If you’re convicted of a prior DWI in New York State and you’re arrested, you’ll be charged as a second felony offender.
As a felony, the prosecutor will treat the case more harshly. The judges will be hostile.
If the prosecutor chooses treat it as a felony after the arrest, he’ll present it to the grand jury. If they indict you, then you’ll end up in county court and you subject yourself to a state prison sentence, felony probation, and a loss of license for at least one year.
An effective attorney can explore all legal defenses to downgrade the charges or dismiss them altogether.