Can a DWI Be Reduced in NY?

Last updated on March 1, 2024

Getting charged with a DWI in New York is a serious offense. But there may be some circumstances that may allow charges against you to be reduced to a DWAI. This is when it is critical to have an experienced New York DWI defense lawyer on your side.

If you find yourself facing a DWI charge in New York, a Long Island DWI lawyer is here to provide invaluable assistance. At The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, experienced DWI lawyer Jason Bassett can meticulously analyze the details of your case, identifying potential defenses and strategies for reducing the charges. Don’t navigate the complexities of a DWI charge alone. Contact us today at (631) 259-6060 to explore your options in fighting your DWI charge and receive guidance throughout the process.

DWI Vs. DWAI — What Is the Difference?

A DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated charge, is a misdemeanor that means that you are accused of driving at or over the legal blood alcohol content limit of 0.08%. A DWAI, or driving while ability impaired, is an infraction (and thus not a crime) where a driver is still accused of being impaired but to a lesser extent.

A DWI, as a misdemeanor, is a criminal charge, whereas a DWAI, a traffic infraction, will not have the same legal consequences as a DWI. Although there may still be fines and license suspensions associated with a DWAI, they are significantly less than a DWI.

Long Island DWI defense lawyer

How Can a DWI Lawyer Help With My DWI Charge?

Your lawyer will investigate every avenue to reduce your DWI charges. Although it can be difficult work, a skilled attorney will help you to make the most of your resources. An experienced Long Island DWI defense lawyer will examine the evidence against you and determine the best way to fight it in a court of law. For instance, a defense lawyer may challenge the results of breathalyzer or blood tests. Or, on the other hand, they may also challenge the testimony of an arresting officer in court.

DWI charges are taken seriously by New York State law enforcement officers. A conviction for DWI can lead to a one-year sentence in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, a suspension of your driver’s license for six months, or other more serious consequences. 

Even though it may seem that any lawyer could defend you against a DWI charge, it is important to work with an attorney who understands the law and knows the court system Seeking the legal advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer with an extensive track record of success in handling DWI cases can raise your chances of protecting your freedom. If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Nassau County Long Island or Suffolk County Long Island, call (631) 259-6060 for a free consultation with experienced DWI attorney Jason Bassett.

How You May Have Your DWI Reduced to a DWAI in a Plea Deal

Although getting DWI charges dropped is not always possible, sometimes a DWI can be reduced to a DWAI if a plea bargain can be worked out with the prosecution. This is more likely to happen if there are no other aggravating factors surrounding your case. Particularly if you are a first-time offender with a fairly low reading and no automobile accident, you have a better chance of getting your DWI charges reduced.

Having the representation of an experienced DWI lawyer can help you potentially negotiate for a lighter penalty through a plea deal. A plea deal is basically where you will agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge to get the more severe one dropped. This is often done when neither side wants to take the matter to trial.

But this can work both ways. Charges may be reduced in some cases, but they can also be elevated to a felony in other cases. A charge may be elevated if you have had prior DWI convictions or if there were other aggravating factors surrounding your arrest.

Prosecutors often have latitude when considering a reduction or elevation of charges. In these instances, it’s essential to have the representation of a DWI defense lawyer who is experienced in the county where you have been charged. A lawyer who has experience defending individuals in that county will know the prosecutors and judges and will be better able to negotiate a plea deal understanding the personalities and inclinations of the others involved.

Odds of Getting DUI Dropped

The likelihood of getting a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge dropped in New York can depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the case, the strength of the evidence against you, and the skill of your attorney. Dismissal of a DWI charge is possible under various circumstances.

  • The officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the vehicle stop: If the officer stopped your vehicle without reasonable suspicion of a violation, evidence may be suppressed, potentially leading to dismissal of the charge.
  • The officer lacked probable cause to arrest you after reviewing the case: Probable cause can be established through standardized field sobriety tests, preliminary breath tests, and the officer’s observations and evidence obtained at the scene. Without sufficient evidence, probable cause for arrest may be lacking. If the officer lacked probable cause, key evidence may be suppressed, possibly resulting in case dismissal.
  • Law enforcement failed to follow the required protocol for administering a breath test: There should be a mandatory twenty-minute observation period before taking a breath sample to ensure there is no belching or vomiting. Additionally, law enforcement should ensure that your mouth is free from substances like gum or chewing tobacco, which can contaminate the breath sample with residual alcohol. Your attorney can request case dismissal if law enforcement deviates from these protocols.
  • Law enforcement cannot demonstrate that you were operating the vehicle: Under the law, operation requires the intention to move the vehicle. If you were not in control of a moving vehicle and were merely using it for purposes such as seeking warmth, air conditioning, or listening to music, you can argue for case dismissal.
  • Vehicle was not being operated on a public highway: The legal definition of a public highway includes parking lots with more than four spaces. If it can be shown that you were not operating your vehicle while intoxicated on a public highway, your attorney can request dismissal or charge reduction.

A Long Island DWI lawyer is your key to increasing the odds of getting your DUI charges dropped. At The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, our DWI lawyer Jason Bassett possesses in-depth knowledge of state laws and experience in the legal system. Our team of legal professionals can build a strong case to protect your interests. Don’t face the consequences alone. Reach out to us today and improve your chances of getting a positive outcome on your case.

Factors Description
Lack of reasonable suspicion If the officer stopped your vehicle without reasonable suspicion, evidence may be suppressed for dismissal.
Lack of probable cause for arrest If there is insufficient evidence for probable cause, key evidence may be suppressed, potentially leading to case dismissal.
Failure to follow breath test protocol Deviations from breath test protocols, such as observation periods or mouth cleanliness, can lead to case dismissal.
Lack of demonstration of vehicle operation If you can prove you weren’t in control of a moving vehicle but using it for non-driving purposes, case dismissal may be possible.
Vehicle not operated on a public highway If it can be shown that the vehicle wasn’t operated on a public highway, dismissal or charge reduction may be requested.

The Strength of Your Defense

It is important to remember that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. A conviction will be dependent on the available evidence and the strength of your defense. This is why it is crucial to have a skilled and experienced Suffolk County criminal defense lawyer defending you if you have been charged with a DWI. You may have several defenses available to you. Contact the law offices of Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney for a free consultation.

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