Felony DWI Lawyer

Common New York Felony DWI Charges


A Felony DWI charge in New York is a very serious situation. Even if it's your first arrest, you are facing up to 4 years in state prison. If this is your second time being charges with felony DWI in New York, you are facing up to 7 years in state prison. Bail is often set at the criminal court arraignment (the first court date) and could be set at the supreme court arraignment meaning that there is a significant chance that you could be incarcerated while the case is pending if bail is set and you cannot afford bail.

Prior DWI Conviction. The most common reason you may face a felony DWI charge in New York State is due to a previous conviction in the past 10 years. The charge is probably the same as a misdemeanor charge but the District Attorney has an additional burden of proving your prior conviction. This is done in two phases. In the first phase, the District Attorney would have to prove what would be, essentially, a misdemeanor case of DWI against you – specifically that you were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. In the second phase, the District Attorney would have to prove that you were convicted of a prior misdemeanor DWI within the last 10 years.

Is your prior a violation or a misdemeanor? If your prior conviction is considered a violation, you may be innocent of the felony charge. The distinction between misdemeanor and violation is not always easy to discern so call us at 212-619-3900 to learn more about this.

Is your prior out of state? If so, a lot will depend on the nature of that conviction. The charge you were convicted of, the date of your conviction, and other facts may help you to avoid a felony charge in New York. Call us at 212-619-3900 to discuss this issue.

Child Passenger. If you were accused of driving while intoxicated while a child of 15 years of age or less was a passenger, you may be charged with felony DWI under Leandra’s Law. In 2009, Leandra Rosado, age 11, was killed in New York City when her friend's mother was driving while intoxicated and crashed. The Child Passenger Protection Act (Leandra's Law) was signed into law by Governor Patterson later in 2009 and makes it a felony to drink and drive with a child aged 15 or younger inside the car. Contact us at 212-619-3900 if you have been charged with this offense.

Suspended License & DWI (VTL 511.03a(1)). If are accused of drunk driving while your privilege to drive was suspended or revoked, you may be facing this charge which is a class E felony. This charge is, essentially, a combination of two charges – one for driving while intoxicated and the other for driving while your privilege was suspended or revoked. Call us at 212-619-3900 for more information.

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