DWI First Offense Lawyer in Nassau County, New York

DWI First Offense

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DWI First Offense

As a prosecutor, Richard was a member of a specialized unit which focused exclusively on Nassau County Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs cases. As part of this appointment, Richard attended police trainings on DWI detection, DWI policing policies, police testimony, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTS), and breathalyzer technology. With this background, Richard is uniquely qualified as a Nassau County DWI Lawyer to represent you or your loved one who is accused of a crime. Our firm knows how to help you protect your license, protect your record, and protect your freedom.

First Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Offense in New York

Most people understand that drinking and driving is a crime in New York, and one that can come with harsh penalties if you are convicted. When you are convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in NY, even if it’s your first conviction, you can risk losing your license, expensive fines and in some case, even jail time. For that reason, it’s best to stay off the road if you’ve had a few drinks in New York, or to use a designated driver, taxi or rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.

However, people sometimes make mistakes, and if you or a loved one was pulled over in New York and charged with your first DWI offense, it can be scary and it’s not always clear what to do afterward. Fortunately, for first-time offenders, you may have a way to fight your case and have your charges dropped or reduced. But first, it’s important that you contact an experienced DWI defense attorney in Nassau County to discuss the details of your case and begin building your legal defense as soon as possible.

First DWI Offense in New York

Everybody makes mistakes and otherwise law-abiding citizens can sometimes find themselves facing a Driving While Intoxicated charge in New York. If convicted, there can be serious punishments, fines, and restrictions on your driving privileges that can make life difficult and put financial stress on you and your family.

It’s important to know that the punishments you face depend on the nature of your DWI and how high your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels were when you were arrested. There are a variety of different types of drunk driving charges in New York that include:


  • DWAI: Driving While Abilities Impaired is the least serious charge and can be issued for BAC that impairs your driving between .05%-0.7%. It is an infraction for a first-time offense, but consecutive convictions can increase the severity of the charge.
  • DWI: This is for BAC levels above 0.08% and lower than .18%. It is a misdemeanor for a first-time offense.
  • Aggravated DWI: This class of DUI refers to when a driver has a BAC level of .18% or higher. Although a first-time offense is still a misdemeanor crime if there were no children in the car and no accident or injuries occurred, it carries stiffer penalties and there are restrictions on plea-bargaining.
  • DWAI drugs and DWAI combination:. Driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or certain pharmaceutical drugs, or a mix of drugs and alcohol, is also a crime in New York.

The importance of hiring a qualified first offense DWI attorney in NY to help fight your charges can not be overstated. A Nassau County DWI attorney can investigate your case and find what evidence can be used to help you fight your charges or have them reduced.

In NY and around the country, a normal DWI means driving with a BAC level of .08% or higher. The threshold is lower for commercial drivers—.04%, and minors—.02%. However, an Aggravated DWI in NY means either you had a BAC of .18% or higher or you committed a regular DWI with a passenger in the car who was 15 years or younger.

Although conviction of a first-time Aggravated DWI charge is technically still a misdemeanor, it comes with plea-bargaining restrictions and stricter penalties than a regular DWI.

What are the consequences for a first-time DWI in New York?

Being charged with a DWI or DWAI in NY can be scary and stressful, and you may not always understand your rights and what is at stake if you are convicted. Listed below are some of the penalties for a first-time DWI and other types of impaired driving charges in New York:

  • DWAI: Infraction. Up to 15 days in prison and fines from $300-$500. Minimum 90-day license suspension, and an SR-22 insurance requirement.
  • DWI: Misdemeanor Up to one year in prison, fines from $500-$1000, six-month license suspension, three years of probation, installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car, and SR-22 insurance requirement.
  • Aggravated DWI: Misdemeanor charge. Up to one year in prison, fines from $1000-$2,500, one year license suspension, three years of probation, the installation of an IDD in your vehicle, and SR-22 insurance requirement.

All convictions also include additional court fees and the required attendance at a DWI Victim Impact Panel. In some cases, you may be required to be assessed for alcohol dependency and to complete a rehabilitation program as part of your probation.



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At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we have years of experience representing people accused of DWI and Aggravated DWI crimes in Nassau County. We understand the best strategies for building a case, and we’re not afraid to defend your rights in court. For a free consultation with our knowledgeable Nassau County DWI defense attorney, give us a call today at (516) 331-2719 or contact us online.

Can My Charge Be Dismissed or Reduced?

The good news is that reducing or dismissing charges for a first-offense DWI is generally more feasible than for a felony DWI or subsequent offenses. A seasoned DWI attorney in Nassau County is well-versed in navigating New York law to achieve charge reductions or full dismissals.

How a DWI Attorney Can Assist You:

  • Conditional License: Often, DWI attorneys successfully secure a conditional license for clients, allowing them to drive to work and other critical appointments after a license suspension.

  • Diversion Programs: New York offers diversion programs that might reduce your charges if you complete a drug/alcohol rehabilitation program. Your attorney can guide you on whether this is a viable option.

  • Proving Errors: Errors can occur in DWI arrests. Your attorney will scrutinize the circumstances of your stop and the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test, ensuring all procedures are correctly followed.

Moreover, breathalyzer and blood alcohol concentration tests are not infallible. A skilled Nassau County DWI attorney will meticulously review your case details and challenge any procedural errors or test inaccuracies, potentially leading to evidence dismissal or charge dismissal.

Contact Our Nassau County DWI Attorneys Today

A first-offense DUI might seem manageable, but it can lead to severe penalties like jail time, substantial fines, and loss of driving privileges, significantly impacting you and your family. By enlisting a DWI defense attorney in Nassau County, you’re equipped to navigate the legal system and formulate the strongest defense strategy to possibly drop or dismiss your charges.

At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, our DWI legal team understands the tactics used by courts and prosecutors. We are dedicated to defending your rights and preserving your freedom and driving privileges. If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges in Nassau County, call our qualified DWI defense attorney today at (516) 939-1529 or contact us online to discuss your case details.