Westchester County DUI Lawyer
A conviction for DUI in New York is a serious matter that results in a loss of driving privileges and can result in jail time. If you are facing a DUI charge, you may be feeling intimidated and scared of what may happen, and of the legal process as a whole.
Fortunately, Westchester County DUI lawyers can help. Whether a person’s goal is to come to a fair plea deal to avoid jail time and get back on the road, or they wish to fight the charges at trial, a knowledgeable criminal attorney can represent their needs throughout the entire process.
What is Considered a DUI Offense?
Although the concept of driving while under the influence is generally understood, many people do not realize is that there are many reasons that a person can be arrested beyond a simple blood/alcohol level violation. While having a BAC level above .08% counts as drunk driving, New York’s laws include other ways for a person to be charged, even if their BAC is never tested.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, states that a person is guilty of driving under the influence if:
- Their ability to drive is impaired due to alcohol consumption
- Driving while having a BAC of .08% or above
- Their ability to drive is impaired by the use of drugs
How is Impairment Determined?
As a Westchester County DUI lawyer knows, someone’s inability to drive to impairment is purely a judgment call made by the arresting officer and may be backed up by field sobriety tests. Someone’s BAC level can be established by breath, blood, or urine tests. The act of driving counts as consent to submit to these tests whenever a police officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication. A refusal to submit is a charge in and of itself. Even if the involved drugs are prescribed by a doctor, it is illegal to drive while under their effect if those drugs reduce a person’s ability to drive.
What are the Potential Consequences?
The penalties for a conviction can be enhanced to aggravated DUI under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 (2-a) if a defendant’s BAC is found to be at .18% or above. A conviction for a DUI can carry harsh consequences. The details of these consequences depend upon the driver’s age, the number of previous convictions, and if there were any aggravating factors present in the incident.
For a first-time offender for an alcohol DUI, the incident is considered a traffic violation and the following consequences may apply a fine of between $300 and $500 can be levied or a jail term of no more than 15 days may be imposed. If the DUI involves the use of drugs, the crime is upgraded to a misdemeanor with a fine of between $500 and $1000 and a jail term of up to one year.
Severe Penalties for DUI Offenses
The most serious accusations of driving under the influence involve vehicular assault, multiple prior convictions, or situations involving the presence of minors in the car. Here, the accusation is treated as a felony with serious consequences for conviction.
In addition to criminal penalties, the law also mandates that a driver’s license be suspended for no less than 90 days under the best case scenario. This time can be extended with the presence of aggravating factors.
Contact a Westchester County DUI Attorney
Any charge involving DUI is a serious matter that can have long-term consequences. Even if it is a person’s first offense, it is possible for them to be sentenced to a jail term, pay heavy fines, and have their license suspended. People who have prior convictions may be facing felony charges with mandated jail terms and the loss of license for many years.
Westchester County DUI lawyers are dedicated to defending individuals facing all sorts of DUI charges. Whether this is your first exposure to the criminal justice system or you are looking to avoid a subsequent conviction, contact us today to learn how we can defend your rights in court.