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How Do You Win a DWI Case in NY?

Last updated on: July 26, 2022

By Lebedin Kofman LLP

When facing DWI charges in New York, you are considered innocent until the prosecution has proven you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden of proof for prosecutors, and there are many arguments available to defense attorneys to create that doubt in a DWI case.

Lebedin Kofman Case Results

All criminal charges were dismissed for the client charged with Felony DWI in Manhattan. Our client was pulled over at 2 am in Manhattan after refusing to stop for over 20 blocks. He admitted to the officer that he had 4 drinks before driving, marijuana, and prescription pills in his possession but refused to take a breathalyzer. He was also alleged to have been driving while his license was suspended as he had already had 2 prior DWI cases. He was charged with felony DWI VTL 1192.3 and VTL 1192.1 in criminal court and had refused to submit to a chemical test hearing in the DMV. Lebedin Kofman was able to win the DMV refusal to submit to a chemical test hearing for this client and secured dismissal of all of the criminal charges against him in criminal court. 

There are three main categories of defense options that DWI attorneys commonly use when representing clients facing DWI charges:

  • There was insufficient evidence to charge the defendant
  • There is insufficient evidence to convict the defendant, or
  • There were procedural mistakes made that negate the evidence

Insufficient Evidence to Charge

Law enforcement does not have unlimited latitude when making traffic stops. Limits are placed on police authority to ensure individuals’ rights against unlawful search and seizure. Consequently, police have to operate within the limits of the law whenever making a traffic stop.

A law enforcement officer may make a traffic stop if there is

  • Probable cause to believe that the driver has committed a traffic violation
  • Some form of equipment violation
  • Reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, is in the process of being committed, or is about to be committed
  • Administration of a DWI checkpoint

When a traffic stop is conducted unlawfully, it invalidates any evidence that was collected. Without sufficient evidence, a trial would be a waste of the state’s time, and charges will be dropped. 

Insufficient Evidence to Convict

Even when the prosecution has sufficient evidence to bring charges and continue to trial, they still must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, it is the job of the defense to cast doubt on the evidence, the way it was collected, or its results. 

A skilled criminal defense attorney in New York may do this by questioning the accuracy of the BAC test results, its lawful collection, or a law enforcement officer’s testimony regarding the defendant’s intoxication. Police procedures must be strictly followed and testing handled with great care. If there is doubt concerning the collection of evidence, the legitimacy of the results, or other possible errors, charges may be dismissed.

Procedural Mistakes Made

Defendants in criminal cases are afforded important legal protections and procedures must be maintained in order to keep the system as fair as possible. If errors are made, it can derail the prosecution’s case. 

Errors can include things such as

  • Whether breathalyzer equipment was administered properly
  • Whether blood samples were properly stored or otherwise contaminated
  • Whether Miranda rights were given by law enforcement
  • Whether there were inaccuracies in reports, paperwork, or testimony

When the state makes procedural mistakes, charges can be dismissed. 

There are times when there is simply no way to have DWI charges dismissed entirely. In these cases, the defense will look at other options, such as getting charges reduced to lessen the severity of the penalties. 

Getting Skilled Legal Representation

While there may be multiple ways to reduce the negative impact of a DWI, it is never a good idea to face the system alone. It is critical to have the assistance of an experienced DWI defense attorney in NY who understands the laws and the complicated nature of DWI violations and their consequences. 

At Lebedin Kofman, we believe all individuals who have been charged with a DWI in New York deserve a quality defense. If you are facing DWI charges, call our skilled team of New York DWI lawyers at (646) 663-4430 or contact us through our website contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

Criminal Defense

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