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NJ Driver in New York State First offense DWI.

Saddle River, NJ |

I was arrested for DWI and clocked at .12

This is my first offense and I've never been arrested before or ever had a speeding ticket and I'm in my mid 30's

Worst case scenario will be $1000 + surcharge + ingition interlock + 6 mo. loss of driving privilege in NY state.

question 1: Can the misdemeanor DWI charge be downgraded or dismissed while still having an ignition interlock installed and doing community service?

question 2: If the suspension stands, can it be redefined as caused by any other charge besides dwi in exchange for higher fines?

question 3, If suspended for DWI in New York State, Will I also be suspended in my home state of NJ? and also, if I am suspended in NJ as a result, can it be conditional? (allowed to drive to & from work)

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Attorney answers 4


The worst part of a misdemeanor DWI is the permanent criminal record that cannot be expunged or removed.

1. Yes, it is often possible to negotiate the misdemeanor down to a violation. You will need an attorney to do this.
2. No
3. NJ will recognize and impose any suspension imposed by NY--as long as NY notifies NJ. Where in NY you received your ticket can make a big difference. There is no conditional/work license in NJ.

I practice DWI defense in NJ and NY and would be happy to discuss it with you further.


A very important factor needed to properly answer this would be in which county in NY were you arrested. The various Distict Attorneys, while they all take DWI very seriously, feel differently about the appropriate plea bargaining guidelines. .12 is high but a favorable disposition might still be possible. The best advise you can get here is to have a lawyer assisting you. S/he should be able to negotiate the best possible disposition on your behalf. It is possible (an uphill battle but possible) to have the misdemeanor DWI reduced to a traffic infraction of DWAI. The DWAI is not a crime and you won't have a criminal record (a NY crimi al record is permanent and cannot be sealed or expunged). In exchange your license (in this case your driving privileges in the state of NY) would be suspended for 90 days, you would have to complete the Drinking Driving Program and pay a fine of between 300-500. Such a disposition would not require the IID. As to your specific questions:
1) yes they can be downgraded as part of a plea. The IID wouldn't be required unless and until you are actually convicted of a crime.
2) NO
3) NYS cannot suspend your NJ license. What they will do is suspend your driving privileges in NY and notify NJ of the suspension. Due to reciprocity NJ will suspend your license. Unlike NY, NJ does not have a conditional license.


Since you were arrested in New York, your questions about specific plea bargains need to be addressed to a New York attorney. If the case was in New Jersey, the answer to your questions would be "no."
If you are suspended in New York, your driving privileges will be suspended in New Jersey; and there is no provision for driving back and forth to work in New Jersey. If you are suspended here, there is no driving whatsoever.

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There are no conditional licenses in NJ. The NJMVC will respond to this even if the case is reduced to a NY DWAI. For more specific NY Law answers, contact Warren Redlich, Esq. @