Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer Understanding New York DWI Concurrent versus Consecutive License Suspensions

Understanding words and how they apply within a specific legal situation is crucial for making the best choices. Decisions that are well thought out have certainty and power. As they say "half-baked" ideas seldom amount to much. When license privileges begin, end, and are restored is a sub-set of any DWI case.

Number One Idea: Limit Your License Suspension to the Minimums

First, license suspensions in New York can come from the Court and from the DMV.

You can be facing license issues on more than one front so with that in mind you must consider how to play them off each other. In other words, can you get any and all driver's license suspensions to run CONCURRENTLY versus CONSECUTIVELY.

Consecutive = Con (with) - Secutive (in a sequence) 

If two suspensions run one after the other, then they tack onto one another. A six month suspension and another six month suspension will then equal a total of twelve months of suspension.

Concurrent = Con (with) - Current (in the flow with)

If two suspensions run together, then they do not tack onto one another. A six month suspension and another six month suspension will then still equal a total of six months of suspension.

When Do "Temporary" New York License Suspensions Begin?

In New York DWI cases, the temporary suspension begins at the time of the initial appearance (usually with counsel present). In either a breath or blood case with a .08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) or more OR where there was a Chemical Test Refusal (blood or breath) the Judge MUST suspend your license (privileges) Pending Prosecution (while waiting on prosecution).

This suspension time is NOT going to be your final suspension time. You will get no credit for time served on suspension either. For sake of clarity, suspensions are generally temporary and revocations are more permanent but in the world of license privileges they both = NO DRIVING PRIVILEGES.

When Do "Final" New York License Suspensions Begin?

In New York DWI cases, the final suspension (or revocation) begins at the time of the sentencing. In either a breath or blood DWI case OR  a Chemical Test Refusal DWI case the Judge will suspend your license (privileges) based on the FINAL OUTCOME.

DWAI (driving while ability impaired) =        90 day suspension
DWI (common law or .08 or more) =               6 month revocation
ADWI (aggravated DWI .18 or more) =         12 month revocation
DWI (under 21 years old) =                            12 month revocation

This final license suspension (revocation) begins at the DATE OF SENTENCING.

The Uniqueness of the NY DWI Refusal Case and License Revocations

At the end of your refusal criminal case (not the administrative case) you will have one of the above suspensions or revocations. If you have already lost your DMV refusal hearing then you have already been revoked for one year. If you have waived your hearing (given up) by either not showing up or sending in a waiver of the hearing then this time has already begun to run. Some of the time of revocation will then overlap with the criminal court suspension time period and some may not.

The KEY or the trick is to see if you can have as much time run CONCURRENT as possible. As they say, "it's all in the timing." With license suspensions this is very true. For some out-of-state license holders having the time run as close to the initial appearance times as possible may forestall a longer wait to clear up their New York license issues.

Whether or not you care about New York or New York license privileges as long as there is anything OUTSTANDING in New York you will not be able to move forward to any other state. No other state will give you a license or renew a license privilege without a complete clear of New York.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

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