In my opinion, you should be more concerned with ending up with a life long criminal record than a short stent in jail. You should consult with an experienced DWI attorney who after reviewing all the facts and circumstances of your case can better advise you on your options. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should plead not guilty and request a public defender. However, in my opinion if you refused the chemical test you may be better off retaining a private attorney in your particular case since the public defender will probably not agree to represent you at the DMV refusal hearing since it is considered civil in nature. The refusal hearing could prove to be a very important competent in the defense of the charges you now face.
A second DWI is a felony, and a conviction means mandatory jail or community service. Can you stay out of jail without a lawyer? Maybe, but I honestly doubt it. Whether you retain a private attorney or use a PD, I strongly suggest finding a lawyer.
You should, with out question consult with and ultimately retain an attorney. It is very important that you are comfortable with the attorney that represents you. So seek out a few attorneys and find one that you can work with.
As far a second DWI in New York. The new case is an indictable offense. You have a significant amount of rights that need to be protected.
Note: For informational purposes only.