When you need an attorney
“They say a man who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Well, with God as my witness, I am that fool!” Gomez Addams, The Addams
Family Don’t make the same mistake as Gomez. If you’ve been arrested
for DWI, DWIA or any other charge relating to impaired driving, you
need an attorney immediately! As you can see, the consequences for a
DWI conviction are severe. Whether you are innocent of the charges
against you or you are guilty, you are much more likely to get
convicted if you try to navigate through an unfriendly and unfamiliar
court system alone.
Remember, America has an adversarial system of justice. Both sides of a
case fight it out in court, and the party that makes the best argument
wins. The prosecutor is not on your side-he or is she is on the
opposite team. The judge is not on your side, either. He or she is
there to be an impartial referee and to weigh the evidence presented by
the prosecutor against the evidence you present in your defense. You
need someone who is on your side and is familiar with the intricacies
of New York DWI law. Don’t wait, call a DWI attorney as soon as you are
arrested so that your rights will be protected.
To find a New York DWI attorney near you, click here.
Services of DWI attorneys
What can a New York DWI lawyer do to help you if you’ve been
arrested? Most DWI attorneys can start providing assistance even
before the arrest process is complete. New York is unusual in that you
are allowed to consult with an attorney before you take a chemical
test. You are not guaranteed to be able to speak to your New York DWI
attorney in person, but you can request to make a phone call to your
attorney prior to taking the test as long as doing so will not unduly
interfere with the arrest process. A good DWI attorney will take your
call no matter what time it is, listen to your situation, and advise
you of the best course of action to take.
After you are arrested, you will then be allowed to make one phone
call. Usually, you’ll call a friend or family member to see if someone
can post bail for you so that you can leave the jail. The next call you
should make after that should be to your New York DWI attorney. Your
attorney will be able to assist you in entering a plea at the
arraignment, which is your first court date. You may be offered a plea
bargain at the arraignment, although New York law states that unless
the DWI charges are determined to be completely baseless by the judge
you cannot bargain down any lower than DWIA. Your New York DWI attorney
will be able to help you decide if the plea bargain is right for you or
If you do go to trial, your DWI attorney will present your case in an
attempt to have you found “not guilty.” It’s important to realize that
chemical tests, especially breathalyzers, are not 100% accurate, so
just because you failed a breath test does not necessarily mean you
were drunk at the time, and your New York DWI attorney can try to prove
this to a jury. Even if you are found guilty, your DWI attorney will
argue on your behalf at sentencing to keep the penalties as manageable
as possible. Remember, in addition to the criminal court case, the
state will also try to levy civil penalties against you, such as taking
your license and possibly your vehicle. Your New York DWI attorney will
help you with these procedures, too, and may be able to help stop the
seizure of your vehicle or help you obtain a conditional license so
that you are still able to drive to and from work.
Costs of a lawyer
Law school is not cheap, and neither are the services of a good New
York DWI attorney. According to the Better Business Bureau, a
lawyer in New York City can cost anywhere from $25 to $200 an hour.
Some New York DWI lawyers do offer flat fees, however. The total cost
of a New York DWI attorney will depend on how much time is spent on the
case, and if it actually goes to court or not.
The price is definitely worth it when you consider how much a
conviction costs and how much it can affect the rest of your life.
Consider this: According to “DUI: The $10,000 Ride Home,” an article on
the costs of a DWI arrest written by Christopher Solomon and published
on MSN.com, the costs of New York DWI conviction average around $9,500
for a first-time offense with no accident or injury involved. That’s a
lot of money!
Risks of not having an attorney
If you choose to deal with your DWI without the services of an
attorney, you could end up needlessly convicted of a crime, lose your
license and have criminal record that will haunt you for the rest of
your life. You could also lose your car through the civil forfeiture
process. If it’s not your first offense, you might have to spend time
Benefits of having a DWI lawyer
It’s difficult to overestimate the benefits of having an experienced
New York DWI lawyer handle your DWI case. County prosecutors take great
pride in having high DWI conviction rates. They don’t like dismissing
cases, so it’s all too easy to get convicted even if you weren’t drunk
at the time you were driving. To be honest, the only professional in
the courtroom that is going to be working for you instead of against
you is your New York DWI attorney. A good DWI lawyer can help
through every step of New York’s DWI process. You’ll never have to step
into a courtroom alone, and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes
from knowing that your case is being handled by someone with the
knowledge and experience to get you the best outcome possible.
Defensive Driving/Traffic School
There is no way to reduce charges in a DWI case, except to get them
bargained down to DWAI. Offering to take a defensive driving course
probably won’t help with the amount of fines you’ll owe, but a judge
may order you to take New York traffic school anyway. Also, if you take
traffic school, you may be able to get a discount on your auto
insurance rates to help keep them from being quite so high.
If you do have to take traffic school, why not take a course with
Driving University? Our classes are written to be informative,
interesting and easy to understand. While we are not currently able to
offer online traffic school in New York, our licensed instructors try
to keep the class moving for you. Click
here to learn more about our defensive driving course!