Being charged with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is a nerve-wracking experience, and with good reason. Penalties for intoxicated driving in New York can be extremely severe, not only in terms of the fines, jail time, and license suspension, but also the effects upon your reputation, employability, and your ability to take advantage of different opportunities in life. For example, a conviction may bar you from joining the military, or prevent you from obtaining a college loan. Fortunately, there are many ways to fight a drunk driving charge in New York. In some cases, it may even be possible to have the charges dropped altogether. Our Queens DWI lawyers explain six legal strategies to beat a DUI charge in New York City.
6 Legal Strategies to Beat a DWI Charge in New York
Every intoxicated driving case is different, and not all of the following defense strategies will be applicable in every situation. Your case must be analyzed by a New York DWI attorney to determine what sort of angle your case is best approached from. That being said, the following list shows six examples of different ways to fight DUI charges in New York.
- Challenging field sobriety tests. Despite the existence of “standardized” field sobriety tests (SFST), such as the walk-and-turn test, the results are anything but standard. There are numerous issues that can cause a sober driver to perform poorly, or cause an officer to misinterpret the results of the test, including but not limited to restrictive clothing, shoes that are difficult to walk in, physical illness, poor weather, and even simple clumsiness.
- Challenging breathalyzer tests. Like field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests often return inaccurate results due to issues such as improper maintenance or use of the equipment, equipment defects and malfunctions, and interference with test results caused by prescription medications, mouthwash, and other household products.
- Challenging blood tests. Blood tests are subject to many of the same vulnerabilities and shortcomings as breathalyzer tests. Depending on the situation, a skilled New York DUI lawyer can work to show that your blood test was incorrectly performed, was performed using faulty equipment, or that there were breakdowns in the chain of custody after the blood sample was obtained and placed into storage.
- Challenging failures to read the Miranda Warning. The Miranda Warning is the familiar speech that says, “You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.” Police officers must read you the Miranda Warning if (1) you are in police custody and (2) the police intend to interrogate you and use your responses as trial evidence. Your Flushing defense attorney may be able to have key evidence thrown out by, where applicable, challenging the officer’s failure to read you the Miranda Warning.
- Challenging the officer’s suspicion of intoxication. Police officers are not infallible, and sometimes, mistakes are made when judging a driver to be intoxicated. Certain medical conditions and/or side effects of medications can cause effects that mimic the classic signs of intoxication, which can cause a police officer to believe that a driver has been drinking when they are actually sober.
- Challenging the legality of the DWI stop itself. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, such as observing erratic driving (e.g. weaving between lanes, changing speeds for no reason). Your Bayside defense lawyer may be able to have evidence thrown out if you were pulled over in an illegal, baseless stop.
New York DUI Defense Lawyers Serving Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan
The New York DWI sentencing guidelines provide harsh penalties for drivers convicted of drugged and drunk driving. If you’ve been charged with this offense, you need aggressive legal representation right away.
The Brooklyn DUI attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw have more than 30 years of combined experience representing drivers charged with driving under the influence in New York City, including Queens, Manhattan, and more. Representing defendants who were arrested for DWI in Astoria, Bayside, Battery Park City, Bensonhurst, Bushwick, Chelsea, Clinton, Coney Island, Elmhurst, Flatbush, Flushing, Jamaica, Kensington, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Williamsburg, and many other neighborhoods, we handle a wide array of DWI-related charges, including:
- Aggravated DWI
- Breathalyzer Refusal
- DWAI (Driving While Ability-Impaired)
- DWI with Child Passengers (Leandra’s Law)
- DWI with Controlled Substances
- DWI with Injury/Death
- First Offense DWI
- Ignition Interlock Violations
- Multiple DWIs
- Open Container Violations
If you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving or drugged driving in New York City, the criminal attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw can fight to have the charges dropped or reduced. To talk about your case in a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Sullivan & Galleshaw at (800) 730-0135 right away.