BAC is 0.18% or higher. It’s more serious than a regular DWI.
  • DWAI – Stands for “Driving While Ability Impaired.” This is when your BAC is between 0.05% and 0.07%. It’s less severe than a DWI.
  • DWAI Drugs – Same thing as DWAI but when you’re impaired by drugs rather than alcohol.

The penalties really vary depending on exactly what you’re charged with, whether it’s your first offense or repeat offense, and other circumstances. But generally:

  • DWI – Up to 1 year in jail, $1000 fine, 6 month license suspension
  • Aggravated DWI – Up to 1 year in jail, $2500 fine, 1 year license suspension
  • DWAI – Up to 15 days in jail, $300-$500 fine, 90 day license suspension

As you can see, these are pretty serious charges that can really disrupt your life. That’s why it’s so important to talk to an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest. An attorney can help minimize the penalties and protect your rights.

I know the whole process can seem intimidating at first. But basically, after an arrest, you’ll have to appear in court for an arraignment. That’s where you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. After that, there are usually a few more court dates where your DWI lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor or take the case to trial if necessary.

There are a lot of legal defenses that a good DWI lawyer can use to fight the charges. For example:

  • Challenging the validity of field sobriety or breathalyzer tests
  • Questioning the legality of the traffic stop or arrest
  • Providing evidence to show your blood alcohol content was actually below the legal limit
  • Arguing that factors other than alcohol caused impairment

Having an experienced local lawyer who knows the prosecutors and judges is a huge advantage. I’ve been practicing law here on Long Island for over 15 years now, so I know all the ins and outs of the courts and law enforcement around here.

I think it’s also important for me to talk a little bit about the consequences of a DWI conviction beyond the criminal penalties. It can really impact your life negatively in a lot of ways:

  • Increased insurance rates
  • Difficulty finding or keeping employment
  • Possible loss of professional licenses
  • Travel limitations
  • Social stigma

Some Common Questions about DWIs on Long Island

I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the most frequently asked questions I get from clients about DWIs here on Long Island. Consider this your DWI FAQ!

What should I do if I’m pulled over on suspicion of DWI?

First, remain calm and be polite to the officer. Never get into an argument. You have the right to decline field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test. However, refusing tests can sometimes lead to other consequences. So it’s generally best to comply with basic requests like showing your license and registration. But don’t answer any substantive questions without your lawyer present.

What happens after you’re arrested for DWI?

You’ll be handcuffed, taken to the station, and held until sober enough for arraignment. This is where you’ll be formally charged and have bail set. The police may take your license and give you a temporary one. You’ll be allowed to call a lawyer or loved one. Don’t say anything about the incident because it can be used against you.

What should you do after being released from jail?

Contact a DWI lawyer immediately! Quick action is important to start building your defense. Save all paperwork from the arrest and write down every detail you can remember ASAP while it’s still fresh.

Will my license be suspended after a DWI arrest?

Probably. Even for first offenses, your license will likely be suspended within a few days. You may be able to get a conditional license to drive to work or school. A DWI lawyer can help you file the paperwork to request this.

What happens at the first court appearance?

Your DWI lawyer will enter a plea (usually “not guilty” initially). The judge will set bail conditions and future court dates. If it’s a misdemeanor DWI, there may be just 1 or 2 more appearances before resolution. Felony DWIs involve more court dates.

I hope these answers help provide a better idea of what to expect after a DWI arrest. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly and I’ll be glad to help however I can!

How Can a Long Island DWI Lawyer Help You?

If you’re facing DWI charges, having an experienced local lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Here are some of the most important ways a good DWI lawyer can help:

Examine the Evidence Thoroughly

We’ll order all records related to your arrest, including police reports, breathalyzer readings, dashboard camera footage, etc. By scrutinizing all the evidence, we can look for irregularities or legal issues. Even minor technical mistakes by the police can be used to get charges reduced or dismissed.

Advise You of Your Rights

After an arrest, you may feel powerless. But you still have legal rights that can protect you. An attorney will advise you about your right to remain silent, force the prosecution to prove guilt, and more. We’ll also advocate for your driving privileges to be restored if possible.

Negotiate with the Prosecutor

Prosecutors know that DWI cases often come down to technicalities. So they’re frequently open to negotiating plea bargains for lesser charges like reckless driving. An experienced local lawyer who regularly deals with these prosecutors will negotiate from a position of strength.

Represent You in Court Hearings

There are usually several court appearances involved in DWI cases. Your lawyer will stand by your side in court, argue motions, cross-examine witnesses, and make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.

If it’s your first DWI, the complex legal process can be confusing and intimidating. We’ll handle all the communications, filings, and procedures so you can focus on your life. We’ll make sure you always know what’s happening and what to expect next.

Develop Case Strategies

Every case has unique circumstances that call for creative strategies. For example, we may bring in expert witnesses to challenge the reliability of breathalyzer tests. Or use details from the arrest video to show your impairment was caused by lack of sleep rather than alcohol. There are always angles to pursue.

Having an experienced DWI lawyer in your corner can relieve stress, limit penalties, and give you the best shot at a positive outcome. Don’t go through it alone!

What to Expect at Your DWI Arraignment

The arraignment is your first court appearance after a DWI arrest. Here’s a quick rundown of what typically takes place:

  • You’ll be brought before the judge and formally charged with DWI offenses based on the police report.
  • Your lawyer will enter a plea on your behalf, usually “not guilty” at this stage. This preserves your rights.
  • The judge will advise you of the maximum potential penalties if convicted.
  • Bail will be set, or you may be released on your own recognizance. The judge may impose conditions like surrendering your passport.
  • Future court dates will be scheduled for hearings and trial.
  • Your license may be temporarily suspended pending prosecution. You may be able to get a conditional license for work, school, medical needs, etc.
  • You’ll be required to turn over your driver’s license to the court until the case is resolved.

Some key things to remember during the arraignment:

  • Remain calm and respectful. Don’t say anything unless your lawyer instructs you to.
  • Do NOT admit guilt or make any statements about the incident. This can only hurt your case down the road.
  • Speak to your lawyer beforehand about bail and license issues so you aren’t caught off guard.
  • If you can’t make a scheduled court date for any reason, tell your lawyer immediately to avoid a bench warrant.

Having an experienced DWI lawyer represent you at arraignment and beyond is critical. Don’t go it alone!

DWI Penalties on Long Island

If convicted of DWI in New York, you’ll face a combination of criminal penalties and driver’s license sanctions. Here’s an overview of potential consequences:

Criminal Penalties

First Offense Misdemeanor DWI

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • $500 – $1000 fine
  • Probation up to 5 years

Second Offense (within 10 years) E Felony DWI

  • Up to 4 years in prison
  • $1000 – $5000 fine
  • Probation up to 5 years

Aggravated DWI (BAC 0.18+)

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • $1000 – $2500 fine
  • Probation up to 5 years

Third Offense (within 10 years) D Felony DWI

  • Up to 7 years in prison
  • $2000 – $10,000 fine
  • Probation up to 5 years

Driver’s License Penalties

First Offense

  • 6 month suspension

Second Offense (within 10 years)

  • 1 year suspension

Aggravated DWI

  • 1 year suspension

Third Offense (within 10 years)

  • Revocation for at least 1 year

As you can see, penalties get harsher with each repeat offense. There are also many long-term consequences beyond the initial sanctions, like higher insurance rates. That’s why fighting the charges is so important!

 

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