A defendant who has previously been convicted of multiple drinking and driving offenses requires the help of an experienced Buffalo criminal defense lawyer.
In almost all cases, having a history of DWI convictions will result in the current charge being enhanced and much greater penalties being imposed if convicted.
Driving While Intoxicated Per Se as a class D Felony is one of the most serious charges a repeat DWI offender may face.
Driving While Intoxicated Per Se is an unclassified misdemeanor for first time offenders.
For the offense to be increased to a class D felony, the prosecution must establish that on two prior occasions within the past ten years, the defendant was convicted of any combination of the offenses of Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Intoxicated per se, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, or Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combination of Alcohol and Drugs.
A prior conviction or convictions for various vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide charges arising from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs also may serve as a prior offense for purposes of enhancing the charge.
Aside from the prior offenses, the prosecution must establish that the defendant took a breath, blood or urine test which revealed that he or she had a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater when operating a motor vehicle.
The charge is based solely on the blood alcohol content of the driver, and it does not need to be established that any “bad driving” occurred.
Driving While Intoxicated Per Se as a class D Felony is a very serious criminal charge.
If you have been arrested for DWI and need help, we can be reached at 716-542-5444.