It is against the law to drink and drive. If you find that you are intoxicated and are operating a motor vehicle, being pulled over by a police officer in New York may become a nightmare. This state has some of the strictest penalties for DUI arrests in the nation. New York follows a Zero Tolerance Law, which means that when a person who is not legally old enough to drink decides to drive under the influence, he or she can expect to lose his or her license.
What Punishments Can You Expect for a DUI in New York?
Your first DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor. You likely will have your license suspended for at least 90 days, will receive a fine, and will be enrolled in a Drinking Driver Program. If you are caught for the same crime within ten years, you will be charged with a felony. You will face higher fines and longer license suspension. You may face jail time as well.
In New York, the driving laws operate on "Implied Consent." This means that an officer has the right to perform a breath, urine, or blood test at the time of the confrontation. If you refuse, you may face extra charges.
If you are convicted of a drunk driving charge in New York, you must install and use an ignition interlock device in all of the vehicles that you own for at least six months. Installation and maintenance of these units cost hundreds of dollars. When these devices are being operated, they measure the alcohol content of a driver's breath.
What to Expect in Court
In court, the prosecutor will file papers that inform you and the judge about the results of your breath test. If your BAC is over the legal limit, your driving privileges would automatically be suspended during your case. Other evidence used against you will be the officer's observances at the time of the incident.
Reasons to Work with a Qualified Lawyer
If you are facing a DUI/DWI offense, it is in your best interest to work with a trusted attorney. This legal professional understands the best way to fight your case and to bring you positive results. If you wish to have your case dismissed, you must work with your lawyer and allow him or her to examine the facts. In certain cases, some evidence may have been collected incorrectly. There is a chance that procedures were not followed correctly, as well. A legal professional will be able to present a case that leads to a "not guilty" verdict.
Also, your first offense will be considered a misdemeanor. Your attorney may be able to work with the prosecutor and the judge so that your DWI can be dropped to a DWAI. This is a lower charge with a shorter suspension time, lower fine, and no requirement to use an ignition device. No criminal conviction will appear on your record.
Negative Impacts of a DUI Arrest
There are many personal negative impacts that come from receiving a DUI arrest for both the defendant and his or her family. For instance, you may suffer problems at work. Most employers look down on DUI offenses. If you are changing jobs, you must disclose your conviction. Also, if your work requires driving, you may be fired for not being able to complete your duties.
If someone was injured from your negligence, you might face a wrongful death lawsuit, as well. Also, your automobile insurance premiums may increase. If you are divorced and share custody with your ex-spouse, your arrangements may be altered. A college student who has a scholarship may risk losing it after a DUI conviction.
Work with the Law Office of Eric Schillinger
Obviously, it is smart to avoid driving while intoxicated, especially in New York. However, if you find yourself in trouble, it is essential to work with a qualified attorney. At The Law Office of Eric Schillinger, we understand what needs to be done in order to protect your rights. Let us work with you to make sure that you get the best and fairest results possible.
Don't risk the negative consequences of a conviction. For a free consultation, call us today (518) 413-0889.