What Are Your Plea Bargain Options in a DWI Case?

If you’ve been charged with drunken or impaired driving in New York State, you face substantial negative consequences, such as fines and license suspension. In some cases, it is possible to plea bargain a DWI to obtain a more favorable outcome. However, New York law restricts plea bargains for certain DWI offenses. Knowing your options is important to deciding on the right defensive strategy.

A plea bargain can involve pleading guilty to a lesser DWI offense or pleading to a different charge altogether while the original one is dismissed. You may also be able to agree to pay higher fines and penalties while keeping your license. In limited circumstances, you may be able to plead to a “wet reckless,” which is a reckless driving charge that does not result in a driver’s license suspension.

New York DWI laws limit prosecutors’ discretion in negotiating plea bargains. The type and severity of the DWI charge affects the plea bargain available. A charge of aggravated DWI, which means the driver has a blood alcohol level of .18 percent or higher, can only be reduced to a standard DWI. A charge of DWAI (driving while ability impaired) also carries restrictions. A DWAI based on impairment by drugs or by a combination of drugs and alcohol can only be plea bargained to an alcohol DWAI, which carries lower penalties. An alcohol DWAI is the charge most likely to permit a plea bargain to a wet reckless or another lesser charge.

A DWI conviction can have serious and long-lasting effects on your life, such as losing your license for an extended period of time. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. An experienced DWI attorney can find the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, such as inconsistent test results or if the police didn’t follow standard procedure, all with the goal of a favorable resolution for you.

At the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C., we are experienced in achieving the best possible outcomes in DWI cases. A family-focused, Christian law firm based in Rochester, New York, we’re committed to protecting our clients’ best interests. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, call us at 585-563-1134 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


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