Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Greg Colavecchia, Esq.
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DWI Lawyer in Rochester, NY

Our DWI Defense Attorneys Represent Individuals Charged With Drunk Driving

Are you facing DWI charges in Rochester, NY? The prosecutors in Rochester and throughout New York take a tough stance against drunk driving, both for the purpose of punishing individual offenders and to send a message about their work to enforce public safety. It’s not easy to beat DWI charges in New York. But Robert King has a track record of success, with the majority of DWI cases he has handled ending in a reduction or dismissal of the charges. Rochester DWI Attorney King has been selected for inclusion in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists, joining less than 2.5% of attorneys who make this prestigious list.

Alcohol-related accidents are on the rise, so it should come as no surprise that New York law enforcement officials have begun to crackdown on the amount of drunk or drugged drivers on the road. In the haste to arrest dangerous drivers, Rochester police and patrol officers have been known to wrongfully accuse or over-charge individuals with intoxicated driving offenses. A conviction of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is very serious, and you may lose your license, face jail time and be subjected to fines.

If you were charged with drunk driving, you need to contact our DWI attorney in Rochester, NY today. Complete a free case evaluation form as soon as possible to get started.
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New York Dwi Penalties

If you are tried and convicted for driving under the influence, you may be facing multiple penalties. While the circumstances of each case will vary, it is always recommended that you work with a lawyer after an arrest. If you are facing any of the following penalties, do not hesitate to get in contact with our Rochester DWI lawyer!


First-time offenders can experience the following penalties:

license suspended for up to 6 months
a fine of up to $1,000

Convicted individuals are required to attend alcohol evaluation courses and may spend up to one year in jail.


Not your first offense? Second-time offenders will see an increase in their penalties, including:

a maximum of 4 years in jail
$5,000 in fines
a license suspension of 1 year.

An interlock ignition device may also be required to be installed in your vehicle.


Individuals with third-time convictions can face up to 7 years in jail, a license suspension minimum of 1 year, and could be required to pay up to $10,000 in fines. An interlock ignition device may be required as well as alcohol assessment and up to 60 days of mandatory community service.


If your arrest was the result of an accident, you could be charged with additional crimes on top of your DWI offense. In the event that an accident resulted in a death, for example, you may be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Should You Take A Dwi Breath Test?

A breath test provides evidence in the criminal case. Most people who are arrested for DWI are actually over the legal limit, so the evidence would harm them in the criminal case. So why should you consider taking the test? Because most people in New York rely on driving a car on a regular basis.

If you are arrested for DWI, and the proper protocol is followed, your license will most likely be suspended at arraignment. If you have taken a breath test, your attorney can apply for a hardship license, and you will likely be eligible for a conditional license 30 days following arraignment. A conditional license allows you to drive to and from work, school, probation, the DMV, medical treatment, your child’s school, your child’s daycare provider, and 3 hours of free time per week.

If you refuse the test, you will not be eligible for a hardship license. You will be granted a hearing by the Department of Motor Vehicles where it will be determined whether you refused and proper protocol was used. If so, your license is suspended for one year, and you will be doing no driving whatsoever.

There are certain times when you should not take a breath test:

If you have received two or more Driving While Intoxicated convictions in the past 25 years

There was an accident or injury

If you are convicted of a third DWI, you will likely be facing significant jail time. In addition, you face a lengthy, possibly life long, suspension by DMV. Certainly, taking the test is a poor option.

Assistance With Understanding The Laws In Ny

Under New York’s implied consent law, individuals who refuse a breath or blood test when requested to submit to one by a police officer may have their license automatically suspended. At King Law, the lead attorney does not always recommend submitting to these tests, and in some cases, refusal could actually benefit you.

If you have had a few drinks and were stopped at a traffic stop, you may be able to obtain a hardship or conditional license while your case is pending. If you do take the test and blow a blood alcohol content reading that is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you may not necessarily be able to obtain a hardship license. It is always recommended that you exercise your right to remain silent at a traffic stop and contact King Law for legal assistance.

Working To Help You Beat Your Dwi Charges

New York DWI laws can be tricky, and King Law recommends that you not try to navigate the legal process alone. When you work with the firm, you can receive outstanding representation for your case.

Whether this is your first DWI arrest, you are underage, or you are facing a charge as a repeat offender, you need to work with an experienced litigator. The firm can evaluate your case and all necessary evidence, police reports, witness statements and breath or blood test findings. The Rochester DWI attorney working on your case can develop an effective defense strategy to fight for your rights and freedom.


Should I take the chemical breath tests?
It depends.  Sometimes not taking the tests can create a situation where the District Attorney and police have a lack of evidence.  On the other hand, it can create some issues.  One issue is that if you refuse the chemical test then your license may be suspended by the DMV for 1 year regardless of how the criminal case turns out.  Another issue is that some District Attorney’s Offices will not consider any reductions on cases where there are allegations of a refusal.
If I get charged with a DWI, is my license suspended right away?
It depends but usually a license is suspended at arraignment.  The Court will usually suspend a license at the first court date if the police filed documentation that alleges a breath result that is .08 or higher.  The Court will also usually suspend a license at the first court appearance if there is an alleged refusal.
I was pulled over for no reason, is that ok?
Usually that is not okay.  The Police have to have a reason to “stop” a car and that would usually require an alleged traffic violation.  The police are usually permitted to respond to an accident or a check the welfare.  If they stop a car for no reason, any evidence they obtain may be suppressed at a hearing.
How much is this going to cost me?
It depends on the case outcome but typical DWI fees may include: attorney fees, Court fine ($500-$1000 depending on the charges), Court surcharge ($460), DMV assessment fee ($750)
Can I get a temporary license?
If the Court suspends your license at the first Court appearance, you may be eligible for a hardship license that is issued by the Court that allows you to drive to and from work.  This requires an application by the defense attorney with information for the Court to consider.
What is a conditional license?
Usually a conditional license is a license through the DMV and comes after a case closes (either by plea or after trial).  A person goes to the DMV and signs up for a class called the Impaired Driver Program. When they sign up for the class they receive a Conditional License to drive to and from work, medical appoints, their children’s school, and once a week there is a window of time to run errands.
How long will this process take?
Some cases take weeks and some cases take a year or more.  It really depends on a lot of information.
What are some legal issues that are disputed in DWI cases?
There are many issues that we litigate in DWI cases.  Here are a few examples of issues we may ask: was the stop of the car legal, was it appropriate for the officer to ask our client out of the car, did the police officer properly administer field sobriety tests, was there probable cause to arrest, did the officer read Miranda Rights before questioning an in custody client, can the DA prove operation.


If you have been arrested and facing DWI charges, contact King Law today and speak with our trusted Rochester DWI lawyer.