Aggravated DWI Lawyer in Buffalo

Seek a Defense Lawyer for Aggravated DWI? Look No Further 

The first thing you need to know if you face an Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge in New York is that New York takes this crime very seriously. One reason is that one-third of the fatalities in New York State result from the actions of intoxicated drivers and pedestrians. 


DWI convictions stay on your record for 15 years from the date of the conviction. A DWI conviction can impact your automobile insurance coverage for up to 10 years, depending on the underwriting protocols of your insurer. There are also mandatory surcharges in some cases involving DWI. A review of the Aggravated DWI penalties makes it easy to understand these serious consequences affect not only your pocketbook but your liberty. 


What is an Aggravated DWI? 

An Aggravated DWI charge means you were caught driving with a blood alcohol level of .18% or higher. That is twice the legal blood alcohol limit in New York State for driving in an intoxicated condition (.08% blood alcohol level). Blood alcohol content measures the concentration of alcohol in your blood at a given time. New York State determined that blood alcohol level is the best way to predict the driver’s likelihood of having an accident. 


New York State classifies Aggravated DWI as a misdemeanor, but the penalty is much greater than a standard DWI. The maximum penalty for a first Aggravated DWI offense is $1,000 - $2,500 and a year’s suspension of your driver’s license. Multiple Aggravated DWI offenses within ten years change the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony. 


A second Aggravated DWI offense within 10 years is a class E felony that increases the maximum penalty up to $5,000, including up to four years in prison, and revocation of your driver’s license for up to 18 months. A third Aggravated DWI offense within 10 years is a class D felony that earns up to a $10,000 fine, including up to 7 years of prison time, and revocation of your driver’s license for up to 18 months.  


The law provides additional penalties for multiple Aggravated DWI within 25 years. The penalties for drivers under age 21 convicted of multiple Aggravated DWI charges within 10 years include revocation of the driver’s license for 18 months or until age 21 if longer. 


New York Toughened DWI Laws 

Every county in New York has a STOP-DWI law. The STOP-DWI laws increased the equipment available to police departments to catch DWI drivers, as well as more district attorneys and judges to prosecute the cases. 


New York lawmakers strengthened the DWI laws in recent years to restrict the defendant’s ability for reduced charges. For example, a plea agreement with the District Attorney can no longer reduce the Aggravated DWI charge to a standard DWI or non-alcohol-related charge. 


The law also provides separate penalties for refusal to take a chemical test. If you refuse to take a blood alcohol level test, the judge will suspend your license during the arraignment and Motor Vehicles will revoke your license for at least one year for a first offense (18 months for subsequent offenses). The civil penalty for refusing to take the chemical test is $500 for the first offense ($750 for subsequent offenses). If you are under age 21 when you refuse the chemical test, the civil penalty is $125 plus a one-year license revocation. These penalties are in addition to the penalties for DWI or Aggravated DWI. 


Take the Next Step 

If you face a DWI or Aggravated DWI charge, you need an attorney experienced in these matters to represent your interests. Norman Mattar has 25 years of experience in these matters. He understands the defense strategies available for DWI and Aggravated DWI charges. He will fight zealously to protect your interests and get the best possible outcome for you. Call today to schedule a conference to discuss your situation.