It’s December, and you know what that means – office parties, holiday parties, New Year’s Eve parties, all of which means an end of the year DWI quota bonanza opportunity for the police in New York State.
So you had a drink or two at the annual office party. Driving from the party in White Plains to your home in Bedford, NY, you get pulled over for speeding, NY VTL § 1180, or maybe it was for being on your cell phone, NY VTL § 1225, running a red light, NY VTL § 1111, or it could have even been an inoperable tail light under NY VTL § 375.
Whatever the reason for the stop, your real mistakes started when you answered “yes” and “two” to the questions “have you been drinking tonight” and “how many drinks have you had.” Your answer should have been “officer, I don’t answer questions,” but since you know that you are not a criminal, know that you are not drunk, and have been taught to cooperate with the police, instead of exercising your constitutional rights you answered the cop’s questions.
Next thing you know, you’re out of the car, freezing, doing the “roadside Olympics,” things such as walking a straight line that does not exist, standing on one leg and counting, touching your nose, and looking at the cop’s pen as he moves it back and forth. But, you happily do this, because you know that you are not drunk and that your ability to complete these activities will show that to the cop, and you will be home in bed before you know it…
Yea, I know, it didn’t quite work out for you. The last test the cop made you do was turn around and put your hands behind your back. Thinking this was just a new test, you oblige, but before you know it you’re in handcuffs. The next few minutes are a blur. The cop says something about being under arrest for DUI. You’re probably not impaired, but there is nothing you can do about it. The handcuffs hurt, but there is nothing you can do about it. You are stuffed into the back seat of the police car, you are humiliated, your car is impounded, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Once you get to the police station they ask you more questions, have you take a breathalyzer, and maybe repeat the roadside Olympics. You are told something about having a BAC of .11 – but you only had a glass of wine and a beer. You have to post bond but they don’t take credit cards. So you had to call your wife / husband / son / daughter / friend / mom / dad to come down to the police station to bail you out. When you left the police station they gave you a stack of papers accusing you of being drunk while driving, NY VTL 1192. The papers say on them that your first court date is January 2, 2020 in the Harrison Town Court. You were told that if you fail to appear there will be a warrant issued for your arrest. You are confused, embarrassed, and shaken.
Welcome to the DWI criminal industrial complex.
Whether you are actually guilty or not of driving while intoxicated or driving while ability impaired it does not matter. Many people are falsely accused of driving drunk. If that is you, you don’t just “explain it to the judge” and have your case dismissed. That’s not how it works. A court of law is a highly technical venue whereby you must speak in their language. Their language is one of laws, rules, procedure, counseling, mitigation, and rights.
And if that is not you, you still have to to execute on all the rights the judiciary provides in order to get the best possible outcome.
A DWI conviction has devastating consequences on a person’s future. DWI is a misdemeanor crime, and such a conviction can preclude you from job opportunities and student loans. If you have a professional license (real estate broker, doctor, teacher, nurse, dentist, lawyer, Cosmetologist, etc.), a criminal conviction triggers an administrative trial by the NYS Division of Licensing Services to investigate and adjudicate whether your professional license should be suspended or revoked. As for your driver’s license, a lot can happen with a DWI conviction from a brief suspension to a multi-year or even permanent revocation.
Unlike when you were arrested and had no control over the situation, in court you have standing and a lot of control over how your case goes. You have rights. You have the right to pre-trial discovery, the right to obtain all audio and video, the right to a hearing before the court revokes your license pending prosecution, a right to trial, the right to the calibration and repair records of the breathalyzer machine, and the right to conference this matter with the district attorney to attempt a negotiated dismissal or reduced disposition.
It is through the execution of exercising your judicial and constitutional rights that you get leverage on your case to get it dismissed or reduced. However, if you don’t know what your rights are and how to execute on demands and rights, then you cannot in any way exercise your rights and will be at the mercy and whim of the court, just like you were at the mercy and the whim of the cop when you were arrested.
In order to avoid that, you need to immediately hire a lawyer whom has experience defending DWI cases. Our office specializes in traffic ticket and auto crime defense, and we know exactly how to defend your DWI case and get you the best possible resolution.
If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DWI in New York, don’t delay pick up the phone now and give us a call. We talk to people every day who have been charged with DWI, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.