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Aggravated DWI

New York has laws in place that make penalties for driving while very intoxicated much harsher. If convicted of operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18 or higher, (more than twice the legal limit), some penalties may be twice as severe as penalties for a regular DWI. This is referred to as an aggravated DWI, or an “A-DWI.”

You may also face felony charges of A-DWI if there was a child in your car and you are accused of driving while intoxicated.

Manhattan Aggravated DWI Lawyer

To fight the serious consequences that can come due an A-DWI conviction, your best bet is to hire the services of a skilled attorney who will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and do everything possible to have your charges reduced or dismissed. At Greco Neyland, PC, we take on serious criminal charges. A Manhattan aggravated DWI lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC will challenge the charges and seek your freedom.

Call us at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We represent clients in New York County and Kings County.


Information on Aggravated DWI Charges in New York City


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A-DWI for High BAC

When a person is pulled over and police suspect that person has been drinking, they will typically ask that person to take a DWI chemical test to determine their BAC. This will typically be in the form of a portable breath test (PBT) device administered on the side of the road. While those results are not admissible in court, they are utilized as a basis for the probable cause needed to arrest you on suspicion of DWI. In fact, it is not unusual to be given a PBT at the scene of the stop and then arrested without an opportunity to perform field sobriety tests.

Once you are taken to the precinct you will be placed in a DWI room where everything you say and do is being videotaped as evidence against you for later prosecution. You will be given a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs) and asked to perform a chemical test (breath test) by blowing in to the breath-testing device. You have a choice to make: either take the test or decline to take the test.

It is your right to refuse that test. However, be advised that if you refuse the chemical test you can be charged with a separate VTL violation for refusing to take the chemical test.

If they take it, the test will show how much alcohol is currently in their bloodstream. Several factors play into BAC, including how much a person drinks, the period of time over which they drank it, their height and weight, their metabolism, their age, their sex and many other factors.

If the amount is 0.08, that person is “per se” intoxicated and will face DWI charges. If the BAC is 0.18, the person is “per se” intoxicated and faces aggravated DWI charges.


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Penalties for a High BAC A-DWI

A first aggravated DWI for high BAC remains a misdemeanor, but the penalties are more severe. Fines are greater: You will face between $1,000 and $2,500 in fines. The minimum license revocation period is a year, twice as long as for a regular DWI. Additionally, your chances of getting a reduction to a DWAI (impaired) are barred by district attorney office policy. For a second or third A-DWI penalties increase dramatically.

The penalties are summarized as follows: 

  • For Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (AGG DWI) the fine is $1,000 – $2,500, the maximum jail time is 1 year, and the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for for at least one year; 
  • For a second AGG DWI in 10 years the offense is a E felony with a fine of $1,000 – $5,000, the maximum incarceration is 4 years in prison, and the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for at least 18 months; 
  • For a third AGG DWI in 10 years the offense is a D felony with a fine of $2,000 – $10,000, the maximum incarceration is 7 years, and the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for at least 18 months.

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Aggravated DWI for Operating With Child in the Vehicle

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2-a(b), it is an aggravated DWI to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs with a child younger than 15 anywhere in the vehicle. Unlike a DWI for a high BAC, though, the first offense for this crime is a class E felony.

For such an offense, you will face up to four years in prison. You’ll also be a convicted felon, which comes with many other penalties. For instance, you can no longer legally carry a firearm.

You’ll also face consequences under Leandra’s Law. A report will be filed with the New York State Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline. You’ll also be required to have an ignition interlock device, which will require you to give a clean breath sample every time you start your car, installed on every vehicle you own or operate.


Additional Resources

Penalties for Aggravated DWI – Visit the website of the Department of Motor Vehicles for New York State to learn more about the penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations.


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Finding the Best New York City Defense Attorney for an Aggravated DWI

With such severe penalties, you want a strong defense. At Greco Neyland, PC, we will carefully investigate your case. For instance, we may be able to challenge whether police had reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop, which could result in your arrest being thrown out. We can challenge DWI tests, such as all field sobriety tests administered to you.

We will look for every opportunity to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Contact a skilled drunk driving defense attorney in Manhattan to defend you against serious charges of Aggravated DWI today. Call (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free consultation.

This article was last updated on Friday, May 27, 2016.

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