Top Five Mistakes Defendants Make in a New York DWI Case

Handcuffing 2 young women

Clearly, no one sets out to get pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in New York. Consequently, most people are not sure what to do or how to proceed if it does actually happen. Mistakes, therefore, are common. If you ever find yourself as the defendant in a DWI prosecution, remember the following top five mistakes defendants make in a New York DWI case in the hope that you can avoid making them yourself.

  1. Admitting to drinking and driving. People often make the mistake of thinking that it is OK to admit to having "a beer" or "one glass of wine" prior to getting behind the wheel. One of your Constitutional rights is the right against self-incrimination. Use it! In most cases, when a police officer hears a motorist say he/she has had "a drink" the officer immediately assumes that "a" drink really means "several" drinks. There is absolutely no benefit to admitting to consuming any alcohol prior to driving.
  2. Arguing with the police. Remember that the bottom line is that a law enforcement officer has the right to arrest you. It is then up to the prosecuting attorney to decide whether or not to charge you and to obtain a conviction if you are charged. Arguing with a police officer is the surest way to ensure an arrest.
  3. Assuming you will be convicted. Contrary to what the police and the prosecutor want you to believe, being charged with DWI is not the equivalent of being convicted. Even if you failed the chemical test you may still have a valid defense that could prevent a conviction.
  4. Accepting the first plea agreement offered to you. The State's case against you may, ultimately, be airtight, meaning you will convicted. This, however, does not mean that you have to accept the first plea agreement offered to you by the prosecuting attorney. As a general rule, every term or condition in a plea agreement is negotiable.
  5. Not hiring an attorney. Every mistake made after your initial arrest can be avoided by hiring an experienced New York criminal defense attorney. In addition, hiring an attorney ensures that your rights will be protected throughout the prosecution of your case and that all potential avenues of defense will be explored in an attempt to avoid a conviction. If conviction is inevitable, having an attorney on your side provides you with expert assistance and guidance during the negotiation phase of entering into a plea agreement.

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, or another alcohol or drug-related driving offense in the State of New York, be sure to consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney right away.