If you have been arrested for a DWI in New York City, Long Island or Westchester, we can help. We have experience in every court throughout southern New York State. The Law Offices of Adam D. Perlmutter has over a decade of experience in successfully defending New York drunk driving, DUI / DWI, drinking and driving, and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases.
DWI law is complex, and Adam Perlmutter and his team have the unique education, training and experience necessary to defend your New York DWI case throughout NYC, Long Island and in Westchester.
DWI an Overview
New York law can trigger up to three cases from a DWI arrest.
First, a DWI criminal case that can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Usually the cases are misdemeanors unless you have a prior conviction, are arrested for DWI while driving a minor, or there is a serious accident with injuries.
Second, if you refuse to take a breath test, you will also have a DMV Refusal Hearing where you can lose your license of to a year (18 months for commercial driver’s licenses).
- URGENT: If you have been arrested for a New York DUI / DWI and refused to take a breath test, you have a DMV Refusal Hearing scheduled soon and you must appear or you will lose your license for one year. If you have already missed your refusal hearing we may still be able to help.
Third, your car may also be subject to potential forfeiture by the NYPD or a county attorney depending on where you were arrested. We can help you with all three of these cases.
What to Do Immediately After a DWI
No matter what the circumstances, being arrested for DWI / DUI can be a stressful and upsetting experience. Perhaps you were stopped at a drunk driving checkpoint on your way home after a few drinks at an office party or at a restaurant. Or maybe you were involved in serious car accident that resulted in a DWI / DUI investigation.
Whatever the case may be, an arrest for drunk driving necessitates quick action in order to protect your rights and preserve your right to drive. You need an experienced New York DWI / DUI lawyer who appreciates the seriousness of your situation and will help you to navigate the system during this critical time.
In New York City, most people arrested for DWI / DUI are arraigned within approximately 24 hours of the arrest. In Westchester and Long Island, most people are given a summons to return to court for the arraignment within 30 days. At the arraignment you will be advised of your rights and asked to enter a plea.
You should not resolve the case at arraignment before you are fully informed about the impact of a guilty plea and have spoken with a knowledgeable DWI / DUI attorney. We understand the desire to put everything behind you as soon as possible, however, most cases do not go to jury trial and there are many reasons to fight your case. Some drivers fear that a DUI / DWI arrest means an automatic conviction, but that’s simply not true. It’s possible to fight and win a drunk driving case with the help of experienced legal counsel.
If someone you love has been arrested for drunk driving, the first matter of business may be to locate him or her in custody and pay the bond or bail for release. In order to locate someone in custody, make sure you have the person’s full name and birth date. If you can get it, the booking number (also known as the “book and case number”) is also very useful. There are also “collateral consequences” to a alcohol related driving conviction that can have impacts on your career and other parts of your life.
At arraignment, some drivers who are arrested for drunk driving are released without bail or on their own recognizance (“ROR”). However, where bail money is required, you must have cash or find a bail bond provider. Keep in mind that a bail bond firm will require a percentage of the bail amount up-front. If the arraignment is at night, the court requires cash. During the day, you pay bail by cash or credit card. Most NY DWI defendants are released ROR but you need to be aware that bail could be set and you will need to arrange for cash to be released if you have a night time arraignment, which is usually the case for DWI cases since most DWI arrests occur between midnight and 6am and the arrest to arraignment time frame is 18-24 hours later.
After release from custody, it is very important to hire an experienced New York DWI / DUI attorney if you have not done so already, who will be able to examine the legal issues involved in your specific case.
Handling your DMV Case
In addition to the criminal court case, a New York DWI / DUI arrest may also result in a New York DMV case. If you refused to take a breath test, a DMV hearing will be scheduled within 15 days of your arrest. You must be present at this hearing in order to protect your right to drive. If you had a valid license when you were arrested, and you took a breath test, you may be able to qualify for a conditional license 30 days after your arrest. For the best possible outcome, you need an experienced DWI / DUI attorney to represent you at your DMV hearing. Sometimes people do not realize that they have had a DMV hearing scheduled and will not appear. In that case, you have defaulted at the hearing and your license will be revoked. If this happens to you, we can seek to vacate the default and reschedule your refusal hearing.
Getting Your Car Back
As if two cases weren’t enough to deal with, if your car was seized upon your arrest, you may also have a civil proceeding called a forfeiture proceeding. Our lawyers and staff know the inner workings of the process involved in getting your car back and protecting your credit if you drive a leased vehicle.
We know the stakes are high. In order to have the best possible outcome for your DMV hearing, your criminal case, and your forfeiture proceeding, you need a lawyer with experience that you can count on.
Traffic Accidents Involving DWI
Both the DMV hearing to determine driver’s license status and the criminal court case that stems from a drunk driving arrest can be successfully challenged, but these procedures can be complex, and the cost of losing can by high. That is why you need an experienced New York DUI / DWI criminal defense attorney that can develop an aggressive strategy to attack both the court case and the DMV refusal hearing.
Certain factors in DUI / DWI cases such as having children in the car, speeding, and being involved in an accident can prompt prosecutors to add sentencing enhancements to the complaint. Sentencing enhancements can add substantially to the punishment in a drunk driving case. A New York attorney experienced in handling DUI / DWI cases can explain the consequences of sentencing enhancements and help plan a strategic defense.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) that involve traffic accidents, particularly those that cause injury to someone other than the driver, are typically charged as a felony. If the sentencing enhancement of being involved in an accident is proven in conjunction with a felony DUI / DWI conviction, the driver faces an additional 90 days to one year in jail.
Sentencing enhancements can also be added for a number of other factors, including prior DUIs or “wet-reckless” convictions, or drunk driving offenses that involve a death or multiple victims. If proven, each allegation carries substantial penalties.
In some cases that include the sentence enhancement of being involved in an accident, the driver may want to consider a plea bargain if one is offered. Drivers who plead guilty before their cases reach trial typically receive negotiated punishment or reduced charges.
Any DUI / DWI case that involves sentencing enhancements has the potential to bring serious consequences. A lawyer skilled at defending drunk driving cases can explain the ramifications of sentencing enhancements, and plan a strategy to help the driver minimize the serious consequences that stem from charges of drinking and driving.
Understanding DWI in More Detail
DWI defense is a complicated area of law that requires a deep understanding of Field Sobriety Tests, Chemical Tests, all of the immediate consequences, possible penalties, and elements of the offense. A DWI arrest can result in many related charges and special challenges for out of state drivers and specialized license holders. The Law Offices of Adam Perlmutter brings a deep understanding of all these aspects to each case. For more information, click here to understand DWI in more detail
The Law of a DWI
DWI defendants in New York are typically charged with violating three different statutes: New York Vehicle & Traffic Law §§1192(1), (2) and (3).
VTL §1192(3) relates to a person operating a motor vehicle while their ability to do so is substantially impaired by alcohol.
VTL §1192(2) charges driving while intoxicated for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content equal to or in excess of .08%. It does not matter what the driving pattern is like, or whether you performed Field Sobriety Tests with textbook precision. It is a charge that is based purely on body chemistry. Both VTL §1192(2) and (3) are unclassified misdemeanor charges that will leave someone with a permanent criminal record.
VTL §1192(1) is a traffic infraction but still has serious consequences including doubling the cost of your car insurance for ten years, barring your entry to Canada for five years, and making you unable to rent a car for three years.
The Law Offices of Adam D. Perlmutter concentrates on New York DWI defense. Adam Perlmutter and his team have defended hundreds of New York DWI / DUI cases. Adam Perlmutter is certified in standardized field sobriety testing and in the operation of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breath test device used by the NYPD. His firm stands ready to defend your New York DWI case. Adam Perlmutter also enjoys the coveted ranking as the only Superlawyer for DWI defense in the New York City area, a peer review honor that singles out attorneys who are at the highest level of skill and integrity.