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To Fight Or Not To Fight DUI/DWI Charges — That Is The Question

Many facing DUI/DWI charges in New York feel that there is no point in fighting the charges that have been brought against them. They generally come to believe this after consulting with an attorney, where they realize that their naïve interaction with the police might have placed them in deeper legal jeopardy.

For example, admitting to having consumed even a single alcoholic beverage often validates an officer’s claim of detecting the odor of alcohol. Similarly, the results of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) administered by the officer at the scene can contribute to a perceived lack of a meaningful defense.

On the other hand, some adamantly believe they were unlawfully arrested. This certainty is grounded in various reasons, some valid and others irrelevant or incorrect. A common reasoning I hear people cite is the failure of the arresting officer to read them their Miranda rights until arriving at the police station, believing it nullifies everything else that transpired during the interaction – from verbal admissions to performance on SFSTs and PBT results (Preliminary Breath Test). Others say, “Well, I wasn’t drunk, drunk…” giving a subtle comparison to past experiences when they knew they were undoubtedly drunk. To them, not reaching that level of impairment rises to a point of contention.

With all this in mind, when I sit down with someone charged with DUI/DWI in New York for the first time, my primary focus is on creating an environment where the individual feels heard and understood. Recognizing the mix of emotions they may be experiencing, including fear, anger, and uncertainty, I begin by encouraging and allowing them to speak freely and extensively. I don’t put many, if any, constraints on this, hoping they open up about themselves as much as possible. This serves a therapeutic purpose in a sense, giving them the space to express their thoughts and emotions.

Before delving into the specifics of the incident leading to their arrest, I seek foundational and fundamental information about their life. I want to understand who they are outside of the charge and ask questions about family, marital status, and whether they have children to gain insight into their personal context. Details surrounding their employment status are crucial as well, especially if their job involves driving or if they use a company vehicle. Additionally, professional licenses, such as those for doctors, pharmacists, teachers, or law enforcement officers, can be significantly impacted if a conviction is found later down the road.

What’s more, understanding a person’s citizenship or immigration status is an especially important aspect of DUI/DWI cases. The legal implications for non-citizens can be profound, and the consequences extend well beyond the immediate arrest or conviction, particularly if they are the primary breadwinner for their family. For some, an arrest may disrupt or delay obtaining citizenship for those pursuing it, impacting their long-term goals and aspirations in this country.

In extreme circumstances, especially when the DUI/DWI case involves more serious elements, such as injuries to a third party, those charged may find themselves at risk of federal removal proceedings. This adds an additional layer of complexity to their legal situation, potentially leading to serious consequences that go beyond the immediate criminal charges.

By gathering this fundamental background information, I aim to uncover potential collateral consequences and broader considerations tied to their specific situation. This approach helps me tailor my legal strategy to address not only the immediate charges but also the potential ripple effects on various aspects of their life as I help them weigh their options moving forward.

For more information on Pleading Guilty To DUI Charges In New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 533-0265 today.

Randall Inniss, Esq.

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