Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer Is the Record of Your DWI Arrest Ever Going Away?

Living or Dead, Your Arrest Records are Public
Al Capone, an infamous "public" enemy
from collectibles

Being arrested is a public event in more ways than one. Birth, death, marriage, divorce, and arrests are ALL Public records.

Remember if it's PUBLIC it can be PUBLISHED. 

The better questions:

Will they be? How much (or how often) is always dependent on the amount of news that day, week, or moment. You may never be published at all OR every newspaper (print and online sites) could decide you and/or your story is newsworthy.

Newsworthy (is a judgment) as in interesting, unique, or just a good story. Are YOU Newsworthy? Like Lindsay Lohan? If you are a more "important" person in the community, perhaps a public figure or related to a public figure then your story will get more attention. If you are the average "joe blow" then maybe no one will care enough to print it.

When and if it does get published, perhaps in print and/or online, they are entitled to give the arrest details along with your mug shot.

Arrest details: Was there an accident, what was the BAC (blood alcohol concentration), how old are you, what were you charged with (how many DWIs), were there other drugs found, was anyone hurt?

In Tompkins County, New York these are called the Sheriff Media Releases:

1/14/2014 DWI Arrest
   On January 14, 2014 at approximately 12:02 AM., deputies observed a white in color 1990 Isuzu travelling east on Plain Road in the Town of Dryden operating without brakelights. Deputies identified the operator as JOHN DOE age 44 of Dryden, New York. Further investigation by deputies determined DOE was intoxicated.
   DOE was charged with two counts of Driving While Intoxicated and Operating a Motor Vehicle with Inadequate or no Stop Lights. DOE is to appear in the Town of Dryden Court on February 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM.  
The one above is a fictitious one I created to protect the innocent (he is merely alleged) at this point in time. Sometimes they will include the picture (mug shot) of you as well with the description.
BTW Some descriptions may be shorter or longer again depending on the details and interest.

A question I often get as an attorney is,

"Can I make my the record of my arrest disappear (as in go away)? 

Unfortunately, since the arrest is public it is always going to be open game. People can hunt it down, find it, and then ask you about it.

Just to be clear, there is NO lifetime expungement and/or sealing of public arrest records.

If you are really interesting the media will follow your Court proceedings, and report on them as well. This is not common but does happen. They can report on all these hearings because they are open to the PUBLIC. Your private becomes public when you are arrested.

KEY TAKEAWAY: I would shy away from clicking and researching your own arrest online. The more often it is researched and/or sought out I believe the more google and their bots may keep it alive and close to page one versus page ten. Time heals all wounds, and your public arrest will eventually fade into page 15 or 20. I guess it could be found in the future but someone would have to be tenacious.

What you begin with (the arrest), and what you end up with (post-arrest) is going to be dependent upon a great many factors. Remember that your final case outcome will be influenced by the attorney (guide, counselor, advocate) you choose to help you.

Reviews of Larry Newman:

Further suggested reading on New York DWI defense here:

The 9 Most FAQ About NY DWI, here:

The New York Up State DWI Survival Guide, here:

Winning The NYS DWI Refusal Case, here:

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.