Rockland County Second Offense DWI Lawyer
When you are facing a second DWI charge within ten years, the penalties can be harsh. Therefore, you need to know all your options and make the decision that can give you the best chance of a positive resolution. Before making any significant decisions about your case, you should contact a Rockland County second offense DWI lawyer for help.
A conviction for a second drunk driving offense can substantially impact your job and your ability to continue your career. A skilled DWI attorney could build a defense to fight the charges you are facing.
Laws Against Drunk Driving
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(1) makes it illegal for individuals to drive while impaired by alcohol (DWAI). Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(4-a), it is also illegal drive while impaired by the combined use of alcohol and drugs. DWI per se means that a chemical test shows that a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or more.
Drivers also may not operate motor vehicles while in an intoxicated condition, generally. If their BAC measures .18 percent or more, then drivers can face aggravated drunk driving charges, which can result in more severe penalties. While even a first offense can have severe repercussions, a second DWI can be even more devastating. Subsequent charges make working with a second offense DWI attorney in Rockland County essential.
What are the Consequences for Subsequent DWI Charges?
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193(1) sets forth the penalties for DWAI, which typically is a misdemeanor offense. However, individuals with a prior DWAI, DWI, or related conviction within the previous five years, can face enhanced penalties. These penalties include a fine ranging from $500 to $750, a 30-day jail sentence, or both.
Those who have a prior DWI, DWAI, drugged driving, vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter, or aggravated vehicular homicide convictions within the past ten years may face Class E felony charges for a new drunk driving charge. A person may receive a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000, as well as up to four years of incarceration and a license revocation of at least one year as a result of a Class E felony conviction. Five days of jail time is also required unless the judge sentences someone to complete 30 days of community service instead of the minimum jail term.
A second offense also may result in the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device and its associated costs. A court may order a person to undergo an alcohol assessment and treatment if necessary. Due to the potential severity of the consequences for a second DWI conviction, it is important to speak with an attorney in Rockland County about possible defenses.
What Evidence is Common in a Second Offense DWI trial?
The evidence used by the state in a DWI trial will vary from one case to another. The most common and often most influential evidence in these cases is the results of a blood, breath, or urine test. A test result that confirms a driver’s BAC was above .08 could be enough on its own to garner a conviction. Other evidence commonly used in these cases include:
- Witness testimony
- Field sobriety test results
- Dashboard camera video
- Admissions by the defendant
The prosecution is not limited to DWI convictions that occurred in this area. They may enter evidence from any drunk driving conviction that occurred in other states as well. This is true not only of DWI convictions but also other criminal offenses. A lawyer in Rockland County could help someone prepare a defense if a prosecutor has obtained strong evidence against them in a second DWI offense case.
Is it Possible to Beat a Second DWI Charge?
Many people that are arrested for a subsequent DWI feel that fighting back against these charges is fruitless. After all, they have already been convicted of at least one drunk driving charge previously. It is important to remember that an arrest for DWI will never guarantee a conviction.
There are many ways an experienced defense attorney in Rockland County could defeat a second offense DWI charge. These efforts could include excluding breath test results due to a mistake made by the police when collecting the sample. It could also involve a motion to exclude evidence based on the illegality of the underlying traffic stop. A conviction for a second DWI is reliant on the existence of a prior conviction within the past 10 years. If an attorney can establish that the prior conviction occurred before the 10-year window or otherwise does not qualify, it could reduce the charge to a first offense.
Work with a Rockland County Second Offense DWI Attorney
From jail time to loss of your license, high fines, and costly ignition interlock device installation, you can face many ramifications of a DWI conviction. Therefore, getting in contact with a Rockland County second offense DWI lawyer is crucial. For the help you need in your case, call today for a consultation.