Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer Explains the High Beams New York DWI Traffic Stop for Dazzling Lights

Are these Lights on High Beams?Are they really dazzling?
In New York State a police officer (any LEO = law enforcement officer) can pull you over (STOP your car) for a moving or an equipment violation. This is the most common reason for someone being stopped by the police. They were speeding, they went through a stop sign, they don't use a tern signal, etc. But sometimes the police say that someone had their brights on, their high beams.

New York State VTL 375 (2) (b) "Dazzling" Lights 

TWO Pressing Questions:

Is it against the law to drive with your high beams on?
When is it an improper (or illegal) for the police to make a stop of your car for high beams?

Well in these types of DWI cases the main word is: INTERFERENCE

It is NOT illegal to drive with your headlights on high UNLESS it interferes with the operation of cars by others, i.e. the police officer/trooper/deputy that pulled you over or other motorists.

How do I combat a "bad" (illegal) stop in these circumstances?

I demand (request) a suppression hearing of the STOP of the car. This is called a Huntley hearing in New York State. At the hearing I will cross examine the officer (ask questions) about the circumstances that had them pull you over.

I have had officers state that they did not alter the operation (driving) of their cars.
I have had officers state that they could look directly into the beams as they approached.
I have had officers state that they never issued a violation ticket for supposed high beams infraction.
I have had officers state that they never checked to see if the high beams were actually on (some newer cars have xenon head lights).

Is it high beams or a newer car with high end lights?
The better Question, is it an illegal stop?

from xenon

IF they were not interfered with in their operation then under the New York case law = the stop for high beams is unwarranted/improper/illegal.

Remember that ALL evidence discovered (pot, drugs, DWI, breath, blood) after an ILLEGAL STOP of a car is INADMISSABLE!!

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.