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Tom Trbovich DWI Defense Attorney, WNY

Understanding Your DWI Charges In Western New York

New York Vehicle Traffic Laws & DWI Charges in WNY, Case Precedents & Your DWI Defense Strategy, Key Statutes & DWI Charges, Other Statutes & DWI Charges, Charges For DWI Resulting In Serious Injury Or Death...


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Managing Your DWI Defense In WNY

DWI Charges In Western New York

If You were arrested and charged with DWI in Western New York, you have now entered the legal process in New York States' 8th Judicial District. You will be required to negotiate your best defense for your actions in a local WNY court.

Your DWI Charges are the specific list of claims made about your actions leading up to your arrest, and possibly during or after your arrest - depending upon your subsequent behavior with the police. In general, the law requires the imposition of greater penalties as the severity of your charges increases.

Following your arrest, the legal process will proceed through several stages that may include:

  • Arraignment (where we advise you plead "not guilty" and request an adjournment to retain professional advice)
  • A Preliminary Hearing
  • Plea Bargaining
  • Discovery & Pre-Trial Motions
  • Your DWI Trial & Sentencing

An experienced Prosecuting Attorney will review all details of the DWI charges and evidence against you and is generally under immense social and political pressure to impose severe penalties against anyone found guilty of drunk driving!

However, you do have the right to retain an experienced DWI Defense Attorney who can use proven legal strategies to defend your rights, reducing the penalties and resolving your case in your best interest.

We have posted some general information about Drunk Driving Charges and Drunk Driving Penalties on this website. Since every case is different, this information should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


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New York Vehicle Traffic Laws & DWI Charges In Western New York

DWI stands for "Driving While Intoxicated". In New York State, a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% is considered sufficiently intoxicating that driving ability becomes significantly impaired. The state does not recognize any individual's tolerance to alcohol levels above BAC 0.08%.

New York's Vehicle Traffic Laws (VTLs) govern DWI charges and all traffic violations in WNY and throughout the entire state. The DWI Defense strategies that we utilize operate within these statutes.

Case Precedents & Your DWI Defense Strategy

Past DWI case rulings from the higher courts in New York State set our guidelines on how best to approach Your DWI defense here in WNY. In fact, a higher court's previous decision is a controlling factor that all lower courts must follow in your case, otherwise the prosecution's drunk driving case may be over-turned on appeal.

Turbo Team DWI Attorneys invest significant resources to continue to stay abreast of all precedents set in all DWI cases in New York State. Unlike other general law firms, we concentrate on DWI cases and we offer You our dedicated experience to resolve your drunk driving case with the goal of achieving the best possible result.

The vast majority of defendants who receive a DWI charge never intended to commit a crime. Part of our defense strategy may be to help the court understand that You are a decent person from a normal family. Your Turbo Team Lawyer will paint the picture of who you are and how you contribute to your family and community. We will fight to disprove the notion that all DWI defendants are, inherently selfish and reckless individuals.

We will do everything within our abilities and the legal guidelines to give the court a reason to moderate your sentence. If You have experienced repeated DWI charges, it may be most appropriate to pursue other alternatives to jail, involving approved counseling or rehabilitation programs.

Current Vehicle, & Traffic Laws Pertaining To DWI Charges In New York State

We generally consider 3 classes of New York State Statutes that may apply to DWI defendants:
1. Key New York State Statutes Followed In DWI Cases
2. Other New York State Statutes That May Accompany DWI Charges
3. Charges For DWI Resulting In Serious Injury Or Death In WNY


1. Key New York State Statutes Followed In DWI Cases:

Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol [VTL §1192(1)]

VTL §1192(1): Prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while impaired by the consumption of alcohol. This charge is usually filed when an individual has more than 0.05% but less than 0.08% BAC, as shown by chemical analysis from blood, breath, urine or saliva samples, or when evidence is not sufficient to charge a person with DWI.

A first time offense is considered a violation with a penalty fine of between $300 to $500, or 15 days in jail, or both. Penalties increase for anyone with prior convictions. License suspension and revocation may also apply.

Driving While Intoxicated [VTL §1192(2)]

TL §1192(2): Prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while with 0.08% or more BAC, as shown by chemical analysis of blood, breath, urine or saliva.

A first time offense is deemed a misdemeanor with a penalty fine of $500-$1,000, or up to 1 year in prison, or both. Penalties increase for anyone with prior convictions. License suspension, revocation, and a State Mandatory surcharge may also apply.

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated [VTL §1192(2-a)]

VTL §1192(2-a): Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated occurs when a driver operating a vehicle has 0.18% or more BAC.

For a first offense, this is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 - $2,500, or a maximum jail term of up to 1 year, 3 years probation, or a combination of all three. License revocation and a State mandatory surcharge will apply.

For multiple convictions within a ten year period, the fines and penalties increase significantly.

Second alcohol-related conviction within 10 years: Class E Felony with a penalty fine of $1,000 - $5,000, or 4 years in prison, or both.

Third alcohol-related conviction within 10 years: Class D Felony with a penalty fine of $2,000 - $10,000, or 7 years in prison, or both.

Common Law DWI [VTL §1192(3)]

VTL §1192(3): states that, "No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition" which may be is referred to a Common Law DWI. A BAC measurement is not required, only an officer's opinion based on articulable facts (like the defendant's speech, driving, odor of alcohol, sobriety test...).

A first time offense is deemed a misdemeanor, with a penalty fine of $500 - $1,000, plus a surcharge or up to 1 year in prison, 3 years probation, or a combination of all three.

For multiple convictions within a ten year period, the fines and penalties increase significantly.

Second alcohol-related conviction within 10 years: Class E Felony with a penalty fine of $1,000 - $5,000, or 4 years in prison, or both.

Third alcohol-related conviction within 10 years: Class D Felony with a penalty fine of $2,000 - $10,000, or 7 years in prison, or both.

Driving While Ability Impaired [VTL §1192(4-a)]

TL §1192(4-a): occurs when a "person's ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs.

This is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 - $1,000, or a maximum jail term of 1 year, probation, or a combination of all three.


2. Other New York State Statutes That May Accompany DWI Charges:

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree [VTL §511(1)]

VTL §511(1): A person may be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, if they operate a motor vehicle while knowing that their drivers license is suspended or revoked.

This is a misdemeanor punishable with a penalty fine of $200 - $500, or up to 30 days in prison, or both.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree [VTL §511(2)]

VTL §511(2): A person may be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree, if they operate a motor vehicle while knowing that their drivers license is suspended or revoked due to failure to submit to a chemical test, mandatory suspension due to a pending DWI prosecution, or 3 or more suspensions in effect.

A misdemeanor punishable with a penalty fine of $500 - $1,000, and 7 - 180 days in prison, or probation.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree [VTL §511(3)]

VTL §511(3): A person may be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree if they operate a motor vehicle while knowing that their driving license is suspended or revoked, and they either operate the motor vehicle while intoxicated or have in effect 10 or more suspensions.

A Class E felony, punishable with a penalty of $500 - $5,000, or up to 4 years in prison, or probation.


3. Charges For DWI Resulting In Serious Injury Or Death In WNY:

Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree (Penal Law 120.03)

Penal Law 120.03: A person is guilty of this crime when with criminal negligence he or she inflicts serious physical injury to another person by operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition.

A Class E felony punishable by a maximum penalty of up to 4 years in prison.

Penal Law 120.04: A person is guilty of this crime when with criminal negligence they inflict serious physical injury on another person by operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition when their license is suspended due to a DWI conviction or for a refusal to submit to a chemical test.

A Class D felony with maximum penalty of up to 7 years in prison.

Criminally Negligent Homicide (Penal Law 125.10)

Penal Law 125.10: A person is guilty of this crime when with criminal negligence, they causes the death of another person.

A Class E felony with maximum penalty of up to 4 years in prison.

Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Penal Law 125.12)

Penal Law 125.12: A person is guilty of this crime when with criminal negligence, they cause the death of another person by operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition.

A Class D felony with maximum penalty of up to 7 years in prison.

Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree (Penal Law 125.13)

Penal Law 125.13: A person is guilty of this crime when with criminal negligence, they cause the death of another person and does so while intoxicated with their drivers license suspended due to a DWI conviction or for refusal to submit to a chemical test of breath.

A Class C felony with maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Most Judges and DAs usually try to give this positive information fair consideration.


Turbo Team Lawyers Know The Western New York Roads, We Understand The WNY Police, And We Have Developed Strong Relationships In The WNY Courts. To Schedule Your FREE Consultation With An Experienced Local DWI Lawyer Call 716.222.2222, E-mail, or Contact Us


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