New York State has some of the nation's most strict laws for driving under the influence of alcohol (and drugs). Motorists who drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher are vulnerable to being charged with a misdemeanor, Driving While Intoxicated. A higher BAC level, .18% or higher, can result in an entirely second misdemeanor being charged (Aggravated DWI). Driving with a BAC of less than .08% can still result in a violation of law, specifically, Driving While Ability Impaired. Motorists can also face felony charges, which expose drivers to much more severe penalties, including incarceration in state prison. Felonies are generally charged if a motorist drives intoxicated with a child in the car, if the motorist has two driving while intoxicated offenses within ten years, among other scenarios. All of the above assume that a driver actually gave a breath test sample. It is important to point out that you can be charged with DWI and suffer consequences even if you refuse to provide a breath sample. Clearly, an impaired driving charge is a quite serious situation and requires strong advocacy from attorneys that are highly credentialed to handle such a case. Not all criminal cases are the same. DWI cases have several unique factors to consider, and our firm proudly offers specialized attention to DWI cases.
Prior to being formally charged with a DWI, officers on scene will typically perform tests and take steps that are not common to other criminal cases. For example, a breath or blood sample may be taken, and several field sobriety tests may be performed. The breath or blood test (or both) and the field sobriety tests give the police clues and indications as to whether or not someone may be under the influence. Some of the field sobriety tests are commonly known to most members of the public (and you've probably seen them in a movie or two). Examples include the one-legged stand, the walk and turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus (the test that you've probably seen done where the officer moves a pen from side to side in front of your eyes).
If you or someone close to you is arrested for a DWI, please call us so we can explore the specific facts and circumstances of your case. DWI defense cannot be done correctly with a cookie cutter approach. Instead, finely-tailored, personalized strategies are necessary. In the course of representation, we have the ability to challenge evidence, question the legitimacy of the field sobriety tests performed in your case, and examine officers. There are quite a few tools in our tool box. Consultations are always FREE, and there is no obligation. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can best assist you. We understand that you may have many more questions: What happens to my license? Will the court care that I'm suffering from alcoholism? What are the penalties for DWI? The car was parked when the officers walked up to me, can I still be charged? As lawyers with significant experience handling DWI defense, we are here to answer your questions and lead you through your case!