DWI or driving when intoxicated refers to a person driving under the influence of alcohol and can lead to severe or deadly results. A DWI charge can result in revocation of driving privileges, hefty fines, problems finding work, and even time in jail. It is advisable to work with a criminal defense attorney near Seneca Falls following an arrest to better deal with the stringent DWI laws in New York.
Encounter with the police
In New York State, cops can stop a vehicle if they have reasons to think the driver is impaired. Drivers are arrested for driving erratically, crossing pavement lines, or going past a traffic control device. Upon pulling you out of your vehicle, the officer will ask you to complete “Field Sobriety Tests,” designed to assess your motor coordination and ability to follow directions. There is a good chance that the officer will conclude you failed at least two of the three tests, which are said to be 65 to 80 percent accurate in detecting intoxication. The officer may ask you to blow into an “Alco-Sensor,” or breath screening test, to measure the concentration of alcohol in your blood. The Alco-Sensor findings are not acceptable in court; therefore, they will ask you to take a chemical screening test if you get arrested. The administrative judge of the Department of Motor Vehicles can revoke your license for a year if they find that you resisted a chemical test at the hearing, and fines will be applicable, regardless of the result of the criminal case.
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Your First Hearing
An indictment will take place at your first criminal court appearance, where your lawyer pleads you innocent, and you’ll be charged with at least one or two offenses of the Vehicle and Traffic Law relating to driving while intoxicated. A mandatory alcohol/substance abuse test will also be required as part of your sentence. In addition, you will have to attend a session organized by MADD Victim’s Impact Panel and the DMV’s Drinking Driver Program (DDP), a seven-week program that begins after the case is over.
Past DWI charges or other felonies, accidents (with personal injury claims, property damage, or perhaps both), and your precise BAC are all factors that impact pleas and sentences. If you have a past DWI plea or conviction within the last decade or driving with a kid under 16 years of age, the new accusation will be a misdemeanor, which is non-negotiable under Leandra’s Law. The ADA will not give DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) concession, as it is a traffic violation rather than a crime if the BAC is above a specific threshold.