New York City Leandra’s Law in Felony DWIs

The Leandra’s Law charge is an aggravated Driving While Intoxicated charge due to the presence of a child in the vehicle. Driving While Intoxicated with a child in the car – a child is defined as anyone under the age of 15, related or unrelated to the driver – is one of the two felony drunk driving charges in New York City. Additionally, even in situations when the child is a friend or family member of the driver and does not wish to press charges against the driver by virtue of that relationship, because of the mere presence of the child in the car, the prosecutor can still charge the driver with VTL 1992.2-a – even without the cooperation of the youth. Examples include when the arresting officer can testify that the passenger in the vehicle appeared to be less then 15 years old, such as in the case where a young child is present, the cooperation or testimony of this child is not even be needed by the state to prove their case. Additionally, the defendant caused an accident and medical attention was given to the youth-passenger, the child’s birthdate would already be at the prosecution’s disposal.

A Strict Liability Interpretation

Sometimes unfair relative results can occur due to Leandra’s Law: consider a situation where a drunk driver crashes his car into multiple other cars and assuming there are no serious injuries to other drivers, the most he can be charged with is a misdemeanor DWI. Meanwhile, a driver riding with a child in the car could be stopped at a routine checkpoint, and if the police believe there is are any common law indicia of intoxication, such as red watery eyes, that driver will be charged with a felony due to the age of the child.

Contact Our NYC DWI Lawyers You Can To Protect Your Rights

New York Driving While Intoxicated cases can have peculiar twists and turns and it is important that you have a New York City DWI drug attorney to help you navigate your way through the system. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman are very adept at dealing with the common issues that may arise in a felony Leandra’s Law case as well as all of the other subsections of the VTL 1192/1193 DWI charges and will fight to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome to avoid a major disruption in your life.

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