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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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New York City Dwi Defense

By Spodek Law Group | October 18, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 07:11 pm

New York City Dwi Defense

So you got pulled over and arrested for DWI in NYC. That sucks! I know you’re probably feeling scared, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. As a fellow New Yorker, I want to help walk you through this process and make sure you know your options.

First off – don’t panic! A DWI charge is serious, but it doesn’t mean your life is over. Lots of good people make mistakes, and you have a chance to learn and move forward. The most important thing is to get a good lawyer on your side ASAP. The legal system can be confusing, but a great NYC defense attorney will handle all the specifics so you can focus on putting this behind you.

I’m going to break down the key things you need to know: the charges, penalties, defenses that work, how to find the right lawyer, and more. My goal here is to educate and empower you, so you can make smart choices as your case moves forward. Let’s dive in!

The Charges

In New York, there are a few main drunk driving charges:

  • DWI – Driving While Intoxicated. This is the main charge for drunk driving. It means the police believe your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08% or higher.
  • DWAI – Driving While Ability Impaired. For this charge, your BAC was between .05% and .07%. It’s a lesser offense than DWI.
  • DWAI Drugs – Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs. This applies when you’re under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, prescription meds, etc.
  • Aggravated DWI – For an especially high BAC of .18% or more. This is a felony charge.

The police determine your intoxication level through field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, and blood tests. The charges brought against you will depend on those results.

A skilled NYC DWI lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed when testing was flawed, your rights were violated, or the cops made mistakes. More on defenses in a bit!

The Penalties

The penalties for DWI in New York City vary based on your exact charges, criminal record, and other circumstances. But generally:

For a first DWI conviction, expect fines of $500-$1000, license suspension for 6 months, and possibly up to 1 year in jail. Many first-timers avoid jailtime if they have a good lawyer.

A second DWI brings fines up to $5000, license revocation for 1 year, and mandatory jail time of 5+ days up to 1 year. You may also have to get an ignition interlock device installed in your car.

For Aggravated DWI, even a first offense can mean fines up to $2500, license revocation for 1 year, and up to 1 year in jail.

As you can see, a DWI conviction affects way more than just your criminal record. It can hurt your career, finances, and ability to drive. That’s why it’s so important to fight the charges with an experienced attorney!

Common Defenses

There are quite a few effective defenses a knowledgeable NYC DWI lawyer can use to get charges reduced or dismissed. Some common ones include:

  • Invalid traffic stop – If the cops didn’t have proper cause to pull you over in the first place, evidence can be thrown out.
  • Faulty testing – Mistakes with breathalyzers, blood tests, or field sobriety tests can invalidate the results.
  • Miranda rights violation – If cops question you without reading your rights, your answers may get excluded.
  • No probable cause – Did the police really have a valid reason to suspect you were drunk and arrest you? If not, the case can get tossed.
  • Medical conditions – Some health issues like diabetes or injuries can mimic signs of intoxication, leading to false arrests.

A good DWI lawyer will examine every aspect of your arrest to spot potential defenses. Don’t let anyone bully you into pleading guilty without exploring your options first!

Finding the Right NYC DWI Attorney

Hiring the right lawyer makes ALL the difference in how your NYC DWI case turns out. Here are key tips for finding a great one:

  • Specialization – Search for attorneys who focus specifically on DWI/DUI defense. They have the most experience.
  • Results – Look for a proven trial record with many cases dismissed or charges reduced. Check online reviews.
  • Resources – Find a lawyer with relationships with toxicologists, private investigators, and other experts who can strengthen your defense.
  • Communication – Choose an attorney who explains things clearly, answers your calls, and keeps you informed. Trust is huge.
  • Affordability – Rates vary widely, but look for fair fees and payment plans. Don’t sacrifice quality for cost.

I’d recommend reaching out to 2-3 of the top-rated NYC DUI lawyers for free consultations. See who you connect with and who seems to “get” your case. Listen to your gut – it won’t steer you wrong.

Here’s a quick overview of how a DWI case usually goes down in New York City:

  1. You’re arrested at a DUI checkpoint or after the cops pull you over. You’re brought to the precinct and tested for intoxication.
  2. Within 24 hours, you’ll go before a judge for arraignment. This is where you’ll find out the exact charges against you. The judge decides whether to set bail.
  3. Next comes the pre-trial phase, which can take months. This is when your lawyer files motions, reviews evidence, negotiates with the DA, and builds your defense strategy.
  4. Many cases end in a plea bargain at this point, where you plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence. If not, the case proceeds to trial.
  5. At trial, the prosecution presents evidence and witnesses arguing for your guilt. Your lawyer cross-examines them and presents counter-evidence.
  6. The verdict decides your guilt or innocence. If found guilty, the judge assigns penalties based on the charges and your record.

Having an aggressive DWI defense lawyer in your corner can really impact the outcome during these steps. Don’t go it alone!


Here are quick answers to some common questions about fighting DWI charges in NYC:

Should I refuse a breathalyzer? Refusing looks bad, leads to automatic license suspension, and allows the cops to get a warrant for a blood draw. There are pros and cons, so ask your lawyer.

Will I have to go to trial? Not necessarily – many cases end in plea bargains or get dismissed pre-trial if you have a good attorney. But you should be prepared to go to trial if needed.

How long will this drag on? It varies, but expect the process to take at least several months from arrest to resolution. The pre-trial phase is usually the longest.

Can I avoid jail time? First-time offenders often avoid jail if they have a clean record. But jail is likely for repeat offenses. A skilled lawyer is key to avoiding incarceration.

Do I need bail money? Bail is decided at your arraignment. For a first DWI with no criminal history, you’ll often be released on your own recognizance without needing bail.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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