white plains DUI Lawyers
New York State is very serious about drinking and driving, and you should be too! A DWI (drinking while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) charge can bring harsh consequences. If you are stopped for suspicion of a DWI or DUI, the police officer will probably ask you to take a breathalyzer test, which involves breathing into a machine that will check your blood alcohol content (BAC). You can’t refuse the test, and if it registers .08 percent or higher, you are in very big trouble. A first DUI charge is a misdemeanor that can include a fine, a revoked driver’s license, and time in jail. However, if your BAC level registers .18% or higher, you may be charged with “Aggravated DUI.” That may mean a fine of $1,000 or higher, a suspended license for a year, and one year in jail.
The penalties get stiffer. Get a second DUI within 10 years of the first one and you have now committed a felony. Your fine may be up to $5,000 and you could spend four years in jail. A third conviction could mean a fine up to $10,000, a license suspension for 18 months, and/or up to seven years behind bars. You may also be required, at your own expense, to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. Before being able to start your car, you must breathe into the device. At various times when driving, you must also breathe into the device. If you don’t or if your alcohol level is high, the lights on your car will flash and the horn will sound.
As severe as these penalties are, a DUI conviction can bring other long-term consequences. Your DUI conviction – misdemeanor or felony – will stay on your record permanently. Since anyone can view your record, that may mean loss of employment, housing, and various types of programs. It may also mean a substantial increase in your insurance rate.
The best advice to anyone who operates a car in New York is “don’t drink and drive.” However, if you are charged with drunk driving in the state, the next best advice is to hire a New York criminal lawyer. Do not try to fight these charges alone. An experienced New York criminal lawyer is familiar with the drunk driving laws in the state and can building a solid defense against the charges.
No one wants a drunk driver on the road, but there may be circumstances that can alter the charges in your favor. Your lawyer may be able to fight the breathalyzer result or have your license reinstated. The accusations against you may be faulty or incorrectly charged. A DUI is a serious offense that requires a serious defense. Contact us at whiteplainscriminal lawyers. We have the experience and dedication to defend your rights, try to clear your record, and make certain you are treated fairly in any of the charges. Get your life back to normal. Call now and let us work for you.
Do you need a DUI/DWI Lawyer
Driving while intoxicated, a DWI offense, is a serious crime in all parts of the United States. The exact elements vary from one jurisdiction to another, but if an individual is found behind the wheel and intoxicated past a certain, legal benchmark, then that person will be charged with a DWI. Punishments include fines, the loss of driving privileges, and even jail or prison time depending on the severity of the crime and whether anyone was injured as a result of the driver’s intoxication. If someone is being charged with a DWI crime in New York City though, it’s important to get a DWI attorney post haste.
What a DWI Attorney Does
A DWI attorney is a practicing lawyer with a specialty in defending those who have been accused of driving while intoxicated. NYC DWI lawyers will be intimately familiar with the statutory and case law of New York, and they’ll have the know-how and expertise to negotiate the waters of the New York City court system. These lawyers will be able to weigh a case on its own merits, and if it comes down to it to litigate the case in front of a jury.
The main benefit of a DWI attorney in New York City is that he or she will have an expert knowledge that will be at a client’s disposal. The attorney will be able to make connections with the right individuals, make cases for plea bargaining, and in many cases procure more lenient fines or sentencing. In the case that the prosecution’s evidence isn’t enough to prove a client was in fact driving while intoxicated then the DWI lawyer will aim to get the case dismissed, or to shoot so many holes in the prosecution that a jury won’t convict the client. In the event that the case is more substantial though, the DWI lawyer will attempt to make the circumstances as positive for the client as is realistically possible.
No Guarantee of Victory
Even the service driven lawyers don’t win all the time. Employing a DWI lawyer is not a guarantee that the accusations are just going to blow over and go away. On the other hand hiring an expert attorney with experience and knowledge from the city the accusations happened in, and who makes a living fighting these exact kinds of charges does increase the odds of a positive outcome more than a little.
The penalties in New York City for being caught driving while intoxicated, or with a “DWI” as they’re more commonly called, can be extensive. Anything can happen, from license suspension to jail time. The penalties for a second or third DWI or for an offender with a previous record can be even more severe, particularly if the DWI occurred in conjunction with a car accident or if any injury was caused, even if that injury was to yourself.
Hiring a good DWI lawyer can have effects that reach far beyond the immediate. A DWI lawyer’s job is to represent you to the courts in a way that is both flattering and reassuring, and to navigate the tricky landmine of legalese in your stead. Sometimes simply hiring a lawyer will help assure the court that you are as serious about the charges against you as the court itself. Rest assured, the courts take DWI charges very seriously as driving while intoxicated can lead to horrific injury or death for both the impaired and innocent parties.
Your lawyer will want the entire story, and it’s important to tell your lawyer the truth about everything. This is because if there is any part of your story that doesn’t add up, the opposition is sure to spot the discrepancy and your lawyer won’t be able to predict the outcome or prepare as well.
Keep in mind that even though having a DWI lawyer will definitely improve your chances of a lighter sentence, it is still highly likely that there will be negative consequences.
Still, a lawyer might be the difference between a 15 day sentence and probation, or a 1 year license suspension and work driving privileges. Certainly if you have already had one or more DWI’s it is in your best interest to hire a good DWI lawyer. Getting a shorter sentence is almost less important than having your charges reduced, if that is at all possible, and an experienced lawyer can help to make that happen.
If you’re facing a DWI, remember that a good lawyer will help you navigate through the minefield of legal repercussions in a way that may spare you some future legal problems. Nobody wants terrible criminal charges on their record if it can be avoided.
What is a Reasonable Goal in a DUI Case?
While the laws for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances are clear, outcomes are far less predictable. After being charged with a DUI, people are often overwhelmed by how complex the process can be. However, it’s reasonable to consider how most arrests work out in the real world to set a goal. Here are a few reasonable outcomes for DUI cases.
Medium-Term Probation and No Jail Time
In most cases, those who are charged for DUI for the first time receive some period of probation. State laws vary, but most don’t require jail time, and judges are typically reluctant to send people to jail for first-time offenses. While on probation, however, even minor infractions can lead to probation violations, which frequently require jail time. Those who stay out of trouble, however, will typically have no further penalties once probation ends. In most cases, those facing DUI should set a goal for no jail time but understand that probation is likely.
Increasingly, states require that those convicted of DUI have their full driving licenses revoked for six months or even longer. However, many states also provide restricted licenses allowing people to drive for essential tasks, including work and school. Driving is considered a privilege, so drivers have little leverage against these laws. By attending court-ordered DUI courses, drivers can improve their odds of getting a restricted license and having their full driving rights restored. When facing a DUI conviction, drivers can often still set a goal to maintain limited driving privileges.
Technology has changed the nature of DUI convictions. New tools require drivers to blow into an in-car alcohol monitor before the vehicle starts, ensuring that the driver is not intoxicated when starting the engine. While these tools aren’t yet ubiquitous, they are required in many states for those who wish to continue driving after a conviction. The amount of time drivers need to use this tool will vary based on the state.
Dealing with a DUI conviction typically requires paying several fines. The conviction itself often requires payment, sometimes around $1,000. Driving agencies might levy fees as well, and having a driving license fully restored can cost hundreds of dollars. DUI courses, which are sometimes required, can also result in de facto fines. DUI is considered a costly offense in most states, so those working through the process should save up as much as possible to pay off these fees in a timely manner.
Potential for a Criminal Record
In most states, typically DUI cases are misdemeanor crimes, which are permanently recorded. This can be difficult for job applicants, who typically have to admit to misdemeanors committed during a certain time period. There are, however, exceptions to this; the state of New Jersey, for example, considers most DUIs as traffic violations, so they’re not categorized as misdemeanors. Although New Jersey is an exception, there are situations where people can avoid having a DUI listed as a crime. On the other hand, there are cases where a DUI can be considered a felony.
Prosecutors and judges take repeat DUI convictions far more seriously that first-time offenses, and those who’ve committed the act in the past can expect harsher sanctions. Jail time is fairly common, even for those convicted a second time, and fines can be much higher as well. Drivers will often see their licenses revoked for extended periods of time, and probation periods are typically far longer. Repeat convictions can lead to having a felony record, which can even restrict voting rights.
Facing the potential of a DUI conviction can be stressful, and there will almost certainly be some consequences. Determining a realistic goal can be difficult as state laws vary significantly, and both prosecutors and judges have significant latitude when it comes to deciding on charges and sentences. However, most drivers can expect to receive some form of probation and potentially other driving restrictions, and, in most cases, it’s reasonable to set a goal of spending no time in jail. When faced with repeat convictions, however, it’s important to talk to a lawyer to determine a reasonable goal.