It is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and each state enforces a different set of rules for handling incidents of driving while intoxicated (DWI). New York’s DWI laws are some of the most detailed in the country, and if you are arrested for DWI in Brooklyn, it is crucial to understand your rights in this situation. A conviction for DWI in Brooklyn could mean a host of penalties, including fines, jail time, and loss of your driving privileges. Additionally, the record of your DWI will follow you for years and continuously interfere with your life in various ways.
The Vitaliano Law Firm offers robust and experienced criminal defense representation to clients facing the Brooklyn criminal justice system. Once a police officer informs you that you are under arrest, this can be an overwhelming experience, but it’s vital to take full advantage of your constitutional rights to navigate this situation to the best possible outcome. You have the right to remain silent and to have legal counsel when you are arrested in Brooklyn. Exercise the former until you can consult an experienced DWI defense attorney willing to represent your case.
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution preserves the right to legal counsel when you are accused of any criminal offense. This applies to defendants who are unable or unwilling to hire legal counsel, and public defenders are available to represent these defendants at no cost if necessary. This could seem like an attractive option for handling criminal defense representation in your case, but the reality is that even the best public defenders cannot offer their clients much in the way of individual attention.
A public defender must typically handle several cases at once, and many criminal cases unfold relatively quickly. This means the average public defender has minimal time to devote to any given case on any given day. While you may be able to hope for an hour or two of attention from a public defender, a private Brooklyn DWI defense attorney can offer much more robust and effective legal representation.
As soon as the police inform a suspect they are under arrest, the arresting officer must read the suspect their Miranda rights, explaining they have the right to remain silent, anything they say could potentially work against them in court, and that they have the right to legal representation. It is vital to take advantage of your right to remain silent. While you may feel compelled to try to talk your way out of the situation by explaining your side of events, you must understand there is no incentive for the police to help you or just let you go, even if they know they have minimal evidence necessary for conviction. Even if you know for sure that you are innocent of the charges against you, it is always best to remain silent upon arrest until you can speak with a defense attorney you can trust.
Do not assume that exercising your rights to remain silent and to hire defense counsel will be seen as admissions of guilt by others. It’s an unfortunate reality that many people fall into the trap of thinking that only the guilty need legal counsel, and it would be naïve for anyone to assume the criminal court system in Brooklyn never makes procedural mistakes. Securing defense representation you can trust should be your main concern immediately following an arrest for DWI in Brooklyn.
DWI can lead to serious consequences for a convicted defendant. New York considers a driver to have broken the state’s DWI law if they operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. The legal BAC limit for commercial vehicle drivers is only .04%, and a “zero-tolerance” statute applies to all drivers under 21 and all drivers on probation for past DWI convictions.
If you are convicted of a first-time DWI offense in New York, you are likely to face multiple penalties. These include a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in county jail, a six-month suspension of your driver’s license, and a one-year mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle following the reinstatement of your license. If you are convicted of DWI and complete your sentence, you will face even harsher penalties if you are convicted of another DWI offense within the next five years.
Proving DWI with drugs can be more challenging for the police since different drugs metabolize at various rates in the human body, and some drugs are very challenging to detect and accurately determine impairment. If there is any room to doubt the validity of your test results, your Brooklyn DWI defense attorney can use this to your advantage and call the credibility of the prosecution’s case into question.
The prosecution has to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense attorney’s job is to keep this from happening. If you did not commit the DWI offense in question, if the police violated due process, or if your arrest was wrongful in any other way, you will need an experienced defense attorney to prove the truth of the situation and help you avoid an unjust conviction. However, if you did commit a DWI offense of any kind, all hope is not lost, and an experienced Brooklyn DWI defense attorney can still be an invaluable asset in this situation.
New York judges handling criminal sentencing for DWI cases in Brooklyn have broad discretionary power to assign penalties that they believe best suit each individual case. For example, if a judge recognizes that a defendant only committed a DWI offense due to an emergency or if they struggle with a substance abuse disorder, the judge may recognize the need for medical care in lieu of jail time. Conditional probation, community service, and mandatory substance abuse treatment are all possible alternative sentences a defendant may be able to reach with the help of their defense team.
A: Most criminal defense attorneys working in the boroughs of New York City charge their clients by the hour. An attorney sets an hourly rate for a client and then tracks the time spent working on the case, usually in ten or 15-minute increments. For example, an attorney who charges a $300 hourly rate would charge $150 for a half-hour phone call. Verify a prospective defense attorney’s billing policy before you agree to their representation.
A: Your Brooklyn DWI defense attorney can potentially have your charges dismissed if you can prove that the police officer who conducted your arrest failed to legally establish probable cause for conducting the arrest in the first place. Insufficient evidence, clear proof of innocence, or exposing a significant procedural mistake by the state could also lead to a DWI charge dismissal.
A: It is possible for a DWI charge to be reduced to a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) violation under certain conditions. A DWI driver with no aggravating factors in their case may be offered a reduction to a DWAI charge as long as they did not harm anyone or cause serious property damage. It’s also possible for DWAI to apply to a driver who was clearly impaired but not technically enough to qualify as DUI. For example, if a driver reports a BAC of .05% in a chemical test after an arrest but was driving erratically, this will likely qualify as a DWAI violation.
A: Technically, no, you can secure defense counsel at no charge from a public defender or attempt self-representation. However, hiring an experienced private Brooklyn DWI defense attorney offers the best chance of reaching a positive outcome for your case. The Vitaliano Law Firm can provide comprehensive and attentive legal representation from the moment you secure our firm’s representation. The right defense attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your impending DWI case.
The Vitaliano Law Firm has helped many clients in Brooklyn reach much better outcomes than they initially expected from their DWI cases. It’s natural to feel as though the entire system is working against you after an arrest, especially if you did not commit the offense in question. Whether you have been wrongfully arrested for a DWI offense you did not commit or need defense representation to help you lighten your penalties as much as possible after breaking New York’s DWI law, our team is ready to provide the aggressive defense representation you need on your side in this challenging situation. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Brooklyn DWI defense attorney you can trust.