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Criminal Defense

What Happens if You Get a DUI in New York?

6 min read
Unbundled Legal Help

by Unbundled Legal Help

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in New York. Get arrested for a DUI, and you will face heavy fines, jail time, and a long-term license suspension. The legal costs for managing a DUI can also get high—but here’s a way to reduce them.

Alcohol and other intoxicating substances affect your coordination and judgment. You lose the ability to drive a vehicle properly, which may lead to an accident, property damage, and even fatalities. There is no quick way to sober up before driving after you’ve been drinking. So don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. If you’ve had any alcohol to drink, stay on the safe side, and call a taxi or ask someone to drive you home.

If you are arrested for a DUI in New York, you will face very serious consequences. A DUI charge will lead to a license suspension, fines, and even possible jail time. It will affect every aspect of your life and may result in your losing your job and having trouble finding future employment. Talk to an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as you receive a DUI charge. A DUI lawyer will tell you about your sentencing options right away and may even negotiate a milder sentence with the judge if there are mitigating circumstances to your case.

We can put you in touch with an unbundled DUI lawyer in New York today

Types of DUI Offenses in New York

There are several types of DUI offenses in New York. 

DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, refers to a situation when a driver is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the blood alcohol is .04% or higher.

Aggravated DWI occurs when a driver is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .18% or higher.

DWAI, or Driving While Ability Impaired, refers to operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level over .05% but under .07%. DWAI combination refers to a situation when a driver’s ability is impacted by a combination of alcohol and drugs.

A refusal to take a blood alcohol test will result in a driving under the influence charge. New York is a zero-tolerance state, so drivers under 21 operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .02% to 0.7% will also violate driving laws. 

Penalties for Drunk Driving in New York 

If you are charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) and you have no prior offenses, you will face a fine of $500 to $1,000, a maximum jail term of one year, and a license suspension for at least six months. If this is your second DWI, your penalties will include a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, a maximum of four years in jail, and a license suspension for at least one year. If they charge you with a third DWI (within a ten-year period), you will face a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, a maximum jail term of seven years, and a license suspension for at least one year.

If they charge you with a DWAI (driving while ability impaired by alcohol) for the first time, you will pay a fine of $300 to $500, they will suspend your license for 90 days, and you may face a jail sentence of up to 15 days. A second DWAI violation (within a five-year period) results in a $500 to $750 fine, a maximum jail term of 30 days, and a license revocation for a period of at least six months. Third and subsequent DWAI violations (within a ten-year period) will lead to a fine of $750 to $1,500, a maximum jail term of 180 days, and license revocation for at least six months.

If you have committed an Aggravated DWI (and this is your first Aggravated DUI offense), you will face a fine of $1,000 to $1,500, a maximum one-year jail sentence, and license revocation for at least one year. If this is your second Aggravated DWI, your penalties will include a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, a maximum four-year jail term, and a license revocation for a period of at least 18 months. If you have committed a third Aggravated DUI within ‌ten years, you will face a $2,000 to $10,000 fine, a maximum jail term of seven years, and a license revocation for a period of at least 18 months. 

If you have broken the Zero Tolerance Law, you will need to pay a $125 civil penalty and the court will suspend your license for six months. To get your license back, you will also need to pay a $100 suspension fee. 

Will You Need a Lawyer To Handle a DUI Case in New York?

It’s complicated to handle a DUI case without legal help. Doing so will put you at a substantial disadvantage and may result in very serious consequences. A DUI conviction can put you in jail, affect your financial situation, make you lose your job, hold you back in your career and personal life, and more. 

If you are dealing with an Aggravated DWI, the consequences you may face will be more severe and the help of a specialized DWI attorney is even more critical. 

Your DWI attorney will help you understand what consequences you are facing. They will also research your case, find attenuating circumstances (if any) and help you negotiate your sentence with the judge.  

If they have wrongfully charged you with a DWI, you will also need legal help to contest your conviction and make your case in court. 

How Expensive Is a DUI Lawyer in New York?

Legal services are expensive. With a DWI case, the cost will depend on how complex your case is and how much work your lawyer will need to do. In most cases, lawyers charge a flat fee for the full range of services they provide. These services include researching your case, explaining your options, representing you in court, managing all related paperwork, and more. 

The legal costs associated with a DUI in New York can range from $1,300 to $25,000. Your lawyer will also charge you an additional $300 to $500 per hour fee if you need additional services that are not included in the original package. Plus, you need to factor in what you must pay in DWI-related fines. 

How To Save Money in Legal Fees in a DUI Case in New York?

DWI-related costs can get expensive. However, if you are thinking about not hiring legal help to avoid legal expenses, we would strongly advise against it.  

In New York, a drunk driving conviction is a serious offense that comes with long-term consequences. You can lose your license or have it suspended for a long time, go to jail and pay thousands of dollars in fines. A DWI conviction will also affect your current job and the possibilities for your future employment. 

To save money in legal costs, consider using unbundled legal services. If you hire a lawyer from the Unbundled Legal Help network, you can hire them to work on one or several tasks, instead of a whole set of services. As a result, you will pay substantially less in legal fees, saving thousands of dollars. 

While hiring a lawyer for a specific service saves money, it’s not suitable for every situation. If you are dealing with a ‌complicated DUI, you will probably need full legal representation. You can still hire a lawyer from Unbundled Legal Help for full representation. Our lawyer network includes many small law firms and individual lawyers. You may find their prices to be more affordable. 

We can connect you today with an unbundled legal services DUI attorney in New York for a consultation on your case.

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