With over 10,000 fatalities caused by intoxicated drivers in the United States each year, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are heavily punished under the law. If you were involved in a DUI case, know that this conviction will impact your life for years as you face the consequences of your actions. From getting your license suspended to even serving jail time, the penalties for driving while under the influence are severe. While facing the legal repercussions may be challenging, there are some ways that you can protect your rights during the procedure.
What Exactly Is A DUI?
A DUI is when someone gets caught driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other intoxicating substances. While every state has some form of DUI laws, they may have a different name for DUI charges, or may even have different penalties depending on the severity of the case. In New York, for example, a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge is a specific type of DUI associated with alcohol.
What Are The Consequences For A First-Time DUI In New York?
If you’re found with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of over 0.08% or under the influence of other illicit substances, you could face potentially serious charges, even as a first-time offender. For your first DUI, you may have to pay mandatory fines of at least $500, get your license suspended for at least six months, and serve up to a year in jail. Additionally, New York’s penalties will increase with each DUI to discourage you from committing further offenses.
Can You Appeal Your DUI Conviction?
While New York allows you to appeal the outcome of a conviction, the laws in place can complicate the process. The appellate court deals with reviewing your case’s details to see if they could revise your DUI conviction and, in some cases, completely overturn it. Depending on your circumstances, you can appeal your conviction based on:
- Police not having probable cause to stop you
- Improper use of evidence during the trial
- Jury instructions were incorrect
- Lack of evidence to convict you
Navigating the appellate process can be difficult, and due to the sheer number of cases, deadlines for appealing your conviction are strict. You should hire a reliable criminal defense lawyer who knows the legal system to help guide you through everything.
What To Do After Getting A DUI
Your life will change entirely as soon as you’ve been caught and convicted of a DUI charge, especially if your license was revoked. Here are a few steps you should take immediately after your conviction.
#1 Arrange Transportation
Your license may be suspended for the foreseeable future, depending on how serious your conviction is. Unless if you have a hardship license that allows you to go to school or work, driving yourself anywhere else until your hearing can lead to more problems in court. Opt for public transportation or have someone drive you in the meantime to avoid any further charges.
#2 Gather Evidence To Defend Your Case
When it comes to DUIs, your case’s details will heavily influence its outcome. The more accurate information you gather about the incident, the more evidence you have when the time comes to defend yourself. You should include vital facts about the incident such as the time, the place, the breath test information, witness statements, or other relevant details.
Also, following your DUI conviction, a police officer will write an arrest report about the incident, which can be a vital piece of evidence in your case. Make sure to ask your lawyer to obtain a copy for you.
#3 Consider Getting SR-22 Insurance Coverage
An SR-22 policy form is a document that states the high-risk driver has the minimum requirements mandated by the court. While New York doesn’t require you to have this, you will need to file an SR-22 insurance coverage if you plan on going to a state that does. An SR-22 may also help you restore some driving privileges and keep you covered in the case of an accident.
Our Lawyers Can Help You Appeal Your Conviction
Getting a DUI is a stressful experience, and the consequences often tend to be severe. While it may seem difficult to fight an unfavorable conviction, there are many instances where you can have your sentence reduced or even revoked. As long as you follow your attorney’s advice and get the evidence you need, you have a chance of successfully defending yourself in court.
If you just received a DUI and need to consult legal counsel, our professional criminal defense lawyers can help you through the legal process. We will work with you to devise a strategy for reducing or dismissing your charges. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling our Westbury, New York office at 866-506-3694 or using our website’s contact form today.