If you’ve been charged with a DWI, it is important to understand the charges that have been brought against you, and you should never fight a DWI charge on your own.

Are DUIs Felonies or Misdemeanors?

During this scary and stressful time, you want an attorney who will stand by your side, and be available to answer any questions you may have. The Law Office of Kyran D. Nigro has the experience in DWI cases to do just that.

Is driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI/DWI) a felony or a misdemeanor? Under most circumstances, a first-time conviction for driving under the influence is a misdemeanor, but there are circumstances under which a DUI can be a charged as a felony crime. These circumstances vary by state and jurisdiction.

In many states, a drunk driving charge is considered a traffic offense or a misdemeanor, but those charges can be enhanced from standard misdemeanor DUI to felony DUI depending upon other factors.


You will likely undergo an alcohol evaluation to see the extent of your drinking habits and alcohol education to explain how drinking can affect your life and health.

Breaking Other Laws and Driving With a Suspended License

As with any criminal charge, a person charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) (also called “driving under the influence” (DUI)) is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If guilt is established (often through the defendant’s own plea or after a jury trial), the penalty will depend on state law, as well as on any aggravating circumstances (such as accidents and injuries).

Jail Time

In most states, a first-offense DUI or DWI is classified as a misdemeanor and punishable by no more than six months or a year in jail. However, in a few states, the maximum jail time for a first DUI is even shorter. For example, the maximum jail time for a first DWI in New Jersey is 30 days. And, although it’s uncommon, there are states like Pennsylvania where a first DUI doesn’t carry any possible jail time. Many states also require minimum jail sentences of at least several days on a first offense.

With second and subsequent DUIs, the maximum possible jail time might be greater. But it’s even more common for the mandatory minimum jail sentence to be longer than it is for a first offense. In Colorado, for instance, the minimum jail time is five days for a first offense, 10 days for a second offense, and 60 days for a third offense. But the maximum jail time for a first, second, and third DUI in Colorado is one year—the same for all three offenses.

Can you go to jail for a DWI in NY?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is crime. A first conviction, considered a misdemeanor, will result in a substantial fine, mandatory surcharge, license revocation, and a possible jail sentence.

How long does a DWI stay on your record in NY?

10 years Convictions for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI) are displayed for 15 years from the date of conviction. Convictions for DWAI are displayed for 10 years from the date of conviction. Some serious violations, such as vehicular homicide, may be displayed permanently.

How can I get out of a DWI in NY?

A DWI charge could be dismissed if it is determined that the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to pull the vehicle over. If an officer stops a vehicle traveling on a public highway, he/she can only do so if they have a reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed a vehicle and traffic law violation.

What happens if you get 2 DWI in NY?

A driver convicted of a second DWI offense will go to jail for at least five days unless they receive a sentence for 30 days of community service in lieu of this mandatory term. The sentence could involve an incarceration period of up to four years.

Can a DWI be reduced in NY?

A DWI is reduced to a DWAI through what is called a “plea bargain.” A plea bargain is worked out with a state prosecutor if the circumstances merit it. There are certain circumstances in which you are more likely to be offered a plea bargain than in others.

What happens when you get your first DWI in New York?

For individuals charged with a first-offense DWI/DUI in New York, there is no minimum jail time required. However, it is possible to be sentenced to a maximum of one year in jail. Fines for a first-time DWI offense can range from $500 to $2,500, depending on your BAC level at the scene of the crime.

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Saratoga Springs Law Office of Kyran D. Nigro
480 Broadway Suite 250, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 886-1014

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