Penalties for Driving While Under the Influence
What is Driving While Addicted to Drugs?
The state of New York defines driving while addicted as driving while under the influence of a drug that impairs your ability to make sound judgement while driving. You can be charged with driving while under the influence even if the drugs are legal or prescription drugs. If you have ingested enough drugs to become a danger to yourself or other drivers, you can be charge with a crime.
Penalties for Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs
The penalties for driving while under the influence range from a $125 fine to seven years in prison. The penalties depend on a number of factors. The level of your impairment, the number of other offenses you have committed and the mitigating factors in the case will determine what sentence, if any, you may receive. If you have been convicted of DWI before, you may be charged with a felony, hit with a fine of up to $5,000 and spend four years behind bars. You may also have have your license suspended temporarily or revoked indefinitely.
Getting a conviction for DWI can preclude you from certain jobs, keep you out of certain business opportunities and even prevent you from living in certain neighborhoods. The DWI charge will follow you throughout your life and your career, so it pays to make sure you do not get convicted of this offense. Whether it is your first DWI or your third, you will need someone who will fight to keep you out of prison and back on the road to clean driving.
Defenses to Driving While Under the Influence
There are several defenses that you can use to challenge the charges against you. First, you can challenge the definition of “driving.” If you are simply sitting in your car, you can argue that you were not driving while under the influence. You can also argue that the officers did not have the right to arrest you. In some cases, you can argue that your behavior was not due to addiction to drugs or alcohol, but to legitimate illnesses or conditions. You can even argue that you were fatigued or distracted, but not under the influence while you were driving. These defenses are challenging, but a skilled attorney will understand all of the arguments available to you and find the right one to use in your case.
Alternatives to Prison and Diversions in DWI Cases
While the penalties to DWI can be severe, there are alternatives to the harshest punishments. Your attorney can ask the judge to sentence you to a drug rehabilitation program, community service or other alternative to prison time, even if this is not your first offense. In many cases, your attorney can present witnesses and evidence that will attest to your character and help to boost your case.
When your driving privileges, finances and liberty on the line, you need an aggressive team of attorneys who can help you to win your case. Don’t take chances with your life when it comes to defending this serious charge. Find the right attorney for your driving while under the influence case today.
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