What Is The Difference Between Felony DWI And Aggravated DWI In Buffalo, NY?

New York State law has several variations on its standard Driving While Intoxicated charge which may result in increased penalties under certain circumstances.

If arrested for drinking and driving, it helps to have an experienced Buffalo DWI lawyer who understands the nuances of these different charges.

Aggravated DWI and Felony DWI are both more serious charges than a standard DWI offense, but the circumstances under which they may be charged are very different.

When New York lawyers speak of Felony DWI, they are usually referring to a charge that may only be brought against repeat DWI offenders.

For a first time offender, a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater is a misdemeanor.

If the driver has a prior conviction for one of these offenses or for Aggravated DWI within ten years of the current arrest, however, the charge is raised from a misdemeanor to a felony offense with increased potential jail time, length of probation, fines, and driver’s license penalties.

In contrast, Aggravated DWI does not require a prior conviction before being charged.

Instead, it may be charged where the driver either has a taken a breath test and scored .18% or greater or where the driver is arrested for DWI and has a minor who is fifteen years of age or younger in the vehicle.

Aggravated DWI with a breath test score of .18% or greater is still a misdemeanor for a first time offender, but the potential fine is higher and the driver’s license penalty is longer than for a standard DWI offense.

Aggravated DWI with a minor in the vehicle is a felony, even for a first time offender.

If you have been arrested for DWI, you need a lawyer who understands the charges against you.

Call us at 716-542-5444 for a legal consultation.

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