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If you face a DUI or a DWI charge in the state of New York, you are probably worried about the penalties and the impact it may have on the rest of your life. You are probably scared of going to jail or prison, of losing your driver’s license, of having to have an interlock device on your vehicle and about the employment and insurance nightmare that an impaired driving conviction can cause. If you are like most people, you are probably overwhelmed by the complexity of New York’s DUI/DWI laws. You have every right to be afraid because you face a charge that can cause you hardship now, and affect the rest of your life. That is why it is so important to get an experienced DUI/DWI attorney immediately when you have been charge for driving under the influence. The consequences of not having legal council to advise you and protect your rights are serious.
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New York DWI Penalties: The punishments for drunk driving in New York are severe, but the right DUI/DWI lawyer can make the difference between being convicted or acquitted, between jail or no incarceration, or between a longer and shorter sentence.
In addition to jail time, a conviction also carries steep fines, alcohol classes, license revocations or suspensions and other serious consequences that a good lawyer will help you minimize through negotiation or eliminate through litigation. In addition to the statutorily prescribed criminal and civil license penalties, there are also “collateral consequences” of a New York DWI case that can affect your employment, professional licenses, immigration status and freedom of movement between countries, and auto, health, disability and life insurance rates.
The stakes are so high in a New York drunk driving case that you need the help of a professional drunk driving attorney.
New York DUI Process: Navigating the criminal court process can be daunting in any case, but is especially so in DUI cases. This is because, due to the high volume of charges that the courts and prosecutors must process, and due to the fact that a New York drunk driving charge is truly the “every-man’s” charge, prosecutors and judges may see your case as “routine” and less than serious unless you have a strong voice in the courtroom pointing out that this event and its outcome will have a lasting impact on your life and the lives of those you care about.
In addition to the criminal court process which will determine your guilt or innocence, as well as your sentence and terms of probation, you will also need to navigate the civil license and driving aspects of your NY DUI case. That means dealing with an even more crowded system: The New York DMV. You need a lawyer who regularly handles NY DUI licenses suspension issues, and knows how to navigate the system for you. This includes a working understanding of New York Implied Consent law, the New York administrative license suspension hearing process, and the law regarding ignition interlock devices in New York.
Were you given a chemical test for drugs or alcohol? New York DWI chemical testing is not foolproof. A good New York DUI attorney will be on top of all of the latest issues that might benefit your case. If you are not represented, or if you choose the wrong lawyer, you may never learn about scandals within police departments, evidence contamination issues, breath machine failures, missing, disciplined, injured or retired police officers, and many other things that could literally make the difference between your conviction and acquittal or dismissal.