Defending Against the Most Serious Drunk Driving Offenses – New York Leandra’s Law Defense Lawyers
While law enforcement officers and prosecutors aggressively pursue all DWI offenses, New York DWI offenses committed with a child occupant are among the most serious of all alcohol and drug-related driving offenses. Leandra’s Law (also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act) was enacted in the wake of the death of an 11-year old girl who was a passenger in the vehicle of her mother’s friend. When the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was tested, the driver had a BAC level of .12 percent. Leandra’s law imposes tough new penalties on drivers who commit DWI with a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle by making the offense a felony.
Leandra’s Law – Child Passenger Protection Act (VTL 1192.2-a(b)
If you are arrested and charged under Leandra’s Law in White Plains or the surrounding areas of New York, the serious penalties and long-term consequences can be devastating. While any conviction of DWI with a child passenger can result in a state prison term, the penalties are even more severe if the child passenger dies or suffers serious injury. If you are convicted of a DWI with a passenger in the vehicle who is under the age of sixteen, you may face the following harsh forms of punishment:
- Class “E” felony conviction
- Incarceration for up to four years in state prison
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Report submitted to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (if you are legally responsible for the child e.g. parent or guardian)
- Fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
- Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
Because even a first offense of DWI that is charged under Leandra’s Law is a felony that can result in a state prison sentence, you should immediately assert your rights to an attorney and to decline to speak to the police. If the child passenger is injured or dies, the penalties are even harsher. If a child suffers serious injury while you are driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, you will be exposed to conviction of a class “C” felony and a state prison term of up to 15 years. This offense becomes a “B” felony, and the period of imprisonment may increase to 25 years if a child dies in a collision when you commit DWI.
The harsh penalties and devastating impact of causing harm to a child makes a violation of Leandra’s Law especially serious. If you are convicted of a violation of DWI with a child in your car, you may suffer many other negative consequences, such as job loss, diminished career options, loss of immigration benefits and forfeiture of certain constitutional rights. If you are arrested and charged for a violation of this criminal offense, you need an experienced White Plains Leandra’s Law defense attorney who will aggressively defend you against these serious charges and make a compelling case for mitigation.
At Greco Neyland PC, our White Plains DWI defense lawyers represent clients facing the full spectrum of DWI-related offenses in White Plains and the surrounding boroughs of New York. We offer a free consultation so we can answer your questions and explain your legal rights so call us today at (914) 358-9146 or click here to schedule your free consultation.