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Bronx DWI Lawyers

Understanding DWI in New York

You should never drive after you drink. Drunk driving is a major problem in the United States, leading to many injuries and deaths each year. Merely being pulled over by an officer and accused of driving drunk, though, doesn’t mean you are guilty of the crime. Understanding your rights after being accused of a DWI is your best chance to walk away from the accusation without derailing your life. To do so, though, you must understand what a DWI is, as well as the penalties and the defenses that are related to the crime.

What is DWI?

Drunk driving is a serious crime. In New York, the crime is referred to as Driving While Intoxicated, and is defined as driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher or displaying other signs of intoxication. The crime’s elements are relatively simple – one must operate a motor vehicle and must meet the criteria listed above.

New York has a number of different crimes that are similar to DWI. Driving While Intoxicated is the second most serious of these crimes, just behind Aggravated DWI. Blood alcohol level is all that separates the degrees of crime in New York, making precision in both testing and bringing charges a major priority in the state.

With this said, blood alcohol testing is not required for one to be charged with DWI. It is up to the officer’s discretion to determine if an individual shows signs of intoxication. This means that one can be found guilty of DWI without ever taking a BAC test.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

The Penalties for DWI

As with many other states, New York’s drunk driving penalties vary based on a few criteria. In the case of DWI, the most important of these criterion is one’s repeat offender status. While all of the penalties are relatively serious, it’s those reserved for repeat offenders that are the harshest.

A first offense for DWI in New York does not come with mandatory jail time. It does, however, come with a six month minimum license suspension and fines of up to one thousand dollars. First offenders may also be required to attend rehabilitation programs or classes, and may also be required to use an ignition interlock device.

The penalties ramp up significantly on a second offense. It is rare that an individual with a second offense can walk away without some kind of serious punishment. In most cases, individuals will serve up to five days in jail or up to thirty days of community service. The fines may be up to five thousand dollars, and with a minimum of a one year license suspension. Interlock devices are frequently required at this level.

If you offend more than twice, you can almost always expect to serve jail time. This can include up to ten days in jail or up to sixty days of community service. Fines can be up to ten thousand dollars, and license suspension will be for a minimum of six years. Further offenses generally lead to higher penalties.

Outside of the legal penalties, one can expect to see penalties in one’s professional and personal life. Time spent in jail or on community service can lead to the loss of employment. Many individuals with professional licenses, including professional drivers and lawyers, can find themselves losing licenses or certifications. DWI is no laughing matter in New York.

Defenses Against DWI

If you have been charged with a DWI in New York, there are a few defenses to the crime. In both cases, the defense will rest upon how the DWI crime was proven. If you remember, DWI can be proven either through a blood alcohol test or through showing that the accused otherwise appeared intoxicated. As such, defenses generally rest upon showing that the test was improperly administered or that the officer in question improperly used his discretion.

The former defense is simpler than the latter. Those who use this defense must show that either the device used to take the blood alcohol test was faulty or that there were circumstances that caused the device to show a false positive. Most attorneys who work with DWI cases are familiar with how the devices work and what may cause them to trigger improperly.

The latter defense is somewhat more difficult, as it requires the defendant to show that the officer misjudged his or her behavior. This is easier to do when the blood alcohol test comes back within the legal limit. This often requires the help of a very skilled attorney, as he or she must show that the defendant was not guilty of being intoxicated while driving beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you have been accused of a DWI, it’s important that you contact an attorney immediately. This is a very serious crime in New York, one that can have repercussions that last for the rest of your life. Without the help of a lawyer, you might face jail time or a record that can derail your ambitions for the rest of your life. Don’t trust your future to chance – make sure to work with a Bronx DWI lawyer who can help you navigate the system.

Lawyers to Invalidate Field Sobriety Tests

If a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, they’re likely going to ask you to do a field sobriety test. Officers typically conduct these tests before asking you to take a breathalyzer. The most common test is the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), which is a three-part series of tests. It’s in your best interest to refuse any field sobriety tests, which is your legal right.

The first test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus. When you look from side to side, there’s an involuntary jerking that occurs in your eyes. Alcohol increases the amount of jerking that occurs. For this test, the officer will hold an object and have you keep your eyes on it while they move it. They will check if you aren’t able to follow the object smoothly and if one or both of your eyes are jerking significantly.

The second test is the walk and turn. For this test, the officer will have you walk down a straight line by taking nine heel-to-toe steps. After your ninth step, you’ll need to turn on one foot and take nine heel-to-toe steps back to reach your original starting position. The officer will be looking for any instances of you losing your balance and stepping off the line or swaying, and any gaps larger than about a half-inch between your heel and toe when you step.

The third test is the one-leg stand. The officer will have you stand on one foot, keeping the other approximately 6 inches off the ground. You’ll then need to count to 30. The officer will be looking for any signs of you losing your balance, such as swaying, hopping or raising your arms to catch yourself.

While these are the most common field sobriety tests, many officers will use other tests. These may include counting backwards from a certain number, putting your feet together and tipping your head backwards, counting how many fingers the officer holds up, closing your eyes and touching your nose with one finger, or reciting the alphabet. Contrary to what many people believe, reciting the alphabet backwards is not a field sobriety test, as that’s something that’s difficult for most people to do when unimpaired, making it a poor test choice that wouldn’t hold up in court.

Why is it smart to refuse field sobriety tests? If an officer is asking you to get out of your car to take a field sobriety test, then he is almost always already planning to arrest you for driving under the influence. That means that there’s no way that performing a field sobriety test can help you, but it can hurt you by providing the officer with evidence of impairment.

If an officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, you should politely refuse. Then, it’s up to the officer to decide if he is going to arrest you, request that you take a breathalyzer or let you go. If he requests that you take a breathalyzer, keep in mind that refusing will result in the same penalty as a DUI.

The reason that refusing a field sobriety test is so important is because of probable cause. While an officer can either arrest you or request that you take a breathalyzer even without a field sobriety test, your defense attorney can argue that he didn’t have probable cause to suspect you of driving under the influence. If the judge or jury agrees with your attorney, then the case may get dismissed. However, field sobriety tests don’t require probable cause, because you’re consenting to the tests. Once you consent to the tests, then an officer can use your performance in those tests against you as probable cause for a breathalyzer or an arrest. Since the tests are subjective, the officer can use any mistake as a reason to fail you.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that performing well in a field sobriety test will help you. The only purpose of these tests is to collect more evidence against you and establish probable cause so the officer can make an arrest

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