Westchester County Felony DWI Lawyer
Most DWI cases are violations or misdemeanors where a conviction is unlikely to result in jail time. However, there are certain scenarios where a DWI can be charged as a felony. Being labeled as a felon can affect every portion of your future from employment, to eligibility for government benefits, to where you can live. Making matters worse, convictions for some DWI felonies can result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
A Westchester County felony DWI lawyer could help you fight back. An aggressive DWI attorney can work to defend your rights both before the case gets to court and during a trial to help you to maintain your freedom and your driving privileges.
The Factors that Make a Westchester County Offense a Felony
Unlike in many other jurisdictions, courts in Westchester County do not use the extent of the alleged intoxication as a factor in determining the seriousness of the charge. Instead, the main reason for someone to face a felony-level DWI charge is if they have a prior conviction for DWI on their criminal record.
According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Code §1193(c), a conviction for a DWI is a felony if a driver has at least one prior conviction for a DWI charge in the past ten years. This applies regardless of the nature of the intoxicating substance or if the conviction occurred in another state’s courts.
A DWI can also be a felony if a driver has a prior conviction for vehicular assault or manslaughter. This is the only circumstance where a DWI becomes a felony that does not require a prior DWI conviction. While there are situations where DWI-related offenses can bring felony charges, such as endangering a child or causing bodily harm to other people, a core DWI charge is only a felony under these limited circumstances.
Convictions for Misdemeanor DWI vs. Felony DWI
A conviction for misdemeanor DWI may create a criminal record, require someone to pay significant fees, and cause a loss of license. Convictions for felony DWIs are much more serious. The least harsh version of the felony DWI is a Class E felony. This means that a conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to one year, will require a loss of license for at least one year, and fines that may be as much as $2,000.
A third-offense DWI, or subsequent convictions beyond this number are Class D felonies. The maximum prison sentence here is seven years, but anyone who is convicted must go to jail for at least ten days. A third conviction will also likely result in a permanent loss of license, as well as the payment of astronomical fines. A Westchester County felony DWI lawyer could help to protect a person’s future.
Call a Westchester County Felony DWI Attorney
Westchester County’s police and courts take allegations of drunk driving very seriously. Any form of impaired driving may lead to an arrest and serious consequences that affect every part of your future. This is doubly the case when police allege an instance of felony DWI.
A Westchester County felony DWI lawyer could help you if you are facing allegations involving felony DWI. Contact a lawyer today to let them get to work for you.