You’ve been accused of driving while under the influence. Now what?
The first step you need to take is hiring a criminal attorney. The field of criminal law is a complex one, particularly if this is your first time being accused of a violation, and one you shouldn’t navigate alone. Without a DUI lawyer by your side to help you interrogate witnesses and file paperwork you run the risk of a heavier sentence. Likewise, your traffic violations could see you getting a second chance with a professional representing you. Before you start seeking out lawyers in your area, take a glance at recent statistics and familiarize yourself with what you’re up against.
Here’s how a criminal attorney can help you in your time of need.
Drunk Driving In America
Every day thousands of people drive drunk in the United States. According to recent statistics, a significant number of this population are also not of drinking age. One study found drivers under the age of 21 accounting for over 10% of drivers involved in either drug or alcohol-related crashes, despite being just 5% of the total driving population. Driving while intoxicated (or DWI) while under New York State Law constitutes operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Only the state of Utah has a unique requirement, with the legal BAC being 0.05% or higher.
The Definition Of Blood Alcohol Content
Should you be facing an accusation of driving while under the influence, you likely already know about BAC and how it’s used to determine a charge. Also known as ‘blood alcohol content’, your BAC count is relied upon to make an informed legal decision. A BAC of 0.18% or higher can have you charged with what’s known as an A-DWI, or ‘aggravated DWI’. The United States’ probation rate is over 400% higher than European countries, despite boasting similar crime rates.
It’s not just alcohol or drug usage that can cause you to seek out a criminal attorney. Your case also takes into account anyone else involved. Any alcohol related offenses committed with a child less than 16 years old in the vehicle will be charged with a class E felony. This is dubbed Leandra’s Law, created back in 2009 after an incident involving a drunk mother getting her child into a fatal crash while under the influence. In 2017 the state of New York saw nearly 450,000 arrests, resulting in 140,000 felonies and 305,000 misdemeanors.
Additional Driving Hazards
What other driving hazards can impact your sentence? The road is a dangerous place, with drunk driving being just one of the many issues encountered. Distracted driving is a term used to denote a driver attempting to multitask while operating heavy machinery, including texting, calling or eating. Road rage is another term where a driver behaves in an aggressive manner, putting themselves and others at risk. A criminal attorney can simplify a complicated process and help you reach a sentencing that’s timely and fair.
The Benefit Of DUI Lawyers In Long Island
Being represented by a lawyer is your right. A criminal attorney is your first line of defense when faced with a charge, that of which can result in a sentence ranging from a fine to jail time. This is dependent on a few factors, such as your BAC, past sentencing and any other road factors involved in the case. Between 1980 and 2014 the number of people on probation in the United States rose from one million to nearly four million. While some of this is due to an increase in arrests, a major factor can be contributed to changing laws in light of mounting drunk driving incidents.
Don’t leave your fate up to chance. Reach out to DWI lawyers in your area and ask for a consultation.