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3 FAQs about DWI charges

Your choice to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs comes with many consequences, both emotionally and financially.

If charged with a DWI in New York State, knowing the possible repercussions may help you better handle what comes next.

1. What penalties may I face?

New York state takes DWIs seriously. Depending on the level of your charge, you may face fines and jail time and lose driving privileges. The state has different classifications of violations that come with different sentences. Your first DWI may result in up to a $2,500 fine and a potential one-year sentence. If you have more than three convictions within 10 years, you may permanently lose your license and serve up to seven years in jail.

2. Can an accident victim sue me?

If your charges include a traffic accident, you face additional consequences. The victim or victims in the accident have the right to sue you for financial losses as well as pain and suffering. That means you have to deal with both your criminal case and a civil lawsuit.

3. How will a DWI affect my insurance?

When convicted of a DWI in New York, it stays on your record for 15 years. If it includes a serious offense, such as a death, you may carry it with you for the rest of your life. Insurance companies don’t take any DWI convictions lightly and will consider you a high risk. That may result in insurance costs exponentially increasing or denial of insurance.

If you don’t get the outcome you hope and receive a conviction, you have the right to appeal.