DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) arrests are on the rise across the nation. This is especially true in large cities like Chicago and New York where liberal policies have spurred an increase in traffic accidents and crimes that include DWI. Unfortunately, DWI can lead to a variety of problems for charged individuals. And unfortunately, some employers might even be forced to fire employees who are convicted of DUI because of insurance requirements, but there are some ways to challenge your DWI charges through court.
If you’ve been arrested and convicted of DWI, it’s extremely important to retain an attorney who deals specifically with DWI charges and can help you navigate the legal system and fight back. A DWI conviction can carry serious penalties such as license suspension, fines, community service, probation, and jail time. If your case is transferred to a judge, an experienced DWI lawyer will be able to fight for your freedom and can help you mount a good defense against any potential charges. In some states, the penalties for first-time DWI convictions can be increased or reduced by the judge based on your criminal history and the amount of alcohol consumed at the time of arrest. An experienced DWI attorney can also make sure that you don’t lose any rights offered by plea bargains entered into by your lawyers or prosecutors.
During your initial arrest, one of your DWI attorneys may advise you to take an ignition restraint test administered by a police officer. These tests are designed to determine the amount of alcohol that a person drinks while driving, and can prove useful in the fight against DWI charges, especially if the officer has no way of knowing how much the person has consumed. If the test is positive, the driver is likely to be charged with DWI regardless of how much they’ve consumed. Even if the arresting officer cannot find any alcohol in the driver’s blood, many states still consider anyone who tests positively over a certain limit as having been under the influence at the time of the arrest.
The penalties for DWI convictions can increase sharply if multiple drunk-driving convictions are added to one’s record. In addition to having their driver’s license suspended for up to six months, DWI charges can hit a driver with a large fine, which could make paying for auto insurance difficult or impossible. A conviction for DWI can also keep a person from getting hired for certain jobs, lower his/her credit score, and make it more difficult to rent an apartment or even get a new job. Fortunately, there are several ways that a skilled DWI lawyer can help you avoid DWI charges if you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated.
In some jurisdictions, a judge can require offenders to take a battery of field sobriety tests, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test and the Walk-and-Turn test. If a defendant doesn’t pass these tests, he may be required to undergo further tests, including the AEC exam, a chemical test known as the pee test, and a trip to the jail’s blood alcohol limit area. In serious cases, DWI charges can lead to life sentences without the possibility of parole.
As is the case with most crimes, drunken driving charges are considered very serious. Therefore, seeking the advice of an experienced DWI lawyer is advisable. Punishment for first-time offenders can range from community service to years in state prison. If you’ve been accused of this offense, contact a qualified New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn more about the penalties you face.