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Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

New York has enacted harsh penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, which now includes Leandra’s Law.

Most people who face a DWI charge under VTL 1192 have no criminal history. Rather, they are ordinary citizens caught in a bad situation. Unfortunately, any of the DWI charges under VTL 1192 can result in criminal and civil penalties that can affect the rest of a person’s life. All DWI convictions under VTL 1192 will result in a criminal record, which anyone can find on a smartphone! (New York does not allow expungement). A conviction can effect a person’s driving privileges, employment, and reputation.

Police Chiefs and District Attorneys have pledged a zero tolerance approach to DWI cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. These policies have increased the number of arrests and the severity of sentences. Also, DWI cases provide the government and private corporations with huge amounts of cash from fines, fees, surcharges, penalties, vehicle auctions, interlock maintenance fees, and other costs that result from a DWI sentence. Every few years, as a result of lobbying from interest groups, the charges and the sentences for VTL 1192 offenses grow harsher.

As a result, a number of lawyers have tried to tap into the DWI Defense Market. Yet, many of these lawyers run general practices that do not focus upon criminal and DWI defense. Not all DWI attorneys are created equally. The best DWI attorneys must master a complex blend of science, legal procedure, and strategy for ensuring that a client receives the best outcome in this increasingly aggressive area of the law. An inexperienced DWI lawyer, or a lawyer who primarily practices some other type of law, will waste your time and money.

DWI Attorney - New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx

I often ask clients a simple question: would you hire a brain surgeon to do your taxes? After all, a person must be smart to become a brain surgeon. So wouldn’t you trust this smart person with your taxes?

Sometimes, a client will look confused until I explain what I mean. A “general practice” attorney who takes a few DWI clients on the side may competently practice other areas of the law. But unless this attorney understands every angle of the criminal courts and the intricacies of winning a DWI case, he will not provide an effective DWI defense. Why pay for a talented “general practice” attorney when you can pay for an expert in DWI defense?

So I ask again: would you hire a brain surgeon to do your taxes? Of course not! You would hire an experienced accountant. And you would hire a DWI attorney to win your DWI case.

Unfortunately, a DWI defendant with no prior criminal record can get caught in our increasingly harsh criminal justice system. Right away, he will need an effective lawyer to prove that the police made a mistake with stopping the car, with the arrest, and with the breath test.

A Winning DWI Defense

Because the stakes are high, most people do not want to roll the dice on a public defender. A bad plea bargain can cost upward of $10,000 in fines, penalties, surcharges, costs, program and administration fees, and higher insurance rates—and the Department of Motor Vehicles still will suspend a person’s license.

Second and Third Offense. The penalties increase for each offense within a ten-year period. The fines increase dramatically, and the driver will risk four years in prison for a second offense and seven years in prison for a third offense.

Leandra’s Law. A driver will face enhanced penalties under Leandra’s Law if a minor was riding in the car. This driver will need an attorney with Family Court experience to protect the client from Child Protective Services or other government agencies. The government will try to issue an Order of Protection to keep the driver away from a child, and ACS/CPS will open an investigation into the home.

A person facing a Leandra’s Law charge needs an effective defense because many District Attorneys have established policies that prohibit plea-bargaining for less-included offenses. Unless the attorney can find a flaw in the evidence or negotiate a special deal, many defendants face only two options: 1) fight the case at trial or 2) accept a guilty plea and a prison sentence.

I have won a variety of DWI cases in some of the harshest jurisdictions. I know the prosecutor’s supervisors, i.e. the people who can override normal office policy, and I am one of a small percentage of defense attorneys to negotiate non-criminal dispositions in Leandra’s Law cases.

Aggravated DWI. Instead of risking a felony prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, the smart move is to hire the best DWI attorney! An effective attorney scrutinizes every detail of an arrest because one procedural mistake can get the case dismissed. An effective attorney knows how to argue against the reliability of the breath test, the blood test, and police stop.

Do not gamble on a second-rate defense. Contact the Law Office of Adam Bevelacqua at (917) 656 - 7076 or bevelacqualaw@gmail.com and speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately.