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New York DWI Record Sealing

Help with DWI Record Sealing from Knowledgeable and Effective New York Criminal Defense Lawyers

A drunk driving conviction can have serious negative consequences that in some ways make it worse than other felonies or misdemeanors. Not only may you face fines and jail time, but your driver’s license is also suspended or revoked. The costs to get your license back, retrieve your vehicle from police impound, pay special court surcharges and assessments, and obtain SR-22 insurance, make a DWI conviction much more expensive than other crimes in the same classification. Additionally, the consequences of a DWI on your record can continue to haunt you for years. Drunk driving is a serious matter, but that doesn’t mean that a one-time error in judgment should follow you for the rest of your life. Our New York DWI record sealing lawyers here to get you that second chance by sealing the record of your DWI conviction, so you can live and work without the stigma of a decade-old DWI hanging over your head.

The record sealing law which became effective in New York on October 7, 2017 allows you to apply to have your record of a misdemeanor or non-violent felony sealed. In fact, the law allows you to apply to have up to two misdemeanors sealed, or one misdemeanor and one felony. The offense must be at least ten years old and meet other requirements of the record sealing law.

All New York Drunk Driving Criminal Offenses are Eligible for Sealing

Depending on the circumstances, there are many different ways a drunk driving arrest can be charged. If you are pulled over and alleged to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, you can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), which is a misdemeanor. However, if you are arrested for a second DWI within ten years of a previous drunk driving conviction, you can be charged with a Class E felony DWI. Other felony DWI charges, including Aggravated DWI and Vehicular Homicide, are Class D or Class E felonies.

None of these offenses are classified as Class A felonies, and none of them are defined as “violent felonies” under the law. Therefore, they should all be eligible offenses for sealing under the New York record sealing law. For example, if you have two DWIs on your record so that one is a misdemeanor and one is a felony, you could apply to have the records of both convictions sealed, provided they are ten years old and you meet the other requirements for sealing.

Levy & Rizzo, LLC can help you apply to have records of any of the following convictions sealed:

  • DWI
  • Aggravated DWI
  • Vehicular Assault
  • Aggravated Vehicular Assault
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

Remember, sealing is not automatic, nor is it guaranteed. You must make a motion in court and convince the judge that your record should be sealed. If the DA objects to your motion, there will be a hearing where both sides present evidence about why the record should or should not be sealed. Having an experienced New York criminal defense attorney on your side is critical to your success. At Levy & Rizzo, LLC, our New York lawyers know New York criminal law and procedure, based on 15 years of experience in New York criminal defense serving as public defenders and in private practice. Let us handle your record sealing application for the best chance of success.

Can a DWAI be Sealed?

New York drunk driving law includes an offense known as Driving While Ability Impaired, or DWAI. DWAI is charged when a person is pulled over for DWI and their BAC registers somewhere between .05% and .07%. DWAI is not a criminal offense. Instead, it is an “infraction” or a “violation”. Typically, convictions of traffic infractions or violations are automatically sealed under CPL 160.55. However, CPL 160.55 specifically excludes DWAI from the statute, so DWAI records are not automatically sealed. Also, since DWAI is not a “crime”, it may not be included under the definition of an eligible offense under the new record sealing law. Although this issue has not been officially addressed at this time, it appears that a DWAI conviction would not be sealable.

Don’t Let One DWI Ruin Your Life. Get Help with Record Sealing from Levy & Rizzo, LLC.

A drunk driving conviction on your record can hurt your chances at employment, diminish your reputation, or cast aspersions on your good moral character. New York criminal law recognizes that everyone deserves a second chance. Get yours today. Call Levy & Rizzo, LLC at 718-585-3400 for help in getting your DWI record sealed.

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