Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How are Your Driver's License and DWI Integrated?

YOUR Driver's License and DWI Case are Integrated

I get phone calls and emails weekly asking for guidance on DWI/ADWI/DWAI drug license issues. It often begins with "my attorney helped me get "x" deal and my criminal case is done BUT I can't get my license back or how do I get my license back or my home state won't release my license."

What do I do? What can I do? My DWI attorney doesn't seem to know??

Driving While cases inevitably will in some way, shape, or form involve your privilege to drive. It is the nature of the charge or charges. DWI is a special type of crime because it intersects two areas, an administrative area of law (licensure), and a criminal area of law (danger to the public).

ALL Roads Lead to Rome or Why ALL DWs Lead to Your License to Drive?

The Big 7 

The Seven Factors That Must Be Considered with ANY DWI Case

Whether your case is a DWI or Aggravated DWI or DWAI drugs it will eventually involve your driver's license and/or driving privileges at various steps and stages. This will be fact/case specific depending upon a number of factors:

1. How old are YOU? What was your age (over or under 21?) at the time of your DWI?

Suspensions and revocations are longer for those under 21 years of age at the time of the offense. People 21 or older, with a 1st time DWI will get their privileges back after completing the DMV DDP (drinking driver program).

2. Where are your license or driving privileges from (which state or country?)

People from another state (than NY) will likely have to deal with both NYS and their home state to CLEAR their complete license privileges. People from a foreign country without a United States license have additional issues to consider with a DWI case. Would it be wise to maybe change your license over before the Court case begins? NOTE: This is also fact (case/situation) specific, and must be discussed with a well versed DWI attorney.

3. What is your prior license history (prior points/charges/offenses)?

Those with two DWs within the past five years face higher penalties, and the inability to get conditional privileges or licensure. Those with two or more DWs within 10 years face having to complete an OASAS drug/alcohol program prior to re-licensure. Those bad (driving) histories with many points or negative safety units or accidents or driving related charges may have additional hurdles or concerns.

4. What was the timing of your prior offenses (within 5 years or 10 years or 25 years)?

Depending upon when and where prior offenses occurred could mean the difference between getting back a license or never getting back a license.

5. Was your DWI a blood case versus breath case versus refusal of chemical test?

If your case is a blood case add months to discovering when your license will be suspended. Potentially the timing of a blood case can delay the criminal case and future charges. If the blood comes back .18 BAC (blood alcohol content) or more then it is an aggravated DWI and not a regular .08 BAC DWI. If the case is a chemical refusal case then there will be no driving privileges if the DMV refusal case is lost. There are even dangers and issues to consider because even if you get the criminal charges dismissed you will be without driving privileges for a YEAR. The DMV conditions a conviction to one for the VTL 1192 charges (DWAI or DWI) to enable participation in the DMV DDP course and conditional licensure.

6. Did your DWI involve an accident?

Accidents increase safety units on your DMV record. Judges don't like to award or grant any type of licensure or privileges (hardship, conditional, or restricted) to those who have DWIs involving an accident.

7. What type of accident (single car versus multiple car?) was involved with your DWI?

In many case a "Single" car accident involving a ditch, or a tree, or a traffic sign are a different animal than ones involving another car. If the DWI involved people the chances of re-licensure are diminished.

Licensure and DWIs Go Together

Often I see attorneys neglect or negate the issue of driving privileges. It is not a separate issue but a linked one that must be:

1. investigated/ get complete driving history
2. planned / what can we do to be proactive?
3. strategized/ acted upon/ what is coming as to timing? Can we defend or mitigate (lessen or avoid) any of it?

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

Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers