There are numerous circumstances that can lead to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in New York. Police officers can arrest someone after a traffic stop or after a motor vehicle collision.
The situation surrounding the arrest will determine the exact charges and penalties that the driver faces. In certain situations, drivers may face enhanced charges with extra penalties. An aggravated DWI is a more serious offense than a standard DWI, just as the name implies.
Under what circumstances would a New York prosecutor charge someone with an aggravated DUI instead of a standard defense?
Very high blood alcohol levels lead to aggravated DWIs
New York only has one specific legal situation that constitutes an aggravated DWI. When a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than twice the legal limit, the state may charge them with an aggravated offense.
For most drivers, a test result showing their BAC is over 0.08% is enough for a standard DWI charge. When the test results show a BAC of 0.18% or higher, then the state may bring aggravated DWI charges.
What are the penalties for an aggravated DWI?
A standard DWI charge for a first-time offender could mean jail time and fines. The fine will cost somewhere between $500 and $1,000, and the maximum jail time is a year. A driver will also lose their license for at least six months.
For someone accused of an aggravated DWI offense, the maximum possible jail time stays the same, but the possibility of a judge sentencing them to incarceration increases. The possible fines go up to as much as $2,500 for a first offense. The license revocation period will also be twice a long with at least 12 months required.
As with a standard DWI offense, there could be ways to defend against an aggravated DWI charge. You could challenge the accuracy of the breath test or the legality of the traffic stop. There could even be a medical explanation for why you failed the breath test.
Learning more about the different kinds of DWI charges and the penalties they carry in New York can help drivers hoping to defend against those pending drunk driving charges.