One of the questions that drivers regularly ask us is whether or not a DWI is classified as a felony crime in the State of New York. Most DWI charges in the State of New York are misdemeanors, but drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence multiple times can face felony DWI charges.
Our New York DUI lawyers cover everything that you need to know about felony DWI charges and other important DWI laws below:
What Is A Felony?
Before diving into which types of DUI-related charges are classified as felonies it is important that we define what a felony is exactly.
A felony is a type of crime that is generally considered to be the most serious type of crime. Felonies are typically punishable with harsh penalties including expensive fines and significant jail time. Some examples of felony crimes include homicide, attempted murder, rape and sometimes even driving while intoxicated.
Felony DUI Charges In New York
Most DWI charges in the State of New York are classified as misdemeanors, but there are some circumstances in which an intoxicated driver can be charged and convicted of a felony DWI.
First Offense DUI (Misdemeanor)
All first offense DUI-related charges are classified as misdemeanor crimes in the State of New York.
This does not mean, however, that a first offense DUI is not a serious charge. A misdemeanor DWI or DWAI/Drugs conviction can still result in serious penalties including a license suspension and significant jail time.
To learn more about the penalties associated with a first offense DWI charge visit our Driving While Intoxicated page.
Second Offense DUI (Class E Felony)
A second offense DUI charge can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the amount of time that has passed between first and second DUI charges. Drivers who are arrested for a second DWI or DWAI/Drugs charge within 10 years of a prior DWI conviction will face a Class E felony DWI charge.
Being convicted of a Class E felony DWI charge can result in a one-year license revocation, expensive fines and a long jail sentence. To learn more about second offense DWI charges visit our DWI page here.
Third Offense DUI (Class D Felony / Class E Felony)
A third offense DUI charge is also classified as a Class E felony crime in the State of New York.
Drivers who are arrested on DWI or DWAI/Drugs charges for a third time within 10 years of the two previous DWI convictions will face a Class D felony charge. Furthermore, drivers who are arrested on three separate DUI-related charges within a 15 year period will face a Class E felony charge.
The penalties associated with a third offense DWI conviction can include expensive fines, license revocation and a prison sentence of up to seven years.
Is Aggravated DWI A Felony In NY?
A first offense Aggravated DWI (0.18%+ BAC) is classified as a misdemeanor DWI charge.
However, if a driver is arrested on an Aggravated DWI charge within 10 years of a prior DUI-related conviction then he or she will face a Class E felony DWI charge. Similarly, those arrested for Aggravated DWI after having been convicted of two DWI charges within the prior 10 years will face a Class D felony DWI charge.
It is important to know that a standard DWAI offense does not count towards a driver’s prior DUI-related charges, but a DWAI/Drugs conviction does count.
Legal Options After A DUI Arrest
Being arrested on intoxicated driving charges can be a very stressful experience. If you’ve been arrested then you may be wondering what the consequences will be and what you should do next.
The criminal defense attorneys at DUI Legal NY are here to help.
Contact A Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is often argued that the more serious the DUI charge the more important it is to hire a DUI defense lawyer for legal representation. Our team of attorneys have been successfully representing drivers facing DWI charges for decades.
We have defended drivers facing misdemeanor DUI charges as well as felony charges. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about all of your legal options. We will help answer all of your DUI questions and help you determine the best course of action based on the circumstances of your specific case.