Three Common DUI Questions
– What You Need to Know After A DUI
Getting pulled over for drunk driving in New York can be scary. For most people, this may be the first and only interaction they have ever had with police. Most impaired drivers are not hardened criminals who are used to be involved with the police; they are hard-working dads who hit the bar after work, soccer moms who had a few too many drinks at brunch, college students who let their youthful indiscretions get the better of them, and just about everyone in between.
At 888DUI.lawyer, we understand that getting charged with a DWI or DWAI does not make you a criminal, it just means the state is accusing you of a crime. To help you understand your options, we have compiled some of the more common questions that people have when they have been charged.
Should I Consent to a Breathalyzer?
This is a difficult question because no drunk driving defense attorney should ever advise you to break the law. By driving in New York, you already consented to giving a breath sample. It is called “implied consent.” On one hand, if you go ahead and give a sample and it is high, you just gave the police more evidence against you.
On the other hand, if you refuse, you are breaking the law and will be automatically relieved of your license. Plus, you can still be convicted of DWI or DWAI without a breathalyzer. Other things count as evidence, too, like the officer’s observations, field sobriety tests, dash cam footage, and so forth. Finally, your refusal can be used as evidence of your guilt. For these reasons, it is generally best not to refuse.
There is one limited exception. If you know that you are extremely intoxicated, you may be better off not giving a sample. Enhanced sentences make the penalties much more severe for those with very high BAC levels. You may still get a DWI, but perhaps your refusal of a breathalyzer will avoid the elevated sentencing. Again, however, it is not a guarantee.
What if I Had Kids in the Car?
This is a very serious offense. If you have children in the car when you are stopped for DWI, you could face stiff penalties. Under VTL 1192, New York law makes it an “E” felony to endanger children by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with them in the vehicle. You can face severe prison sentences for this, even if no one is injured. The rule is, if the child is 15 or younger and you are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs:
- First time offense: 4 years in prison, Class E felony
- Child in vehicle dies in a crash: 25 years in prison, Class B felony
- Serious injury to child in vehicle: 15 years in prison, Class C felony
Additionally, you will be reported to the statewide abuse registry. These are perhaps the most serious of all DWI and DWAI offenses in NY.
Should I Use a Public Defender?
Only you can decide what is best for you, but there are a few things to consider. First, most public defenders are excellent attorneys with years of experience. Plus, criminal defense is all they do. On the other hand, budget cuts, poor public funding, and serious inadequacies in staffing all combine to make their jobs very difficult. In a 2016 report, the Pew Charitable Trusts described public defenders in New York as having “crushing caseloads.” Likewise, as the report details, one state’s director of public defender services stated openly that they are often so “underfunded and understaffed” that they must tell their clients that they may have to sit in jail waiting their turn for representation.
By hiring a private Long Island DUI attorney, you ensure that your case will be given the attention it deserves. You also know that you are not going to be subject to some politician’s budget cuts. Finally, you have the ability to carefully choose the attorney who will represent you from start to finish, rather than letting bureaucrats decide for you.
Get Help Today From an Experienced Long Island DUI Lawyer
Time is of the essence when you have been charged with a crime, and DWI is a serious crime in NY. Call an experienced Long Island DWI attorney today to discuss your options. Dial 888-DUI-Lawyer now for real help and real advice. Free consultations, 24/7.