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Hudson Valley Criminal Defense Law Blog

Couple arrested for drug crimes, DUI and violating Leandra's Law

Drug addiction and the issues related to it are making news in New York State and across the nation with the accompanying problems that go along with it. People who are under the influence of drugs will frequently make mistakes as part of their alleged drug use, such as driving under the influence of drugs.

There can be other factors that make the situation worse, if there is a traffic stop and subsequent arrest. While illegal drug use can result in serious consequences, such as jail time, people who are arrested for drug crimes related not to its sale and distribution, but to its use might have options, such as a drug diversion program to avoid the harshest penalties. Regardless of the situation, having legal help is essential.

There are different penalties for DUI, depending on age

When a New York resident is investigated by law enforcement and placed under arrest for drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs, it is a worrisome experience. It is unavoidable that there are numerous questions about the future after the arrest and as the case moves forward. For people who are arrested and charged with underage drunk driving, it is also important to remember that there are different license penalties, depending on the accused's age.

A person who is under 21 and convicted for underage drunk driving will see their driver's license revoked for one year not just in New York, but also in any other state or Canadian province. An underage driver who commits breath test refusal in New York -- even if there is no conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs -- their license will be revoked for one year. For a driver who is under 21 and has committed a second offense, their license will be revoked for a minimum of one year or until he or she turns 21, whichever takes longer.

With holiday DWI and driving offense crackdown, a defense is key

Drunk driving is an issue that New York State and its law enforcement takes seriously and tries to do what is possible to reduce its incidence and prosecute those who are arrested and charged with it. That often includes checkpoints at certain intervals when it is known drivers are prone to operating their vehicles under the influence. However, when a driver is arrested and hit with drunk driving charges due to checkpoints and targeted enforcement, there is a chance that drivers who have a reasonable excuse for the situation will get caught up and charged. This is when it is essential to have a strong legal defense.

New York State took steps to enforce the laws against drinking and driving and other unsafe driving activities over Thanksgiving. This is something that will continue throughout the holiday season. In the campaign, law enforcement is seeking out drivers who are taking part in underage drunk driving, adult DWI, driving while distracted, and ignoring the laws stating drivers must move aside for emergency vehicles.

Upstate New York man faces allegations of gun possession and DUI

Many criminal allegations are not limited to one act, but several. If a person is accused of committing several illegal acts at once, it can lead to exponential long-term consequences. For example, a driver who is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence could have items or substances in the vehicle that he or she is not legally allowed to have and this can spark other charges. With any arrest, it is imperative to craft a strong criminal defense, but it is even more important when there are several charges lodged against the defendant.

A man was arrested for driving while intoxicated after he was stopped by law enforcement. The incident occurred at around 2 a.m. The man is alleged to have been speeding when he was pulled over. As the officer investigated, the driver was found to be under the influence. He was also in possession of a loaded handgun. As the man's record was examined, it was found that he was convicted of DWI previously and within the previous 10 years. That makes this latest charge a felony. He now faces three felonies - one for DWI and two related to the loaded gun with a large capacity magazine. He was also charged for speeding.

What if one is charged with driving while suspended or revoked?

Traffic violations in New York can lead to the loss of driving privileges. Those who are facing these penalties must be aware that they are not allowed to drive when their license is suspended or revoked. Doing so can result in significant penalties and even jail. With charges related to driving with a license that was suspended or revoked, it is essential to have legal help to lodge a defense. These charges will be referred to as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO).

If a person is charged with a misdemeanor AUO 3rd degree, the person was driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license. A conviction can result in a fine of $200 to $500, a surcharge, and potential jail time of up to 30 days or probation. AUO 2nd degree will be charged if the driver was operating the vehicle with a license that had been suspended or revoked in the previous 18 months after a conviction of AUO 3rd degree. There will be a minimum fine of $500, a surcharge, and imprisonment of up to 180 days or probation.

Traffic stop leads to multiple charges for drugs and weapons

People who are subject to a traffic stop in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York on suspicion of driving under the influence and committing traffic violations might find themselves facing other charges as well. If there are drugs in the vehicle at the time, the person will inevitably be arrested on drug crime charges on top of the charges related to the initial justification for the stop. With multiple offenses, there can be a litany of penalties if there is a conviction. That makes it vital to have legal help experienced in a broad array of criminal charges to formulate a defense.

A 50-year-old man was arrested on numerous charges related to drugs and weapons after his vehicle was stopped. According to law enforcement, the man was driving erratically and speeding. After stopping him, an investigation was conducted. He was found to have been drinking alcohol. He also had prescription drugs on him -- 61 grams of Oxycodone. They also found four daggers on his person. The man was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He also faces DWI charges.

Understanding the consequences of breath test refusals

When a New York driver is stopped by law enforcement and the officer suspects that the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence, a request will often be made for the driver to submit to a chemical test. Depending on the circumstances, this will involve a breathalyzer or a blood test.

Drivers might be under the mistaken impression that they have the right to refuse to take the test. This is a misinterpretation of their rights against self-incrimination. In fact, when a driver gets a driver's license, there is implied consent that the test will be taken at the request of law enforcement. Failure to acquiesce will result in a charge of breath test refusal.

Woman registers high blood alcohol content level in DWI arrest

When a person is arrested on drunk driving charges in the Hudson Valley, some of the most important pieces of evidence will be the blood alcohol content level and the field sobriety test. These are terms that most people will have a basic grasp of, but do not completely understand their importance and what they mean to the case, the arrest and prosecution. If a driver is arrested and charged with DWI, there are multiple strategies to construct a defense. Having legal help is one of the most important factors in seeking a satisfactory resolution.

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on multiple charges, including drunk driving. State troopers were called by several witnesses about a driver who was operating her vehicle erratically. It was reported that she had swerved across three lanes. When police stopped her, they stated that they smelled alcohol on her breath, she had glassy and bloodshot eyes, and she could not maintain her balance. She was tested at the police station and registered a BAC level of .41. This is five times the legal limit in the state. The woman was taken for medical treatment and faces several charges.

Are there different DWI penalties for commercial drivers?

In New York, being convicted of drunk driving carries a variety of penalties that can differ based on the circumstances. For those who drive commercial vehicles for a living and have a commercial driver's license, the criteria for a DWI charge and the penalties are harsher than for a person with a conventional license. Since a commercial driver's license suspension will negatively affect a person's ability to earn a living, it is important to understand the penalties he or she will face and formulate a strong defense against the charges.

A driver who has a Class A, B or C commercial driver's license is held to a different standard when blood-alcohol content (BAC) is measured during an investigation to determine if the driver is under the influence. In addition, there are more extensive penalties. Being convicted of driving under the influence for a driver on a conventional license will hinge on whether he or she is at or above .08 percent in their BAC. For a commercial driver, it is half that: .04 percent BAC.

What can spark penalties of license suspensions and revocations?

New York drivers confronted with a traffic violation and penalties might not realize that they can eventually have their license suspended or revoked. This can be a significant inconvenience. Knowing the difference between a definite suspension, an indefinite suspension and a revocation, and the reasons these penalties can be assessed, are integral to lodging a defense and getting one's license back.

When a driver's license is suspended, one cannot drive until that suspension ends. If it is definite, the driver will know the suspension's length. The driver is not legally allowed to drive until the suspension has ended. There will be a termination fee, and the driver's license will again be valid. A driver's license can be suspended for a defined period for a variety of reasons, including not having proper insurance, a conviction on drug or alcohol charges, numerous unpaid traffic tickets or failing to adhere to the rules for a junior driver.

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