Author Archives: nowlaw

Understanding the New York DWI Alcohol and Drug Evaluation Process

How Does New York Handle DWI Charges?It’s very likely that if you were arrested for DWI in New York for any of the following reasons you’ve had to take a drug or alcohol screen or evaluation:

1. Under New York State law, an alcohol or drug evaluation and screening are mandatory if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest of 0.15 or higher. Your BAC is measured with a breath test.

2. It’s helpful for a person to have a drug or alcohol evaluation provided by your attorney before you negotiate a plea on your charges. The evaluation can show one of two things: that your conduct on the night of your arrest was a one-time incident, and not a pattern of behavior related to alcohol abuse or it can show that you’ve chosen to proactively address the problem about your use of alcohol and/or drugs.

3. An alcohol evaluation or screening is part of the Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV’s) Drinking Driver Program (DDP). This evaluation must be complete in order to obtain conditional driving privileges. This is true regardless of your final plea, which might be DWI, ADWI, or DWAI. The program’s completion is generally predicated on you following through with the recommended treatments. The recommendations will be put forward by an Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) certified provider. They have a website to locate local providers, just type OASAS into Google or your favorite search engine.

Before you have an alcohol evaluation and screening, there are three things you must do:

ONE: Give yourself a good idea of the type of screening questions asked. This will help allay your fear. Read through the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST), which is available online. Within the DDP the alcohol screening is a form or questionnaire that is used to determine if you need further assessments or evaluation by a provider.

TWO: You must prepare to be truthful and honest with the evaluator. It’s important for wellness and long-term health that if drugs and/or alcohol are the reason for your criminal charges, then you need to address the underlying cause.

NOTE: Even if the recidivism rate for DWI is very low (approximately 3 to 4 percent), the danger to yourself and others for a second DWI while under the effect of any substance or drug can be substantial. In New York State, your second DWI arrest within a ten-year time frame is a Class E Felony and the prosecutor will seek a jail sentence ranging from 1 to 3 years.

THREE: You must be ready to follow through on any recommended treatments. If you don’t agree, you have the right to a second opinion or evaluation. This second evaluation and its results are binding. The court will want proof that you completed the treatments program that has been recommended and assessed. If you receive a conditional discharge (CD) from the Court, this will be one of the discharge’s terms. If you fail to meet the conditions of your case, the case will be re-opened and your failure will be considered a violation of a Court Order.

If your evaluation indicates that you are clean and no treatment is needed, then the final conclusion will be helpful to your lawyer. This evaluation can show the prosecutor that probation as a condition of your final sentence will not be needed. This report of No Treatment can also assist you in getting an Aggravated DWI (DWI) charge, which is when your BAC is .18 or higher, reduced to a “regular” DWI, which is a BAC over .08.

Tips to Help You Find a Good Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime you need to know what to do to help you properly defend yourself. The first step towards a successful defense is hiring a competent criminal defense attorney. Because of the sheer population of Suffolk County, you will have a number of criminal defense attorneys to choose from. In fact, there are so many defense attorneys that it can be overwhelming. Knowing what to look for in an attorney can help you sift through the masses to find the perfect attorney for your case.

If you live in this area, are facing criminal charges and need to hire a Suffolk County criminal defense attorney, the following tips will help you find a lawyer to suit your needs.

Experience

The amount of experience a law firm  has can greatly impact how well your defense team performs. Rather than looking at the experience of an individual attorney, look at the experience of the entire firm. This will help you better determine the abilities to mount a good defense.

Area of Practice

Criminal law encompasses a large part of the legal system. Because of this, you want to find a lawyer that has experience defending the charges that you are facing. For example, some attorneys will have a lot of experience defending white collar crimes while others will have a lot of experience handling drug charges. You need an attorney who is experienced handling the defense for the crimes you have been charged with.

Reputation

You may think it would be difficult to determine the reputation of a lawyer; however, with a little bit of online research, you will be able to determine the success rate of the lawyer. Read a variety of reviews to help you determine if the lawyer you are thinking of hiring is the right attorney for your criminal case.

Go with Your Gut

It may seem silly to tell you to go with your gut, but this is some of the best advice anyone can give you. You can tell a lot about someone when you are talking with them. After your consultation with your attorney, you should have an idea of how you feel about working with them. If you like them and feel that you can trust them to handle your case, listen to your gut. If you do not like the attorney’s attitude or something just doesn’t feel right, you may want to consider consulting with a different attorney.

The tips listed above will help you find the best criminal attorney to handle your case. Being by researching the different attorneys in your area, do a little bit of research, read online reviews and schedule a consultation to help you find a great criminal defense attorney.

Drug Charges in New York

Drug Possession Charges in Suffolk countyAll around the country, individual states are beginning to reduce the sentences on recreational drug use. New York, however, is not one of these states as New York has some of the strictest drug laws in America. There are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding drug usage in New York. Because of New York’s stringent drug laws, it is advisable that you understand this criminal charge.

Continue reading to learn more about the different types of drug charges and the penalties associated with drug usage in New York.

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How Can I Get Charged With DWI For Drugs?

How Can I Get Charged With DWI For Drugs?Some people believe that a DWI means just one thing; that if you are stopped by the police and they believe you are driving while intoxicated, that means you are drunk on alcohol and will be charged. It’s easy to see how this narrow interpretation could prove to be popular, since police themselves only carry a breathalyzer device to measure the level of alcohol in a person’s body. Therefore, if you are under the influence of marijuana, cocaine or any other drug, you will easily pass a breathalyzer test and thus evade a DWI charge. It only applies to alcohol right? Continue reading

What’s An Ignition Interlock Device?

What’s An Ignition Interlock Device?Someone who is charged with a DWI (Driving while intoxicated) offense has to follow a certain number of requirements as part of the punishment that comes with the charge. In addition the suspension of a driver’s license for a period of time, once the ability to drive is restored, it still comes with certain conditions. One of those conditions is satisfying the requirements of an ignition interlock device that is installed on your car. So what is this thing? Continue reading

How Does New York Handle DWI Charges?

How Does New York Handle DWI Charges?In every state in the country, impaired driving—whether it is because of drugs or alcohol—is illegal and always comes with stiff consequences for someone that is caught and convicted of this act. But every state is free to administrate the punishment of this crime in their own way. The state of New York is no exception, and DWI, or “Driving While Intoxicated,” has very specific laws and punishments meted out for impaired drivers. Continue reading

The Big Reasons Drug Charges Mean You Need An Attorney

The Big Reasons Drug Charges Mean You Need An Attorney Drug charges can have a tremendous impact on your life, and from the moment that you’re charged with any type of drug crime, stress will start to creep in on you. Dealing with these charges on your own isn’t a good idea, no matter how much you may think that it’s something you can handle. Taking a closer look some of the main reasons finding a drug crimes attorney to defend you is well worth doing, and should show you why you need to trust in them. Continue reading

DWI Charges And The Myth Of The Plea Deal

DWI Charges And The Myth Of The Plea Deal Long Island residents are proud of their ability to move through challenges on their own and come out the other side okay. And while that’s great for a lot of situations, sometimes you simply need to consider getting help from professionals. A perfect example of this is if you’re facing a DWI charge. Getting a DWI attorney for legal advice and representation is a must in this case. Continue reading