Four reasons to hire an attorney after a New York DWI arrest

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services reports there were 39,005 adults arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2016. Thinking their options are limited, some who are charged with DWI may choose to forego hiring an attorney and instead act as their own legal representation. However, there are several benefits to obtaining legal counsel to aid with drunk driving cases.

Familiarity with the system and processes

The arrest may be just the start of the issues for people charged with suspected drunk driving. Navigating the legal system and administrative procedures may be complicated for those who are not familiar with them. DWI lawyers may have a solid understanding of the laws, helping to ensure those they represent are appropriately charged, and the associated processes. They may draw on this knowledge to ensure their clients take the appropriate steps to help limit the impact of their arrests.

Understanding of the technical aspects


There are numerous technical aspects to DWI arrests in New York, including the administration of field sobriety and chemical testing. When the authorities do not follow the related procedures, it may provide grounds to see some alcohol-related charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Drunk driving attorneys may have a solid knowledge of these aspects, allowing them to call into question any technicalities that may have resulted in a violation of their clients' rights.

Questioning the evidence

DWI arrests are often based on evidence such as drivers' performance on field sobriety tests and the results of breath tests. However, people's overall health, the presence of certain substances in the air and the consumption of certain foods, among other factors, may impact the accuracy of such evidence. Typically understanding the science behind drunk driving arrests and the commonly used sources of evidence, DWI lawyers may recognize issues that might have led to falsely poor performances or high readings. Further, they may know how best to present this information to the court, potentially calling the evidence into question or having it thrown out.

Mitigating the potential penalties


State law specifies the minimum and maximum sentencing requirements for those who are convicted of or plead guilty to DWI. This includes a fine of between $500 and $1,000, a driver's license revocation for six months or more, and up to one year in jail. There is, however, some gray area in the guidelines, which may allow for less severe options such as compulsory participation in an alcohol treatment program. Attorneys who focus their practice on drunk driving defense may be aware of the sentencing options, as well as how to present a case for lesser penalties to a judge or jury.

Protecting drivers' rights

The consequences of drunk driving arrests may be lasting and reach into the personal and professional lives of people in New York and elsewhere. Therefore, those who are facing DWI charges may find it helpful to seek legal counsel. An attorney may look out for their interests throughout the legal process and help ensure their rights are upheld, as well as assist them in determining the best course of action given their circumstances.