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Long Island, New York Criminal Defense Blog

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Top 3 Misconstrued Things About Getting Arrested For a DWI/DUI in New York State

Let's face it, one of the most embarrassing things to ever happen to someone is receiving a DWI/DUI. But, unfortunately, it is very common among high school students, college students, and adults alike, to be pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated by alcohol or driving under the influence of drugs. Due to its popularity, the severity of a DWI/DUI causes many scenarios to be misconstrued.

 

Here are the top three things you need to know the truth about in DWI/DUI situations:

 

1. DWI/DUI matters are only related to alcohol?

 

         False. DWI/DUI relates to not only alcohol but also both illegal and many legally prescribed drugs. Therefore, DWI (driving while intoxicated) refers to driving under the influence of alcohol and DUI (driving under the influence) refers to driving under the influence of drugs. In New York State, driving while under the influence of drugs is most commonly referred to DWAI Drugs. You can and will be charged with driving under the influence of drugs even if the legal drug you are taking is listed under Article 33 of the NYS Public Health Law and it impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle to ANY EXTENT.

 

2. DWI/DUI are not Felonies?

 

         False. Most first-time DWI/DUI are Misdemeanors. But if you have been arrested and charged with a DWI/DUI, Aggravated DWI, DWI Drugs or DWAI Combined Influence after having been convicted of a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192(2), (2-a), (3), (4), or (4-a) (or of Vehicular Assault in the 1st or 2nd degree, Aggravated Vehicular Assault or Aggravated Vehicular Homicide) within the preceding ten years can be charged with a class E Felony. A person who is charged with DWI/DUI Aggravated DWI, DWI Drugs or DWAI Combined Influence after having been convicted of a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192(2), (2-a), (3), (4), or (4-a) (or of Vehicular Assault in the 1st or 2nd degree, Aggravated Vehicular Assault or Aggravated Vehicular Homicide) TWICE within the preceding ten years can be charged with a D Felony. Effective November 1, 2014, one who is charged with a DWI/DUI, Aggravated DWI, DWI Drugs or DWAI Combined Influence after having been convicted of a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192(2), (2-a), (3), (4), or (4-a) (or of Vehicular Assault in the 1st or 2nd degree, Aggravated Vehicular Assault or Aggravated Vehicular Homicide) three or more times within the preceding ten years can be charged with a class D Felony. Out of state convictions for DWI/DUI apply as well. What if there are children in the car age 15 years old or younger? You got it: it's a Felony (even for a first arrest).

 

3. You can't lose your car to seizure/forfeiture?

 

         False. As long as sufficient Due Process protections are in place, the seizure and subsequent forfeiture of a drunk driver’s vehicle is permissible. See e.g., County of Nassau v. Canavan, 1 N.Y.3d 134, 138, 770 N.Y.S.2d 277, 281, 802 N.E.2d 616 (2003) (“when implemented pursuant to a carefully drafted statute, civil forfeiture of automobiles can be an extremely effective tool in the battle against drunk driving. . . Driving while intoxicated poses a grave risk of injury or death to innocent motorists and pedestrians”). Many counties in New York State, including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, New York County, Kings County, Richmond County, and The Bronx routinely attempt to seize and forfeit motor vehicles a s a result of drunk driving convictions.

 

         If you have any questions relating to DWI/DUI matters, call attorney Michael A. Arbeit immediately at (516) 766-1878. We are always available 24/7 at (516) 766-1878. We are located at 23 S. Main Street, Suite 30, Freeport, New York 11520. We handle all Criminal Defense and Traffic Violation related matters in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Kings County, New York County, Richmond County and The Bronx. No case is too big or too small and each matter is handled exclusively by Mr. Arbeit and treated with the utmost attention to detail.




Based in Freeport, NY Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. serves clients throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, New York County, Kings County, and Bronx County New York.



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