Twenty Day Stay

At the conclusion of a case in which you are charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, or another misdemeanor DWI charge, and a plea is taken, one of the most important factors for the client is to obtain a conditional driver’s license. A conditional license permits the client to drive under limited circumstances, including driving to and from work, to and from picking up children from school or day care, obtaining necessary medical treatment for the client or a family member, and driving to and from Court mandated activities such as alcohol treatment, the MADD Victim Impact Panel, or the Drinking Driver Program (DDP).

A necessary requirement of the conditional license is that the driver enroll in the DDP, which is sponsored through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. When the plea is taken in the local criminal Court to a DWI or DWAI charge, the paperwork from the local Court must be delivered to the DMV in Albany. This process can be lengthy and sometimes take up to 20 days. Due to this delay, the attorney is permitted to request from the sentencing Judge a “Twenty Day Stay” of the enforcement of the sentence to permit entry by the client into the DDP. As a practical matter, what this means is that if the Twenty Day Stay is granted, the client can begin driving on the day of sentencing as if he or she has already received the conditional license.

There are certain circumstances by which the Judge will not grant a Twenty Day Stay. For example, if the client refused to take a chemical test at the time of the arrest, such as a breathalyzer, blood test or urine test, then the client is ineligible for the 20 day stay, and must wait until he or she has started the DDP before they can obtain the conditional license. Further, if the client has attended the DDP within the last 5 years, they are not eligible to enter the class again, and thus cannot receive a conditional license.

If you or a loved one is charged with a DWI, DWAI, DWAID (driving while ability impaired by drugs), aggravated DWI, a felony DWI (driving while intoxicated with children under the age of 16 in the vehicle or a second DWI in 10 years), or any other criminal charge such as Aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO), you need legal representation by experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated criminal defense attorneys. Contact the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel today for a free consultation to discuss your case, your legal rights and options.