Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New York is a serious offense. Law enforcement has been working hard to try and reduce the number of DWIs and this means that they have been cracking down on those violating the state drunk driving laws. The good news is that, if you have been charged with a DWI, you may be eligible for a reduction in the charge level or, in some instances, have the charges dropped completely.
Can a New York DWI Be Reduced?
Under certain circumstances, a New York DWI charge may be reduced to Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). A DWI is a misdemeanor offense and is considered to be a criminal charge. Alternatively, a DWAI is a violation and is not considered to be a crime. This means that, in addition to a reduction in the severity of the potential penalties, you will not have anything end up on your criminal record. A criminal record can provide complications for you when applying for things like a job or housing. A DWAI, however, can still mean up to 15 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. It is still much better than the $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and the longer driver’s license suspension that can come with just a first-time conviction for DWI.
A DWI is reduced to a DWAI through what is called a “plea bargain.” A plea bargain is worked out with a state prosecutor if the circumstances merit it. There are certain circumstances in which you are more likely to be offered a plea bargain than in others. For instance, if there were no aggravating factors associated with your DWI case, such as a higher blood alcohol level, an accident, or an accident that resulted in injuries. If you blew a low BAC on a Breathalyzer test, you are much more likely to be offered a plea bargain. In a plea bargain, you are essentially agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for having the more severe charge against you dropped. It is a binding agreement.
In some cases, you may be able to get your DWI charge dropped altogether. Often, this is most possible when a good attorney is able to find serious legal issues with you case. For example, if there is doubt about whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over in the first place, then that is one reason charges may be dropped. If there were questionable field sobriety test results or possible errors with conducting the Breathalyzer test, those might be other reasons charges would be dropped. If there is enough doubt cast over the strength of the DWI case against you, prosecutors may not want to risk going to trial and risk losing and so they opt to have the charges against you dropped instead.
New York DWI Attorney
With a skilled attorney at CDH Law by your side, you have already taken a big step towards the possibility of having your DWI charges reduced or dropped altogether. We work to serve the best interests of our clients and that includes fighting all criminal charges they face. Contact us today.