It can be incredibly daunting to experience an arrest for any criminal charge. If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Long Island, it’s natural to worry about the potential penalties you face, the economic impact of your conviction, and the effects the case will have on your personal and professional life. Ultimately, a DWI conviction can impose many negative changes on your life, and it is crucial to know your rights when you have been arrested and charged with DWI.
The Vitaliano Law Firm is a team of experienced Long Island criminal defense attorneys who can deliver the aggressive and responsive criminal defense counsel you need after an arrest for DWI. We have helped many clients navigate their criminal court proceedings more easily than they initially expected. No criminal defense attorney can ever promise a specific outcome to any client, but our team can promise the full scope of our professional resources, skills, and experience will be readily available to you throughout all stages of your case.
The US Constitution includes two very important amendments that come into play whenever an American citizen is arrested for any criminal act. The first is the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. You are not obligated to act as a witness against yourself in a criminal case. Once the police inform you that they are placing you under arrest for DWI, it is best to remain silent and comply with their directions until you can speak with an attorney. The second is the Sixth Amendment right to legal representation. Any American charged with a crime has the right to a defense attorney, even if they cannot afford to hire one themselves.
Do not underestimate the importance of these rights when you have been arrested for DWI in Long Island. If you were not intoxicated behind the wheel or you believe your arrest was unfair or unjust, you may feel compelled to try and talk your way out of the situation or explain your side of events to the police. Remember that the police have no incentive to release you or help you at all, and it’s more likely that they will take any statements you make after arrest and include them in their report in the worst possible light.
When an arresting officer reads you your Miranda rights and informs you that you are under arrest, do not resist, and continue to observe your right to remain silent until you can exercise your right to legal counsel. As soon as you are able to do so, you should reach out to an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney you can trust to represent you. The Vitaliano Law Firm is ready to extend the full range of our experience and resources on your behalf in your upcoming DWI case.
Every state has different criminal codes and different methods of addressing DWI cases. New York law recognizes five offenses that fall within the purview of DWI, and each offense carries additional potential penalties upon conviction:
It is important to remember that these are guidelines for first offenses. When a defendant has a record of past DWI convictions, they will automatically face harsher penalties. Their penalties for conviction will also increase if they cause significant injuries or fatalities with their actions.
Beyond the penalties assigned by the court, a DWI conviction can carry many other consequences for the defendant’s personal and professional life. They may be unable to maintain their current job due to their inability to drive for their commute. A DWI conviction may also cause them to lose any professional licenses or memberships in professional organizations they previously held. Additionally, their penalties can increase dramatically, and they could face a civil claim from the victim’s family if they caused any injuries or death through DWI.
In every criminal case filed in the United States, the prosecution faces the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Circumstantial evidence is not enough to secure a conviction, and prosecutors must be prepared to leverage solid evidence to prove a defendant is guilty. It is your Long Island DWI defense attorney’s job to prevent the prosecution from meeting their burden of proof. Depending on the details of your arrest, they may accomplish this in various ways.
Your attorney may seek to highlight the police’s mishandling of your claim. If you do not believe the police had probable cause to conduct your arrest, your attorney can help you prove they committed significant procedural errors that led to a wrongful arrest. It is also possible for a defendant to have experienced a violation of their civil or constitutional rights. For example, if the police failed to read the suspect their Miranda rights or if a suspect was intentionally abused and mistreated while in police custody, these issues could be sufficient grounds for the defense attorney to motion for case dismissal.
In the event you know you broke the law and the prosecution has enough evidence for a conviction, it is crucial that you understand the value of legal counsel you can trust. Plea bargaining could be an option that allows you to reduce your penalty if you are willing to enter a guilty plea and allow the prosecution to preserve court resources. For some defendants, a plea bargain is their best option for reducing penalties, but this isn’t an option for every defendant. Your Long Island DWI defense attorney can help you determine whether this is the best possible option for your situation.
When you choose The Vitaliano Law Firm to act as your defense counsel in a DWI case, we will immediately review the details of your arrest and the associated police report. We’ll look for any issues that indicate your arrest was unlawful and address any violations of your rights that you may have experienced. Our firm strives to help our clients navigate their cases as efficiently as possible, and this requires a very close analysis of a prosecutor’s initial arguments and case filings.
It is crucial to understand how important legal representation is when you are charged with any criminal offense in Long Island. State prosecutors pursue convictions in DWI cases quite aggressively, and a record of DWI will interfere with your life in many ways. A good defense attorney is the right ally to have on your side if you want the best chance of securing a case dismissal, but they will be especially important to any defendant who has strong evidence stacked against them and little room to claim they were unjustly arrested.
If your DWI case goes to court, your defense attorney will help you prepare for each courtroom session so you know what to expect from each phase of the case. If you are found guilty of the DWI offense in question, the judge will sentence you accordingly. Even if your defense attorney cannot help you avoid conviction due to the clearness of your guilt, they may still be helpful in securing a lighter penalty. This isn’t possible in every case, but seeking defense counsel you can trust as soon as possible after your arrest will significantly increase the chances of your defense team noticing and taking full advantage of all defensive options available in your case.
A: It can be daunting to think of the potential cost of hiring private defense counsel, but the reality is that investing in an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney is an investment into your future. An experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney can provide a more robust degree of defense counsel and more individual attention than you could expect from a public defender. It is always worth hiring an experienced attorney you can trust if you want to reach the best possible conclusion to your case.
A: Time is a critical concern after any arrest, and it’s best to secure defense representation as soon as possible after your accident. However, you should not let the pressure of the situation coerce you into hiring the first defense attorney you encounter. Take time to research your options for defense representation in the Long Island area and search online for reviews and testimonials that can give an idea of what a prospective attorney can offer.
A: It is possible to have your DWI charge dropped and your case dismissed if you can prove that the police did not follow proper procedures in handling your arrest, if the police failed to establish probable cause, or if there was any significant failure of the criminal justice system, such as a violation of your civil rights, these issues could be enough to compel a judge to dismiss your case.
A: Jail time is a possible penalty for a DWI conviction. At the misdemeanor level, a defendant could spend time in county jail, and a felony conviction leads to incarceration in state prison. A judge may be willing to consider alternative sentencing for a first offense, but only in certain circumstances. If a defendant has a record of multiple DWIs or caused extreme damages, it is unlikely for the judge to show any leniency.
The Vitaliano Law Firm has years of experience providing criminal defense representation to clients in the Long Island area, New York City, and surrounding communities. Our firm offers the experience of both a prosecutor and a seasoned criminal defense attorney, and we know the tactics local prosecutors use to secure convictions in DWI cases. If you are ready to build the strongest defense possible against the charges you face, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.