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DWI Defense Attorney Protects Drivers from Rochester to Albany

Aggressive New York lawyer combats charges related to driving while intoxicated

New York law treats driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) as serious crimes. While first convictions are misdemeanors, repeat offenders face felony charges. If you are arrested for DW or DUI anywhere from Rochester to Albany, the Law Office of James L. Riotto will aggressively challenge the charges against you. As a former New York State trooper and DWI prosecutor, Mr. Riotto has insight into police procedures and prosecutorial strategies, which enables him to build a compelling defense on your behalf.

Types of alcohol- and drug-related driving charges in New York State

New York has a variety of laws governing impaired driving, whether by alcohol or drugs. Drivers can be charged with a standard DWI when they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent but less than .15 percent. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the threshold BAC is .04 percent.

Other charges include:

  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated — Penalties are worse for drivers whose BAC is .18 percent or higher.
  • Driving while ability impaired by alcohol — If your driving appears to be impaired by alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, and your BAC is more than .05 percent but less than .07 percent, you can be charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI).
  • Chemical test refusal — If you are arrested for DWI but refuse to submit to tests of your breath, blood or urine, you face additional administrative penalties, even if you’re acquitted. You lose your license for at least one year and must pay a $500 civil penalty. Commercial drivers lose their licenses for 18 months and must pay $550.
  • Zero tolerance law — Also known as Baby DWI, this charge applies to a driver who is less than 21 years of age who has a BAC of .02 percent to .07 percent. The consequences include a civil penalty of $125, a six-month license suspension, and a fee of $100 to terminate the license suspension. As a juvenile court attorney, Mr. Riotto is adamant about protecting the rights of youthful offenders and seeks less punitive solutions that get young drivers back on the right track.

Drivers face greater jeopardy when they have a prior DWI conviction, drive impaired with a minor in the vehicle, or cause an accident that damages property or seriously injures a person.

Penalties for DWI offenses in New York State

A DWI charge puts your liberty, license and your reputation in jeopardy. Common offenses and their potential penalties include these:

  • First-offense DWI or DWAI-Drug — Penalties for a conviction include fines running from $500 to $1,000, up to one year in jail and a license revocation of at least six months.
  • Second DWI or DWAI-Drug conviction within 10 years — This charge is a Class E felony, drawing fines of $1,000 to $5,000, up to four years in state prison and a license revocation of at least one year.
  • Third DWI or DWAI-Drug conviction within 10 years— This charge is a Class D felony, drawing fines of $2,000 to $10,000, up to seven years in state prison and a license revocation of at least one year.
  • First-offense aggravated DWI — Penalties for a conviction include fines running from $1,000 to $2,500, jail time of up to one year, and a license revocation of at least one year.
  • Second aggravated DWI within 10 years — This charge is a Class E felony, drawing fines of $1,000 to $5,000, up to four years in state prison and a license revocation of at least 18 months.
  • Third aggravated DWI in 10 years — This charge is a Class D felony, drawing fines of $2,000 to $10,000, up to seven years in state prison and a license revocation of at least 18 months.

The law gives judges wide latitude in sentencing, which is another reason to hire an experienced defense lawyer who knows how to argue for leniency on your behalf.

Why it’s important to retain an experienced DWI defense lawyer

During police stops anywhere from Rochester to Albany, you obviously don’t have the benefit of a drunk driving attorney at your side. In that moment, you can easily make mistakes that will adversely affect your legal case later on. Fortunately, with his prior experience in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, DUI defense attorney James Riotto is prepared to take the legal steps necessary to mitigate the effects of any errors you make.

Get immediate assistance from an experienced Rochester DWI defense attorney

If you face DWI charges on any roadway from Rochester to Albany, the Law Office of James L. Riotto stands ready to protect your rights and work toward the best possible outcome. To schedule a consultation, call 866-772-2122 or contact us online.

James L. Riotto Attorney Photo
James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

Adam Staier Attorney Photo
Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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Reviews and Ratings
  • yelp
    5.0/5.0

    I hired Jim Riotto when I was pulled over for doing 55 in a 30, in Monroe County. From the time I called him to the time he got me his amazing result, he had me well informed the whole way and could not have been better. I really appreciate everythin...

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    Patrick C.

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Riotto and his staff were such a great help for my family. Very professional, patient and kind. Thanks so much for all you do.

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    cassidy osborne

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I went to Mr. Riotto on numerous occasions for traffic violations since I liked to ride too fast on my motorcycle and not once was I disappointed with the outcome. Then the day came when I got myself wrapped up in a criminal case. This man saved my l...

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    Enrique Lespier

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Riotto is amazing. He is very thorough, very kind and has the greatest knowledge. He handled my traffic case and the process was really smooth with the best results. If you hire Mr. Riotto, rest assured you are in great hands.

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    hemant anant jain

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Very responsive and informational,Professional. I felt confident and comfortable trusting them my traffic violation. James and his team represented me with a case of a rough traffic violation and helped me keep my record clean, I am truly grateful.

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    Mike Marcello

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