Differences in Case Evidence
In these cases, there is often a tremendous variation in the evidence used against you. For example, in a standard DUI that involves alcohol, blood alcohol levels can be easily measured using breathalyzer tests, blood analysis, or chemical tests. However, when a DUI charge involves drugs, obtaining evidence of impairment is not as easy. In fact, many cases simply rely on the testimony of the arresting officer, who may be making a judgement for which they are not qualified to do so. Because of this, a defense lawyer will carefully examine evidence, construct a counter-argument to the officer’s testimony, and argue for a reduction or dismissal of all charges against you.
DUI vs. DWAI
In New York, prosecutors handle DUI and DWAI cases in very different ways. For a DWAI case, which stands for Driving While Alcohol Impaired, the biggest difference is this is a traffic infraction, rather than a criminal offense. As a result, unless there are extenuating circumstances that could lead to additional charges, this will not result in a criminal record. However, a DUI charge that involves you having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher could have you being charged with a Class E felony. In addition, if you have prior DUI convictions, you could also face harsher penalties. Therefore, since a DWAI charge usually involves a combination of chemicals in your system as well as a BAC less than .08, your defense attorney from Raiser and Kenniff will have greater leverage to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Searching for Errors
In these cases, one of the most important jobs of your defense attorney will be to find errors in how the police and prosecutors obtained evidence against you. For example, in many cases it is determined the arresting officer did not follow proper arrest or search protocols, resulting in unreasonable search and seizure. On other occasions, even if an officer testifies they found evidence of drug impairment, that does not necessarily prove you were impaired at the moment you were arrested. Finally, if you were using legal prescriptions at the time, including medical marijuana, your defense attorney can argue the concentrations in your system at the time of the arrest were latent, meaning they had no bearing on your condition. Therefore, since officer testimony is often all that is left in these cases, your attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to see the charges dismissed or reduced.
Going to Trial
If your case goes to trial, this does not mean an automatic conviction. In fact, it can mean just the opposite. Since tremendous amounts of reasonable doubt are usually prevalent in these cases, prosecutors are very hesitant to take DWAI cases to trial. Not only are these cases not criminal matters, but they also have high rates of acquittal. In addition to this, since prosecutors already have very heavy caseloads, they are more willing to negotiate these cases in an effort to rid themselves of them as quickly as possible.
By working with a skilled defense attorney from Raiser and Kenniff who specializes in driving under the influence of drugs cases, you will have a much better chance of being able to move forward with your life without a criminal record. Not only will your attorney work hard to keep your case classified as a traffic violation, but they will also work with you to have your record expunged, making it appear as if the incident never happened. By doing so, you can avoid a criminal record, which could be crucial if you receive additional citations in the future.