N.Y.C. And Westchester DWI Defense Lawyers


If You Were Arrested for DWI,

It Isn't The End of the World


The New York City and White Plains criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC have extensive experience in handling the criminal defense of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving under the influence. Our NYC and Westchester DWI defense attorneys regularly defend criminal cases in the New York City, Rockland and Westchester Courts including the criminal courts in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester County including Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Ossining, Rye, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, Scarsdale, Bronxville, Mamaroneck, Elmsford, Port Chester and Valhalla. At the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph PLLC, we know that most people arrested for driving while intoxicated are decent people that made a mistake. Being arrested for the first time, especially for a DWI charge can be a frightening experience and our attorneys understand the anxiety that you are going through. Our NYC and Westchester DWI attorneys have the experience to get you through the process, keep you out of jail and minimize the collateral damage that a driving while intoxicated charge can have on your life. 

In New York crimes of Driving While Intoxicated (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192) is committed when a person operates a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08 % or more. Driving while intoxicated can also be proven when a person is so intoxicated that they cannot safely operate a vehicle. Driving While Intoxicated DWI is an unclassified misdemeanor and you need an experienced New York Criminal Defense Lawyer to defend you if you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI). A conviction for Driving While Intoxicated carries a six month revocation of your license to drive in New York, as well as other penalties including possible jail time. In New York, there is also a lesser charge of driving while ability is impaired. Driving while ability impaired is a violation and is normally punished with a fine, a ninety day license suspension and a conditional discharge to complete certain programs.

Aggravated DWI

The Law in New York also has an enhanced section called Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated. If you have been charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated you need an experienced New York DWI Attorney. Aggravated DWI prohibits operating a motor vehicle while with .18 or more of one per centum by weight of alcohol of a person’s blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person’s blood, breath, urine or saliva. Aggravated DWI is a misdemeanor and carries a minimum fine of $1000, along with a one year license revocation.

Under 21 Years Old

If you are under 21 years old and drove with more than .02% BAC and less than .08% BAC, you may be charged with a vehicle and traffic law violation, but this is not a crime and cannot be pursued in the Criminal Courts. If you have been charged with this section in the Criminal Court, an attorney can bring a motion to dismiss the charges because these violations can only be brought in the Department of Motor Vehicles. This violation carries a six month license suspension.

Commercial Vehicles 

If you were operating a commercial vehicle, such as a truck, bus or other commercial vehicle, then there is a lower threshold. New York law says that if your blood alcohol level was between  .06 and .08, you must be charged with operating a vehicle while your ability was impaired. So if you had a beer with lunch and were operating a commercial vehicle, you can be charged even if you are below, what is the legal limit for passenger vehicles, which is .08. 

Felony DWI

If you have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated in the last ten years and have again been charged, you are probably facing a felony. Also even if you are arrested as a first time offender for a DWI charge, if you had someone under 16 years of age in the vehicle, you are facing a felony charge, even if you had a BAC that was only slightly above the legal limit. Our New York Criminal Defense attorneys have successfully avoided jail on even felony charges of Driving While Intoxicated.

How Attorneys Fight These Charges

In New York City and Westchester Courts, our criminal defense attorneys have had a great deal of success in getting charges of Driving While Intoxicated reduced to driving while ability impaired.

Our New York and Westchester DWI Attorneys have also been able to challenge Blood Alcohol readings by using expert toxicologists and attacking the methods and assumptions utilized by the machines performing the tests.

The defenses to charges of Driving while intoxicated include no operation, that you were able to safely operate the vehicle and that the BAC at the time of the operation was not above the legal limit.


There are many cases where the police arrest someone who is merely intoxicated behind the wheel of a parked car. This scenario often occurs when someone believes they are too drunk to drive, so they sleep in their car and turn on the engine for heat, music or air conditioning.

These cases are very defendable because to establish operation the officer must see you move the vehicle or prove that you were actively intending to move the vehicle. A good New York DWI defense attorney can demonstrate that you had no intention of moving the vehicle, therefore did not drive, as such you cannot be convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Too Intoxicated To Operate A Vehicle

Merely having a certain blood alcohol level is not sufficient for a conviction under this section. Rather, the State must prove that you were not physically capable of operating a vehicle. This is usually done by showing that you failed field sobriety tests and/or operated the vehicle in such a manner that demonstrates that you were too drunk to drive, such as swerving, speeding or some other violation.

Can I Be Convicted of Driving While Intoxicated If I Refused to Take the Breathalyzer

Yes, New York's driving while intoxicated laws have several different sections. One of the sections which prohibits driving a vehicle while intoxicated per se, makes it a crime to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more. There is another section known as common law intoxication, which prohibits operation of a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition which affects your ability to safely operate a vehicle.  If you refuse the test, it will prevent a conviction of DWI, under the intoxicated per se section, but you can be convicted of DWI under the common law intoxicated section, based upon the officer's observations of your operation of the vehicle and your physical condition, including performance of field sobriety tests. Also the fact that you refused to take a chemical test is admissible as proof of your intoxication. 

Driving After Having Consumed Drugs

To establish a violation of driving while ability impaired by drugs, the law requires that a person’s ability to drive be impaired by drugs. Therefore, merely showing that the person ingested drugs is insufficient. The State of New York must prove that the person’s ability to drive was actually impaired by drugs. This is usually done through field sobriety tests.

Also the law requires the people establish that the person actually had a chemical substance in their system. Our criminal defense attorneys have gotten several cases dismissed because no drug showed up on a chemical test. Often an officer will suspect someone has used drugs, if they smell like marijuana or have delayed responses. However, if you smoked just before your drove, often, marijuana will not show up on a urine test, because it takes several hours for the reaction to cannabus, to form. Likewise, other drugs metabolize quickly or are not specifically tested for. So if the officers don't know what you took, then they don't know what to test for and there is a chance that your test may come back negative. 

This charge can also be attacked by showing that the drugs were no longer in the blood at the time of the operation of the vehicle as many drugs stay in the system longer than they affect the person.


Our Westchester DWI defense lawyers are located in White Plains, New York and are walking distance to the White Plains Criminal Courthouse. Our NYC criminal defense attorneys are located in Midtown Manhattan, a short subway ride to the Manhattan Criminal Court, the Bronx Criminal Court and the Brooklyn Criminal Courthouse. Our attorneys have decades of experience in defending criminal cases in New York City, Rockland and Westchester Courts including the criminal courts in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Ossining, Rye, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, Elmsford, Port Chester and Valhalla. Getting help from a White Plains DUI/DWI defense lawyer is important to have the DUI charge dismissed. Whether it is a first time drunk driving offense or a repeat offense, contact a Westchester County DUI/DWI defense attorney to discuss your case. DUI defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph in White Plains, NY and Westchester County have been protecting the rights of those facing a DUI charge. Call us today at (914) 574-8330 to speak with our criminal defense lawyer who will come up with a defense strategy.


 At arraignment, (the first court appearance) your driver's license will be suspended pending the prosecution, if the chemical test shows a reading of .08 or more, unless you can demonstrate that the suspension will cause an undue hardship. To meet this standard, you need to be able to show the distance between your home and your workplace and that means of public transportation are not feasible and or are prohibitively expensive.  Having an experienced DWI defense attorney, who knows the standards can be the difference between getting a hardship license and being unable to drive. 


 In Westchester, the DMV refusal hearings are held at the DMV at Larkin Plaza in Yonkers. Losing a refusal hearing means losing your license for a year, so fighting the hearing can be as important as the outcome of the case. At the hearing the officer must prove that there were reasonable grounds to believe that your were driving while intoxicated, that the officer made a lawful arrest, that you were given  sufficient warning, in clear or unequivocal language and refused the test anyway.


 If the officer does not show at a Department of Motor Vehicle hearing, then the Administrative Law Judge has to lift the suspension. Usually the officer will be given one additional chance to appear, but if they fail to do so, the proceeding will be closed and you get to keep your license. 


203 East Post Road
White Plains, N.Y. 10601
Tel: 914-574-8330

From our White Plains office, our driving while intoxicated attorneys represent people charged with DWI, all over Westchester County, including White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Mamaroneck, Greenburgh, Rye, Scarsdale, Bronxville, Mt. Pleasant, Mount Kisco, Valhalla, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Port Chester.  


18 West 33rd Street
Suite 400
New York, N.Y. 10001 
Tel: 212-858-0503

From our Manhattan office, our criminal defense attorneys represent people charged with driving while intoxicated in the criminal Courts of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. 

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

Contact Us Today

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New York Office

18 W 33rd St
Ste 400
New York, NY 10001

Open Today 8:30am - 6:00pm

Google map image of our location in 203 E Post Rd  White Plains, NY

White Plains Office

203 E Post Rd
White Plains, NY 10601

Open Today 8:30am - 6:00pm

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