Every DWI arrest begins in one of the local courts of Westchester County depending on where the arrest occurred. The summons to appear and/or court location is located at the bottom of the traffic tickets issued. The court appearance noted in your paperwork is mandatory. If you do not appear, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
The initial few hours that occur after a person is arrested for DWI in Westchester County can be a nightmare. Your questions go unanswered, there is confusion over your options, rights and how to get in contact with a DWI lawyer. After the arrest an accused will sit in a holding cell without their cell phone and way to communicate with anyone until the State Police or Local Police permit a telephone call.
The arrest and process afterwards is long and exhausting. It is important to call a Westchester County DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
DWI law in New York State is complex and ever changing. The arrest can have an impact on your family, employment, vehicle(s), insurance rates, New York State licenses (such as a teaching license(s)) and further collateral effects in a contested divorce or contested custody proceeding.
In addition, to the process in general it is important to understand some of the most common DWI defenses.
The Best Defense to a DWI charge in Westchester County
1. The Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation. State law and every local judge in Westchester County will require an alcohol evaluation. This evaluation is critical for the Court and the District Attorney’s office to identify any substance abuse issues. As DWI defense lawyers in Westchester County, our DWI lawyers start this process as soon as possible. We work closely with our client’s during this process.
2. The Prompt Suspension Law. In New York State if a blood alcohol content (BAC) report is generated with a reading of above the state limit of .08% your drivers license will be automatically suspended during the first court appearance. Our DWI lawyers immediately work to keep you on the road during this mandatory suspension period requesting the local court judge issue a “Hardship License” to permit continued driving privileges.
The DWI Refusal Law. If the police allege that you have refused a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine, the local court must automatically revoke your driving privileges. There is no option for a “Hardship License”. Our DWI Attorneys challenge the alleged refusal at an administrative DMV refusal hearing to have your driving privileges restored.
3. Discovery. It is mandatory in New York State for the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office to exchange all paperwork/evidence/videos (called Discovery) as it relates to your prosecution. Our DWI lawyers are registered with the Westchester District Attorney’s Office discovery portal and we download all evidence in the prosecution’s possession. We will then send you all the evidence for your review. At our office we believe you have the right to see all the evidence as opposed to basic paperwork.
4. Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. The evidence must prove a DWI beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution cannot meet their burden of proof the case will be dismissed. There are legal elements to the crime of DWI and each element must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt as set forth below.
DWI - Intoxication is defined as:
A person is in an intoxicated condition when such person has consumed alcohol to the extent that he or she is incapable, to a substantial extent, of employing the physical and mental abilities which he or she is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.
To determine whether a person was intoxicated the following factors can be considered depending on the facts and circumstances; physical condition and appearance, balance and coordination, and manner of speech; the presence or absence of an odor of alcohol; the manner in which the defendant operated the motor vehicle; opinion testimony regarding the sobriety; the circumstances of any accident; the results of any test of the blood alcohol content.
Hiring a DWI lawyer in Westchester County
Our DWI lawyers are former prosecutors, highly rated and published authors in the area of DWI defense and general criminal defense. With over 23 years of experience in all the Westchester County Courts our attorneys have the knowledge of the law and experience to provide the best possible DWI defense including collateral consequences of the DWI arrest.
DWI defense attorneys Andrew Proto and David Sachs offer a free initial consultation, will discuss strategy and guide you through the entire process. We help you make an informed decision, proactively work on the defense and ultimately negotiate and argue on your behalf to minimize the impact and consequences that come with a DWI conviction.
Call for a free initial consultation (914) 946-4808.