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Hudson Valley Criminal Defense Law Blog

Penalties for driving under the influence in New York

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal, and it can bring serious penalties in New York. State laws deal harshly with individuals convicted of this type of crime, and penalties can range from everything from a steep fine to time behind bars. If you are facing a DWI charge, you will want to know what you are up against and how you can protect your interests.

The specific penalties you are facing will depend on things such as your criminal history, your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest and other factors. An assessment of your case can help you see what a conviction could bring to your life and how you can fight back. The first step in a strong DWI defense is an understanding of the nature and potential consequences associated with the charges against you.

You were arrested for DUI. What happens now?

If you are like others here in New York, an arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence is your only interaction with the criminal justice system as a defendant. For this reason, you have little to no idea what to expect when you get out of the back of that police car.

Fear of the unknown could cause you to make bad choices or mistakes when it comes to challenging a DUI charge. Accepting your fate and pleading guilty, or not having the proper representation and ending up with a conviction on your record, could affect your future for a long time. Starting with gaining an understanding of the broad outline of what happens next could alleviate some of your anxiety and help you make better choices.

Is license suspension or revocation really that bad?

You and many other New York residents rely on your driver's license. You may need to drive to work or carry out a number of other daily activities that put you behind the wheel. As a result, when a police officer pulled you over, you may have begun to worry about your driving abilities.

If the officer suspected that you had been drinking and driving, concern over your driver's license is understandable. Under state law, your license could face suspension or even revocation for a variety of reasons, including DWI. Of course, when facing this possibility, you may want to know the difference between having a suspended license and a revoked license.

Harsh penalties for failing to stop for school buses

In a matter of days, New York schools will open their doors, and teachers and students will settle into another year of discovery and learning. Your children may already be expressing excitement or dread over the new year, and you are preparing for those first chaotic mornings as you jump back into your routine.

You are certain to have many mornings when things do not go smoothly, and you find yourself rushing out the door, late for work again. The last thing you need is to get stuck behind a school bus that seems to stop at every block to pick up kids. However, think carefully before you attempt to pass that bus. You may face consequences that go beyond a traffic ticket.

When can police make an arrest for drunk driving?

Facing criminal charges related to drunk driving in New York can be discouraging and overwhelming, even if it is your first offense. You understand that it's important to fight for your future by fighting the charges against you, but where should you start? How can you protect your rights?

One of the most important elements of protecting your rights is knowing your rights and how the DWI process works. If law enforcement violated your rights or there were other problems with your DWI arrest, you can challenge the case against you. An evaluation of your case can help you understand what defense options are available to you and how you should move forward.

Here’s what ALL drivers should know about AUO charges

When you receive your driver’s license in any state, you are granted a privilege that may be revoked should you violate the law. The type of law you violate, and your driving history may affect the consequences associated with your charges. For example, in New York, a driver found guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident, driving under the influence, and even failing to pay child support may get their drivers’ license suspended or revoked.

Anyone caught driving with a suspended or revoked license may be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). There are three degrees of penalties associated with an AUO. Here is what you need to know:

Man found with the drug Khat during traffic stop

When law enforcement in Upstate New York sees a vehicle that has committed traffic violations, a traffic stop will be made. As they investigate, it is not uncommon that the officers will see a driver or others in the vehicle who are behaving suspiciously or there is a smell of drugs coming from the vehicle. This will spark a search. If drugs are found, an arrest will be made. Although these allegations can be serious depending on the drugs that were allegedly found, the amount and other circumstances, there are still avenues of defense that can be effective and a law firm that is experienced in providing drug defense can help.

A 41-year-old man was arrested after the drug Khat was found in his vehicle after a traffic stop. The incident began at approximately 1:20 a.m. when troopers spotted the vehicle having committed traffic violations. They spoke to the driver and claimed to have established probable cause to conduct a search. During the search, they found more than 100 grams of Khat. Khat is a Schedule I drug. It is a stimulant that is found in Africa. The man was arrested and faces fourth-degree possession. It is a felony. He is also facing violations related to traffic incidents and issues with his vehicle.

Man faces multiple offenses for DWI after stop, low-speed chase

Being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in New York can result in short and long-term problems that can negatively affect a person's life. Often, the person will make the mistake of compounding a traffic stop and DWI investigation by deciding to flee law enforcement. This can set the stage for worse penalties, if there is a conviction.

Recently, a man who allegedly passed-out behind the wheel of his car with his foot on the brake was arrested. The man, 26, was sitting in traffic, and he was slumped over the steering wheel. Officers knocked on the window to wake the man. After several tries, he woke up, and saw the officers. He then refused to comply with commands and tried to leave.

What penalties accompany problem driver restrictions in New York?

Drivers here are expected to adhere to the traffic laws when they are on the road. That includes the basics, like staying within the posted speed limit, not making reckless or negligent actions and driving while sober. However, mistakes happen, and people can face allegations that they have committed traffic violations. Whether they are guilty or not, it is imperative to understand the various penalties that can be assessed should there be a conviction. For some, a problem driver restriction can be placed on the person's driver license.

When there is a problem driver restriction, the person will only be allowed to drive in the following circumstances: when he or she is going to and from their place of employment; while they are within their hours of employment, if driving is part of the job; to go to and from medical appointments for the individual and a member of the household; to go to and from a motor vehicle office for issues regarding the license; to go to and from a daycare or school of the child's attendance is required for the person to stay employed; and to go to and from a school, university or other educational entity where the person is enrolled.

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James M. Wagman, Attorney at Law

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