Rockland County Felony DWI Lawyer
Various circumstances can lead to felony DWI charges, including a history of prior convictions for drunk driving and related offenses. The sanctions for felony convictions are much harsher than those for misdemeanor convictions. A Rockland County felony DWI lawyer could examine your circumstances and help fight the charges you are facing.
In many cases, a skilled DWI defense attorney could be instrumental to your ability to gain a more favorable resolution to your situation. They can challenge the constitutionality of your traffic stop and question the accuracy of any tests performed. They also can protect your rights throughout every step of your criminal case.
What Constitutes Felony DWI in Rockland County?
Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193(c), individuals with a prior conviction for drunk driving and other similar offenses will face Class E felony charges for a new DWI or related charge within ten years. Additional charges that also become felony charges in this situation include aggravated DWI, DWAI by drugs, and DWAI by drugs and alcohol. The offenses that qualify as prior convictions and can enhance a second DWI charge to a felony include the following:
- DWI and aggravated DWI
- DWAI by drugs or by drugs and alcohol
- Vehicular assault, manslaughter, and homicide
Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(2)(b), committing DWI with a child passenger age 15 years or younger in the vehicle is also an automatic Class E felony charge. However, these charges may be even more severe in some situations. For instance, a third or aggravated DWI charge within ten years can result in a Class D felony conviction.
Individuals can face even harsher felony charges for drunk driving in some circumstances. For example, charges of first and second-degree vehicular assault and aggravated vehicular assault are felony charges, as are DWI manslaughter charges. A lawyer in Rockland County could provide much-needed legal guidance and advice to those facing felony DWI charges.
Potential Penalties for Felony Drunk Driving Charges
A Class E felony conviction for a second DWI offense within ten years can include a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, five days to four years of incarceration, and a license revocation of 18 months or more. Under certain circumstances, instead of the minimum five days of incarceration, individuals may be able to perform 30 days of community service. Court surcharges and yearly fees or assessments through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also can add to the costs of a felony DWI conviction.
A Class D felony conviction carries the potential for up to seven years in prison, at least ten days of which individuals must either serve or complete 60 days of community service. Other penalties may include a fine ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, installation of an ignition interlock device, and more.
A convicted driver may also need to complete a substance abuse assessment and undergo treatment at their own expense. The ramifications of a felony drunk driving conviction can be severe and expensive. Therefore, anyone facing felony DWI charges should get help from an attorney in Rockland County.
What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Felony DWI Conviction?
As is the case with any felony conviction, a serious drunk driving charge brings collateral consequences. The most common collateral consequences involve a defendant’s constitutional rights. A felony conviction could result in the loss of a person’s right to own a firearm or vote. Additionally, a felony DWI conviction could impact an individual’s personal life. For example, someone could lose their job, face revocation of a professional license, or rejection on a rental application.
Can Felony DWI Charges be Dismissed?
Only the prosecutor has the power to dismiss a felony DWI charge. While this outcome is unlikely, a defense attorney in Rockland County could obtain a dismissal of a felony drunk driving charge by building a strong case when a conviction is unlikely.
Even when dismissal is not an option, the state might otherwise agree to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The reduction in charges typically results from a defense attorney making a strong case that the charge should not be a felony in the first place. This could involve uncovering that one of the prior convictions the state is relying on falls outside of the required 10-year window.
Call a Rockland County Felony DWI Attorney for Help
A felony conviction for DWI has implications that go beyond the jail or prison sentence, fines, and license revocation that you may receive. You may also face the loss of some civil rights, such as a prohibition under federal law on possessing any firearms. A Rockland County felony DWI lawyer could make sure that you understand all potential outcomes in your case and choose the best defense strategy for you. Call today to get started.