Think you can hide that out-of-state DWI conviction? Think again

| Feb 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

While traveling out of state, you made a mistake one night. A law enforcement officer arrests you on a drunk driving charge. A DWI charge anywhere is nothing to take lightly. You know that you must disclose this news to your spouse. And that you will have to pay the consequences upon a conviction.

But, now, you wonder whether an arrest and conviction will be discovered upon returning home to New York. You expect to wait it out, hoping that this DWI blemish goes undetected. Forget that. This personal and legal trouble follows you to your home state. The state of New York will learn about your predicament. At the same time, New York residents convicted of drunk driving outside the state will suffer comparable penalties at home.

Ontario and Quebec as well

You will not be able to shake a drunk driving conviction, which follows you like a gloomy cloud from state to state as well as from parts of the Canadian border. An increasing number of law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. share data bases that include information on crimes, arrests and convictions. The state of New York will have little problem finding out about your DWI situation.

And once convicted of DWI outside the state, you face additional penalties in New York. Here is what likely awaits you:

  • Driver’s license revocation a minimum of 90 days: Any New York adult 21 and older faces this penalty if convicted of DWI or driving while on drugs in courts from other states as well as the neighboring Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
  • Driver’s license revocation a minimum of a year: Drivers under the age of 21 convicted of DWI outside the state and in Ontario and Quebec face harsher penalties. In addition, any alcohol-related conviction for people in this age group leads to the revocation of your driver’s license for at least a year or until that person turns 21, whichever is the longest. For example, an 18-year-old convicted of an alcohol offense must wait three years before he or she can get a driver’s license back.

The short answer is that you cannot hide an out-of-state DWI conviction. New York authorities are bound to discover it, and you will face additional consequences.