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What NYC DWI Lawyers Should Be Discussing With You About Your Case.

Once you have been arrested for a crime in NYC most people will contact NYC criminal lawyers because of a concern of the impact that their case will have on their liberty and their livelihood. NYC DUI Lawyers should be able to give you somewhat of an expectation as to the possibilities of your avoiding having a criminal record, based on your case, and the possibility of exposure to serving any jail time, and how much time that might be.

While every individual case is different, NYC criminal lawyers should be able to extract from you the elements of your alleged criminal conduct that will factor into your exposure to having a criminal record and serving jail time. The right attorney should be able to discuss with you how to navigate a path to hopefully avoiding any criminal record, or jail time, or even getting your case dismissed or receiving a plea offer that will have you avoid any criminal record and lesson any possible punishment. Aaron Wallenstein is a top NYC criminal lawyer that can help you in achieving the best possible results for your case.

Your criminal attorney should also discuss with you how the county you are arrested in tends to prosecute your type of case. Different counties will handle cases differently and maybe harsher than other counties on different crimes in NYC. Some counties will offer to plea bargain on certain criminal charges will others will only allow you to plead to only the top charge.

Some counties may force you to waive speedy trial time and or “grand jury presentation time” in order to discuss a possible plea offer. Sometimes NYC criminal lawyers will voluntarily request the waiving of this time to discuss a possible plea bargain or present certain evidence to a prosecutor to attempt to clear an accused or to try to get a plea offer. NYC criminal attorneys should know if your arrest is a case that you should be waiving time to discuss a plea offer, or to present evidence tending to clear the accused, or in the contrary if your case is the type that you should force the prosecutor to move forward with a case to the next stage giving the prosecutor scant amount of time. Aaron Wallenstein is a top NYC criminal lawyer that practices in both State and Federal court in most NYC counties such as; Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Nassau, Westchester, Staten Island, Rockland and Suffolk.

Discuss Your Federal And State Drug Cases With Qualified and Skilled NYC Criminal Lawyers and Attorneys

Drug cases in NYC are prosecuted very harshly in both State and Federal Court. NYC DWI lawyers and attorneys will tell you that factors that will impact your case is whether your case is brought in Federal or State Court, whether you were arrested for selling or simply possessing the drug, the volume of drugs that you possessed or sold, and what type of drug are you accused of possessing or selling.
NY Criminal Lawyers should discuss with you what factors would deem your case appropriate for Federal or State Court.  Generally speaking drug cases filed in Federal Court would tend to have you facing harsher punishment, although that is not always the case. One of the main factors that would cause a drug case to be filed in Federal Court as opposed to State Court would be if the drugs were brought into this country from another country or if the drug was brought across state lines.  Usually a long term investigation spanning many years and many different locations with multiple co-defendant’s involved would be a case more typically brought into Federal Court. Typically Federal cases involve more wire tapping of telephones and surveillance video as evidence. State cases usually have more direct buys or observations by undercover police officers.  Search warrants are typical in both jurisdictions. Sometimes a case could commence in one jurisdiction and then could be switched to the other jurisdiction at another time. Sometimes both Federal Agents and State or City Police are investigating a NYC Drug case at the same time.  Be sure to discuss your drug case with a NYC criminal lawyer, such as Aaron Wallenstein, that appears in both Federal and State Court for criminal defense cases.
Continue to Drug Cases Page for the rest of the article

Recent Law Changes and Trends in DWI DUI Cases in NYC That Your criminal attorney in NYC Should Discuss with You

Leandra’s Law

A few years ago legislature in NYC made it a requirement that just about anyone arrested for a DWI DUI in NYC was required to undergo a screening or assessment for alcohol treatment within 5 days of their arrest whether or not they would ever be convicted of the crime. DUI lawyers were scrambling around quickly to get clients the best OASAS certified screeners for their clients. But that was nothing compared to the recent addition of law requiring anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DWI DUI (including first time offenders) in NYC to install an ignition interlock system into their car.
An ignition interlock is a device that requires a person to blow into a breathtesting machine to not only start their car but to continuously blow into said machine every so often to keep it running. The ignition interlock must be installed in any car owned or driven by a person who was convicted of a DWI DUI in NYC. NYC DWI DUI criminal attorneys had to explain to their clients that such a law meant that a person could never borrow a car from a friend or relative, could never rent a car or drive any car unless an ignition interlock were installed during the time period for which the court would require the installation of the ignition interlock. Most courts in NYC City are requiring instillation of the ignition interlock for six months or one year (but could be as high as 5 years). . .
Continue to DUI/DWI Page for the rest of the article

The Importance of a Having A Skilled & Experienced Criminal / DUI/DWI Lawyer Handle Your DUI Case in NYC

Criminal Record

An arrest for DWI in NYC has many ramifications. First of all you will be facing criminal charges and a potential criminal record, as a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated would give you at least a misdemeanor record and in some cases a felony. A criminal record would potentially put someone in danger of losing their job or prevent you from seeking future employment if a background check was done or if you’re faced with filling out an application and asked “if you have ever been convicted of a crime.”

Sentencing- Jail Time/ Probation/Fines/Program/ License Suspension or Revocation

With a conviction a mandatory sentence would follow. You could receive a sentence of a fine, a DWI program, and a license suspension or revocation or even jail time or probation. A fine can range anywhere from as low as $300 to as high as $10,000 in some cases. Your license could be suspended for 90 days or revoked for as long as 18 months. You could also receive a sentence ranging from no jail time to up to 7 years. The trend in NYC over the last couple of years has been the DA’s offices and courts getting much tougher on DWI cases. It would have been easy for me to say that most first time offenders without many aggravating factors would not have to aggressively fight to at the very least receive no jail time after a first DWI arrest. But nowadays some of the counties in NYC, especially Nassau County, you need to aggressively fight DWI charges just to avoid jail time even on a first arrest. That is why it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced DWI lawyer to handle your case. To maximize your potential in having your case dismissed or reduced to something without any record and mitigating your case to the lower end in the wide range of potential sentences. Aaron Wallenstein is a premier criminal lawyer who has had numerous DWI cases in NYC dismissed. Our law firm handles DWI Cases in most NYC Counties Such as Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Rockland, Westchester, Richmond, Nassau, and Suffolk. How your case is handled could be the difference between a dismissed case, or at the very least a reduced charge to something that would give you no criminal record, as opposed to having a criminal record. It could be the difference in having no penalty as opposed to serving jail time or paying a fine and doing a program. It could also mean the difference between having your driving privileges restored or having your driving privileges suspended or revoked for a longer period of time.

Forfeiture of Your Vehicle

A NYC DWI case will usually not only have criminal ramifications but also civil ramifications, such as the seizure of your car. Under the Giuliani administration, it was established that the State of NYC could seize your car as a civil penalty, just for being arrested for a DWI, since it was used as an “instrumentality of a crime”, much like cars or other assets seized from a drug dealer etc. The vehicle is then supposed to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the State of NYC. In most NYC DWI cases, where the accused is the registered owner of the car driven, the police officer will seize your vehicle and voucher it for forfeiture. Sometimes, when an officer is not as experienced, he will return the car accidentally to a family member. Sometimes the officer will seize the vehicle for forfeiture even where the accused is not the registered owner of the vehicle. Often, the arresting officer will give the accused not only a voucher for his car, but a pink sheet of paper for the motorist to fill out for a retention hearing, to attempt to get his car back. Often, without a NYC DWI lawyer the accused fills out the request for a retention hearing to get their car back. In just about every case requesting this hearing is the wrong move in getting your car back. An experienced NYC DWI lawyer will be able to get your car back for you in a timely fashion, with the least amount of hurdles, by dealing directly with the NYPD forfeiture unit and the DA’s office. In a recent article in the NYC Post (December 30, 2008, “Seize Matters: Cops Keep Majority of Crook Cars”) the author claimed “the NYPD has always had overwhelming success” in cases involving vehicles confiscated for crimes. The article claimed “just 52 of 3,488 vehicles were returned last year” to the person arrested. Aaron Wallenstein, an experienced and skilled NYC DWI / Criminal lawyer, has in every DWI case to date in NYC retrieved the arrested motorist’s vehicle.

Driver’s License / Privileges Suspended Pending Prosecution

In most situations an accused will have their driver’s license or privileges suspended by a judge as soon as they make their first appearance in court at arraignments. Specifically, if a motorist blows over a .08 BAC on a calibrated Intoxilizer 5000 breath machine, or refuses to blow into that machine at the police precinct when properly asked, a judge will suspend your driver’s license or privilege right away, even though your case has just started and you have not been found guilty of a crime. An experienced and skilled NYC Criminal / DWI lawyer knows that this does not necessarily have to be automatic if the DA’s office does not file in court the proper paperwork. An experienced and skilled NYC DWI lawyer also knows to request a refusal hearing from the arraignment part to be held within 15 days at the DMW on a refusal case. This is a good means to get your drivers license or privilege restored while the case is still pending, or at the very least this is a good forum to hear the arresting police officer testify early in the case before a DA can “help” him piece together the circumstances surrounding the arrest and prosecution. An experienced and skilled NYC DWI / Criminal lawyer will also help guide an accused get a pre-conditional driver’s license if he is suspended pending prosecution so they can drive for certain purposes, or a conditional license for after the case is finished if the motorist is suspended. Aaron Wallenstein is a premier NYC Criminal lawyerwho has had numerous DWI cases in NYC dismissed. He handles DWI Cases in most NYC Counties Such as Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Rockland, Westchester, Richmond, Nassau, and Suffolk.

Should I Go Tell My NYC DWI Attorneys To Go To Trial With My DWI DUI Case?

As DUI lawyers can tell you, people accused of a crime have different perspectives when they walk into our offices to retain our services. Most people who have been arrested and charged with a crime that retain our services as NYC criminal attorneys and lawyers will tell us from the outset that they want us to do our best to dispose of their case in the best possible fashion, usually in one of the outcomes that we described when they hired us as criminal attorneys.

What is the law for DUI?

If you have been charged with a DUI, then you might have questions about the laws surrounding this charge. These laws often vary from state to state for the fines that you have to pay as well as the time that you could spend in jail or the time that you are sentenced to spend on probation. An attorney can go to court with you to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed based on your criminal background and the nature of the DUI charge that you received.

Each state has a blood alcohol content limit of .08 percent. This means that if you take a breathalyzer test and have an alcohol content of this percentage or higher, then you can be arrested and charged with a DUI. If you’re a commercial driver, then you can be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content is at .04 percent. Drivers under the age of 21 are automatically charged with a DUI if there is any trace of alcohol or drugs because there is a zero-tolerance policy across the country.

If you are charged with a DUI, then it will usually be handled as a criminal offense. This is why it’s important to try to hire an attorney or request one who can be appointed to you by the court if you are unable to pay to hire one yourself. There are two ways to determine if you are driving under the influence. One is if a member of law enforcement can observe you driving in a manner that impacts how you’re driving on the road or how you’re driving is impacting other people. Another way is if an officer gives you a sobriety test or a blood alcohol test and clearly sees that you are intoxicated. Even if you don’t display any physical actions resulting from drinking, you can be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content registers as a .08 or greater. Some drivers think that this is also considered drunk driving. While you are usually considered drunk while you’re driving, you don’t have to physically be drunk to be charged with a DUI. You don’t have to be driving a car to be charged with the crime. Officers can charge you with a DUI if you are riding a bike or even walking on a public or city sidewalk or street.

A DUI conviction will usually result in your license being suspended. It is also considered as a criminal offense on your criminal background in most states. There is also the possibility of spending time in jail or spending time on probation. The final sentence will often be determined by the defenses that are used in court and the evidence that is presented against you by the prosecution. Your criminal background will also be taken into consideration. Most DUI charges are considered a misdemeanor. However, if you are involved in an accident that causes property damage or injuries to another person, then you can be charged with a felony DUI as well as other charges. If you have an accident while under the influence and someone is killed because of your actions, then you could spend several years or the rest of your life in prison. This would also be considered a felony.

If there are children in the car while you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then there is a possibility that your children will be placed in DSS custody or that a case will be opened against you so that someone can monitor the well-being of your children. While being charged with a DUI does not result in an automatic loss of your job, it will likely not play in your favor and will usually result in your termination.

Are DUI and DWI the Same Thing?

All states have their own laws covering impaired driving. The legal limit in every state is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08, but some states have different terms for impaired driving. You’ve probably heard the terms DUI and DWI, but you may be unsure of the exact difference between the two.

DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” or “driving while impaired.” Both terms are very similar, but they have slightly different meanings in some states.

DUI is the most common term used to refer to drunk or impaired driving. The majority of states only use the term DUI or use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably. Some states only use the term DWI to label impaired driving. In states that only use one term or use both terms interchangeably, DUI and DWI both refer to driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Blood Alcohol Content vs Behavior

Some states have both DUI and DWI laws but apply different definitions to both terms. In a few states, the term DWI is used when your BAC is over the legal limit, and the term DUI is used when you’re charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In other words, DWI refers only to your blood alcohol content, but DUI refers to your behavior.

For example, a man with a high alcohol tolerance drives home after a few drinks. He is rear-ended by another driver, and the police officer smells alcohol on his breath after arriving at the scene. The officer gives the man a field sobriety test, which he passes. Then, the officer gives him a blood alcohol test, which he fails. Even though he passes the field sobriety test and is not at fault for the accident, the man receives a DWI because his BAC is over the legal limit.

In another example, a man drives home after a few drinks and is stopped by a police officer for swerving between lanes. He struggles to walk in a straight line and stand on one foot during the field sobriety test, but his blood alcohol test reveals a BAC of .07. Even though his BAC is under the legal limit, the police officer gives him a DUI because his driving and behavior are impaired by alcohol.

In states that use this distinction between DUI and DWI, drunk drivers are often given both charges. However, prosecutors usually rely more heavily on DWI charges. Blood alcohol content is more objective proof of intoxication than a field sobriety test, which is up to the judgment of the police officer.

Other Definitions of DWI and DUI

Some states define DWI as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while DUI only refers to driving under the influence of alcohol. A few states have unique DWI and DUI definitions. For example, in Arkansas, DUI charges are given to those under the age of 21 who drive while impaired, and DWI charges are given to those who are 21 and older. In Maryland, the definitions are reversed. Impaired drivers under the age of 21 receive DWI charges, and impaired drivers who are 21 and older receive DUI charges.

OUI, OWI, and OVI

A few states don’t use the terms DUI or DWI at all. Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island use the term OUI, which stands for “operating under the influence.” This covers more than just driving the vehicle while impaired. In these states, you can be charged with OUI even if your vehicle is not running.

OWI, which stands for “operating while intoxicated” is used in Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Ohio uses the term OVI, which stands for “operating a vehicle while impaired.” All of these charges have similar criteria to DUI and DWI charges.

Penalties for DUI and DWI

Some states consider DWI and DUI to be separate offenses, but DWI is usually more serious. However, the penalties for DWI and DUI are the same in most states. The first offense is a misdemeanor, but you may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, and impoundment fees. Your license will likely be suspended, and you may face jail time.

Because different states have different definitions of DUI and DWI, it’s important to research the laws and charges in your own state. If you’ve been charged, you should contact a DUI or DWI lawyer right away to minimize your penalty.

What is the difference between DUI and DWI?

There are some important distinctions between DUI and DWI depending on the state in which you are charged with an offense. In some states, DUI refers to driving under the influence while DWI means driving while intoxicated. Sometimes, DWI means driving while impaired. When states use both terms, DUI is usually a lesser offense. However, some states use DUI to refer to impairment caused by drugs while DWI refers to intoxicated driving.

Each state has its own laws about driving and uses its own terminology. In Texas, DUI refers to a minor driving under the influence while DWI refers to adults caught driving drunk. [1]

Other Acronyms Complicate Driving Laws

In Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island, you might be charged with OUI or OWI, which mean “operating under the influence” and “operating while intoxicated” respectively. Using the operating distinction means that you don’t have to be driving to be charged with a crime. If the motor is running or the keys are in the ignition, you could be charged. [2]

Many states are expanding the definition of operating a vehicle because drunk or drugged drivers can pull over and sleep it off with impunity under strict definitions of driving. Although many police officers recommend this practice when people realize that they’re too drunk to drive, in some states you can be charged with operating the vehicle if the engine is running or the keys are in the ignition. [3]

Common Rules of Intoxication and Impairment

In some states, DUI and DWI are just synonyms regardless of the actual meaning of the words. In certain states, a blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 percent will convict you of a DUI or DWI regardless of whether you seem impaired to the officer. This is called a per se offense, and a conviction is automatic.

In Canada and the United Kingdom, they often use the term “drink driving” because any amount of alcohol is considered a danger. In 30 states, state governments have established lower BAC limits for young, inexperienced drivers. [4]

Zero Tolerance

More and more states are passing zero tolerance laws that make no distinction between DUI and DWI. Any BAC over the legal limit is a crime, and a conviction is mandatory. In these states, DUI usually refers to impairment caused by drugs or under the influence of drugs. That’s why it’s important to consult a lawyer who is authorized to practice in the state where you’re charged with a drug- or alcohol-related driving offense. An experienced attorney might find ways to avoid conviction.

The facts of your case are critical, and so are the charges and state where you’re charged. An experienced attorney can review the facts. If you were given a field sobriety test, you might have failed due to extenuating circumstances, poor environmental conditions or bad judgment of the arresting officer. Your case could be thrown out if the arresting officer didn’t have probable cause to stop your vehicle. Regardless of your defense strategy, it is always important to remain courteous during court proceedings.

Representing yourself in a DUI or DWI case is a risky decision because the charges could involve jail time, restrictions of your rights to drive and big fines. Each state’s laws are different, so you need an expert on local law and conditions that could lead to a lesser offense or judgment in your favor. The consequences of conviction could include prison sentences, fines, court costs, mandatory alcohol or drug education classes, treatment for addiction, loss of your job and suspension of your license. You could miss days of work because you’re required to perform community service. You might be ordered to install an interlock device on your vehicle that requires you to breathe into it before you can start your car. Representation is critical to get the best possible deal when you’re facing a DUI or DWI.

Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI?

You are driving along the road at night when you notice the flashing lights in your rearview mirror; the police are pulling you over. After a short interaction, the police decide you are under the influence of alcohol and arrest you.

If you have found yourself in a similar situation and want the best possible outcome, you are likely wondering if getting a DUI means your license will be suspended. The short answer is that you will probably lose your driver’s license for a while unless you know what steps to take. This guide will give you an overview of what you can expect after a DUI stop and let you move forward with confidence.

The Citation and 10-Day Permit

The second the police issue a DUI citation, they will take your driver’s license and hold it until the court makes a formal decision. Reading the fine print on your DUI citation reveals that it also acts as a 10-day driving permit. Unless you take action and request a hearing within those 10 days, you will likely face a license suspension for 6 to 12 months. If you don’t already have a lawyer at this point, getting one is wise if you would like to enhance your odds of success.

Review Hearing

If you file for a review hearing, you will go in front of a judge and appeal your license suspension. You can mention mitigating factors or other things that might get the judge to see the situation from your point of view. Even if you don’t get to keep your full driving privileges, you still have a chance of getting a restricted license that allows you to travel to and from work or your place of business.

Some people study the law and try approaching the situation alone to save money, but that is not a smart move. No matter how much you research, you can never replace the skill of an experienced DUI defense attorney. The attorney you hire will go to your hearing and give you the best shot at keeping your driving privileges.

Plea Bargaining

If you have never faced criminal charges in the past, you are probably confused and unsure of what you can expect as your case unfolds. The prosecutor might approach you and offer a plea deal to avoid going to trial, but you need to keep a few facts in mind before you accept the deal. Accepting a deal that still requires you to lose your license is rarely a good call unless you can gain other significant advantages, such as reduced fines or no jail time.

You might get the chance to plea to an offense that allows you to retain your driving privileges. Never accept a plea deal until you speak with a lawyer and understand the strength of your case.

Going to Trial

If the prosecutor does not offer a deal that lets you keep your license, you can take your fight to a jury. You need to keep several facts in mind if you choose this path and don’t want to make a mistake. The prosecutor must prove beyond all doubt that you are guilty of the DUI charge.

The problem, though, is that juries are often unpredictable because they will bring their own biases and preconceived notions to the table. While some jurors will do their best to stay objective and to view the facts with an open mind, a few might form an opinion based on emotion before listening to your side. When you want to choose the best path for your situation, seek the advice of a talented DUI defense attorney.

Final Thoughts

By default, you will lose your license if the police charge you with a DUI, but you have a 10-day window to contest the suspension. If you request and win your hearing, you could maintain your right to drive to work so that you can generate income and avoid losing your job.

You might not get the results you want at your hearing, but you are not out of luck yet. Your DUI attorney can review the details of your case and work with the prosecutor to get a deal that won’t result in a license suspension. If you don’t like the terms of the agreement, your lawyer will fight for your rights in the courtroom and give you the best shot at achieving a fair outcome.

What happens when you get a DUI for the first time?

After drinking an alcoholic beverage or taking a drug that alters your perception and getting behind the wheel of a car, there is a possibility that you will get pulled over and be charged with driving under the influence. This is also known as a DUI. Among fear and confusion, there are a few things that will happen when you get a DUI for the first time. If you don’t have a lengthy criminal background history or you’ve never been in trouble at all, then the consequences likely won’t be as severe as they would be if you have several past charges.

When you’re stopped by a law enforcement officer who suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, a sobriety test, or both. If you fail these tests, then the officer will likely arrest you for driving under the influence. The officer will then take you to the police department where you will be booked. At this time, you have the opportunity to make a phone call to someone who can try to bond you out of jail or who can talk to a bondsman or an attorney to try to get you out of jail. You will also be taken in front of a magistrate or judge who will let you know how much your bail amount will be or if you can get out of jail by signing a document promising to appear in court on a designated date.

It’s often best to hire an attorney or request a court-appointed attorney if you are unable to afford one. The prosecution will present the evidence against you when you go to court. However, your attorney can offer one of many defenses to try to keep you out of jail, try to get the charges dismissed, or try to get the charges reduced so that the punishment isn’t as severe.

One of the consequences that you will likely face is losing your license. The length of time is determined by the severity of the charge and your past history. However, you can apply for a restricted license if you have to drive to work or if you are the only person in your immediate household who drives. You will usually only be able to drive during certain times of the day in order to get back and forth to work or essential appointments. A device is placed on your ignition that will lock you out from driving except during the periods of time when you have to get back and forth to certain locations.

Expect to pay fines after getting a DUI. You will also have to pay attorney fees if you choose to hire your own attorney. A court-appointed attorney also has fees, but they are usually minimal and often incorporated into the other fees that you have to pay to the court. There is a possibility that you will spend time in jail. This is not an automatic sentence but is an option if you have prior DUI charges or if you have been arrested in the past for drinking or drug charges. If you don’t spend time in jail, then you will usually have to spend time on probation. This means that you have to meet with a probation officer and submit to drug tests to ensure that you don’t drink or use drugs during the time you’re on probation. Your insurance rate will likely increase, and you’ll also receive points on your license. Some courts require you to attend drug and alcohol counseling or classes for a certain length of time so that you grasp the severity of driving under the influence.

If the police have recently charged you with a DUI, you are likely wondering if you can do anything to get the charges dropped. Having a DUI on your driving record can create a lot of problems for the rest of your life because employers and other people will be able to see it.

Getting a DUI also subjects you to a range of legal penalties that can make things difficult. Learning about the law and how it requires the police to handle evidence is a good step in the right direction when your goal is to avoid your charges. No matter the outcome, knowing about the penalties you could face and why you should contact a lawyer is always important.

Legal Penalties

Taking a quick look at the legal penalties you could face is a wise move that will help you decide what to do. Depending on your location and background, you could face fines, jail time and a license suspension if a jury convicts you of a DUI. The way the judge handles your case depends on the number of infractions you have faced in the past and several other factors of which you might not be aware. Whether you are only facing fines or something much worse, getting your charges dropped is always your best path, but it won’t always be easy. The Initial Stop

Before the police can pull you over, they have to meet certain requirements for the stop to be legal. The first one is that the police must have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime or traffic violation. For example, they can pull you over if you cross the center line or drive at unusual speeds for the road conditions.

In many areas, the police can set up checkpoints and stop each driver going down a particular road. If the police did not have reasonable suspicion or mishandled a checkpoint, a defense lawyer can file a motion to dismiss your charges. The judge must agree with the assessment before granting the motion.

Understanding Your Rights

Understanding your rights is one of the top ways to protect yourself from a wrongful conviction. Police officers often stop vehicles with the goal of finding a reason to make an arrest, so keep that in mind with each decision you make. Police officers ask questions to find evidence of a crime in the words you choose or the way you speak.

To minimize your odds of getting arrested in the first place, only answer questions to which the law requires you to respond. All of the information the officer needs is on your driver’s license, insurance card and registration. Politely decline to answer other questions. No matter how seemingly insignificant, everything you say makes it a little harder to dismiss the charges.

How Police Decide to Make a DUI Arrest

Most people think you have to be over the legal limit to get a DUI charge, but that is not the case. Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.8 percent or higher is a good way to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Even if your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, an officer can still make an arrest if he believes you are impaired. A defense lawyer can try to point out mistakes the officer made during the stop or factors that could have made it hard for anyone to pass the roadside test.

The Simple Answer

The simple answer is that getting a DUI dropped is possible but not likely. Even if you have a range of factors on your side, the judge and prosecutor will likely push the charges as far as they can. Prosecutors like to keep their win rate up, so they won’t want a trial if they have a decent chance of losing. In these situations, they will try offering a plea bargain to avoid going to trial and facing the uncertainty.

Also, remember that the police can and will lie to you about the amount of evidence they have to use against you at trial. You won’t know the true strength of their case until the discovery process. During discovery, the defense and prosecution put their cards on the table, revealing all evidence that will come to light at trial. Only an experienced DUI lawyer can tell you what path makes the most sense for your situation. The right defense attorney will review each detail of your case and give you the best possible results.

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