Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Military Intelligence, Jumbo Shrimp, and New York "Initial or First" DWI Appearances

How can you have more than one
"initial or first" DWI appearances?
Riddle me this Batman?

from brie3po.deviantart.com

How can it be an initial or first Court appearance if I already had one? Confusion over why we need more than one initial appearance with DWI cases aka "the arraignment" is a constant reminder of government inefficiency in action. Your being "arraigned" (noticed) on the charges, and being informed of your rights may happen more than once.

Well, you can have an initial or first appearance with counsel or without counsel. So your first appearance with counsel is technically NOT always your true first appearance in the Court but who's counting anyway?

I have seen this play out at it's worst with DWI refusal cases. If you refused to take a police chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine either expressly or via your implied behavior then at your first court appearance two things will happen:

1. The judge suspends your driver's license or privileges (for out-of-state driver's)
2. Sets your date for a DMV (administrative) refusal hearing. This must occur within 15 days of YOUR initial appearance (with or without counsel).

With a Breath or Blood DWI chemical case your license suspension will generally NOT begin until you are arraigned with counsel present. So even if you have an initial or first appearance without counsel (an attorney) you can usually rest assured that your license or driving privileges are still intact until your NEXT initial or first appearance WITH counsel.

This also gives you a golden opportunity to work with your lawyer to secure or insure or assure your receiving (by request/motion) a HARDSHIP PRIVILEGE Driver's License. Remember that Hardship privileges require the requisite proof to be granted by a judge. Some want more information and some less but you will need to give it to get it.

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

I am certified in Field Sobriety and Breath Alcohol Testing, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 500 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 500 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. 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.