If you have been charged with a DUI in the state of New York, you should take the charge extremely seriously. Even if this is only your first offense, you should be fully aware that there are potentially serious penalties, including fines, loss of driving privileges, and even prison time. To avoid being judged guilty and paying the maximum price for your offense, you should hire the services of a first class NYC DWI attorney to represent you during your time in court. This is definitely no time to go it alone.
Aggravating Factors Can Lead To A Higher Sentence
You should be aware that, even if you have only committed your first DUI offense and have an otherwise clean record, there are several factors which can be seen as aggravating. If such factors are present at your arrest, they can lead to a higher fine, more penalties, and even jail time.
What Are The Aggravating Factors In A DUI Case In New York?
There are several aggravating factors in a DUI case in New York that can lead to increased penalties. If you are driving with a suspended license, speeding, driving recklessly, or refuse to pull over when ordered by a police officer, you will face added charges and additional penalties, even if your DUI is a first offense.
If there are minors in the car with you, or if an open container of alcohol is discovered in the car when you are arrested, the penalties are sure to increase. Finally, if illegal drugs are also discovered in your vehicle or on your person at the time of your arrest, you can be sure that you will face additional charges and increased penalties.
Higher Blood Alcohol Content Equals A Higher Penalty
In the state of New York, drivers who commit a DUI or DWI offense should be aware that the higher their blood alcohol content is at the time of their arrest, the more severe the charges they are likely to face. Drivers who register a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher face a special charge which is known as Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI).
Possible Consequences For An Aggravated Case
If you are convicted of an Aggravated DWI, you can face a fine of between $1000 and $2000, as well as the revocation of your license for up to a year. You could also be facing a prison sentence of up to one year. If any of the other aggravating factors mentioned above are present at the time of your arrest, you could be facing additional charges, as well as the possible upgrade of your case from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Hiring an NYC DWI Lawyer
Even if you are only facing DUI charges as a first time offender, the penalties you face could be severe. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are pushing for ever higher consequences for drunk driving. It’s definitely a wise idea to hire an experienced NYC DUI trial lawyer to represent you in your case.
Can the police randomly stop motorists
The police in New York State must follow strict rules when interacting with drivers on the road. Some drivers believe that police are authorized to pull anyone over at any time randomly. This is not really the case although not all drivers know how the law and police operate. You should understand the facts about whether the police can randomly stop motorists in the Empire State.
The Law Regarding Random Stops
The simple answer to this question is that police in the Empire State can never stop you randomly while you are driving. This applies in every city and town in the state. The Supreme Court ruled long ago that random stops were a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. It is considered an unreasonable search and seizure. If an officer wants to pull your car over, then the law enforcement official needs to have probable cause.
Probable Cause and Vehicle Stops
Probable cause is the justification the officer used to stop your car on the road. It simply means that the officer has noticed something about you, your driving or your vehicle that indicates there might be problems or illegal activity. Some of the most common reasons for a vehicle stop are a broken taillight, erratic driving, expired tags or speeding. The probable cause given by the officer must be reasonable to hold up in court. If the officer is later found to have had no probable cause, then most of the evidence collected from the stop becomes inadmissible.
Roadblocks and Sobriety Checkpoints
There is a technical exception to the random stop rule in New York. You can be randomly stopped if you encounter a roadblock or a sobriety checkpoint on the road. You are legally obligated to stop. The officer is allowed to ask you questions during the stop although you do not necessary have to answer without a NYC DWI lawyer present. The reasoning is that although you might not have been aware of the checkpoint or roadblock, it is not random because it is in a fixed location affecting all drivers in the area.
Searching Your Vehicle
It is important to remember that law enforcement cannot just pull you over and start searching your vehicle looking for drugs or open alcohol containers. There are only a few circumstances where the officers can search the car. These include you giving consent, the officer arresting you, the officer getting a warrant, seeing something illegal in plain sight from outside the car and exigent circumstances. This is true for a random stop, a legal stop or at a checkpoint.
What to Do If You Are Stopped For No Reason
If you are stopped and the officer cannot give you a valid reason, then do not panic. Remain calm and be as cooperative as possible without giving up your rights. While you do not have to get out of the car, this will make the officer suspicious. If you are uncomfortable with the questioning or accusations, then you have the right to request a NY DWI lawyer and not answer any more question until your NYC DUI attorney is present. If you are stopped and arrested without probable cause, then always call a DWI lawyer in NYC immediately.
DUI Checkpoints in New York
Lots of states across the country are beginning to crack down on individuals who drink and drive, and New York is certainly no exception. One way that New York law enforcement officers are finding and charging these offenders is by setting up DUI checkpoints all over the state. These are a few things that you should know about DUI checkpoints.
What are DUI Checkpoints?
DUI checkpoints are when law enforcement officers set up road blocks in various areas throughout their jurisdiction. When drivers arrive at these road blocks, they are expected to show their driver’s licenses to prove that they are legal drivers in the state. At these checkpoints, law enforcement officers often look for signs that drivers have been consuming alcohol, such as by looking for red or glassy eyes or detecting the scent of alcohol.
Drivers who are believed to be impaired are usually asked to step out of the vehicle. They may then be required to take a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test to prove that they are sober. Drivers who are found to be intoxicated are charged with driving under the influence.
Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in New York?
Many people feel that DUI checkpoints should not be legal in New York or anywhere in the country. Although a lot of people claim that DUI checkpoints are a form of entrapment, New York state law states that DUI checkpoints are legal. Therefore, if you find yourself in a DUI checkpoint, you must comply with law enforcement or risk getting arrested. At DUI check points they can test you for any type of impairment. With marijuana and CBD oil now being decriminalized, we are seeing an increasing number of DUI checkpoints looking for both alcohol and marijuana impairment.
What to Do if You Go Through a DUI Checkpoint
When you go through a DUI checkpoint, you should never try to drive away or otherwise avoid complying with law enforcement. You should be respectful and should show your driver’s license or other documentation. You may avoid unnecessary conversation with law enforcement, and you do not have to answer any questions without a lawyer present.
If you are asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, you do not have to submit. However, please note that if you do not submit to the test, you will more than likely lose your license for a year anyway for noncompliance with this law. Basically, state law says that driving a car is a privilege, and if you want to maintain this privilege, you must comply and submit to a breathalyzer test when asked by a police officer or other member of law enforcement.
What to Do if You are Charged With Driving Under the Influence
If you are charged with driving under the influence while going through a New York DUI checkpoint, you should not panic. Do not say anything that could incriminate you. You may need to ask a loved one to post bail to get you out of jail, and you should avoid driving while your license is suspended. Then, you should hire a good New York DUI lawyer as soon as possible to help ensure that your case goes as well as possible when you go to court.
Many drivers fear going through DUI checkpoints, but if you understand them and follow the law, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If you are caught or suspected of drinking and driving while going through one of these checkpoints, make sure that you hire a legal professional to help you as soon as possible.
Will I lose my license for a DUI?
The short answer to this question is yes, but the amount of time for interrupted driving privileges varies among states. Some cities are even more stringent than others because it is a serious matter of public safety when traffic is constantly congested, such as in New York City. Local courts have more latitude than people realize in terms of standard court policy. There is no requirement that a local court establish a policy of minimum penalties for a DUI conviction, so the minimum penalty does not always apply. It is also important to understand that convictions for DUI are prosecuted on an ascending scale, meaning that multiple offenders are prosecuted more harshly than first time offenders. However, first time convicted DUI offenders will still lose their driving privileges.
First Offense DUI
A conviction for driving under the influence is not just a minor infraction, as many drunk drivers consider. It is an absolute criminal charge and stays on the convicted driver’s criminal history for at least five years, and sometimes longer in some states. Even in a simple case of DUI when the defendant is barely above or around the legal blood-alcohol content level, the minimum driving privilege suspension is 30 days. But, in cases where aggravating circumstances can be applied by the prosecutor, this suspension period can be raised to at least one year.
Second Offense DUI
A conviction for a second offense of driving under the influence results in a minimum of one year license suspension, but the suspension can be extended under aggravating circumstances for a period of up to five years. Normally, the suspension time is one year in most courts as long as the blood-alcohol content level is below .14, which is the national standard for establishing aggravated circumstances without extenuating material case facts. A second conviction for driving under the influence will also carry a penalty of one year in alcoholic drivers education, and driving privileges will not be reinstated until the program is complete in most states. Hardship license qualifications may exist in some states.
Third Offense DUI
The third offense is where suspension times get real serious, with most states setting a minimum of a three-year driving privilege suspension. Multiple offense DUI defendants can expect a year in alcoholic drivers education class as well, but the license is not reissued until the education program is complete. Third offense is still considered a misdemeanor in most states, but other extenuating circumstances may result in other charges or raise the charge level to a low class felony, in which case a suspension period is covered by any potential jail sentence. Minimal felonies carry the potential for one to five years in a state penal institution.
There will always be some sort of license suspension associated with any conviction for driving under the influence, but there may be other charges if an accident is involved with the arrest. When there are fatalities in a crash and a drunk driver is at fault, vehicular homicide charges may also result in a significant incarceration period and a maximum driving privilege suspension.
The Laws and Penalties of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in New York
The state of New York has an individual DWI-type offense for driving under the influence of drugs called Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI Drugs). This offense is administered when a driver is found operating a motor vehicle under the influence of both illegal and prescription drugs.
Under New York State law, operating a motor vehicle in the state of New York implies giving consent to a blood, urine or saliva test if suspected of driving while impaired by drugs. Refusal to submit to such tests can be used in trial as evidence against the defendant, and driving privileges will be suspended for at least one year. It should be noted that demanding to speak to a NYC dwi attorney before testing is also considered a refusal to submit to testing.
While illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, morphine and heroin cause driving impairment, consumption of prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as anti-depressants, Valium, antihistamines, decongestants, hydrocodone and sleeping pills before driving can also result in a DWAI. 10 mg of Valium, for instance, can cause a driving impairment that resembles a .10 percent blood-alcohol concentration, and decongestants can cause dizziness, drowsiness and anxiety. A first offense is classified as a misdemeanor that has a penalty of a fine between $500 and not more than $1,000, imprisonment for not more than one year and a six-month license revocation. A second offense within 10 years is a class R felony that includes a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, between 5 to 30 days imprisonment, one year license revocation and possible mandatory DUI program attendance. A third and subsequent offense within 10 years is a class D felony with a fine between two thousand and ten thousand dollars, between seven days to 10 years imprisonment, minimum license suspension for 1 year and the installation of an ignition interlock device in the individual’s motor vehicle.
A conditional license may be granted to individuals who are on their first offense or who have acquired new charges more than 5 years from a prior conviction. Prosecutors may offer a DWAI Drugs charge reduction to an alcohol DWAI, which reduces the crime charge to a violation.
If an individual is charged with a DWAI Drugs charge after being convicted of a DWI, Aggravated DWI or DWAI Combined Influence, 1st or 2nd degree Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Manslaughter twice within the past 10 years, the individual can be charged with a class D felony. In this case, a fine between $2,000 and $10,000 and/or up to 7 years in state prison, 5 years of probation, driver’s license revocation for up to 18 months, discretionary registration revocation for at least 1 year, ignition interlock device installation in any owned motor vehicle of the charged individual and required attendance of a Victim Impact Panel are potential consequences. Repeat offenders are subject to lifetime denial of relicensure.
Should You Plead Guilty to a DUI?
When someone is arrested for a DUI, there’s an assumption by many people that there’s no way that the individual in question will be able to defend themselves against the collected evidence as their case heads through the legal system. In short, they’re probably better off pleading guilty.
In these situations, the affected person is generally being represented by a public defender whose main goal is often to quickly handle the case and move on. While that’s convenient for them, it works against the individual who will then be headed to jail.
The Value of a NYC DUI Lawyer
By working with a NYC DUI attorney, however, that person can get a better grasp of all the ramifications involved. This includes situations related to the circumstances of the DUI, as well as explaining how different numbers related to blood alcohol content (BAC) can turn out to be very important when the individual’s case comes to trial.
For example, if the BAC is slightly over the legal limit (generally anywhere from .08 to .11) there were no injuries involved and this DUI is the first for the individual, there’s a greater likelihood that the judge can be more easily persuaded to plea bargain the case.
Experience is Valuable
While any New York DUI lawyer will suffice in the courtroom, it’s best to obtain the services of a lawyer that deals with DUI’s on a regular basis. That’s because they have the most experience in assessing an individual’s case and what the expectations are in regard to the final disposition.
That means they also know what the proper collection methods of evidence are, and are aware that since police are human beings, they make mistakes like everyone else. Not having someone looking out for such factors can be vital when it comes time to try the case.
Such instances happen when the transfer of the evidence needed to convict the individual may have been compromised. These occur when a chain of custody with the evidence is broken, or the sample taken that was supposed to be handled carefully has been tainted in some fashion.
The NYC DWI lawyer may also be able to uncover issues related to the sobriety test or other pertinent evidence that could allow for either a more favorable plea bargain or an outright dropping of the case.
In addition, NYC DUI lawyers are usually familiar with the judges in a specific jurisdiction that handle cases of this nature, and will be able to carefully plot a course of action that will best serve the client.
Saying Nothing Says a Lot
Before hiring an NYC DWI attorney, the arrested DUI suspect shouldn’t offer any information about the case involved. That’s because as the Miranda rights have said for nearly half a century, “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Following that advice can spell the difference between freedom and jail.
Is a DUI a felony?
Being arrested for a DUI is a problem that occurs on far too many occasions across the country every day, though in many cases, a DUI is not considered a felony by the police and court system. In these types of situations, it’s often simply a case of an individual using questionable judgment when getting behind the wheel or being unaware of how certain jurisdictions more stringently enforce the law.
In these cases, a person arrested for DUI is charged with a misdemeanor, but determining what constitutes a felony is often different, depending on where the case is heard. Below are specific areas where someone under arrest for DUI will be subject to felony charges:
When a person is pulled over for suspected DUI, it’s assumed that their license is current. However, some individuals drive in this circumstance with a suspended license or one that’s been restricted due to a previous DUI. This flouting of the law is something that can come back to hurt the arrested driver.
Specific Individuals in a Vehicle
The ages of your passengers could be a determining factor when deciding whether you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. That’s because having children in the car, especially very young ones, is severely frowned upon by law enforcement. This could likely result in a felony charge being assessed to your DUI.
If a person is arrested on a DUI for the first time and there are no other extenuating circumstances involved, the charge will be looked upon as a misdemeanor.
However, if this arrest is one of multiple occasions in which you’ve been arrested for a DUI, the charge can raise to the level of a felony. In addition, the higher number of previous DUI offenses, the greater the likelihood that a felony change will be brought against you.
In some cases, the span of time between previous DUI offenses will often tip the scales toward determining if the charge should be a misdemeanor or felony. The usual range is between five to seven years, but some states have it as few as three, while others as long as a decade.
Injury or Death
If a passenger in your vehicle happens to be injured or killed, a similar circumstance befalls another driver or passenger that you hit while driving or you strike a pedestrian, all before being arrested for DUI, the charges can rise to the level of a felony.
In the event a death does occur as a result of a DUI offense, the arrested driver will likely also be subject to additional charges such as reckless homicide.
Knowing the difference between these circumstances is important, since a misdemeanor conviction will generally only be a few days in the city/county jail, while one of a felony nature will mean a few years in state prison. The contrasts are enough to get the attention of every driver.
How long will a DUI stay on my record if I don’t have an NYC dwi lawyer?
For those drivers convicted of driving under the influence, life becomes harder very quickly. Not only do they often pay huge fines, but they also see their licenses suspended, find themselves taking court-ordered substance abuse classes and being sentenced to jail. However, once all this is finished, the question still remains as to how long the DUI conviction will stay on their record.
While time periods vary from state to state, on average a DUI conviction will stay on a person’s driving record for a minimum of five years. This can have a serious impact when it comes to a variety of situations. When applying for a job, especially one where driving a personal or company vehicle will be required, having a DUI conviction on your driving record can all but eliminate you from serious consideration. It can also play a large factor regarding car insurance. For drivers who are convicted of DUI, they can expect their auto insurance rates to increase dramatically in some cases. In fact, some insurance companies may drop a person altogether, forcing them to obtain insurance elsewhere. However, that can be easier said than done. Many insurance companies will either refuse to provide insurance to a driver, or will do so at greatly inflated rates.
While the average time a DUI conviction appears on a driving record is five years, it is possible the conviction will stay on a person’s record forever. Therefore, most NYC DWI attorneys who specialize in DUI cases advise their clients to periodically check their driving records to see if the convictions remain there. In some cases, a person may attempt to have the DUI conviction expunged from their records. These laws are also state-specific, so the first step for anyone wanting to pursue this path is to contact their state Department of Motor Vehicles to find out about the procedures that must be followed. While this can be done without the help of an attorney, it is often recommended that counsel be maintained due to the fact that the expungement process can at times be slow and confusing.
For many people with DUI convictions, they may be able to still get the results they want concerning employment or insurance matters by simply playing a waiting game. Many employers ask only for a three-year driving history, which can work to a person’s advantage if their conviction is older than three years. For convictions that fall outside that window, they may not be required to be disclosed to a potential employer. Once again, regularly checking your driving record can let you know what you may or may not have to disclose to others.
While having a DUI conviction on a driving record can make life difficult, you may still have several options available to you regarding how it will impact your personal and professional life. Whether it’s on your record for two years, five years or longer, using the services of an experienced NYC DUI attorney can make the road ahead much easier.
If you’re facing charges for drinking and driving in New York City, you may risk losing your driving privileges, face fines, may be required to use an ignition interlock device on your car, and may even have to serve time in jail. A qualified DUI/DWI lawyer in New York City can advocate for your rights and work to reduce the impact of your DWI/DUI charge. While officers and prosecutors have many tools to convict you, an NYC DUI/DWI attorney may be able to employ one or several legal defenses to protect you from conviction or reduce the charges against you. Every case is unique. The Spodek Law Group, P.C. are DUI/DWI attorneys in New York City who fight your charges aggressively. Much is on the line when you’re facing DUI/DWI charges. You need a passionate defense working for you.
DWI Lawyer NYC – Spodek DUI/DWI Law Firm
There are many ways a DUI/DWI lawyer can defend you against your charges. There are several common defenses that can be used in DUI/DWI law to protect your rights. Your DUI/DWI lawyer will likely ask you for details about the circumstances of your arrest when you meet. Here are a few common DUI/DWI defenses:
Were you improperly stopped? Police must have probable cause in order to stop you. A lawyer can review your citation to ensure that the arresting officer had probable cause to pull you over in the first place. For instance, just weaving within your lane, is not, in itself, breaking the law. Only when cars drift outside their rightful lane are they in violation of the law.
How were sobriety tests administered? Field sobriety tests and even portable breathalyzer tests can sometimes result in false positive results. For instance, field sobriety tests can sometimes be inaccurate if you have a medical condition that affects your balance. Your lawyer will take a look at the maintenance and model of any breath test used, to ensure that your results are as accurate as possible and admissible in court.
Mishandled evidence. There are specific rules of procedure governing the administration of blood alcohol tests and other results. Your lawyer can investigate how officers handled these tests and results to make sure that evidence wasn’t tampered with or mishandled.
Civil rights violations. If you were racially profiled, treated with violence, or otherwise mistreated, your lawyer may be able to build a stronger defense against your arrest.
Your DUI/DWI lawyer will take a close look at your case and determine the best defense that works for you. In some instances, charges may be dropped or reduced with a strong defense. Protect your rights. Contact the Spodek Law Group, P.C. today.
New York City DUI/DWI Laws
If your blood alcohol level is found to be higher than the state limit of 0.08%, you face serious penalties. The penalties are higher if your blood alcohol limit exceeds 0.18%. Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test or a breathalyzer test after you’ve been arrested also carries some serious consequences. If you’ve been arrested and resist taking the test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year. Here are some penalties for a DUI/DWI:
First time DUI/DWI violators face a jail sentence up to 1 year, fines up to $1000, a minimum license suspension of 6 months, and use of an ignition interlock device.
Aggravated DUI/DWI carries higher penalties, with fines up to $2,500, jail sentencing up to 1 year, and mandatory license revocation for 1 year.
Second, third, and subsequent DUI convictions carry higher fines, longer jail sentencing, and longer license suspension periods.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI/DWI in New York City, you need a NYC dwi attorney working with you to protect your freedoms and your rights. Having a criminal record and losing your license can have an immense impact on your life. With so much at stake, you need a qualified NYC DUI/DWI attorney working for you. Contact the Spodek Law Group, P.C. today to learn more. You only have a limited amount of time to fight your charges.
Can Urine Testing Determine Blood Alcohol Levels?
One of the most common questions we receive relates to blood alcohol levels. It’s not a foreign concept to many, but it’s not one most people are overly familiar with until they are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Your blood alcohol level is the level used to determine how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. When you consume alcohol of any type, it is directed immediately to your bloodstream. This is how you are affected so quickly by drinking. There are several ways to determine a person’s blood alcohol level, and you might wonder if testing your urine is one way to do that.
Urine Testing and Blood Alcohol Levels
If you’ve been involved in a DUI stop and an arresting officer is asking you to provide a urine sample once you reach jail, you will give it. The sample could be used to test for alcohol, but the results are not used to determine who much alcohol is in your system. Alcohol concentration is what urine shows to medical professionals. Concentration is not the same as blood alcohol, which is why a urine sample alone cannot be used to determine whether a driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of an arrest that’s above the legal limit.
Blood Tests and Blood Alcohol Levels
Blood tests are used to determine how much alcohol is in your system. This is the test that allows medical professionals to determine the legal limit, and it’s the most conclusive proof. The legal limit is .08. Once you reach this level, you are considered drunk. You will be arrested for driving under the influence at this time. A blood test is the best way to determine the amount of alcohol in a person’s system.
This is a method designed to determine the level of drunkenness too much to drive. It’s not possible for the law to set a limit on how much a person can drink before being considered legally drunk because everyone is different. You and someone twice your size can sit down together and both consume 6 beers. If his body processes alcohol faster than yours, he’s not going to show the same blood alcohol level as you even though you drank your beers together at the same time. Your blood alcohol level might be higher than his.
Size, weight, and someone’s ability to process alcohol faster than another person’s is all a factor in blood alcohol. This is why tests are created to ensure a person is truly drunk and all people are created equal. This is why police officers require a blood test to determine your alcohol level.
What to Do If You’re Arrested
If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence, say nothing, Stop the car, ask for your rights, and say nothing else until an attorney is present. Anything you say can and will be used against you by this officer if you are arrested. They are not required to read you any of your rights until you’re arrested, but they can use your words against you before that.
Call an attorney with knowledge and experience working with those who have been arrested for a DUI. We have the knowledge and familiarity to work your case and provide a more favorable outcome. In the meantime, it’s in your best interest to say nothing to anyone if you are accused of drinking and driving.
You have the legal right to refuse a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over and asked to take one, but there are consequences for this action. Depending on where you live, you could face jail time or the automatic suspension of your license if you refuse to take a test to determine your sobriety. It’s time to call an NYC DWI attorney to ask what rights you have, what to do in a situation like this, and how to handle this kind of traffic stop. Don’t wait, because every second counts when you’ve been arrested under the suspicion of driving under the influence of any type of drug or alcohol.
How Does Marijuana Affect Your DUI Case
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law in every state. There is no exception to this rule. If you are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence, you can be taken to jail, charged, and tried for your case. If you are being tried for driving under the influence of alcohol, you’re going to take a breathalyzer and a blood test that shows the level of alcohol in your system. If the level is above the legal limit in your state, you’ll be arrested and tried. This evidence will be used against you in a court of law. You could face fines, jail time, and you can serve community service as a way of paying your dues for committing this crime. You might lose your license or have it suspended completely or on a work or emergency order only.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs such as marijuana, you’re going to have a different experience. If the arresting officer believes you were under the influence of marijuana, you have a little more room to debate the facts. Unlike an alcohol blood test that tells officers and medical professionals how much you had to drink before getting behind the wheel of your car, testing for marijuana is a bit different. These tests don’t provide information regarding when you used marijuana, because this drug remains in your system for as long as 30 days. This means big things for your case.
How We Handle Marijuana Cases
If you were accused of being under the influence of marijuana when you were arrested driving, we can defend you. Marijuana testing doesn’t show when or how much of it you used. It merely shows you used it in the last 30 days. If you can prove you used it at all in the 30 days prior to your arrest for driving under the influence, we can argue that there’s no way to tell you were under the influence when you were arrested since those drugs could have been in your system as long as a month prior to that.
When you’re tried for a DUI, the prosecuting attorney has to prove you took an illegal substance. They must also prove you were impaired at the time of your arrest. There’s no burden of proof that shows you were impaired at the time of your arrest until someone can show video or photographic evidence with a time stamp of you smoking or using marijuana during a reasonable time prior to your arrest.
Our NYC dwi lawyers job is to force the prosecuting attorney to prove this. In many cases, it’s impossible to prove this and you can walk away from the charges. The only way to go to jail or face a guilty verdict for a DUI in this situation is if you did drink at the same time. However, you’ll only face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol rather than both substances. Our NYC dwi attorneys have years of experience working DUI cases and proving our clients were not impaired at the time of their arrest.
What You Should Do
If you want to further help your case against a DUI arrest for marijuana, you can help by finding proof you smoked or used marijuana during the 30 days prior to your arrest. If you can prove that, your case is typically thrown out without further proof by the prosecuting attorney that your use was at the time of your arrest. Your best interest is to speak to no one when you are arrested. You have the right to a NYC dwi attorney and anything you say will be used against you. Remain silent and call our law offices to speak to an attorney about your legal rights. We work with clients all the time going through the same issue, and we are good at what we do.
Provided you don’t admit to anything, you stand a good chance at seeing your DUI case go a different route. It’s usually one that goes in your favor, which is why we encourage you to say nothing and call our offices. DUI cases can be tricky, especially when they include the use of marijuana.
What are the possible Penalties for a New York DUI conviction?
New York law takes driving under the influence very seriously. If you’re convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or the related charge of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), you are facing a wide range of penalties that include fines, jail time, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. The following are the possible penalties for a DUI/DWI or DWAI conviction in New York, depending on whether it is a first or subsequent conviction.
Penalties for DWI in New York
Under New York law, a DWI is charged when a driver over the age of 21 has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. A DWI is a misdemeanor. A DWI conviction will remain on your criminal record for life. A first-time conviction comes with the following penalties:
Fine of $500 to $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in jail
Probation for 3 years
License revocation for at least 6 months
Discretionary revocation of your vehicle registration for at least 6 months
$250/year driver responsibility assessment for 3 years
Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel
Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months
You may be eligible for a conditional driver’s license after a first-time conviction.
With a second DWI within 10 years, the license revocation will last for at least 1 year (or at least 18 months if your prior conviction was an Aggravated DWI), you will need evidence of alcohol rehab and/or evaluation to get a new license, your registration can be revoked for at least 1 year, and you will need to pay a $395 surcharge.
An Additional mandatory penalty for a misdemeanor DWI after a prior misdemeanor DWI conviction within 5 years is 5 days in jail or 30 days of community service.
Penalties for Aggravated DWI
Aggravated DWI is charged when someone has a BAC of 0.18% or higher. Aggravated DWI is a misdemeanor. The penalties for aggravated DWI are more severe than DWI. For a first time offense, the penalties include:
Fine of $1,000 to $2,500
Up to 1 year in jail
Probation for 3 years
License revoked for at least 1 year
Revocation of your registration for at least 1 year
$250/year driver responsibility assessment for 3 years
Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel
Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months
For a second offense within 10 years, the charge is an E felony. The fine is up to $5,000 and it carries a penalty of up to 4 years in prison and license revocation for at least 18 months.
For a third offense within 10 years, the charge is a D felony. The fine is up to $10,000 and it carries a penalty of up to 7 years in prison and license revocation for at least 18 months.
Under New York law, someone who drives while intoxicated with a child under the age of 16 in the car will be charged with a class E felony with a penalty of up to 4 years in prison.
Penalties for DWAI in New York
A DWAI is very similar to a DWI but it’s charged when someone is driving with a BAC of of 0.05% and 0.07% or law enforcement has other evidence the driver was impaired. DWAI is a traffic infraction, not a crime, but DWAI Drugs and DWAI Combined Influence are crimes.
It’s very common for someone who has been charge with DWI for the first time who is represented by a criminal defense lawyer to receive a plea bargain to reduce the charge to DWAI, although this is no guarantee.
A first-time DWAI conviction carries the following potential penalties:
Fine of $300 to $500 and/or up to 15 days in jail
Driver’s license suspension for 90 days (except CDL holders and drivers under 21)
Surcharge of $255
$250/year driver responsibility assessment for 3 years
Must attend Victim Impact Panel
A second DWAI offense carries a fine of up to $750 and/or up to 30 days in jail, license revocation for up to 6 months, proof of alcohol rehab and/or evaluation to get your license back, discretionary revocation of your vehicle registration for at least 6 months, $255 surcharge, $250/year driver responsibility assessment for 3 years, and Victim Impact Panel. With a second DWAI offense, you are not eligible to receive a conditional license.
With a 3rd or subsequent offense, you can face up to 180 days in jail, revocation of your license for a minimum of 18 months, proof of alcohol rehabilitation to receive a new license, a $395 surcharge, the driver responsibility assessment, Victim Impact Panel attendance, and the installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months.
If you have been charged with a DUI in New York, it’s important to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and build your defense.
NYC Wet Reckless Lawyers
The issue of being charged with what’s known as “wet reckless” might be something of a mystery to many people who aren’t familiar with the term, which relates to a DUI. In short, it’s simply a situation where an individual is not legally drunk (i.e. having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more), but has close to that amount in their system and is otherwise impaired, or is stopped for driving recklessly, or both.
Why Wet Reckless is Different from DUI
In addition, the consequences of being convicted of wet reckless bring with them the same punishments as a regular DUI would. The major benefit in attempting this strategy is that the individual’s driving record won’t be stigmatized by having a DUI attached to it.
That changes, however, if the person is convicted on a subsequent DUI charge, since what had been a wet reckless conviction immediately becomes the person’s first DUI in the eyes of the law.
New York State Law
In the state of New York, those individuals who are arrested for impaired driving (under .08 BAC), might be able to plead to a lesser charge of wet reckless. One important factor to remember with respect to New York is that fact that the state is very strict on the use of plea bargains under these circumstances.
For example, because New York state law prohibits plea bargaining of a DUI (a BAC of .08 or more) down to wet reckless, those individuals who are convicted of the DUI are not eligible. This includes not only the more severe forms of the charge, but the standard one as well.
The prosecutor in the specific case has the power to make the final decision as to whether an impaired driver is allowed to have the specific charge reduced against them. A number of different factors will likely go into his final decision, including how high the BAC of the individual was, whether extenuating circumstances might be involved (prescription medication, etc.) and the age of the individual.
Also factoring in here is the previous driving record of the person charged. If they’ve generally been considered good drivers in the past, with only a few minor driving violations, or if this is the first time they’ve been in this type of situation, the prosecutor may be more inclined to offer the wet reckless plea bargain.
Something to Consider
Due to the nature of having to present a solid case for the plea bargain, a DUI lawyer familiar with the ins and outs of New York State law and the justice system overall can be invaluable. Their experience in this matter is something that may end up being the difference between avoiding a full-fledged DUI.
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