Driving under the influence (DUI) is extensively detected and punished in New York City. Whether you are leaving a bar on the Lower East Side or a family party on Long Island, the New York City police are trained to look notice the signs of drunk driving and pull over those showing signs of impairment. In an instant, you could go from law-abiding resident to criminal defendant. A New York City DUI lawyer is responsible for assisting with your defense. At Koch Law, we take this responsibility seriously, even if this is your first DUI. Our instance that you fight DUI charges is based on the severity of potential outcome. The State of New York has stringent DUI laws, and your defense is the only opportunity to overcome these serious charges.
Understanding Charges for Driving While Intoxicated in New York City
Most states refer to drunk driving laws as DUI, but this actually isn’t the case in New York. A DUI offense in New York, including those in New York City, is officially called driving while intoxicated or DWI. While the name and acronym differ, the severity of the charges and potential outcome is similar to other states.
Most commonly, charges for DUI or DWI apply to instances of drunk or impaired driving, but not always. Drunk driving is the operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Typically, a driver’s BAC is determined through a breath test, which is performed either roadside or at a police station.
Unlike other New York City crimes, such as drug possession, petit larceny, computer fraud, and white-collar crimes, DWI in New York is a strict liability crime. This means the New York City prosecutor doesn’t need to show intent to prove you committed the offense.
While we most often associated DWI with drunk driving, the same offense is applicable to impairment from a controlled substance. Instances that involve DWI by controlled substances are generally considered more serious and more likely to result in a hefty punishment.
DUI Laws in New York City
There are several different drunk driving or DUI laws enforced in New York City. These laws vary in severity, but all cover similar actions by a driver. Whereas other criminal offenses are differentiated by degree of the crime, for example, sexual abuse in the first degree, second degree or third degree, DUI charges are differentiated by different names. A New York City DUI lawyer handles all severity and type of DUI charges.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): The most common drunk driving offense and defined as the operation of a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or 0.02% if the driver is under the age of 21.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol): Law enforcement notices evidence of impairment by alcohol and the driver has a BAC between 0.05% and 0.07%.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI/Drugs): Based on evidence from a chemical test, a driver is shown to have one or more controlled substances in his or her system.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and Alcohol (DWAI/Combination): Based on a breath test and evidence of a chemical test, a driver is shown to have a BAC above 0.05% and a controlled substance in his or her system.
- Aggravated DWI: Based on a breath test, a driver’s BAC is 0.18% or higher, or there is another aggravating circumstance to a charge for DWI.
The penalties for any DUI offense in New York City are based in part of the specific charges. For example, an aggravated DWI offense is subject to a more extensive criminal and administrative punishments than DWI.
However, the other important factor for assessing the punishment for DUI is whether it is a first or subsequent offense. Subsequent DUI offenses in any five-year period have much higher jail sentences and fines. If you are facing a subsequent DWI offense, you should give more consideration to hiring a reputable and respected DUI lawyer in New York City.
DUI Defense in New York City
If you were charged with robbery, cyber terrorism, or identity theft and fraud, you’d immediately contact a New York City lawyer. Often, the reaction to DUI charges in New York City isn’t the same. People assume there isn’t a valid defense to DUI charges and there’s no way to win a dismissal of the charges – this isn’t true.
A DUI lawyer at Koch Law can help you understand the DUI laws in New York City and reduce the negative impact of a DUI. Ready to fight for your future?