This educational video on Driving While Ability Impaired was provided by Drew Fritsch, an experienced Buffalo DWAI Lawyer.
- Individuals charged with DWI and having no prior criminal history are often curious about the potential impact of a conviction.
- It is possible to have the charge reduced to “driving while ability impaired,” which is an infraction as opposed to a crime.
- A conviction for driving while ability impaired will entail certain penalties, including fines and up to 15 days in jail but, as an infraction, DWAI will not result in a criminal record.
- An attorney can help get eligible charges reduced to driving while ability impaired and prevent a criminal record.
Buffalo DWAI Lawyer Answers FAQs
Does arrest always lead to conviction?
To obtain a DWI conviction, the state must prove you operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated. This is usually done by testing your BAC by taking a sample of your blood, urine, breath or saliva. However, you can still be convicted of DWI even if you never submit to a chemical test that measures your BAC. This is because the police officer's observations during the stop, as well as your field sobriety test performance, can serve as evidence.
There are many ways for an experienced DWI Attorney to undermine the evidence that “proves” you operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Police officer's observations can be unreliable, BAC test machines can malfunction, BAC results can be misinterpreted and a police officer may have violated your constitutional rights when he or she pulled you over or arrested you.
The arresting officer didn't read me my Miranda rights. Can I have my charges dismissed?
Individuals often believe that, if they were not read their Miranda rights, their case should be dismissed, but it is important to remember that those rights are not relevant for all matters. Miranda rights pertain to custodial interrogation. If an officer failed to read you your Miranda rights and you were not free to leave, any statements you made to incriminate yourself may not be allowed in court. It's important in any case to remember whether an officer read you your Miranda rights, and to go over any statements you made with an attorney.
If I go to trial, will I automatically lose?
You will not necessarily “lose” if you go to trial. Your attorney may work out a plea bargain with the district attorney beforehand. In that case you will still go to trial, and there the judge will offer you a plea bargain. Most New York criminal cases are resolved in this way.
In rare cases with serious contentions – if, for example the arresting officers violated your rights in some way while charging you with a DWI – you may present your case in court and have the charges dismissed or reduced.
Did you or a loved one drink a tad too much one night and get charged with a DWAI? Don't plead guilty until you know all of your options.