Felony DWI in New York State
Felony DWI charges in New York generally happen when the defendant has a previous DWI conviction within the past 10 years. While there are other circumstances that can lead to felony charges involving a DWI, this is the most common. Another example would be where the DWI itself is a misdemeanor but the driver is charged with some other felony, like vehicular manslaughter if someone is killed.
Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, and include the possibility of state prison time. In New York’s court system, these more serious criminal cases are mostly handled in the higher level courts. Misdemeanors stay in local courts, while most of the substantive work in a felony is done in County Court (Supreme Court in some areas).
Felony prosecutors tend to be more experienced and more thorough than local court prosecutors. They also have fewer cases so they can devote more time to each case. Thus, a defendant is less likely to win a DWI case through prosecutor error. However, police errors are still common in these cases and they are certainly winnable.
At the same time, a defendant facing DWI charges at this level may need substantial counseling regarding alcohol abuse. We advise all our DWI clients to get evaluated and do counseling if the evaluation recommends it. Aside from the personal benefit of such counseling, it usually helps in plea bargaining. Everyone involved wants to see any alcohol abuse issues addressed. It’s good for you and for society.
We handle DWI in all courts in the Albany Schenectady Troy Saratoga area. Call us at 888-733-5299. A person answers our phone 24 hours a day.
The call is toll-free and there is no charge for the initial phone consultation.