The state of New York is serious when it comes to prosecuting DUI cases. Penalties are harsh even for a first conviction, and subsequent convictions can result in significant jail terms and extended loss of driving privileges. No longer is a DUI citation just a seemingly low-level misdemeanor. Some instances can even be prosecuted as a felony after multiple arrests for what is now totally unacceptable behavior. This means that it is not only a legal requirement to have competent legal counsel representing the case, but it is also a major predicament that could impact the life of the defendant for many years to come. And, the attorney you select can make a major difference because the state typically only recognizes minimal legal defense rights for the defendant. You must have solid counsel from a New York DUI lawyer who will fight for your rights to a fair disposition of the case.
First Offense DUI
Those who have never been convicted of driving under the influence previously are not punished as severely as those with multiple offenses unless the case is egregious in some respect. A typical DUI conviction is usually the result of a blood-alcohol content level between .08 and .14 unless there are extenuating circumstances such as being involved in an accident while under the influence of any chemical. The threshold is even lower for those under 21 years of age or professional commercial drivers. Alcohol is also not the only chemical intoxicant that will justify a valid charge even when the only evidence is officer testimony. However, your New York DUI lawyer can question the charging officer and build a counter claim in many instances when reasonable doubt could be present.
Punishments will include:
Convictions for a second and third DUI conviction are even more stringent, both of which will result in significant jail terms along with increased fines and rehabilitation requirements. Automatic license suspensions increase from a six-month minimum to a one year minimum and fines can range up to $1000 dollars just as in a first DUI conviction, and even more for a third conviction. Felony charges can be applied for a fourth conviction, which will also result in an incarceration term in a state prison facility. Defendants in cases that include possession of drugs in addition to a DUI can also see multiple charges applied, which can also give the court ample reason to intensify the penalties for the actual charge of impaired driving. This can also be a material case factor for charges stemming from officer testimony that the driver was incoherent even though alcohol use is not apparent.
Refusing a Sobriety Test
Refusing a sobriety test may be a good decision on a first offense case, but the mere refusal is a criminal act that will result in an automatic six-month drivers license privilege suspension even when a conviction is not won by the state. The defendant could avoid a criminal DUI conviction, but penalties will still apply even in a plea bargained case dismissal in most instances. The only potential for avoiding the suspension is charge acquittal following a speedy trial when your New York DUI lawyer thinks they can beat the charge utilizing your full criminal defense rights application. For multiple offenders, the final result can be significantly worse than if they consent to testing.
Ignition Interlock Devices
According to DMV.org, interlock devices can be required in any DUI case based on a totality of circumstances or a particularly serious element of the case. These restrictions can also be included during times of probation or parole following a multiple offense conviction. All fees associated with the IID requirement are always the responsibility of the convicted defendant in addition to other financial impositions.
Contact a New York DUI Lawyer
It is never a good decision to accept a public advocate for a DUI defense when it can be avoided. Hiring a personal attorney like the legal professionals at Raiser & Kenniff PC means you can defend you case to the full extent of the law, which is especially important if the criminal conviction could impact the remainder of the your life. It is an investment in your future just as much your freedom.