Rockland County Third Offense DWI Lawyer

A third DWI offense can cause you to lose your license, perhaps permanently, face high fines, and could serve years in prison. As the potential ramifications can be harsh, you should contact a Rockland County third offense DWI lawyer for advice.

The consequences of a third drunk driving conviction can impact all aspects of your life. A conviction can ruin your relationships, keep you from furthering your education, and prevent you from finding employment. An experienced DWI defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman could work with you to minimize or eliminate some of the potential penalties in your case.

What Does a Third DWI Offense Entail?

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when a person’s ability to drive is impaired by alcohol (DWAI) or a combination of drugs or alcohol. This offense occurs when a person’s blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher.

According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193, the penalties for a third DWI and a third DWAI differ substantially. The look-back period for a third DWAI offense is ten years. As a result, if someone has two or more prior convictions for DWAI, they can face a misdemeanor charge that carries the potential for a fine ranging from $750 to $1,500, up to 180 days in jail, or both. If one or more of the prior offenses was a DWI or other related crime, however, the charge becomes a felony.

Therefore, a third DWI charge for individuals with two or more convictions for DWI or related offenses within ten years is a Class D felony offense. The penalties for a third drunk driving offense can include a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, up to seven years of incarceration, or both. A conviction typically requires a person to serve at least ten days in jail of the potential seven years of imprisonment or complete 60 days of community service. If someone has been charged with a third DWI offense in Rockland County, an attorney could prepare the defendant for the upcoming legal process.

Other Consequences for Multiple DWI Offenses

After receiving multiple drunk driving offenses, a person may have to go through a period of probation or conditional discharge that requires them to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for at least 12 months. Their license may also be revoked for at least one year. Aside from the fines, a person also could be assessed mandatory conviction surcharges and crime victim assistance fees.

In addition to the sanctions established by state statute, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has adopted a three strikes rule when it comes to DWI. Any combination of alcohol or drug-related driving offenses within the last 25 years will make someone ineligible to regain their licenses for an additional five years and in some cases, permanently.

The implications of a felony DWI conviction are harsh. A person may lose some of their civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms and be ineligible for some jobs and professional licenses. They also may be unable to pursue some specific careers and have difficulties finding housing. Because the consequences of a third DWI offense are serious, it is crucial to work with a Rockland County lawyer when facing these charges.

What is a Defense for a Third DWI Offense?

One of the strongest defenses available in a third DWI case involves an unlawful traffic stop. The police are limited in their ability to pull over a driver and investigate a potential driving while intoxicated charge. Unless a police officer has developed a reasonable suspicion that a crime or traffic violation has occurred, they may not pull over a driver.

The consequences of an illegal stop can be significant thanks to a legal doctrine known as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Under this doctrine, a defense attorney in Rockland County could press the court to exclude any evidence collected as a result of the illegal stop from being used in a third DWI offense.

Evidence of Intoxication

For prosecutors, the strongest evidence available in most third offense DWI cases is a chemical test result with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit. However, these test results are not required for the state to obtain a conviction. Instead, the prosecutor could pursue a conviction by proving the defendant was impaired by alcohol or another substance. The evidence that could be used to prove intoxication at trial includes dashboard camera footage of erratic driving, the presence of alcoholic beverages in the driver’s vehicle, or an admission of drinking from the driver.

Call a Rockland Third Offense DWI Attorney for Advice

State laws punish repeated DWI convictions very harshly to deter individuals from committing this offense in the future. When you are facing a third drunk driving offense, the stakes are high, and you are not likely to be able to handle these charges on your own effectively. A Rockland third offense DWI lawyer could represent your interests to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Call today to discuss your case.

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