Is A DUI/DWI With A Child In The Car An Automatic Felony Charge In New York State? Can I Get A DUI/ DWI With A Minor Charge Reduced?
A DWI with a child in a car is an automatic felony arrest charge in New York State. In addition, having a child in the car while you are driving while intoxicated is a charge of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated or Aggravated DWI, a class E felony.
In some instances, getting an Aggravated DWI charge reduced is possible. However, the reduction is certainly not automatic and is mainly dependent and determined by many factors. In an Aggravated DWI case, a particular set of circumstances significantly determines whether a charge reduction occurs.
Some circumstances that courts take into consideration are:
- Whether your BAC was high or low
- Whether an accident was involved
- How many children were involved
- The age of the children in the car
- Your prior criminal history
- Whether you have been charged previously in the area of alcohol or drugs
- Whether you have a history of substance abuse
- The judge involved in your case
Again, a myriad of circumstances come into play when something like an Aggravated DWI is charged. These circumstances are considered when determining a reduction in the charge(s).
NOTE: There are 62 different counties in New York State. Each county handles its charges and can handle Aggravated DWI, DWI, or any charge, slightly differently. All counties have different district attorneys or prosecutor’s offices, and each can view an Aggravated DUI charge somewhat differently.
What Are The Penalties I Could Face For A DUI Or DWI In New York State, And What Happens To My Professional License?
If you’re charged with a DWI/DUI in New York State, the consequences you face are:
- Up to 364 days in jail (for a first-time DUI/DWI)
- Fines ranging from $500 to $1000
- New York State Surcharge fee of either $395 or $400 (price varies depending on which court is handling your case)
- Up to three years of probation
- Suspension of your license for six months
- Having to get a Driver’s Responsibility Assessment by the DMV, which costs $750 (allowed to be paid at $250 per year over three years)
- A possible discretionary six-month suspension of your vehicle’s registration
A charge is different from a conviction.
It’s important to point out that you must be convicted of DUI/DWI to have to serve the consequences for a DUI/DWI. But, if you’re convicted or plead guilty to the DUI/DWI, then you also can face the following:
- You will be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car.
- You’d have to have an IID for one year or the length of your probation, but in no circumstances for less than six months.
- You will be ordered to attend a 2-hour Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim’s Impact Panel (VIP) session.
Will Refusing To Give A Breath Sample Help Me Beat My DUI/DWI Charge In New York State?
Suppose you refuse an intoxication test, whether it’s breath, blood, urine, or saliva. In that case, your refusal alone may result in the revocation of your driving privileges in New York State for one year.
When you refuse a test, whether you’re guilty of the DWI or not, your refusal is handled by a separate administrative proceeding. The mere refusal to provide a test or a sample to the officer is dealt with by a separate administrative proceeding before an Administrative Law Judge at the State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Can A DUI/DWI Charge In New York Still Halt My Professional Licenses Even If I’m Not Convicted?
Typically, there has to be a DWI conviction for your professional license to be impacted. However, the mere arrest or charge may trigger your employer to take action pending the outcome of your case.
An employer’s action regarding a DUI/DWI charge can vary from employer to employer. Some employers will do nothing because they want to wait for a conviction. Others may suspend you for a period to have time to evaluate what’s happening.
For example, suppose you’re a physician, and this accusation comes up. The hospital may say, “If they have a problem, maybe we don’t want them operating on our patients until we find out more.” So they may decide to take action and suspend you according to their policies and procedures. Or, they may give you tests for alcohol or drugs before allowing you to operate on patients.
In addition, the process through the courts can take many months and often takes that long. The action an employer can take depends on the employer and set of circumstances, such as:
- What profession you work in
- Who you work for
- Whether you work for a private company or the government and have union protections
- Other various circumstances
Will My Professional License Board Automatically Be Notified If I Was Arrested For DUI/DWI?
Depending on your professional licensing board, they can be automatically notified if you are arrested. For instance, when you become a security guard, teacher, physician, or police officer, you submit fingerprints to get that professional license.
So ultimately, if you get arrested, an automatic notification process can occur because your name and fingerprints are already on file, so it’s almost like an alarm goes off. Submitting fingerprints for an arrest can automatically notify your professional licensing board. And in some cases, your employer will get an automatic notification.