Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer Why Do the Police Usually Charge More than One DWI?

People call me confused, why did I get all these tickets? BTW Tickets, also known as UTTs (uniform traffic tickets) can be at various levels: violations (infractions/non-criminal), misdemeanors and felonies (criminal). You can have and get New York DWI tickets.

People want to know why did the police charge me with this and that? Why? Why? Why? They want to understand what they are up against. They want to know what they are facing from the Court, the District Attorney, .

New York Police Generally Charge More than One DW

The troopers, deputies, and officers will seek to charge more than one DWI. They want to charge multiple DWIs because then there is more for you to defend. Their more complete DWI case against you gets stronger with each and every charge levied. Now you will have to defend not only their personal (professional) opinion of impairment and/or intoxication but also the opinion of a breath or blood test result.

If You take a Breath Test and/or a Blood Test more than One DWI is Inevitable 

Giving a sample of your body fluids is a big decision. Many factors need to be taken into consideration before making it. It is not an easy black/white, yes/no type of choice. It has serious ramifications to not only the strength or weakness of the government's criminal case against you but also the long term consequences to your driving privileges.

If Your Breath or Blood Test Shows .08 BAC or Higher 

If you have a breath or blood test result of .10 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) then the state police will generally only charge you with alcohol related offenses. If less than that then they will re-test blood for other substances like THC. Some prosecutors will specifically send blood back for further testing if there is any indication of polysubstance abuse. Things like finding drugs or paraphernalia in the car will provoke further inquiry and further charges or an attempt at further charges.

If Your Breath or Blood Test Shows .18 BAC or Higher 

Some police and prosecutors will charge both the .08 BAC DWI and the .18 BAC DWI, in addition to the common law DWI. So in total three DWIs. Even though a .08 DWI is a sub set of a .18 DWI.

Can You be Charged with Both Alcohol DWI, and Non-Alcohol (Drug) DWAI Drugs?

You can be charged with both alcohol related DWI charges as well as non alcohol (drug) DWAI drug charges. This is common if the police find marijuana or smell marijuana. This is also common if they see a disconnect between your behavior and your low level of BAC on field or chemical testing of your breath.


Remember it is in the police or prosecutor's ultimate discretion to increase (add) charges or decrease (dismiss) charges depending upon the evidence. They have a stronger case of proving one of the DWIs or DWAIs (drug or alcohol) if they charge more than one.

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

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