Defense Against DWI Charges

Brian C. Buettner Attorney at Law defends the rights of people accused of criminal charges, including drunk driving charges, in Rochester, New York, and throughout Monroe County and the surrounding area.


Drunk driving offenses are some of the most commonly charged crimes in New York, and they affect people from all walks of life. New York refers to these charges as DWI, or driving while intoxicated, and provides stiff penalties for those who are convicted. These penalties get more severe in cases involving aggravating factors, or when it is a repeat offense.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about DWI in New York:

What are the penalties for a first offense?

If you are convicted of DWI for the first time, you will be ordered to pay a fine of at least $500, plus a surcharge. You can also face up to a year in jail, and two to three years on probation. Your driver's license may be suspended, as well. Furthermore, you will be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, at your own expense.

Will you lose your license?

There is no one answer to this question. Any suspension or revocation of your license is entirely dependent on the facts of your case, and every case is different. Speak to a lawyer about your legal options, and do it as soon as you can.

What does it mean to have a strike against your record?

When you have been arrested on suspicion of DWI, the police and prosecutors check to see if you have been convicted of DWI in the past. If so, you will be charged as a repeat offender. The penalties you face will be much more severe, depending upon how many prior convictions are on your record and how old they are. If your prior conviction was within the previous 10 years, you may be charged with felony DWI, and your penalties could include up to a year in jail or more than a year in state prison. You will be ordered to pay a fine of at least $1,000, plus a surcharge. You will be on probation for five years.

What happens if you refuse a breath test?

New York law provides that, as a condition of holding your driver's license, you have implied your consent to take a breath test if you are ever pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. If you are pulled over, and you refuse to take a breath test, you will likely face penalties in addition to any DWI penalties.

What about driving while impaired on drugs?

Even if you have not had a sip of alcohol, you can be charged with DWI if you are found to be driving while impaired on drugs. The method of testing your impairment will be different from that used in alcohol-related arrests, but the charges and the potential penalties will be similar. Of course, you may also face charges related to illegal drugs, which makes it all the more important for you to have help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Is there anything you can do?

You have the right to a defense when you have been accused of DWI. The stakes are high, and to keep your license and protect your freedom and your future, you need a smart, skilled defense lawyer who can give you honest advice and help you minimize the damage these charges can cause to your life.

Talk To An Experienced Lawyer

If you have been accused of DWI or other crimes, you have the right to a defense, and you should get the best defense you can. Get started learning about your legal options by calling Brian C. Buettner Attorney at Law today at 585-454-1760. You can also contact the office by email.