DeRoberts Law Firm

Focused On Protecting Your Family And Your Future

What You Need To Know: Your Arrest For Drunk Driving

Last updated on March 8, 2022

A DWI (DUI) should not be taken lightly, even if you feel that you are innocent. The penalties for a conviction have immediate and future consequences. You will need an experienced and aggressive DWI attorney.

In a free, one-on-one consultation, Mr. DeRoberts is an experienced DWI lawyer and will personally sit down with you to explain your rights and obligations. He will listen to the facts of your case and give you an honest assessment of your situation. Then he will fight to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether. If a reduction or dismissal is not possible, he will negotiate with the prosecution to minimize the impact of any penalties you may face. Furthermore, if a trial is your best option, he will aggressively defend you in front of a judge or jury. He does this by offering you experience, dedication and his personal attention throughout the duration of your case.

Charged with DWI or DWAI? You can call or email DeRoberts Law Firm 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Attorney Jeffrey DeRoberts will take your call or get back to you promptly. Call 315-479-6445 or contact us online.

What’s The Difference Between DWI And DWAI?

  • DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a misdemeanor crime. This charge alleges that your blood alcohol content, or BAC, was measured at .08 or higher (or .06 or greater if you have a commercial driver’s license). A conviction requires no other proof of impairment. We fight a DWI by challenging the validity of the underlying traffic stop, any field sobriety tests performed and the results of any blood or breath testing you underwent.
    • Aggravated DWI is charged if your BAC is .16 or greater. Penalties for this crime can be much greater than for a standard DWI. Penalties will also be enhanced if you have a prior conviction, even one in another state.
  • DWAI (driving while ability impaired) is charged when your BAC is greater than .04 but less than .08 or if the arresting officer observed other signs of impairment. While a DWAI carries no jail time, the other penalties are severe. It also counts as a first offense if you are later arrested for DWI/DWAI, so avoiding a conviction is critical.
    • DWAI-Drugs is driving while impaired by a drug other than alcohol. (This can be charged even for prescription medication.) The penalties are the same as for DWI.

Other Drunk Driving Charges

  • Felony DWI is charged for (a) repeat offenses or (b) DWI-related injury or death.
  • Underage drivers (under 21) face automatic license suspension for BAC of .02 or greater (any alcohol in your bloodstream), and the same penalties as adults for DWAI or DWI.
  • Refusal of a breathalyzer test or blood test is a DMV violation. (You can still be criminally charged with DWI or DWAI.) It results in the automatic license suspension of your driver’s license.

Why Do I Need A Lawyer?

You are unlikely to serve jail for a first-offense DWI. However, a knowledgeable lawyer is critical for many reasons:

  1. A conviction for a first DWI or DWAI sets you up for major penalties if you are ever charged with a second offense.
  2. Mr. DeRoberts can help you qualify for programs to retain your license or keep the DWI off your record.
  3. We are often successful in getting charges dropped or reduced.
  4. We can negotiate favorable plea agreements and alternative punishments.
  5. Mr. DeRoberts has won drunk driving cases at trial.
  6. Pleading guilty as charged will earn you no mercy.

A DWI Can Significantly Impact Your Life

A driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge can have serious and long-lasting impacts on your life. Beyond the fines you have to pay and the time you spend in jail, the punishments can be severe. Your driver’s license is revoked for months. If convicted, you have a criminal record, which will make it difficult to get a job. In order to drive your car, you will need to install an ignition interlock device. If you are convicted of a felony DWI, you will also not be able to own a firearm.

The best way to avoid these dire consequences is to hire an aggressive DWI lawyer in Syracuse to defend you. At DeRoberts Law Firm, we are dedicated to fighting your charges. We work tirelessly for you. Attorney Jeffrey DeRoberts, with his team of paralegals, combines powerful defense strategies with years of experience and personal attention to protect your freedom.

New York’s Ignition Interlock Program

If you are convicted of a DWI in New York, the judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles you own or operate, even if it is your first DWI. An ignition interlock device connects to your vehicle’s ignition and does not allow you to start your car until you provide it with a breath sample. The device measures the alcohol content in your breath. It also records how many times you started or tried to start the vehicle, your blood alcohol content every time you tried to start the car, and how long you drove the car. You are responsible for the cost of installing and maintaining the device.

Will I Go To Jail For My DWI?

Whether you spend time in jail for your DWI depends on a few factors such as how many previous DWI convictions you have, and whether your DWI is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If this is your second DWI in the last five years, there is a minimum of five days jail time or 30 days of community service time.

If this is your third or more DWI and you had a previous DWI conviction in the last five years, there is a minimum 10 days jail time or 60 days of community service. Even if this is your first DWI, you may get jail time up to one year. If your DWI is charged as a felony because you had a passenger under the age of 16, you can be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Contact Us Now To Protect Your Rights

If you are looking for a Syracuse criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, look no further. Call 315-479-6445 or send an email for a free initial consultation.