DWI / Aggravated DWI / DUI / DWAI-Drugs / Leandra's Law DWI

Your attorneys at Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP understand how frightening a DWI/DUI charge is. For that very reason, we are prepared to protect you from the moment you or a loved one is charged until the conclusion of your case and beyond.

We are available to handle every detail of you or your loved one's case, including issues that may crop up after most attorneys stop answering phone calls, like the ignition interlock device and your driver's license.

Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP, is a firm known for its tenacity in the courtroom. As soon as you contact the law firm of Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP, you will be in good hands as we take you step-by-step through the criminal justice process. Whether it's your first offense or the most serious of felony impaired driving offenses, your legal team will be prepared at each and every turn in your case. We'll ensure that you feel as knowledgeable and comfortable about your own case as we are in defending individuals charged with DWI/DUI. At Phelan, Phelan, & Danek, LLP, we recognize the rigors of the "criminal justice process" and will ensure that you are treated with dignity and respect throughout our representation.

From the moment you choose Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP, we'll tailor our investigation and representation to suit your individual needs and goals. If your case requires quick and efficient resolution to protect your ability to drive, your attorneys will know how to adopt that as a goal for your case. If your case requires detailed legal research and investigation to determine if the government and law enforcement abided by the law in charging you with a crime, your attorneys will have the skills to accomplish just that. If your case calls for a lawyer experienced in taking cases to hearings and trial before a judge and jury, then you will have that lawyer ready to do battle on your behalf. We know that you or your loved one will need experienced advice to figure out if a plea bargain or a trial is in your best interests so let the attorneys at Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP locate the strengths and weaknesses in the government's case to ensure you get the best advice.

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Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP is prepared to handle DWI cases throughout the Capital Region in counties like Albany, Saratoga, Rennsealear, Schenectady and the rest of New York State. If you or your loved one is charged a DWI/DUI in New York State, please contact us immediately (hyperlink to contact us page) so that we can start answering your many questions about your case, develop a plan for how your case should proceed from start to finish, prepare you for court appearances, discuss the pros and cons of potential outcomes, and ease your mind knowing that you have a dedicated legal team in your corner.

Driving While Intoxicated ("DWI")-Per Se (Driving Over the Legal Limit) Everyone has heard the slogans and seen the billboards that say as soon as you drink and drive you're in trouble, but did you know that that's not the law? There are several types of DWI/DUI charges, but one of the most common is called Driving While Intoxicated—Per Se, or Driving Over the Legal Limit. If you or your loved one is charged with this offense, the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you operated a motor vehicle WHILE having had 0.8 of 1% or more by weight of alcohol in your blood (or in the case of Aggravated DWI, 0.18 of 1% of more by weight of alcohol). This requires the government to have chemically tested your breath or blood to determine what your blood alcohol content was at or close to the time of alleged operation of a motor vehicle. Typically, law enforcement will use devices like a breathalyzer or a blood draw to test for blood alcohol content, but these chemical tests are not without their flaws and should be subjected to intense scrutiny. The government’s responsibility to test for blood alcohol content doesn’t stop there, though, because they must demonstrate that any blood alcohol content is directly related to whether they can prove you operated a car with that blood alcohol content. Your attorneys at Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP have the knowledge and skills to investigate and question any potential evidence against you to determine whether the government can actually prove every element of this charge.

Driving While Intoxicated ("DWI")-Common Law
We couldn't begin to count the number of times a client has expressed to me why he or she was charged with not just one DWI but two DWI charges! How is that fair and why can the government do that? New York State adopted legislation that allows law enforcement to charge individuals suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol with DWI-Per Se (driving over the legal limit), the offense described above, and DWI-Common Law because they are actually different charges with the same serious consequences. DWI-Common Law requires that the government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you or a loved one operated a motor vehicle WHILE you were intoxicated. Intoxication as defined by New York State is a legal term that means the government must prove you were so impaired after consuming alcohol that you were unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. The government is permitted to do this by offering evidence such as the manner in which a vehicle was operated, field sobriety tests, observations of a police officer such as impaired speech and motor coordination, and chemical tests. Law enforcement doesn't need to perform a chemical test to charge you with this crime. Your attorneys at Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP understand how each of these play a role in the government's case against you and are experienced in questioning their veracity and applicability to your specific case.

Driving While Ability Impaired ("DWAI") by a Drug or Drugs
In addition to criminalizing driving while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, New York State criminalized operating a motor vehicle while impaired by a drug or the combination of drugs. In this type of case, the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you or a loved one were actually impaired by a drug or drugs at the moment of any alleged operation of a motor vehicle. In other words, the government must prove that you had a drug or drugs in your system, that your ability to drive was affected by the use of that particular drug, and that the drug you may have allegedly used is listed as a controlled substance in New York's Public Health Law. Here's the wild thing about DWAI-Drugs, it could include medications that you were prescribed by a medical professional. This is where an experienced attorney becomes necessary to investigate the circumstances of your case and determine whether the government can build any sort of case against you or your loved one. Let the attorneys at Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP do just that so that we can begin protecting your rights and interests as early as possible.

DMV Chemical Test Refusal Cases
There are times in a DWI or DWAI-Drugs investigation by law enforcement when someone refuses to submit to a chemical test and there are many reasons why someone would choose not to submit. New York State decided that such a refusal would have drastic consequences on that person's privilege to drive. When law enforcement finds that no chemical test was taken, in addition to any criminal charges imposed as a result of a DWI or DWAI-Drugs investigation, a court will notify DMV that your driver's license is subject to immediate suspension and possible revocation. This action will start a separate civil administrative hearing process with DMV in front of an administrative law judge and your privilege to drive in New York could be revoked for a minimum of 12 months if the administrative law judge makes a finding that no chemical test was performed without a valid reason for a refusal. If DMV were to make that finding, you would also owe a $500 civil penalty and $750 Driver Responsibility Assessment to DMV. At Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP, your attorneys will know exactly how to prepare for such a hearing and will be present with you to argue your case with DMV.

New York State's Zero Tolerance Law
For individuals under the age of 21 who are alleged to have operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content between 0.2 and 0.7 of 1%, you may face a civil violation known as the Zero Tolerance Law. While this is not a crime, the consequences are serious (civil penalty of $125 and six-month license suspension for a first offense, civil penalty of $125 and license revocation of one year or until you turn 21, whichever is longer) and you deserve representation at the DMV administrative hearing to ensure the government complied with its obligations before any of these consequences can be imposed.

Possible Consequences of DWI/DUI Convictions
To say that DWI/DUI convictions come with a laundry list of possible consequences is an understatement. We start with the fact that your New York State driving privilege could be suspended by the court pending the outcome of your case. If convicted of DWI, you face up to a year in jail, your license could be revoked for a minimum of 6 months, you could be fined in amounts close to and exceeding $1,000, you would be required to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you either own or operate for a minimum of 12 months, you would be required to attend and complete the New York State Impaired Driver Program through DMV, you may be required to attend a Victim Impact panel, and DMV would impose an additional fee in the form of a Driver Responsibility Assessment. If you're convicted of a felony DWI, you face up to four or more years in state prison and your driving privilege consequences are worse. If you hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), then the consequences for your CDL are dire and you should immediately retain an attorney to represent you in order to do everything possible to protect your ability to drive and your livelihood.

For individuals who find themselves facing their second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. impaired driving offense, the charges may be elevated to felonies and your license could be administratively revoked by DMV for longer periods of time. For a look at the driver license penalties DMV could impose on someone who has a history of multiple impaired driving offenses, please review this chart (hyperlink to DMV page) on DMV's website.

For an insightful look at the ignition interlock device ("IID") rules in New York State, please review a guide Derek S. Andrews, Esq. posted on Avvo.com.

The point here is that you or your loved one will need an attorney knowledgeable about the consequences associated with any DWAI, DWI, or DWAI-Drugs charge, including ignition interlock device violations. Your attorneys at Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP will have that knowledge and you deserve to have that knowledge at your disposal as we work together to resolve your case in your favor.

Derek S. Andrews, Esq. is responsible for Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP's criminal defense and DWI/DUI practice areas. Please contact the firm today to set up a no obligation consultation to learn what Phelan, Phelan & Danek, LLP can do for you.