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Can i avoid a felony and jail time? I was offered 1 month in jail. 5 years probation and felony on my record. Help!

New Rochelle, NY |

I got arrested and charged with a DWI for being asleep in a car across the street from my home. It was very late and i was locked out, but had spare keys to the family car. I had the keys in the ignition and the car might have been on. I have a prior DWI charge where i received a misdemeanor with a conditional discharge. I was NOT pulled over, is there anyway to work around this felony and jail time.

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Attorney answers 8


I would hope for something this serious you have an attorney. You should ask him/her. If you don't have one, get one. If you can't afford, ask the court to appoint one for you.


It's hard to say without reviewing all the evidence. Get a good attorney and fight the charges.

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If the keys were in the ignition, the engine was running, and the car was parked on a public street, that still is considered "operation" under the DWI statute. Sounds like you have some mitigating circumstances, however. Presumably, you have an attorney who has brought these factors to the attention of the prosecutor.


Have you had a DWI before? How long ago? And what was your blood alcohol level? All of these things will factor into the judge's decision - or, you may want to fight it at trial and not accept the offer, but then if you're convicted your sentence could be a lot worse.

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More facts are needed. You must have driven there. What was your bac or did you refuse? You could have a triable case. You need a good criminal defense lawyer who knows how to handle a dui case.

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It's not easy w/a 2nd DWI, now a felony and when it is probably soon after the 1st one, especially in Westchester. Speak with your attorney.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


Get yourself a good defense attorney ASAP! Contact our office if you'd like to discuss your case further!

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Has the case been indicted? Is this an SCI offer? Was there a breathalyzer reading? Did you provide an inculpatory statement to police? It is possible to avoid a felony but a proper evaluation of your case would require far more information than you have provided in your question.