You need a drunk driving accident lawyer when you have been caught driving under the influence of alcohol and you were engaged in an accident. There are many different aspects of drunk driving from criminal, civil, and administrative, depending on the unique circumstance of each person’s case, and a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to assist you in the most pressing issue you need help on.
In New York, drunk driving is also considered driving while intoxicated. Generally, a person over 21 years old is considered to be drunk driving if he is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. It is aggravated driving when the driver has a BAC of 0.18% or higher. Drivers operating commercial vehicles have a lower threshold for drunk driving at 0.04% BAC or higher. Drivers below 21 years old are under the legal drinking age, and for this reason, any alcohol found in their system while driving is considered illegal and drunk driving.
In New York, a driver may also be charged with a traffic violation if he drinks and drives with a BAC between 0.05% to 0.07%.
Drunk driving accidents in New York occur when a person under the influence of alcohol drives with a blood alcohol concentration over the prescribed limits, which results to damage to person or property. Generally, drunk driving accidents causing property damage are less severe than drunk driving accidents that cause damage to persons.
One drunk driving accident may have a civil, criminal, and administrative aspect. For example, the civil aspect usually arises when there is damage to persons or property, making the drunk driver civilly liable to the persons who experienced the damage. The criminal aspect involves the charge of a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. The administrative aspect involves the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, and if the driver is a licensed professional (i.e., nurse or doctor), it may also involve the suspension or revocation of the professional license.
Because of the many aspects involved in drunk driving, consulting with a drunk driving accident lawyer is essential to know the possible defenses and remedies to avoid penalties.
When you have been caught drunk driving without damage to person or property, you will generally only be charged with driving while intoxicated or aggravated driving while intoxicated, depending on the unique circumstances of your case. There are several defenses one can raise, such as the lack of probable cause to stop the car, failure to read the Miranda rights prior to arrest, errors in the administration of the test, failure to calibrate a breathalyzer test, and failure to inform about chemical test penalties.
Most attorneys, however, prefer to plea bargain, especially when there is no damage to person or property, the driver is a first-time offender, and no professional license is involved. Plea bargaining may result to pleading guilty to a non-alcohol related traffic violation, reduced penalties, or even adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.
For professionals with licenses that can be suspended or revoked with a drunk driving incident, the best option is an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal because this is not considered a conviction of a crime but instead a dismissal of the charge.
When drunk driving results to an accident with damage to persons or property, other charges may be filed, in addition to the charge of driving while intoxicated.
If damage to property resulted from the drunk driving accident, criminal mischief may be charged, which is the unlawful damage of property of another person. The severity of the degree of criminal mischief will depend on the intent (whether there was intention or it was done recklessly) and the value of the property damage.
If damage to persons resulted from the drunk driving accident, the driver could be charged with vehicular assault if drunk driving caused physical injury to another person or vehicular manslaughter if it caused the death of another. The degree will depend on the extent of the injuries and other factors. Penalties will also depend on prior convictions, level of intoxication, severity of injuries, and other circumstances.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, it is important to seek the advice of a drunk driving accident lawyer immediately. The earlier you are able to craft a strong defense with your lawyer, the better chances you have of getting a good result out of your case. Should you need a drunk driving attorney, we, at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin, are here for you. We have offices in New York City, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 212-233-1233 or send us an email at [email protected].