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Does ny have law that says if you get dwi can not drop to lesser charge her

Amsterdam, NY |
Attorney answers 4


There are certain restrictions in the law that limit what certain charges can be reduced to. This includes DWI charges, which can only be reduced to a charge within the DWI category (mainly DWAI, a violation). However there are some circumstances where this can be avoided.

In addition, some DA offices have their own policy wherein they will not offer a plea bargain on a DWI type misdemeanor.

You should speak with an attorney to discuss the details of the case and your options.


The prosecutor has the discretion as to whether or not they will offer a plea to a lesser charge in a DWI case. The prosecutor can, if they think it is appropriate offer for example an plea to driving while ability impaired (a traffic infraction) from a DWI charge.

Good Luck-

Carl Spector

Note: For informational purposes only.


There is no law in NY state that DWI cannot be dropped to a lesser charge (driving while impaired for example which is a violation). Many DAs however wont offer a lesser charge if the reading is too high or if there are aggravating circumstances like an accident. A judge has no power to reduce a charge as part of a plea deal only the DA can do that so if their policy is not to offer a reduced charge, then you either have to plkead to the DWI or take the case to trial


The short answer is no. DWI charges, depending on the specific circumstances, and exspecially if it is the persons first charge, can be reduced to a lower charge, for example DWAI (driving while ability impaired). It is also possible to reduce the charge to something lower (other non alcohol traffic violation) or something similar. These possible reductions are all dependant on the persons history (both with DWI type charges and criminal history) the BAC test results, and if there was an accident or other aggravating circumstances. Lateral moves to reckless driving (traffic misdemeanor) can also occur which takes the charge out of the alcohol category and often saves on fines, surcharges and dmv penalties as well as insurance. Plea reductions are discretionary for the DA's office handling the case and you would be well served to find a lawyer who knows your area and how to defend a DWI charge to give you further information. Good Luck!

This communication and/or question response is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not a replacement for the advice of a attorney specific to your/your loved ones case. It does create an attorney client relationship nor is the communication protected by privilege. Please follow up with further questions or inquires about representation to Kenneth M. Christopher, Esq. at

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