Second and Third DWI Offenses in Saratoga County
Saratoga Springs Attorney Defending People Facing Repeat Drunk Driving Charges
In an effort to prevent drunk driving accidents, New York imposes harsh penalties on people convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses. Moreover, the legal and personal consequences of subsequent DWI convictions become progressively more severe. If you have been arrested for a second or third DWI offense, hiring an experienced criminal lawyer is essential to protect your rights. Saratoga County DWI lawyer Gregory P. Garofalo has represented many people accused of drunk driving over his 25-year legal career, working aggressively to achieve a fair outcome in each case. Mr. Garofalo can explain the significance of a second or third DWI arrest and construct a defense strategy to help you seek to avoid another conviction.
Consequences for a Second Offense DWI
A DWI is more serious than an ordinary traffic ticket and is often prosecuted aggressively. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in New York if your ability to drive is impaired by the consumption of alcohol. Under the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law, the per se form of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is defined as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or more for drivers aged 21 or older. This means that if you have been driving, and a chemical test of your blood, breath, urine, or saliva reveals a BAC level of at least .08, you can be charged with a DWI. A BAC level under the legal limit of .08 could still result in a DWI charge if the prosecution can prove that you were impaired to a significant extent. Drivers under 21 years old can be charged with a DWI if they have a BAC of .05 or higher. They are subject to New York’s Zero Tolerance Law, which prohibits the consumption of any alcohol.
If you have been convicted of a prior DWI in New York or any other state within the past 10 years, the penalties imposed for any additional DWI conviction are greater. A second offense DWI is a class E felony in New York. The penalties imposed upon a conviction of a second offense DWI can include the revocation of your driver’s license for at least one year, a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 plus a mandatory conviction surcharge and driver responsibility assessments, a maximum jail sentence of four years, probation, and the installation of an ignition interlock device with the associated costs. For drivers under 21, the license revocation period is either one year or until age 21, whichever is longer. If the second offense occurred within five years of the first DWI, you will also face a minimum of five days in jail or 30 days of community service.
Consequences for a Third Offense DWI
A third or greater DWI charge within a 10-year period is a class D felony in New York. A conviction is punishable by a fine ranging between $2,000 and $10,000, a mandatory conviction surcharge, driver responsibility assessments, up to seven years in jail, a minimum one-year license revocation period, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicles that you own or operate at your expense. If the most recent DWI occurs within five years of a prior DWI offense, the penalties will include a minimum of either 10 days in jail or 60 days of community service.
It is important to note, however, that many DWI arrests do not result in a conviction. Each person has a right to defend against a drunk driving charge. An experienced defense attorney can review the details of your arrest to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and devise a strategy to serve your interests.
Retain a DWI Lawyer in Saratoga County to Fight for Your Rights
Saratoga County attorney Gregory P. Garofalo handles a wide range of criminal cases, including second and third DWI offenses and marijuana possession. Mr. Garofalo can represent drivers throughout Albany, Warren, Washington, and Schenectady Counties, including residents of Ballston Lake, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Malta, Rotterdam, Gansevoort, Waterford, Albany, Latham, Schenectady, Glens Falls, and Queensbury. Schedule an appointment with an experienced DWI lawyer by calling the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo at (518) 584-1557 or submitting our online form.