Every state enforces unique laws pertaining to impaired or intoxicated driving. New York uses the blanket term “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) to cover all violations of the state’s laws against intoxicated driving. However, there are various forms of this offense, each with its own potential penalties. DWI offenses are some of the most commonly prosecuted criminal offenses in New York City, and anyone charged with any kind of DWI offense needs to know their defensive options.
The right New York DWI attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation. You have the constitutional right to legal counsel when you are accused of any crime in the United States, even if you are unable to hire a private defense attorney. However, if you are able to secure the services of an experienced private New York DWI attorney, they can help you build a robust defense against the charges you face. While no attorney can ever promise a client a specific outcome in their case, The Vitaliano Law Firm will extend the full range of our professional resources and legal experience in defending you against a DWI conviction.
The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution upholds the right to remain silent during arrest, and it is crucial for everyone to understand the importance of this right. If you are arrested, even if you know for sure that you did nothing wrong, the police have no incentive to hear you out and let you go. They may have arrested you with shaky or insubstantial evidence or violated due process somehow. It’s possible you were arrested simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or matching the description of another person in the area wanted by the police.
Take full advantage of your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent upon arrest, complying with the police officer’s directions through the booking process. You are allowed to make a few phone calls under New York state law after your arrest and booking, and it’s imperative to reach out to criminal defense counsel you can trust in this situation. The Sixth Amendment ensures you have access to legal counsel, regardless of whether you can afford it or are willing to pay for a private defense attorney.
Under the Sixth Amendment, the criminal court must appoint a public defender to any defendant who is unable or unwilling to pay for a private defense attorney’s representation. Most of the public defenders working in New York City are experienced attorneys who do their best for their clients, but their jobs require managing several cases at once. Even the best public defenders cannot offer their clients much in the way of individual attention. When you choose a private defense firm like The Vitaliano Law Firm to handle your defense, you can expect more responsive and personalized counsel throughout all your case proceedings.
The criminal justice system of the United States hinges on the presumption of innocence, and the prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in any criminal case. It is your New York defense attorney’s job to prevent this from happening. A DWI conviction can have a severe impact on your life in multiple ways. You could face fines, jail time, suspension of your driver’s license, and a criminal record that could interfere with future job opportunities. You have the best chance of avoiding conviction or minimizing your sentence with an experienced New York DWI attorney representing you.
While New York uses “DWI” as a catch-all term to describe any incident of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there are several offenses that each carry different possible penalties:
It’s vital for every New York driver to remember that the penalties for DWI offenses escalate with multiple convictions within a few years. A first-time offender may have the ability to argue for alternative or diversionary sentencing, potentially avoiding incarceration, but a repeat DWI offender is unlikely to have such options. Additionally, if a defendant committed other offenses along with their DWI, or if they caused an accident resulting in injuries or death, they can face additional charges as well as liability for civil damages they caused to others.
New York upholds an implied consent law for all licensed drivers, meaning all drivers consent to chemical testing if they are lawfully arrested for DWI. Unfortunately, many drivers misinterpret this to assume they must submit to a preliminary alcohol screening like a breathalyzer test if requested by a police officer. A New York City police officer can only conduct an arrest for DWI after establishing probable cause to confirm the driver is under the influence.
If a suspected DWI driver caused an accident resulting in injury, they typically must provide a chemical test. Otherwise, there is no legal obligation for any New York driver to submit to field sobriety tests or preliminary alcohol screenings prior to a lawful arrest. Refusing a lawful chemical test, however, they will face harsher sentencing if they are later convicted of DWI.
The right attorney can provide several invaluable legal services in a DWI case in New York. When you choose The Vitaliano Law Firm to handle your defense, our team will carefully review the details of your arrest and analyze the police report from the incident. We’ll look for any procedural missteps or violations of due process that could justify case dismissal. If the prosecution has compelling evidence, we can adjust our strategy to meet the unique demands of your case.
A good criminal defense attorney provides responsive updates to their client, informing them of all the latest updates on their case proceedings and helping them adjust to any unexpected issues that arise during their cases. The Vitaliano Law Firm has years of experience defending NYC clients from DWI charges, and we know how prosecutors in the area tend to handle these cases.
Our firm can offer individualized defense representation from arrest and booking all the way through the result of your criminal case. Our goal is to help each client avoid conviction whenever possible or minimize their penalty whenever necessary. We can help you gather exculpatory evidence and supporting witness testimony to establish an alibi if you have been wrongfully accused. If the police violated your civil or constitutional rights, we would ensure this receives appropriate consideration from the court. If the prosecution has more than enough evidence to secure a conviction, our team can potentially help you secure a plea agreement that exchanges your guilty plea for a lighter sentence.
Ultimately, every DWI case is unique, and the outcome of your case has the potential to influence your life in various ways for years. You have the best chance of avoiding the short- and long-term consequences of a DWI conviction with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney handling your case. The sooner you secure defense representation after an arrest, the more time your attorney has to build your defense.
A: It’s natural to worry about the potential costs of legal fees when you need to hire a private defense attorney, and many defendants will opt for public defenders to avoid expensive legal fees. However, investing in the services of the right New York DWI attorney can pay off tremendously with the quality of service they can offer. Make sure you understand your attorney’s billing policy before you agree to their representation in NYC.
A: New York prosecutors tend to pursue convictions in DWI cases quite aggressively, but there are some situations in which the court may show leniency to a defendant facing DWI charges. Although this is never a guarantee, if it is a defendant’s first DWI offense and they did not injure anyone while driving impaired, they may avoid jail and the other harsher aspects of their sentence. A judge has the discretionary power to sentence them to conditional probation, mandatory rehabilitation for a substance abuse disorder, or other diversionary penalties. Your New York DWI attorney can advise you as to whether this could be possible in your situation.
A: New York enforces some of the strictest rules and harshest penalties for DWI offenses, and your situation may appear hopeless at first. However, some police officers do not establish probable cause correctly or commit other procedural violations that may invalidate some DWI cases. It’s always best to consult an experienced New York DWI attorney as soon as possible to determine every available defense that may help your situation.
A: If you or a loved one is arrested for DWI in New York, you will be booked at a local police station or precinct. You may or may not be held in custody until a preliminary hearing depending on the severity of your offense. It’s best to remain silent upon arrest and comply with the arresting officer’s directions until you can make your phone calls. Contact an experienced New York DWI attorney as soon as possible after arrest and booking.
A: The right criminal defense attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your impending case. Your attorney can find inconsistencies and errors with the police report for your arrest and the police department’s handling of it. It’s also possible that you experienced some violation of your civil or constitutional rights that invalidates your case. Ultimately, you have the best chance of avoiding conviction or at least minimizing your sentence when you have defense representation you can trust.
The Vitaliano Law Firm knows how isolating it can feel to be arrested for DWI. The system may seem like it’s entirely working against you, but a good attorney can provide invaluable guidance and reassurance in this difficult time. If you are ready to build a defense against your DWI case, contact The Vitaliano Law Firm today and schedule your consultation with a New York DWI attorney you can trust with your defense.