If you’ve been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you’ve probably gone through a number of different feelings already. You’re scared, you’re nervous and you’re unsure of what the future holds. Most of all, you probably have a lot of questions. Here, we’d like to take some time and help answer the most common questions when it comes to these types of charges.
Will I Lose My Driving Privileges?
This is one of the most common questions asked by clients, and it’s a legitimate question. And while the question is common, the answer is not. It truly depends on the circumstances of your case and what you’re being charged with overall. Most charges involving drinking and driving result in some type of license suspension which can range from 90 days to a permanent revocation.
Generally, when you hire a defense attorney, the attorney will negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor that will include a shortened license suspension. Again, each circumstance is different and there’s never a guarantee.
Will I be Incarcerated?
Again, this is going to depend on your situation and many factors, including the charges you’re facing and any prior convictions you have.
It’s possible you will face jail time if this is your first offense. When you retain an attorney who is experienced in this type of defense, it will help reduce the risk of you going to jail.
Is This Charge a Felony?
Not all charges are considered a felony, and again this will depend on the factors and circumstances surrounding your arrest. This is also an instance where your prior charges and background will come into play. It’s always best to sit down with an attorney to have a better understanding of what your charge entails. It’s important to note that if you are convicted of a felony, you’ll most likely face a very lengthy prison sentence and other serious consequences that can have a significant effect on your future.
Can I Refuse a Chemical and/or Breathalyzer Test?
There is an implied consent law in New York state that means by driving on the roads in New York, you agree to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content if you’are asked by a police officer to do so.
That said, the police officer can not physically force you to do so.
Note, however, that there are penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test, including a $500 (or more) fine and a mandatory one-year suspension of your driver’s license. If you’re a commercial truck driver, the penalties for refusal to submit to a chemical test include a $550 fine and a mandatory 18-month license suspension.
If you’ve refused a chemical test or you were charged with a DWI within the past five years, you could face penalties of an 18-month mandatory license suspension and a $750 fine. If you’re a truck driver who has a DWI on his record in the past five years, your penalties include a permanent CDL revocation.
Can I Fight My Charges?
Yes, you can, and should, fight the charges. This charge can be challenged and it’s possible to win such a challenge. There are many different defenses out there, including probable cause and other factors which could show your BAC as high.
That said, it’s highly advisable to only challenge such a charge with the help of an experienced attorney. Look around for attorneys who are experienced in this area of the law and who have a proven track record.
What Is Driving While Impaired By Drugs?
This is a serious crime that can be considered a felony in most locations. Driving under the influence of drugs can alter your reaction time behind the wheel when braking or shifting lanes and turning. It can make the road difficult to see as the drugs can do everything from make you hallucinate to make you tired to the point that you can’t keep your eyes open while on the road.
Any drug can impair the ability to drive. Most of the time, charges are brought against you if the drug is an illegal substance, such as marijuana, or if you are taking prescription medications that aren’t yours. Even if the doctor orders drugs to be taken on a daily basis, it should not be used as a reason for taking the drugs while driving. If you are taking any kind of medication, then you should stay at home until you are finished taking the drug. Some drugs will change the concentration levels of the body, making it hard to focus on things like traffic lights or other drivers who are in front of you or who are in lanes beside you on the interstate.
Many states have laws in place that make it a bit easier to prosecute those who are under the influence of drugs while driving. These are called “per se” laws. If there is any amount of drug detected in the body, then you would be charged with a DUI. From morphine to cocaine and heroin, the impacts that drugs have on the body vary depending on the weight of the driver and the age of the driver. It will also depend heavily on how much of the drug is taken. Most prescriptions have a warning label on the side that states not to operate a vehicle while taking the medication. Antidepressants, pain killers and sleeping pills often do the most damage when it comes to the impacts on the mind while driving.
Driving While Impaired By Drugs Examples
There are numerous examples that you can research to see the results that could happen if you were to take drugs before driving. Someone who takes a pain reliever before going to work or going to do anything that involved driving is just as guilty of committing a crime as someone who were to possess an illegal drug. There are instances when someone might go to a party and use an illegal drug before going home. There are more situations where people use heroin or cocaine while in the vehicle and think that they can drive like normal. These are drugs that impair the mind and body to a point where there is a potential of passing out or slipping into unconsciousness while driving or being on the side of the road.
Defenses For Driving While Impaired
If you have been charged with driving while being impaired, then a NYC criminal attorney can look at the drugs that were in the body when you were pulled over. An attorney would need to prove that you weren’t operating the vehicle or that you weren’t under the influence while you were driving. If an officer approaches an idle car, then the charge could be debatable depending on the drug in question and the amount. If the officer didn’t have a probably cause to stop you in the first place, then this could be used as a defense.
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