Navigating the DWI Process in New York: What to Expect

At The Kindlon Law Firm, PLLC, we understand that being charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in New York can be a daunting experience. The legal process surrounding DWI cases can be complex and overwhelming, but with our expertise and guidance, you can navigate it more confidently. In this blog post, we will outline the key steps involved in the DWI process in New York and shed light on what you can expect.

Arrest and Booking

The first step in the DWI process begins with your arrest. If you are pulled over by law enforcement, and they suspect you of driving under the influence, you will likely be subjected to field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer test. If arrested for DWI, you will be taken into custody and booked at a police station. This includes recording personal information, taking fingerprints, and capturing your photograph.


After the arrest and booking, you will go through the arraignment process. This is the formal reading of the charges against you in court. During the arraignment, you will be asked to enter a plea, typically "guilty" or "not guilty." Having legal representation at this stage is crucial to protect your rights and potentially negotiate for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options.

Pre-Trial Motions and Discovery

Following the arraignment, your defense attorney will file pre-trial motions to challenge any evidence or procedures that may violate your rights. These motions may seek to suppress evidence, dismiss the case, or explore other legal strategies. Additionally, your attorney will request the prosecution to provide all relevant evidence and information through the discovery process. This allows your defense team to evaluate the strength of the prosecution's case and develop an effective defense strategy.

Plea Bargaining or Trial

After the pre-trial motions and discovery phase, your attorney will assess the potential for a plea bargain. Plea bargaining involves negotiating with the prosecution for reduced charges or alternative sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea. Your case will proceed to trial if a favorable plea agreement cannot be reached. Both sides will present evidence during the trial, examine witnesses, and argue their respective positions. Having skilled legal representation to advocate for your rights and present a strong defense is crucial.


If you are found guilty or choose to plead guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. DWI convictions in New York carry various penalties, including fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, ignition interlock device installation, and even imprisonment. The severity of the penalties depends on factors such as prior convictions, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and any aggravating circumstances. Your attorney will strive to mitigate the consequences and seek the most favorable outcome possible.

Appeals and Post-Sentencing Options

If you believe that errors were made during the trial or are dissatisfied with the outcome, you may have the option to file an appeal. Appeals focus on legal errors or issues that may have affected the fairness of the trial. Also, post-sentencing options may be available, such as probation, parole, or alternative sentencing programs.

Facing a DWI charge in New York can be a daunting experience, but with the guidance and expertise of The Kindlon Law Firm, PLLC, you can navigate the process more effectively. From the initial arrest to sentencing and beyond, our dedicated team will work tirelessly to protect your rights, explore all available defenses, and strive for the best possible outcome in your case. Remember, having a skilled and experienced attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your DWI case.

Contact The Kindlon Law Firm, PLLC, if you or a loved one is facing a DWI charge!