November and December are supposed to be festive months for most people. The celebrations that happen in late Autumn and early Winter give people plenty of opportunity to celebrate with family… and also plenty of opportunities to drink and make grave mistakes. Thus, it is not all that surprising that there is no other time of year where more people drive while intoxicated (DWI) or drive under the influence (DUI) than during the holiday season. Continue reading “Don’t Let a Holiday Celebration Turn Into A DWI”
Being arrested on a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge can be a life-changing event, even before you face the possibility of a plea or conviction at trial. Aside from facing the risk of imprisonment or fines, there are numerous possible consequences that can arise as a result of a DWI conviction. And if you’re facing down a DWI charge, it’s important to know what will happen if you plead guilty or get convicted at trial. Continue reading “DWI Convictions and their Potential Consequences”
Being pulled over by the police is always a stressful event, even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong. You know, at the very least, that you’re likely going to have an intimidating conversation, may wind up with a ticket, and are very likely to be late to wherever you’re trying to go. However, if you keep these five things in mind, you can minimize the harm a police stop can do.
Try to stay calm.
Remaining calm at a police stop isn’t just a good idea from a mental health perspective. It will also help you to maintain perspective and stop from acting rashly. Moreover, the more nervous you act, the more it may incentivize a police officer to escalate the stop to a search or seizure, so the less jittery you can seem, the better your odds of walking away with minimal consequences.
Don’t feel obligated to answer police questions.
While the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination (the “right to remain silent”) doesn’t apply if you’re not in police custody, you’re still not legally obligated to answer a police officer’s questions. Thus, if you believe an answer to a police officer’s question is more likely to cause harm than good, you can simply say you don’t want to answer their question. At that point, the officer may need to choose between escalating or letting you go, but at the very least you’re not providing additional evidence that may be used against you.
You may not be able to stop a police search.
Under normal circumstances, the police cannot search a person’s property without a warrant backed by probable cause. However, under the so-called “automobile exception” to the 4th Amendment, a police officer can conduct a search of a motor vehicle without a warrant, so long as they have probable cause to believe the vehicle contains evidence of a crime. This means that stopping a search of your car may be nearly impossible, so don’t get too upset if the police decide to start rooting through your car at a traffic stop.
You can refuse a breathalyzer, at a price.
Technically speaking, you don’t need to submit to a breathalyzer test at a traffic stop if you don’t want to. However, by law, anyone who refuses a breathalyzer test at a traffic stop automatically forfeits their driver’s license. So, if you don’t want to take the breathalyzer, you can refuse, but you may not be able to legally drive again for at least a year.
You can ask to call a lawyer.
Just like in any other situation where you find yourself confronted by the police and at risk of arrest, you can call your lawyer to help you at a traffic stop, if you can get in contact with a lawyer in a reasonable time period. That said, the police aren’t obligated to wait around for your attorney to show up, nor do they have an obligation to wait while you search for a lawyer to call. Thus, if you can’t get your attorney on the line right away, the next place you’ll likely have a chance to talk to them is at the police station.
If you are placed under arrest, remember to exercise your right to an attorney and get legal representation as soon as possible. A Suffolk County criminal defense lawyer, who is experienced in handling criminal cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you or your loved one has been arrested, contact the Central Islip criminal defense attorneys at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702.
As law enforcement continues to crack down on driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses, it is important to understand the consequences surrounding these charges. Should you be pulled over by a police officer in New York for suspected intoxication, serious penalties could arise with fees mounting into the thousands, along with a revocation of driving privileges, and possible jail time, if you are found guilty.
Continue reading “Consequences of Driving Under the Influence”
Newsdayreported that, as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaignthat took place between December 13, 2018 and January 1, 2019, New York State police issued 48,877 tickets and arrested 783 people for drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. During that time period, troopers also investigated 643 crashes that resulted in eight deaths and numerous injuries, according to New York State Police.
Continue reading “More Than 49,000 NYS Drivers Didn’t “Stay Off the Naughty List””
Being charged with a DUI can impact an individual financially as well as jeopardize his or her driving privileges. There are a number of defenses available in a DUI case that may reduce a charge or result in an acquittal. A recent case, which the defendant ultimately lost, helps illustrate one of those defenses. The New York State appellate division ruled on a case where a defendant was arrested for driving under the influence. The defendant was taken to the police station where the arresting officer and two other experienced officers witnessed a Breathalyzer test and an additional 13-step procedure. One officer administered the Breathalyzer test, along with the 13-step procedure, while another officer videoed the events.
Continue reading “Contact a Lawyer Immediately After a DUI/DWI”
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most preventable, but biggest mistakes a person can make. Alcohol can severely impair one’s cognitive abilities, reflexes, vision, and more. According to the State of New York, the level of impairment that affects each person is different and depends on five conditions:
- the amount of alcohol you drink;
- the amount of food you eat before or while you drink alcohol;
- the length of time you drink alcohol;
- your body weight; and
- your gender.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are serious traffic matter that could result in a criminal record and jail time. If you find yourself under questioning or arrest, consider the following.
Having a dedicated and experienced attorney is essential to defending yourself against DWI charges. There are evidentiary tools and various defenses which can be asserted that an attorney can help identify.
One recent case in which an attorney’s experience and use of unique defense tools resulted in a dismissal is a case in Upstate New York. A woman, after driving erratically, was pulled over for drunk driving. Her blood alcohol content (BAC) was at .33, more than four times the legal limit of .08. She stated that she only drank three alcoholic beverages earlier in the day, which was not enough to equal her BAC.
Driving While Impaired (DWAI – in lay terms “buzzed driving”) means your ability to operate a motor vehicle has been affected to any extent by the consumption of alcohol. DWAI is a violation, not a crime. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI – in lay terms “drunk driving”) means you are physically and mentally incapable of driving as a reasonable and prudent person due to the consumption of alcohol. Driving While Intoxicated is a crime.