A conviction for driving while intoxicated (sometimes called DWI, DUI, or driving under the influence) may have serious, long-term implications, even for a first-time offender. If you or a loved one is facing a DWI charge, you need to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. There may have been procedural errors with respect to your arrest, or you may be able to assert other defenses that could help you avoid a conviction or get the charge reduced. Saratoga County DWI attorney Gregory P. Garofalo can help you defend your case to the fullest extent of the law. Attorney Garofalo understands that everyone makes mistakes, and he works hard to assist his clients in getting a second chance whenever possible.Protecting Your Rights in a DWI Case
For most drivers in New York, the DWI blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold is .08%. This means that, if your blood or breach alcohol test results indicate that you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, there is a presumption that you were driving while intoxicated. It is possible to be convicted of DWI (or the related offense of DWAI – driving while one’s ability is impaired) with a lower BAC, but it is more difficult for the State to get a DWI conviction at lower levels unless the defendant was under 21 at the time of the arrest or was a commercial motor vehicle operator. People under 21 may be convicted of DWI based on a .02% BAC, due to New York’s Zero Tolerance Law, and commercial drivers may be convicted if their BAC is .04% or greater.
It is very important that a person arrested for drunk driving take advantage of every possible defense available under the law because the penalties for a conviction may be harsh. Even a first offender faces a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum jail term of one year. In addition, a person convicted of DWI is likely to have their driver’s license suspended or revoked and may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle as a condition of probation. The penalties for DWI increase with each conviction, as well as for people who are convicted of aggravated driving while intoxicated (AGG DWI) due to a BAC of .18% or greater.
A conviction for DWI may also affect a defendant’s future employment and educational opportunities. It may be considered a past conviction for sentencing purposes if the defendant faces other charges in the future. It may also increase automobile insurance premiums and cause social embarrassment for the defendant and their family. However, an arrest often does not lead to a conviction. The State always has the burden of proof in a criminal case and must convince a jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, the defendant has a right to assert any and all applicable defenses arising under state law or the Constitution, including arguments based on the circumstances of the police stop and their arrest.Consult a Knowledgeable DWI Attorney in Saratoga County
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you need to know and assert your legal rights. Skillful Saratoga County DWI lawyer Gregory P. Garofalo can help you review your arrest to determine whether the officer had probable cause to stop you, whether they were adequately trained in the administration of field sobriety tests, and whether the results of the blood, urine, or breath test upon which your arrest was based will be legally admissible in court, among other issues. Call us at (515) 584-1557 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We represent residents of Ballston Lake, Ballston Spa, Malta, Rotterdam, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Wilton, Gansevoort, Waterford, Albany, Latham, Schenectady, Glens Falls, Queensbury, and other communities in Saratoga, Albany, Warren, Washington, and Schenectady Counties. Gregory P. Garofalo also can assist people who need a traffic ticket attorney to fight a moving violation.