If you or someone close to you has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Impaired, or any other related offense, it is critical that you retain a knowledgeable and experienced attorney as soon as possible. The ramifications of such a charge can be extremely serious. Police Departments and prosecutors across the country continue to crack down on such crimes, with penalties becoming increasingly severe, and prosecutors in many instances refusing to make plea offers, meaning that in many instances, the only way to avoid jail or a criminal record is to go to trial—for that reason alone, it is important to have a lawyer with significant trial experience.
What are the different types of offenses one might be charged with for driving under the influence?
While there is some variation from state to state, most states have a similar framework for the various types of offenses which can be charged when someone is caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In New York, the charges range from the non-criminal offense of Driving While Impaired, all the way up to felony charges for repeat offenders or for cases where someone has been injured or property damage has occurred. Even the most low-level of driving-related charges can have serious ramifications resulting in
-Potential jail time
-Potential probation lasting up to three years even for a misdemeanor
-Suspension of one’s driver’s license
-Forfeiture of your vehicle
-Required use of an interlock device when driving
-Loss or denial of professional licenses
-Permanent damage to one’s reputation
-Jeopardizing of one’s immigration status
Why is it so important to have experienced counsel?
A lawyer who has decades of criminal law experience can make all the difference in determining how a Drunk Driving case is resolved. The right attorney can find potential flaws in the court papers which in some instance can lead to the dismissal of the case. The right attorney can find errors in police paperwork, or other fatal flaws in police procedures which can also result in the dismissal of the case. And of course, an experienced attorney who is respected by prosecutors and by judges can help win a more favorable plea offer by knowing what arguments are potentially persuasive.
Do drunk driving cases often go to trial?
Absolutely—and because they do often go to trial, it is critical to have an attorney with significant trial experience. Elliot Felig was a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for thirteen years, and has a tremendous amount of actual trial experience. In many instances, prosecutors are not willing to make any kind of plea offer, meaning that the only way to avoid the harsh penalties is to take the matter to trial. For that reason, as soon as we become involved in a case, we do all that we can to prepare for a potential trial. If someone waits until the last minute to retain trial lawyer, it can make it far more difficult to win the case because it is too late to obtain and review critical evidence, and too late to explore all the surrounding facts and circumstances which may uncover crucial evidence.
When should someone retain a lawyer?
Anyone who has been arrested for Driving While Impaired or Driving While Under the Influence should immediately retain an attorney so that critical evidence can be immediately gathered and reviewed. If you are facing charges related to driving under the influence, call our office immediately at 212-828-2770 to arrange a free consultation.