Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer Is Your DWI Arrest Record Online Forever?

Your mug shot may not be flattering from ncmugs.com

Nobody likes their private humiliations made public. It is embarrassing. A DWI arrest or any arrest for any crime can be published online or in print.

So first, Will it be? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, it depends upon the time and the circumstances. If you are the mayor or a famous person, you are as they say, newsworthy. People love juicy gossip. A celebrity fall from grace is what people love to hear about. It gives them that German term, a feeling of "schadenfreude" of finding joy in the misery and pain of others.

Are DWI arrest records public knowledge? Yes
Is it legal that my DWI arrest records are published by news groups, newspapers, and online sources? Yes

And so it goes, your DUI/DWI arrest records are public records. Remember that an arrest for anything is probable cause level proof that you did something.  It is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. An arrest in and of itself is merely an allegation of wrong doing, nothing more.

But what will people think? They will think you are guilty. That is the truth. People generally believe stuff that is published. People love to believe the worst. It is basic human psychology. I know that whole you are innocent till proven guilty, but in the real world people say guilty till I see or hear otherwise.

So what to do? 

First, realize that sitting, lamenting, and stewing over it does absolutely nothing. It is what it is. You have control over one thing, your reaction (or your response) to it. You are not a bad person. Many famous and super successful people throughout history have been arrested. It doesn't diminish you if you don't let it diminish you. Many of those who will judge you have done the same thing but they never got caught. The ones who judge the most are probably harboring their own secrets.

Second, you will have little to no control over the media. Asking them not to publish your stuff will probably push them to do it more. If the news is slow (nothing major to report) then your DWI arrest maybe front page. If your situation involves an accident, a child, or multiple drugs it is also more interesting and more likely to receive press.

Third, it will pass, other news will put yours on a later page. It will likely never go completely away. Someone with enough patience can unearth old news. But it will become a distant memory. As they say, time heals all wounds. Time will in fact bury your event within the millions of history. Unless you are a rock star or globe trotting mogul your arrest just won't hold long term public interest.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 90% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 440 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.