Westchester County Criminal Defense & Family Law Attorneys
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First DWI Offense? What to Expect.

First-Time DWI Offenders in Westchester

Westchester County Criminal Defense Attorney

Have you been charged with drunk driving? Is this your first offense? If so, it is essential that you get in touch with a Westchester County DWI / DUI defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. The DWI/DWAI lawyers of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP are skilled at handling drunk driving cases for individuals that have been arrested and charged with their first DWI / DWAI offense.

What Happens to My Driver's License at My First Court Appearance?

If a motorist has a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher, or if the motorist has refused the breathalyzer test, the judge will most likely suspend your driving privileges which will apply for so long as your case is unresolved.

Is There Anything I Can Do?

Yes. You can request a "hardship hearing". If a person has no prior alcohol conviction within five years, and did not refuse to take the breathalyzer, the person is entitled to a hardship hearing at the first court appearance. The purpose of the hearing is to demonstrate to the Judge that because they have no other way to get to work, the person needs their license to go to and from work. If the person is successful, the Judge will issue a "hardship license." However the license will only apply to driving to and from work and not for any other purpose.

Whether you win or lose the hardship hearing, after thirty days from the first court date a request may be made to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a conditional driver's license. The conditional license is more expansive than the hardship license because it allows a person to drive to and from work andduring work, child care, medical appointments and for a three hours shopping block. The conditional license continues until the case is over.

What If I Refuse the Breathalyzer?

If you refused the breathalyzer test, at your first court appearance the judge will suspend your driver's license and give you a date and time to appear at the DMV hearing which takes place at the DMV. In this instance a person is not eligible for a conditional license.

At the DMV hearing, which is presided over by an Administrative Judge, the Administrative Judge decides if you did in fact "refuse" the breath test. The cop who made the arrest testifies and you have the chance to cross examine him or her. If you win, your driving privileges will be restored at midnight. If you lose then your driving privileges will be revoked for one year even if your drunk driving criminal charge is dismissed by the a judge or jury!

Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation

If you have been charged with DWI/DWAI we are here to protect your rights and your driver’s license.

Contact us online or by telephone at (914) 840-5104 to speak with a Westchester County DWI lawyer.

Why You Should Choose Our Law Firm

  • Experience & Perspective

    65+ years of combined experience, including criminal prosecution

  • Published Legal Authors

    Co-authored national bestsellers on DWI and criminal defense

  • Award Winning

    Avvo Clients’ Choice Award for Family Law and Criminal Defense

  • Premier Counsel

    Selection for Super Lawyers® (top 5% of New York attorneys)

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