Out of State DUI

Out of State DUI

Question:  I live in Los Angeles, CA currently, but I may be convicted of a DWAI from when I lived in NY. How will his affect me in CA?  It is not a DUI because NY calls them something else…either a DWI or a DWAI.   In NY, a DWAI is forever.

Before this arrest, I had a absolutely clean driving record. At the time of the arrest, I was stopped at a checkpoint and blew .07 blood alcohol level.  Ipassed all tests, according to police report….clear, accurate, steady, etc. They’re charging me with both a DWI and a DWAI.

They will only drop the DWI if I take the plea of DWAI. Considering this was a checkpoint stop and I was fine to drive and my alcohol level was below a .08, I don’t even want to take the DWAI, so I’ve been fighting it. In Manhattan, it’s extremely difficult for all sides to be ready for trial and have an available court room, so a new court date gets assigned approximately every six weeks to go to court. I have an attorney in New York handling my case there, but it’s getting too costly and disruptive to fly across the country. This has been going on for 7 months already.  I’m considering taking the plea just so I can move on. Will this affect me forever and in what ways?

Answer:  First and foremost, you should speak to your current attorney in New York to see how this could affect you. I am NOT a NY attorney and not familiar with NY law. I am a California DUI attorney (and familiar with CA DUI Law). This answer is NOT legal advice as I am basing the following on a quick search of NY law in order to help you come up with some questions to ask your NY attorney handling your case. That being said, based on my quick search regarding DWAI, I think a DWAI in New York is an infraction, not a misdemeanor or felony (unlike a straight DWI). So a plea to that May not have the same effects as a plea to a DWI. I can not stress enough, you should discuss your question with your attorney in New York who should be familiar with NY DWAI laws and how they can affect you moving forward, whether they are priorable for DWI purposes, etc.

Generally speaking a DUI or similar conviction in another state will be priorable in CA for 10 years. Sometimes it is possible to “strike” the prior, making it non-priorable. I am unsure if a NY DWAI would have a good shot of being stricken should you pick up a new DUI in California. This is something I would research if I were retained to handle someone’s CA DUI, and they had an out of state prior. You should ask your NY attorney about that as well.

I hope the above is helpful in getting you some ideas of questions to ask your NY Attorney so you can make a more informed decision if entering a plea to the DWAI is in your best interests or not. Good luck with everything.

California DUI Attorney and Criminal Defense

NY DMV website as it relates to DWI penalties