When to Contact a Rochester DWI Attorney
This seemingly straightforward question is quite controversial. The Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to reach out to a lawyer. But courts are a bit vague as to when this right kicks in, and when defendants should call a Rochester DWI attorney.
The Miranda Rights state that defendants have the right to have attorneys present during questioning. However, courts have consistently rebuffed defendants when they try to assert that right. For example, courts have continually held that DWI defendants cannot seek legal advice before consenting or refusing to a request for a chemical sample.
These rulings are unfortunate. Because of these holdings, by the time a lawyer comes on board, the state has already collected most of the evidence it will present at trial. So, a Rochester DWI attorney must work extra hard to level the playing field.
Many people think that when they are behind bars, they should call bail bond agents first. But that’s usually not true, especially in DWI cases.
Often, a Rochester DWI attorney can arrange pretrial release with few or no conditions, and at little or no cost to the defendant. Procedurally, attorney bonds are more streamlined than non-attorney bonds. Since the defendant already has hired a lawyer, there is a higher chance that the defendant will appear at trial, so bond is easier and less expensive.
Additionally, in many cases, defendants only have a couple of weeks to request Administrative License Revocation hearings. Otherwise, the state automatically suspends the defendant’s drivers’ license for the maximum period. Furthermore, your Rochester DWI attorney loses the chance to examine the state’s evidence and cross-examine the arresting officer under oath.
Jail release is important because otherwise, defendants may accept unfavorable plea bargain agreements to “get it over with.”
The sooner you call a lawyer, the more time an attorney has to review the facts and applicable laws in one’s case. This meticulous search often reveals some DWI defenses, such as:
Typically, police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull over motorists. Alternatively, if the defendant was pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint, the roadblock must meet specific legal criteria. Furthermore, officers must have probable cause, which is an even higher standard, before they can arrest suspects.
Chemical tests, especially the Breathalyzer, are not always accurate. For example, Breathalyzers do not measure blood alcohol levels. Instead, they measure breath alcohol level and use that figure to estimate blood alcohol content, which is the legal standard. That extra step is often a problem.
Prosecutors must establish more than intoxication. They must also prove that the defendant operated a vehicle in a public place. In DWI collision cases, the “driving” element is often difficult to prove, because the arresting officer probably did not see the defendant driving the car. Furthermore, locations like an apartment complex or shopping mall parking lots are not public places, even if these areas have street signs and traffic control signals.
In court, Monroe County prosecutors must establish every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the highest standard of proof in New York law.
How Rochester DWI Attorney Resolves These Cases
If any of the above defenses are available, even if they are not strong enough to get the case thrown out of court, an attorney can often obtain a favorable plea bargain agreement.
Many times, that agreement could mean reduced charges. For example, if the Rochester DWI attorney has a solid reputation as an excellent trial advocate and the state’s evidence is weak, many Monroe County prosecutors may reduce DWI charges to Driving While Ability Impaired. DWAI is a misdemeanor, but it is not as serious. For example, a DWAI conviction does not include a mandatory ignition interlock device requirement.
Furthermore, a Rochester DWI attorney may be able to get the charges reduced even further, to wet reckless. This offense is also a misdemeanor, but it has almost no collateral consequences.
Contact an Aggressive Lawyer
An early partnership with an attorney maximizes the chances for a successful resolution. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester DWI attorney, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.