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Let Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn P.C. Protect Your Freedom

Being charged with your first DWI offense can be an unnerving and overwhelming experience for those accused on uncertain grounds or brief lapses in judgment. You face expensive fines, potential jail time, and a mark on your criminal record, making it harder to find employment or buy a vehicle. If you find yourself in this position, trust the seasoned professionals at Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn P.C. for help. We have over 50 years of combined experience handling cases, including DWI first offenses in Long Island, NY. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of New York laws and court proceedings to walk you through every step of the process.

Police officer holding breathalyzer in front of a police car in Mineola, NY

First Offense DWI Penalties

In New York State, first-offense DWIs are classified as a misdemeanor. While there is no minimum jail time required, penalties for first-time offenders depend on factors such as age and blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It is possible to receive a sentence of one year in jail, and fines range from $500 to $2,500, all based on your BAC at the crime scene. Commonly, a BAC of 0.008 or higher will result in license suspension and punishment, with charges increasing for drivers with a BAC level over 0.185. Further, New York state requires the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, a breathalyzer-lick device that won’t allow your vehicle to start if a certain level is detected. Here is a brief look at additional penalties that may be ordered:

  • Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee
  • Screening for Alcohol Dependency
  • Victim Impact Program
  • Misdemeanor/Felony Surcharge
  • Crime Victim Assistance Fee

Why Hire an Attorney for Your First Offense?

Retaining counsel can make an impact in your first-offense DWI case. We will ensure you understand all potential penalties of a conviction while creating a personalized defense strategy. Our team will protect your rights, assist with various motions, and gather evidence for your case. We’ll scrutinize all available evidence from the circumstances of the traffic stop, testing, and police questioning while searching for inconsistencies. There are several different defenses we can raise to support and defend your case, including:

  • Improper Traffic Stop
  • Mis-calibrated Machines
  • Poorly Administered Tests
  • Compromised Samples
  • Lack of Probable Cause

Addressing DWI First Offense FAQs

Facing potential charges can feel overwhelming as there can be several questions regarding your rights, defense options, and what to do next. To help address these questions and concerns, we’ve compiled a list of some frequently asked questions regarding first-offense DWI in Long Island. If you have any questions or need more information, we encourage you to reach out and schedule your free consultation. Here is our list of questions and answers for your benefit:

  • Is There a Difference Between DWI and DUI? – Both refer to the same criminal offence. New York state opts for DWI or driving while intoxicated.
  • Is DWI Considered a Misdemeanor? – There are seven different DWI offenses in New York state. Of those seven, five are misdemeanors. Whether your DWI conviction is a misdemeanor, felony, or infraction depends on the offense.
  • Can a First-Offense DWI Be Dismissed in Long Island? – While not common, it is possible to get a dismissal. However, the reason is not based on it being a first offense but instead on other factors, such as insufficient evidence. It’s more common to see lenient sentencing than for a dismissal.
  • Is Jail Mandatory for First Offence DWI? – None of New York’s DWI offenses require a court to mandate jail time at the sentencing stage for first offenses. Leniency is often achieved by our attorneys advocating for a lighter sentence or negotiating a favorable plea bargain.
  • Do You Lose Your License for a First Offense DWI in New York? – New York state law requires a minimum license suspension or revocation term on first offenses, regardless of the type. Even someone charged and acquitted will likely have their license suspended.
  • How Long Does a DWI First-Offense Conviction Remain On My Record? – A first offense remains on your driving record for 15 years from the conviction date.

A permanent mark on your criminal record can interfere with your ability to obtain employment or purchase a vehicle or house. When facing DWI first offense charges, it’s important to work with attorneys who will condiment a comprehensive investigation of your case and create a personalized defense strategy. Our team of seasoned attorneys is prepared to help by offering well-researched, experienced, and carefully considered counsel. You can rely on our team to be there with you through every step of the process. Reach out to schedule your free consultation today.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation!