White Plains DWAI-Combination Attorneys
When you see flashing red lights after a night of partying, an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety is understandable, even if you have never had a prior conviction of DWAI-Combination or DWI. A first offense conviction of DWAI-Combination or DWI carry identical harsh penalties that include a maximum one-year term of incarceration, a six month driver’s license revocation, and a fine between $500 and $1,000.
While these penalties certainly justify concerns about an impending arrest, the penalties for a second conviction of DWAI-Combination include far more severe punishments than a first offense. If you are convicted a second time for DWAI-Combination, you face the type of life-altering penalties that make it critical for you to retain an experienced White Plains criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A driver may be charged with the offense of DWAI-Combination if the motorist is impaired by a drug and alcohol or a combination of more than one type of drug. The penalties for a second conviction of DWAI-Combination with 10 years include:
- Criminal record with an E Felony;
- Maximum of four years in the state penitentiary;
- Fines ranging from $1,000 up to $5,000; and
- Minimum driver’s license revocation of 12 months up to 18 months.
As the founding partners at Greco Neyland, we honed our skills defending clients charged with alcohol and drug-related driving offenses during our successful tenures as prosecutors. This experience has provided us with insight into what to expect in terms of plea offers, prosecution tactics, and law enforcement errors. We recognize the potentially devastating impact that a conviction of this type may have on our client’s family, career, immigration status, and educational opportunities, so we use all of our skill, knowledge, and experience when advocating tenaciously for our clients.
What to Do If You Are Stopped after Ingesting Drugs and/or Alcohol
Avoid Engaging in a Discussion with the Officer
Although there is no approach to a police stop that can assure you do not get arrested, there are actions you can take that improve the odds that you will not be convicted. When you are stopped, you are required to furnish your proof of insurance, driver’s license, and registration, but you have no obligation to answer the officer’s questions about your activities. While you should not make up lies, you might indicate that you would like to speak to an attorney before answering any questions. You definitely should not admit that you have been drinking or indicate that you are coming from a bar, professional sporting event, party, or other event where alcohol consumption is common.
When a police officer pulls you over, the justification for the stop will either be that you have committed a traffic infraction or that the officer observed conduct creating a reasonable suspicion that you were engaged in illegal activity. In this context, the conduct will usually be “erratic driving.” The officer will ask questions during the stop in an attempt to establish probable cause for an arrest. This pattern of questioning is intended to elicit incriminating admissions and to provide an opportunity for the officer to observe your coordination, physical condition, and speech.
Field Sobriety Tests and Portable Breath Testing
If the officer believes that you have been drinking or that you have ingested drugs, the officer likely will ask you to participate in standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). Since a motorist’s performance in SFSTs virtually never results in a driver going home, there is no compelling reason for a motorist to participate in these mental and physical exercises. When declining SFSTs, you can simply ask the officer if the tests are completely accurate. The tests actually have a fairly significant false positive rate, so the officer will not be able to claim that the results are guaranteed to be accurate. This provides a justifiable basis for you to opt out of taking SFSTs.
In addition, the officer probably will ask you to take a roadside portable breath test. This is just another form of screening intended to provide probable cause for an arrest. These handheld breath-testing devices also are extremely inaccurate, so you can take the same approach to refusing this test as you would to opt out of SFSTs.
If the officer arrests you, you will be asked to submit to formal chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine. New York’s implied consent law imposes consequences for declining this formal BAC testing, which usually occurs at the police station, jail, or a medical facility. There is no universally correct answer about whether you should submit to formal chemical testing because you will suffer adverse consequences in terms of your driving privileges if you refuse to participate. If you have a prior conviction for DWI within the previous five years or you have a prior conviction for DWAI-Combination, you might want to refuse the test because you are facing four years in prison if you are convicted of DWAI-Combination. However, motorists need to remember that a refusal to take a chemical test can be used by the prosecutor as evidence of consciousness of guilt.
Greco Neyland – We Are Ready to Start Protecting Your Rights and Future Immediately!
At Greco Neyland PC, we recognize that you have many questions and concerns, which is why we invite you to talk to us about your situation. We can review the facts and clarify your options. We offer a free consultation, so you should feel free to call us today at (914) 358-9146 or click here to schedule an initial appointment.