New York is more lenient on first-time DUI offenders than many states. However, if you are going before the court again, be forewarned that a second DUI in New York is accompanied by harsh penalties.
Before considering the consequences for a second conviction, consider the dates of your previous conviction. New York has a 10-year look-back period, meaning that an offense that occurred more than a decade ago is not considered a prior offense.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
If you were convicted within the past 10 years and you are convicted again, one major difference will be the way your crime is classified. This time, instead of receiving a misdemeanor, you will be convicted of a Class E felony.
Jail time is mandatory for a second DUI in New York. Your sentence will be a minimum of 5 days, but the judge has the authority to impose a sentence up to 4 years. You will be ordered to pay a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, and you may be ordered to serve up to 30 days of community service.
Your driver's license will be revoked for a year. New York judges are required to order that repeat offenders have ignition interlock devices installed, and they are also required to order alcohol assessments in these cases. If your assessment reveals you have a substance abuse problem, you may be required to get treatment.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles works with the courts to make sure DUI offenders fulfill their obligations. Before you will be approved for another driver's license, you will have to prove you have ignition interlock systems on every vehicle you own.
Since you have a prior conviction, you also have a criminal record, which presents a major obstacle in securing a plea bargain. Prosecutors will generally only cut a deal under these circumstances if they realize their case is weak.
This may leave you to choose between guilty and not guilty. Remember that a felony conviction can have a wide range of long-term effects. The best way to determine how to proceed is by obtaining professional advice. Before you decide how to plead, contact an experienced attorney to review your case.