New York City Felony DWI with Prior Convictions

A Leandra’s Law DWI charge is arguably the most serious DWI an individual can be charged with, second perhaps only to the “bump up” felony DWI charge of VTL 1193.1. This DWI charge holds that if an individual has already been convicted of any DWI in the last 10 years and is arrested again for a DWI, the charge will automatically be “bumped up” to a felony. Therefore, what would otherwise be a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail, is now a felony with the potential exposure of up to four years in state prison, the revocation of your license for up to a year and an increased fine. One of our dedicated attorneys could help you prepare for the legal process if you have been charged with a felony DWI in New York City and have prior convictions.

Underage Drivers with Prior DWI Convictions

While state law treats DWI offenses involving blood alcohol concentrations exceeding 0.08 percent the same regardless of the defendant’s age, the rules are a little different for drivers under 21 with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.05 percent. The penalties for a person who is underage with a second DWI violation do not involve felony charges, but they can still be severe for a newly licensed young driver.

If a driver under 21 is convicted a second time of driving after drinking any alcohol at all, their driver’s license will be revoked either for one year or until they reach the age of 21. They would also be subject to a $125 civil fine and a $100 fee to re-apply for a driver’s license.

What If a Driver Refuses to Submit to Chemical Testing Multiple Times?

Like prior DWI convictions, refusing a chemical test after being pulled over under suspicion of driving while impaired can have more severe consequences for individuals who have refused chemical tests before. Specifically, anyone who refuses a chemical test again within five years of a previous DWI charge or chemical test refusal is subject to a $750 civil penalty, as well as mandatory revocation of their driver’s license for 18 months.

Underage drivers who refuse chemical testing after a prior DWI violation are also subject to the same civil penalty as adults, but their license suspension would only have a maximum length of one year. Conversely, a second chemical test refusal for a commercial driver would result in the permanent loss of their CDL.

Are There More Severe Consequences for Third Offenses?

In New York City, third and subsequent felony DWI convictions within a ten-year period can have dramatic consequences. Anyone with such a history of DWAI convictions may be subject to fines to $2,000 to $10,000, a minimum one-year license revocation, and up to seven years of imprisonment for a third or subsequent conviction.

Notably, repeated non-drug DWAI convictions remain misdemeanor offenses despite the defendant’s prior criminal history. A second offense within five years is punishable by a $500 to $750 fine and up to 30 days in jail, and third and subsequent offenses within 10 years could lead to $750 to $1,500 in fines and a maximum 180-day jail sentence. In both situations, a convicted defendant would face a six-month license revocation.

Talk to a New York City Attorney Today About Felony DWI with Prior Convictions

As the stakes are higher on a “bump up” felony DWI charge it is therefore important to get these charges reduced or dismissed – or face these enhanced penalties. If you are arrested for felony DWI and have prior convictions in the past 10 years, hire the best New York City defense attorneys to handle your case – your future depends upon it. Call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman for an opinion on your DWI case today.

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