What are the consequences of a first-time DWI conviction?

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2021 | Drunk Driving Charges, dui/dwi, Felony DUI

Driving home after a dinner out with friends. Red and blue flashing lights. Law enforcement pulls you over and charges you with driving while intoxicated. Never facing anything like this before, you wonder what steps to take next and what this means for your future.

If charged with drunk driving, you may benefit from understanding the potential penalties for a first-time offense.

Financial penalties

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, driving while intoxicated is classified as a misdemeanor offense. If convicted of or you plead guilty to DWI, the court may order you to pay a fine of between $500 and $1,000. Additionally, the court may require you to pay a mandatory conviction surcharge, the crime victims’ assistance fee or both. You will also have responsibility for the cost of installing, maintaining and monitoring the ignition interlock device you must equip any vehicle you operate with for a period after having your driving privileges restored.

Jail sentences

For a first-time offense, the potential penalties you face include jail time. The court may sentence you to a maximum of one year in jail.

Administrative actions

A DWI conviction or guilty plea also carries administrative penalties. The department will revoke your driver’s license for a minimum of six months. If under 21-years-old, you face a minimum one-year revocation of your driving privileges.

An arrest for drunk driving may upend your life, sending it down a path you never saw coming. However, options exist for you to defend yourself against such charges, as well as to potentially mitigate the consequences you face if convicted or you plead guilty.