NYC DUI Lawyers | NYC DWI Lawyers
Those charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in New York should take it seriously. Even if this is an individual’s first criminal offense, he or she is still at risk of facing serious consequences that include costly fines, a suspended driver’s license, and possibly a prison sentence. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected is to contact a New York criminal defense attorney who has experience with DUI cases.
Factors That Can Increase a DUI Sentence
Even if an individual has a clean criminal record prior to the DUI arrest, there are many factors that can aggravate the situation. When these factors are seen at an arrest, it can result in higher fines, incarceration, and harsher penalties.
What Factors are Considered to be Aggravated in a DUI Arrest?
There are many factors that can lead to increased consequences, such as if an individual was speeding, driving while his or her license was suspended, drives recklessly, or fails to stop the vehicle when signaled by a police officer.
In addition, when there are minors in the vehicle with the driver whom was intoxicated, or when there is an open container of alcohol found in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, it will further enhance the charges and the consequences will be increased.
Those With Higher Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Will Face Higher Penalties
In New York, an individual who is arrested for a DUI or DWI offense will probably have their blood alcohol level measured during the arrest. Those with a high BAC will receive harsher charges that those with a lower (but still illegal) BAC. New York law states that when an individual operates a motor vehicle with a BAC of .18 or higher, he or she will be charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, which is known as an Aggravated DWI.
What are the Penalties for Aggravated DWI Charges?
Those arrested for an Aggravated DWI may face a fine that can range from $1,000 to $2,000. In addition, these individuals may also lose their driving privileges for up to one year. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, an individual could also receive a maximum prison sentence of one year. If an individual who is charged with an Aggravated DWI is also facing other charges, the offense could be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony charge.
Can Law Enforcement Officials Stop Motorists at Random?
In New York, the law states that police officers must adhere to strict rules when they interact with drivers. Although some individuals believe a police officer can stop drivers at random, this is not the case.
What is the New York Law in Regards to Random Traffic Stops?
In New York, drivers are protected from random traffic stops by police officials under the law. This is applicable to every county in the state. According to the Supreme Court, random traffic stops are a direct violation of an individual’s rights under the Fourth Amendment. In order for a law enforcement official to make a legal stop, he or she must have probable cause.
Laws About Probable Cause and Traffic Stops
If a police officer has probable cause, he or she has justification to pull a driver over. This means a law enforcement official has observed something about the driver that suggests he or may be participating in illegal activity, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, a police officer can also make a stop when there is a problem with the vehicle, such as when a taillight is broken or the vehicle’s tags have expired. One of the most common reasons that an offer justifies probable cause to make a vehicle stop is excessive speeding.
It is important to note that a law enforcement official must be able to prove probable cause in court, and when probable cause isn’t able to be established by the arresting police officer and the prosecution, the evidence that was collected during the arrest will no longer be admissible in court.
Roadblocks and sobriety stops are an exception to the random stop rule. In New York, a police officer can randomly stop a driver if he or she enters a sobriety checkpoint or a roadblock. In addition, it is also important to note that a police officer is not allowed to pull a driver over and reach into the vehicle to search for illegal substances. There are only a few instances when a law enforcement official is allowed to search a vehicle, such as if the driver gives consent, a warrant is presented, or the officer arrests the driver.
If you are facing a DUI or DWI conviction, it is vital to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help an individual build a strong defensive case that will boost the chances of a positive outcome.