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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4479
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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Our daughter got a DWI alcohol with a BAC of .09. She is a

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Our daughter got a DWI alcohol with a BAC of .09. She is a student and doesn't have much money. Should she stick with a public defender? Is there much of a chance of jail time. It is a first offense. We were told that if she loses her license in NY she can still drive in other states. Is that true?

A public defender is likely fine. PDs get a bad rap, but the reality is that they work with the same prosecutors day in and day out so they can usually get the best deals for their clients. The fact that this is her first offense and the fact that her BAC was not that high (while it was over the legal limit it is not much over) make it unlikely that she would get any sort of jail time. The penalties for a first DUI are: up to 1 year in jail, fines and surcharges, alcohol screenings/classes, and a 6 month driver's license suspension. As I've mentioned, it is unlikely that she would serve any jail time so she will probably have to serve a period of probation instead. A lawyer can also try to plead her to a reduced charge such as driving while impaired, which carries smaller fines and penalties and suspensions.

As for her license, it is not true that she can drive in other states. Most states belong to the Driver's License Compact, which means they share information about license status and uphold the suspensions and revocations of other states. So if she drives in other states with a suspended license she is subject to arrest and other charges. However, she can petition the DMV for a conditional (also known as restricted) license, which would allow her to drive to and from work and school during the period of the suspension.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. How long would it likely be before she can apply for a conditional or restricted license?


She can apply upon sentencing as long as her sentence includes the Drinking Driver Program (DDP), but it may take the DMV some time to process it. If the judge gives her a continuation, the suspension will not begin until 20 days after sentencing, which may allow for her to get the conditional license before the suspension officially begins. This brochure (it is an official DMV publication) is useful for understanding the program and her options: