While both a DUI and a DWI charge are typically handled by a DWI lawyer, they distinctly differ from one another. The penalties may be similar, but it’s important to understand what constitutes the charges and how they’re handled in court. By understanding the differences, you’ll better assist your lawyer in preparing your defense.
What Is the Difference Between the Two?
In most states, DWI stands for driving while intoxicated, although some states define the acronym as driving while impaired. The term DUI stands for driving under the influence, and this is usually used as a catch-all phrase to encompass any type of driving impairment.
In New York, the driving laws differentiate a DUI from a DWI by using the term DWAI, or driving while ability impaired. A driver is charged with a DWI if their blood-alcohol level (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08%. A DWAI-Drugs charge, however, is applied when the driver’s BAC is between a .05 and .07%, but the officer believes the driver is impaired by drugs.
What are the Consequences of These Charges?
A DUI or DWI charge is much more serious than any other type of traffic violation. If a driver is charged with either, it’s important to consult a DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
A first-time DWI or a DWAI-Drug offense carries up to a $1,000 fine, a maximum jail term of one year, and a license revocation of at least six months. A second DWI or a DWAI-Drug offense carries a fine of up to $5,000, a maximum jail term of four years, and a license revocation of at least one year. A third DWI or a DWAI-Drug violation carries a maximum jail term of up to seven years, a fine of up to $10,000, and a revoked license for at least one year. When a driver receives either charge, a DWI lawyer can gather information and provide legal advice for the best course of action.
If you need a DWI lawyer, the team at Ozman Law Offices can provide effective legal help. Serving residents across in Walden, NY, the skillful and dedicated attorneys are equipped to handle a variety of cases, including criminal law, family law, personal injury, and traffic law. To learn more about their legal services, visit their website or call (845) 778-7777 to set up an initial consultation with a DWI lawyer.