A man was arrested in November 14, 2007 for driving while intoxicated and his license was revoked. As part of his conviction, his driver’s license was revoked for six months. But because this conviction was the man’s first, he was able to join a rehabilitation program offered by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said that as part of the rehabilitation program, the man was issued a conditional license. This license imposed restrictions on him: he can only drive to and from work; he can only drive to the rehabilitation program and its related activities; he can only drive to and from school; and he can only drive between 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
On February 10, 2008, the man was arrested once more for driving while intoxicated. He was arrested at 1:04 p.m. He was with his girlfriend and upon his arrest he told the arresting police officer that he and his girlfriend came from a bar. He was charged for driving while intoxicated and other offenses. Under the indictment, he was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.
During the DWI trial, the man asked that the charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree be dismissed. He claims that he was not unlicensed at the time of his second arrest. He did have a license, albeit a conditional one. He argued that he should only be charged with unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor that carries with it a penalty of $500 and 15 days’ imprisonment.
A Suffolk County Criminal Lawyer said the People vigorously opposed the motion arguing that the penalty of the charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree is higher and is a more suitable punishment for the man. Because when he went to drive on a public highway, he knew full well that his license had already been revoked. This crime carries with it a higher penalty of 30 days’ imprisonment. After all, he was already convicted of driving while intoxicated and his license was revoked, and then, after he was given a conditional license, he again went and drove his vehicle on the public highway in violation of the conditional license which has also been revoked for driving while intoxicated for the second time. Driving while intoxicated and without a license carries with it a stiff penalty of 180 days’ imprisonment. Driving without a license after the license was revoked for driving while intoxicated carries with it a much higher penalty of up to four years. The People argue that the man’s callous violation of the law cannot be rewarded with a light penalty. Doing so will disregard the State’s policy to curb drunk driving.
The Supreme Court decided to dismiss the graver charge against the defendant of driving with a revoked license and instead found him guilty of the lesser misdemeanor of driving in violation of the conditions of his license.
The Supreme Court decided that the man’s license was revoked after his first conviction for driving while intoxicated but he was issued a new conditional license. His second arrest for driving at a time and for a purpose that is not allowed under the provisions of his conditional license is a mere violation of the terms of his conditional license.
This interpretation of the statute is the most plausible reading of the law as the legislature has amended it. The most recent amendment of the law involved the raising of the fine from $100 to $500 but the prison term of 15 days remained intact.
A conviction for driving while intoxicated carries with it not only a prison term, it also carries with it subsidiary penalties such as a fine and revocation of the convict’s driver’s license.
Conviction for driving while intoxicated is a serious offense that will remain in your permanent record. Whether you have been charged with a DWI, sex crimes or a theft charge, it is important to ensure that your rights are protected. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, well-trained and capable attorneys are ready to assist in your defense. They will present your case and argue it for you.