In Arthur L. Pressman Law Blog, DWI

DWAI-Drugs Defense

If you have been charged with DWAI-Drugs, you may be feeling worried about the penalties, whether they are less or more severe than a DWI. With DWI attorney Arthur Pressman, you can learn the DWAI-drugs defense strategies that he uses.

New York has a separate law that prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while the person’s ability is impaired by drugs. The penalties for a DWAI-Drugs conviction is the same as for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

DWAI-Drug Penalties

  • A first DWAI-Drugs charge carries a mandatory fine of $500 to $1,000, up to one year in jail and six-month license suspension.
  • A second DWAI-Drugs charge within 10 years is a class E felony. The punishments are a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, and up to four years in prison. Your driving privilege is revoked for 18 months.
  • A third offense within 10 years carries a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, up to seven years in prison and a revocation of driver’s license for 18 months.

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New York law clearly defines “intoxicated” for a charge of DWI — if a person’s blood-alcohol content is .08 or higher for holders of driver’s license or .04 for holders of commercial licenses, the person is guilty of DWI. For DWAI-Drugs, on the other hand, there is no clear definition of what exactly “ability impaired” means. In these cases, prosecutors must introduce sufficient evidence of the driver’s impaired ability, such as dilated eyes, behavior, and smell, to support the charge. This obligation to introduce evidence allows an attorney from a New York DWI law firm to challenge the evidence presented and introduce additional proof that the driver’s ability was not impaired.

DWAI-Drugs Defense | Plea Bargain

In addition, when charged with DWAI-Drugs, you can plea bargain to a lesser charge — New York law does not allow plea bargaining in DWI cases. The ability to plea to a lesser charge enables a NY DWI attorney to help you resolve the matter more favorably.

When charged with DWI, your license is suspended until the matter is resolved. When charged with DWAI-Drugs, you usually do not lose your driving privileges during trial, which makes the entire process easier.

If you have been charged with DWAI-Drugs and are seeking legal representation, please call Buffalo DWI Attorney Arthur Pressman to receive a free consultation.

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