What to do if I was just charged with DWAI and I don’t understand the conditions?

I was given fines and charges and everything but I was also told I must finish the drug and alcohol evaluation and attend a seminar (which I plan to complete). What I don’t understand is I was told to attend my county’s drinking driver program. I am moving to another state soon and since they are not part of the driver’s license compact, if I do not attend the drinking driver program will there be any repercussions? Or will not attending be a conditional violation?

Asked on February 13, 2013 under Criminal Law, New York


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you do not understand a condition, you need to visit with your probation officer, your defense attorney, and, if all else fails, the judge.  The last thing you want to do is screw up your probation on a technicality.  The probation department can help you find a comparable program to participate in within your new state.  If a comparable program is not available, they will have to make the decision on whether to waive the condition or not.  If they grant you a waiver-- get it in writing.  A new probation officer could come along, not know the conversations you've had, and suddenly decide forward a violation report.  Without something in writing, you will have no proof that the condition was waived.  The best case scenario would be to complete the course before you leave, or, if possible, commute back and forth to complete the requirement. 

If this is a condition that you know that you simply cannot comply with because of the geographic restrictions and the new state's limitations, you can file a motion to modify the conditions of your probation.  This would show the judge that you are not intentionally trying to avoid the condition.  It is also a formal way of getting the condition waived or altered such that you can remain in compliance.

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