Most Buffalo drivers are aware that a conviction for drinking and driving will result in a loss of the defendant’s driving privileges.
Many drivers may not be aware, however, that New York law authorizes the Court to suspend a defendant’s driving privileges before any conviction even occurs.
This pre-conviction suspension is usually referred to as a suspension pending prosecution.
Any driver arrested for DWI or a similar charge is required to submit to a chemical test to determine blood alcohol content.
This usually takes the form of a breath test.
If the test determines that the driver’s blood alcohol content was .08% or higher, his or her driver’s license will be suspended at arraignment.
Arraignment is the court appearance where the defendant is formally charged by the Court.
This usually occurs at the first court appearance.
A driver who had a valid driver’s license prior to the suspension pending prosecution and did not complete the Drinking Driver Program within the proceeding five (5) years may be eligible for a conditional license after the expiration of 30 days.
The conditional license is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles and allows the defendant to drive for work, school, and medical treatment of the defendant or a family member.
There is a different procedure for drivers who refuse a chemical test.
For such drivers, any suspension or revocation will largely be handled through the Department of Motor Vehicles in a proceeding independent of the criminal court charges.
If you have been arrested for DWI and need legal help, we are experienced DWI lawyers who can be reached at 716-542-5444.