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Felony assault charge in New York DWI

Three people, including the man suspected to be at fault, were injured in a Sunday crash in Albany, leading to charges of aggravated vehicular assault.

40-year-old Oscar L. Lewis was immediately taken to the Albany Medical Center for treatment of injuries stemming from the head-on collision. When he was released, he reported directly to the police department, where he formally received two charges: one count aggravated vehicular assault and one count DWI. Reports say both charges are felonies.

Aggravated vehicular assault is always a felony charge. DWI, however, is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the unique factors of the arrest or accident.

In New York, like many states, certain circumstances have to be present in order for a felony DWI charge to be made. In most states, a person must be driving under the influence, breaking another traffic law and cause harm to another person. A felony DWI may be charged on a repeat offense; New York sets a DWI at a second-offense within 10 years.

In this case, the felony charge appears to have been given because Lewis was  driving on the wrong side of the road when the collision occurred.

Lewis crashed head on into a car driven by Stephen Smith, 48. Smith’s 14-year-old daughter was also in the car. They were both treated for injuries. If those injuries become more severe, then increased charges may be made.

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