Bronx Second Offense DWI Lawyer
An allegation of a second DWI within a period of ten years is generally a felony-level charge. Conviction here usually results in a permanent criminal record, requires the payment of a fine of at least $1,000, and may result in a jail term of up to four years.
A Bronx second offense DWI lawyer could help you if you are facing new charges after already having received a conviction. A diligent DWI attorney could help to combat the new charges throughout the legal process.
When Do DWI Charges Become Second-Offenses?
Any prior conviction for DWI remains on a person’s criminal record. This applies regardless of why the conviction is on the person’s record, whether it be the result of a plea deal or a conviction after trial. This record may be known to the officer who makes the new arrest and is certainly known to the prosecutor who files the criminal charges. However, the jury will be left unaware of the person’s criminal history during the principal part of the case. It is only after they issue a verdict of “guilty” that the charges become a second offense.
This only has an impact if a prior conviction took place within a limited time frame. According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Code §1193(c), offenses only compile if they occur within ten years of each other. As a result, courts must treat an arrest for a subsequent DWI as a first offense if the individual’s record indicates that a prior conviction occurred more than ten years ago. A Bronx lawyer could help individuals understand when and why a court treats an arrest as a second DWI offense.
Potential Consequences for a Second Drunk Driving Conviction in The Bronx
A second conviction for DWI is a felony-level offense. As a result, it is vital to take any step possible to avoid a conviction. Sentences for a second drunk driving offense generally include a fine of at least $1,000, a license suspension of at least one year, and is far more likely to result in a prison sentence that can be up to four years.
A Bronx attorney could help a person avoid this fate following DWI charges for a second time. Even if someone has a prior conviction for DWI, the prosecutor still needs to prove that they were intoxicated at the time of the arrest. This involves providing evidence that a police officer had reasonable suspicion to make the stop, had a justification to demand chemical tests, and that the officer did not violate any of the accused’s other Constitutional rights.
Is it Possible to Reduce a Second DWI Offense?
A person that is arrested and charged with a second DWI offense could see those charges reduced depending on the circumstances. For instance, a defense attorney in the Bronx may be able to successfully argue to the prosecutor that the previous DWI conviction the state is relying on either falls outside of the 10-year window or does not qualify as a previous conviction for other reasons. Reducing a second drunk driving offense to a first could have a substantial impact on a person should they be convicted at trial.
What are Common Defenses to Multiple DWI Charges?
Defense strategies in second-offense DWI cases largely fall into two categories: challenges to the traffic stop and challenges to the chemical test. Challenging the traffic stop is a viable defense given that the court must exclude any evidence obtained from an unlawful search or seizure. If the police pull over a driver without reasonable suspicion, their defense attorney could have any evidence collected excluded at trial.
Challenging the results of a chemical test can also be a strong defense strategy. Many DWI prosecutions are built on the results of a blood, breath, or urine test. If the defense can show the samples were mishandled or illegally obtained, the results could be excluded from trial.
Do DWI Convictions from Other States Count Against Defendant?
The prosecutor in any drunk driving case will consider previous convictions not only within New York but from across the country. In fact, the prosecutor may even consider a criminal conviction other than a DWI if the offense would have qualified as a driving while under the influence had it occurred in The Bronx. For example, some states allow a first-time offender to enter a plea bargain that knocks the DWI charge down to a different moving violation. While the state where the conviction originated might not consider it a DWI, prosecutors in The Bronx could rely on it as a prior conviction if it occurred in the previous ten years.
Let a Bronx Second Offense DWI Attorney Be an Advocate
A first conviction for DWI can have negative impacts on your life. A conviction for a second drunk driving charge is far more devastating. This can result in a felony record, which leads to heavy fines and a lengthy prison sentence. Reaching out to a Bronx second offense DWI lawyer may be a great first step in protecting your rights. Call today to learn more.