Have You Been Charged With DWI?
In many jurisdictions across the United States, the most frequently charged crime is driving while intoxicated (DWI). In the State of New York, if you are charged with driving while intoxicated, you’re going to need legal help and representation from a Syracuse DWI attorney.
Even for a misdemeanor first DWI offense, if you are convicted, your New York driver’s license could be revoked, you will be fined, and you could conceivably serve time in jail, up to 1 year! Second and subsequent DWI convictions are penalized with even harsher sentences, and are potentially felony level offenses!
The best outcome in a DWI case, of course, is avoiding a conviction. You will avoid a conviction if your Syracuse DWI lawyer has the charge dropped, has the case dismissed, or wins an acquittal for you at trial. What does it take to achieve one of these outcomes in a DWI case?
Do Not Plead Guilty
If you are 21 or older, and if you are driving in New York with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above 0.08 percent, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated. If you drive with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.18 percent, the charge is aggravated DWI.
Those who fight a DWI charge with an attorney’s help are often successful. You may believe that pleading guilty is the expedient way to deal with a DWI charge, but a guilty plea means you will be convicted, you will have a criminal record, and you will face at least the minimum penalties.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, a DWI conviction may cause immigration authorities to begin a removal proceeding. If you hold a professional license in this state, a driving while intoxicated conviction may trigger disciplinary action by your state professional licensing board.
Pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated will also raise your car insurance rates, and if driving is your job or necessary for your job, you may have difficulty keeping that job or finding other work. A criminal record can even impair your ability to find housing or to qualify for a loan.
What Are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction?
As mentioned previously, the penalties for a first DWI conviction in New York usually include a fine, a license revocation, and possibly time in jail. For a second conviction within ten years, the fine is costlier, the license revocation is longer, and a lengthy prison sentence may be imposed.
Obviously, if you are being charged with driving while intoxicated, you must take steps at once to avoid a conviction. Your freedom and future will be at stake. Your first step is to contact – at once – the law offices of an experienced New York DWI attorney.
How Can You Get the Best Outcome to a DWI Case?
If you truly believe that you are not guilty of a driving while intoxicated charge, take these steps: contact a DWI defense attorney as quickly as possible; plead not guilty when a judge asks you to enter a plea; and insist on your constitutional right to a trial by jury.
Even if the state’s evidence is stacked against you, an experienced DWI lawyer can usually offer something helpful. If your conviction is inevitable, the best outcome may be a plea deal. In most plea deals, you’ll plead guilty to a lesser charge and receive reduced or alternative sentencing.
Discuss with your DWI lawyer the pros and cons of any plea deal offered to you by a New York prosecutor. Your lawyer will tell you if you should accept or reject the offer. While your lawyer’s advice should be taken seriously, the final decision to accept or reject a plea deal is yours alone.
How Will Your Attorney Handle Your Case?
When you ask a Syracuse DWI lawyer to represent you in a DWI case, that lawyer will review the evidence against you, listen closely to your side of the story, answer your questions, protect your legal rights, and develop an appropriate and effective defense strategy on your behalf.
If law enforcement officers had no probable cause to pull you over in traffic, if you were illegally or falsely arrested, or if the officers gathered or discovered evidence illegally, your DWI attorney may file a motion to suppress that evidence or may simply ask the court to dismiss the case. All too often we see officers administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests incorrectly or give wrong or conflicting instructions, all of which are supposed to be standardized, thus the term.
In some cases, your lawyer may choose to challenge the breathalyzer evidence. Breathalyzer tests may be inaccurate for a number of reasons, and breathalyzer devices can be subject to malfunctions. The police must conduct breathalyzer exams legally and according to procedures.
How Will Your Attorney Defend You at Trial?
In most DWI cases, a breath test will, in fact, give the police a relatively accurate measurement of someone’s BAC level, but breathalyzer devices are not always reliable, and in a DWI trial – with your future and freedom at stake – your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
At trial, your defense attorney will find any weaknesses in the state’s case and will cast doubt on the state’s evidence against you. If your rights were violated or if your breath test results were inaccurate, your attorney will explain what happened and ask the jurors to find you not guilty.
Don’t trust your freedom and future to an untested attorney. To obtain the best possible outcome, you must be advised and represented by a New York DWI defense lawyer who has substantial experience representing driving while intoxicated defendants and prevailing on their behalf.
Take Your DWI Case to Passalacqua & Associates
More than 25,000 driving while intoxicated arrests were made by law enforcement officers in the State of New York in 2022. Some of those arrested were innocent, but whether you are innocent or guilty of DWI, you will need to be represented by the legal team at Passalacqua & Associates.
The award-winning DWI defense attorneys at Passalacqua & Associates have over three decades of experience defending those charged with DWI in this state. We routinely represent defendants who are charged with DWI, and we are dedicated to winning the best outcome for every client.
Our law offices are located in Rome, Utica, and Syracuse. If you are charged anywhere in the State of New York with driving while intoxicated, now or in the future, contact Passalacqua & Associates immediately at 315-277-3548 for a no-cost, no-obligation, in-depth case evaluation.