Losing Your License
If you have been charged with DWI, you are at risk of losing your license. With the help of our Hamburg criminal defense attorneys, you can minimize these penalties. Here is what you should know.
Losing Your License | Refusing the Breath Test
People always ask me, “What consequences will I face regarding my license if this is my first DWI offense?” They wonder about things like how they’ll be able to get to work. When you appear in front of the judge at your arraignment, the judge must take your license if you took the test and blew greater than 0.08. In that case, the only thing we can do is get you hardship driving privileges, which are very restrictive. You’re allowed to drive back and forth to work, but not during work. If you refused the breath test, the judge must take your license immediately, with no driving privileges.
Losing Your License | Refusal Hearing
Within 15 days after your arraignment, we will go to the Department of Motor Vehicles for what’s called a refusal hearing. We’ll appear before an administrative law judge and, if we are able to have that hearing adjourned – for various reasons, such as failure of the officer to appear, or a need for more time to investigate your case – we may be able to get some of your driving privileges restored. If we’re successful in doing so, we may be able to resolve your case before we have to deal with the refusal hearing again.
Losing Your License | Conditional License
Will you lose your license temporarily? Yes. If it’s your first offense, you can get a conditional license once you’ve been convicted of something. If you have multiple DWIs, however – especially within the past five years – there will be no conditional driving privileges. That five-year period runs from the date of your prior conviction (or the date you got your license back, in some instances) to the date of your current offense.
Losing Your License | More Serious Punishments
If you have accumulated multiple convictions – perhaps this is your third one in 25 years – the DMV will impose its new rule which, although not court sanctioned, states that if you have three alcohol convictions within 25 years and your last one results in revocation of your license, you will lose your license for at least 5 years. Then, once you get it back, you will have to put an ignition interlock device in your car and keep it in place for another five years – and that can be quite expensive. It costs $200 to get the device installed and $100 a month to maintain it. In terms of severity, New York State’s punishments for these types of things are moving steadily toward closer alignment with those of other states.
Are you afraid of losing your license? Please call our Hamburg DWI lawyers today for a free confidential case evaluation.