Here are some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to DWI and DUI convictions in New York.
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you wish to seek legal counsel after you have been arrested for a DWI, contact Jason Steinberger as soon as possible.
I am available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will do my best to protect your legal rights in the event of a DWI arrest.
Please call me today at (718) 585-2833 to receive a free initial consultation and to take the first step in securing a defense attorney to assist you.
1. In New York, what evidence is admissible?
Pulling a driver over is justified if it follows a traffic infraction witnessed by law enforcement. Evidence gathered during this type of vehicle stop, such as visible impairment, strong alcoholic odor, slurred speech, the notice of an alcoholic beverage or bloodshot, watery eyes can be used as evidence in cases involving DWIs and DUIs. On the other hand, evidence that arises from a detention, unlawful stop, or an arrest without a warrant will be tossed aside and not permitted as evidence. Police officers must have a valid reason or probable cause that your traffic violation was committed before initiating a stop.
2. Can my DUI conviction be expunged under New York law?
No. The ability to remove a DUI charge from your record is non-existent. The only way that a DUI conviction may be overturned is in the case of new evidence or if it is found that the conviction was illegal. In either of these situations, the court will rehear your case and will allow you to either plead out of the charge or completely dismiss it.
3. If my car was stopped, can a police officer pull me over and arrest me for a DWI?
Yes. In order to successfully prove that you were driving under the influence, the prosecutors must have evidence that you were operating your car on a highway or road with a blood alcohol content level above New York’s legal limit. In New York, the definition of “operation” is wider than the typical “driving” definition, as it includes using the gear shift to put the car into motion. In other words, if the engine is running but the car is unmoving, an officer may deduce that you will be placing the car into gear in an attempt to drive.
4. Am I required to submit to a field sobriety test?
In New York, it is not legally required for you to agree to field sobriety or coordination testing. While you always have the right to refuse these tests, New York has what is known as “implied consent” that does require you to undergo chemical testing. Should you refuse, the attending police officer will tell you about the penalties that you will face because of this refusal.
5. What are the consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the conviction, consequences may range from mild to severe. A DWI may negatively impact future employment and housing options as well as your ability to obtain certain forms of government assistance. Those in the medical, law enforcement or aviation fields may face additional penalties and endangerment to their current positions. Students may be expelled from school or face other disciplinary actions. Auto insurance rates are likely to increase, offenders may be required to pay high fees or penalties and a felony charge will likely follow someone convicted of a DWI for the rest of his or her life.
6. Will I go to jail?
If the DWI is your first offense, you will likely not be incarcerated. However, even if the incident is a first offense and you were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and there were minor children under the age of 15 in the car with you, you may be charged with violating Leandra’s Law and may face stricter penalties, fines and a felony charge.
7. What will happen if I do not complete community service or classes as ordered?
If you fail to adhere to the terms and conditions set forth by the court, you may risk going to jail. The court requires offenders to complete specific classes or community service tasks as part of your sentence; those who do not comply may have a warrant issued for their arrest.
8. Do I need an attorney?
While you may wish to defend yourself against a DUI conviction, it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel from an experienced defense attorney who understands the complexities of DWI and DUI laws in New York. Should you fail to secure an attorney, you may risk increased fines, penalties, jail time or other consequences.
If You Have Been Convicted, Seek Legal Counsel as Soon as Possible
If you have recently been arrested for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be wondering about the next step. Consider working with an experienced defense attorney such as myself to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Contact Jason Steinberger today at (718) 585-2833 to learn more about how I can help you to avoid the serious consequences that often arise with a DUI/DWI conviction.