What Issues Would I Face In Trying To Handle My DWI Case On My Own?
In New York when a defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the court requires them to have legal counsel. In the local court setting there is virtually no chance of a motorist defending a DWI by themselves. A defendant motorist appearing before any local court, city court or county court in New York State is going to be required to have a lawyer. Either the motorist will retain their own counsel. Or, they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them. In that instance the court will conduct a financial analysis of the defendant’s situation and if appropriate, indigent counsel may be assigned. If a defendant does not qualify for indigent counsel, they will be told to come back with their own attorney usually in a week or two.
If a motorist decides they’re going to try to handle it and appear at the arraignment (first appearance) on their own they’re in for some disappointment because the court is probably going to suspend their license on the spot and tell them they have to come back with an attorney in a couple of weeks. Now the problem is that if they’re suspended at their arraignment, they can’t drive for at least 30 days and the defense attorney can’t resurrect that hardship license opportunity two weeks later because the hearing had to be performed within a few days of the arraignment. Advice – retain counsel earlier than later.
If the accused brings experienced counsel, we know what to look for in the documentation on the spot. We will be able to tell whether the court may suspend or not or whether a motion to dismiss would be appropriate, for instance if there is some glaring deficiency in the accusatory instrument or supporting documentation. Most of the time the accusatory instrument is at least sufficient and counsel enters the preliminary pleas and gathers up the mandatory documents making sure that there is the proper paperwork for a suspension of the motorist’s driver’s license. The court is obliged to suspend if there is a 0.08% or greater BAC result, they are required to have a certified copy of the breathalyzer test in its possession prior to suspending a person’s driving privilege. They must be suspended if there’s a refusal to take a chemical test.
Our Constitutions require a hearing whenever there is a forfeiture. So, when a court suspends the defendant’s license there should be a corresponding hearing. There is an opportunity in court to present sufficient evidence to get a very limited driving privilege called a “hardship privilege” to allow a motorist to continue their employment, driving from home to work and work to home but not at all outside of that route. After 30 days a motorist can go directly to the DMV and if they otherwise don’t qualify for a license, can get a conditional license which is much broader than the hardship privilege. This conditional license allows a motorist to drive for work related purposes, to obtain medical care for themselves or their immediate family, and for schooling. That is much more helpful to the defendant than just from home to work and back again.
Later, when the case is concluded favorably and the motorist may drive again, there are post-conviction licenses or conditional licenses with their own restrictions as part of their conditional discharge.
What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling DWI And Other Traffic Related Offenses?
I love the feeling and knowledge of successfully helping someone who trusted me enough to hire me to help them when there are so many lawyers out there. That trust puts wind in my sails and I just cannot disappoint them or the friend or loved one who referred me to them in the first place. I am also good at what I do and am paid well for it. And, I am grateful.
Since I’ve narrowed the focus of my practice to vehicular offenses, I’m in the best position to research and analyze the facts of the case and the applicable laws – been doing that my whole career, but now for a concentrated area of law. I have prosecuted and defended traffic tickets for more than four years. Remember, it’s the traffic ticket that generally leads to the DWI arrest. The ticket plays a role in the whole case in terms of the probable cause for the arrest and the basis for the stop of the vehicle in the first instance. Both DWI cases and traffic cases have the same criminal procedure protections for the accused. And, one’s 25-year old driving plays a role potentially in the disposition as well as post case issues with the DMV.
My law firm does not dabble in this and that. I am not a “jack of all trades and master of none” (although I am skilled in many areas). I have chosen to focus my law practice on DWI, Criminal and Traffic Ticket offenses. I fully appreciate these laws, what they mean and how they should be interpreted and applied. I understand the motorist needs and mistakes that people can make. I take great pride and satisfaction in being able to help people. People make poor choices sometimes or make mistakes and, in some cases, they did not do what they were accused of. In all these situations, I can help them move through this difficult and challenging period – a period that can have far reaching consequences for both their personal and their professional lives and their families and loved ones.
I like the challenge, and that is reflected in the work I do. When people call, I typically pick up the phone myself right away. I take their calls, I talk to them, and I’m the one that’s going to be walking side by side with them throughout this whole process from start to finish. I’ll get through the case with them and help them move past this complex process and get on with their lives.
For more information on Issues In Handling A DWI Case On Your Own, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 301-7500 today.