Can a DUI Be Considered a Felony In New York?

drunk driver dui

Getting charged with a DUI can potentially impact your entire life. DUI penalties vary from state to state, and the consequences can be harsh depending on the circumstances. New York has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Are you a New York resident wondering if a DUI can be considered a felony? Read on or reach out to a Nassau County DUI Lawyer today to learn more about DUI laws in the empire state.


Most DUI offenses in New York are considered either traffic violations or misdemeanors, but there are certain scenarios where a DUI charge can be escalated to a felony. If this is your first DUI offense,  it will likely be classified as a traffic violation. When a driver is caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.18 or higher, this is considered an aggravated DWI even if it’s the first offense. Aggravated DWI charges have harsh consequences and can be combined with other charges to be escalated to a Felony Aggravated DWI. Multiple DUI convictions within the span of 10 years will likely lead to a felony charge, which has the most severe penalties. A DUI charge can also be escalated to a misdemeanor or felony if the drunk driver injured someone else.


The consequences you’re dealt after a DUI conviction depend on the circumstances of the drunk driving incident, your BAC level, and your criminal history. Most DUI cases require the convicted person to attend alcohol education courses or in some cases, an alcohol treatment center. If you’re on your second or third DUI offense, you’re likely to face much stricter punishments. After your third offense, you’re considered a repeat offender and therefore will likely face the most severe penalties without an experienced DUI defense attorney at your side.

The higher your BAC is at the time of the incident, the harsher penalties you’ll face if convicted. First-time offenders can generally expect up to $1,000 in fines, a six-month license suspension, up to a year of jail time, and a year with an ignition interlock device (IID) after they get their license reinstated. Second-time offenders could face up to $5,000 in fines, a driver’s license suspension for a year, and up to four years of incarceration, along with the use of a required IID. Repeat offenders could face up to $10,000 in fines and up to 7 years imprisonment, along with the license suspension and required IID use.

Have you been charged with a DUI in New York? Now that you know the consequences, you might want to speak with a trusted DUI lawyer to discuss your options. The Law Office of Jacob A. Rudman is here to fight for you! Contact us today for quality legal counseling.

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