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Justice Balance

Pleading to a crime, or getting convicted of a crime at trial, is a terrible circumstance for anyone. Aside from potentially having to serve time in jail or prison, paying fines and fees, and having to pay your attorney, you can also suffer many other potential consequences as well. And nowhere is this truer than if you’re convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI).


The exact penalties you may face will depend on what crime you were convicted of or pled to, which in turn will depend on factors like your level of intoxication, how many prior DWI/DUI offenses you’ve had, and whether anyone was injured as a result of your DWI or DUI. For example, you should expect your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked, or to have other restrictions placed on your ability to drive. It’s increasingly common for courts to order that people convicted of a DUI or DWI install an “ignition interlock” device in their car, which will prevent the car from turning on unless they first blow into an on-board breathalyzer and register a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) below the legal limit. For repeat offenders, the court may instead mandate you wear a special tracking device on your ankle, known as a SCRAM bracelet, that constantly measures your BAC by sampling your sweat.


There are also what are known as “collateral consequences” for DUI/DWI pleas and convictions. For example, any non-naturalized legal immigrant may find their immigrant status endangered by a DUI or DWI conviction, potentially resulting in deportation. If you are convicted of a felony, you lose the right to vote for the duration of your prison sentence, plus the duration of your parole, and you may lose access to public housing. If you are given a prison sentence of three years or more, that can qualify as a “fault” ground for divorce in New York State, and if your imprisonment results in your children being in foster care for 15 out of 22 months, you can lose custody of your children as well.


If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI, you should consult an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney to assist you. The skilled Long Island divorce attorneys at Larry McCord & Associates, LLC are highly knowledgeable in criminal defense matters and are ready to help. Please contact Larry McCord & Associates, LLC at (631) 643-3084 to schedule a consultation or learn more about the firm’s services.

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