New York has a progressive policy for penalizing criminal offenses. If you have committed the same offense in the past, the penalties you face for a subsequent charge will be more severe than what you endured after your first guilty plea or conviction.
The penalties that New York imposes for various criminal offenses reflect state statutes, your criminal record and the specific circumstances of the time of your arrest. There are aggravating factors that can increase the penalties for certain charges, and those who have repeatedly violated the same law can expect to face substantially more serious consequences than a first-time offender.
Drunk driving or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common criminal offenses in New York. It also has a relatively high recidivism rate, meaning that someone arrested for a first offense has a good chance of driving drunk again later. What are the penalties for those accused of a second or subsequent impaired driving offense?
Each additional infraction increases the consequences
Your first New York DWI will cost you between $500 and $1,000 in fines. You will also face up to a year in prison and the loss of your license for at least six months. Those penalties dramatically increase with each following offense.
A second DWI will carry at least double the fine. You may have to pay between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines. The possible jail sentence increases to four years, while the license revocation increases to a full year. A third offense can mean up to seven years in state custody and fines of as much as 10,000. The only penalty that doesn’t automatically increase is the license suspension, which still has a minimum duration of one-year.
Those accused of an aggravated offense, possibly because of a very high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) might face even more serious penalties for their first charge and subsequent offenses. Those escalating penalties are a reason to fight back. You don’t have to accept incarceration or the suspension of your license as a given after a police officer pulls you over.
Avoiding a first DWI conviction or fighting back against any subsequent arrest can help you protect your license and your freedom as a driver in New York.