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Welcome To Our Blog

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fourth DUI Soon To Be A Felony

Rules and regulations are never completely static and stationary. Laws change as the world's circumstances change. And recently, the United States government announced an important change to the nation's laws regarding DUIs (driving under the influence) charges. Soon, a person's fourth DUI is going to become a felony.

DUI Statistics In New York


This change in the law is important for many reasons. First and foremost, between 2003 and 2012, there were 3,752 people killed in motor vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These staggering numbers do not even account for the DUI incidents that only involved injuries or did not cause injuries at all.

What These Legal Changes Mean


Every time a person is charged with a DUI, the potential charges are different. The first offense is treated with the most leniency while each subsequent offense is taken more and more seriously. This is meant to protect the public at large from the potential ill effects of a person getting behind the wheel drunk.

The first three DUI charges are considered to be misdemeanor charges which means the penalties generally include minimal jail time (one year to four years), fines, and license suspension. However, once a person exceeds three DUIs, the charges after that are about to become felonies. This means that the penalties are much more severe possibly including a ten year or more state prison term. A felony conviction can also make it difficult to get a job or maintain professional licenses.

As such, if you are charged with a DUI or DWI, you need to seek out legal representation as soon as possible. With the possibility of any DUI beyond three being a felony charge, you cannot leave anything to chance and need to seek legal representation to help you handle the situation and protect yourself from facing serious and severe punishments and lengthy jail times.

Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Charges?

If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Facing A DWI/DUI As A Commercial Driver

When you receive a DUI or a DWI as a commercial driver you are likely to face some serious consequences. Since you have access to commercial vehicles you are held to a higher standard than you would be otherwise. According to DUILegalNY.com, an arrest for DWI while operating under a CDL leads to heavier fines and penalties in comparison to anyone arrested on standard DWI charges.

Facts About Commercial Drivers And DWI/DUI


Even if at the time you are pulled over and your blood alcohol level is below the legal limit to be considered under the influence, you may face drunk driving charges anyway. If your blood alcohol level is even half the limit you may find yourself in some serious trouble. Being arrested for drunk driving when you are not working can still affect your status as a commercial driver.

In some cases you may lose your driver's license temporarily but in other cases it may be permanent. A DUI conviction can lead to one year without your commercial driver's license being valid. You may lose your driving privileges for a year if you are pulled over for DUI or DWI and refuse to take a breathalyzer, we previously wrote about this here. According to Federal law, as a commercial driver you may be asked to agree to a random alcohol or drug test while you are driving, or immediately before or after.

Consequences Of A DUI/DWI Arrest


In general, being arrested for DUI or DWI carries with it the following consequences:
  • losing your job
  • losing your commercial license
  • paying expensive fines
  • serving time in jail
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence can cause much more damage to your life than it would if you were not a commercial driver. If you find yourself facing a DWI or DUI charge you will want to speak with an attorney who can guide you through the resulting actions.


Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Charges?

If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Out Of State Driver Facing A DWI



A charge of Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense. In New York, you can be charged with drunk driving if you are caught driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or lower if you drive a commercial vehicle or are under the legal drinking age. If you reside in New York but find yourself facing DWI/DUI charges in another state, you might find yourself overwhelmed in a sea of state statutes and intricate variation in potential outcomes.

Drivers License Compact


New York is one of 44 states that comply with an agreement with other states called The Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC) . This agreement requires that the Department of Motor Vehicles department in the state of an accident or citation to report those infractions to a driver's home state for consideration. This could result in points or rising insurance premiums, not to mention facing charges or license revocation in both states.

DWI Penalties


Depending on the circumstances and results of the DWI incident, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Some of the factors that can determine the severity of the charges include:
  • Your blood alcohol concentration
  • Previous DWI convictions 
  • Damage caused by the incident 
  • Personal injury/death caused by the incident

If it is your first conviction and you didn't cause any damage to person or property, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor, which involves a suspension of your license for at least 6 months and a minimum fine of between $500-$1,000. You may also face jail-time.
Out-of-State/In-state Drivers

If you live out-of-state and are charged with a DWI in New York, your home state will be notified of the charge and you will face the penalties that your state incurs for driving while intoxicated as well as damages or injuries that occur as a result of your intoxication. You may also become a defendant in a criminal or civil court case.

Even if you find yourself facing charges or an impending court case, you are not without options. Don't plead guilty to charges out of fear or the desire to settle.
Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Charges or facing a DWI charge in New York or out of state?

If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:
Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:


Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:
Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When Can You Fight DWI Charges?



Drunk drivers who are pulled over and charged with a DUI in the state of New York can expect to pay a hefty fine and be subject to severe consequences. New York's STOP-DWI law is one of the most aggressive drunk driving enforcement and prosecution program in the country. It sets mandatory fines, surcharges, license suspension terms and jail sentencing guidelines to be applied in drunk driving cases.

If convicted of a DWI, your out-of-pocket costs alone will cost you thousands of dollars, but you will also risk losing your freedom if you are sentenced to any jail time. Mandatory loss of your license means that:
  • You will likely have difficulty getting back and forth to work
  • Risk losing your job 
  • Your insurance rates will also go through the roof

Obtaining a job in the future may also be hampered with a DWI on your record, as many employers perform background checks on prospective employees. Whenever possible, it is in your best interest to fight DWI charges, especially if your BAC is below 0.08 percent or if you are a first-time offender. Read more here for reasons to save your license.

Why Does BAC Matter?


Everyone makes mistakes; however, driving while under the influence is a serious mistake because you put not only your life at risk, but the lives of others. Between 2003-2012, 3,752 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in New York. If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of under 0.08, but more than 0.05 and less than .07, you can be charged with a DWAI, which has lesser penalties than a DWI. Sometimes it is possible to plead a DWI, if your BAC is over 0.08 down to this lesser charge also.

Why Should You Fight?


The problem is that even if you have a low BAC and receive a DWAI, in the event that you are pulled over for a subsequent drunk driving offense in the future, you will still be penalized as a repeat offender. You will be subject to increased fines, longer time for license revocation and risk a greater chance of serving prison time.

There is no guarantee that fighting a DWI charge will result in getting a charge dismissed or downgraded to a lesser charge. However, there is a burden on the prosecution to prove that you are guilty, and often, there may be circumstances that make their case against you weak. Therefore, it is in your best interest to fight DWI charges when possible to protect your finances and livelihood.


Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Charges?
If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Rise In DUI's During The Holidays



The holidays are a wonderful time of the year and with all the end of year celebrations bringing people together, alcohol is often a part of the festivities. Unfortunately, not everyone is responsible when it comes to drinking and driving. As a result, every year the number of DUI's steadily rise.

DUI Season


The holidays represent a time of year where inhibitions are relatively low due to all the celebrating and alcohol consumption. The number of people on the road traveling to and from different events greatly increases during this time of year making the roads even more dangerous to travel. New Year's eve, in particular, is the day where more DUI arrests occur than any other time of the year.

Checkpoints


One of the reasons that the number of DUI's increase during the holidays is due to checkpoints that are often set up during periods of time that are notorious for having more drunk drivers on the road. Unfortunately, although these checkpoints unsurprisingly allow law enforcement to catch more drunk drivers they do little to curb alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Much of the driving occurs at night when accidents are three times more likely to happen due to night vision, more cars on the road, and impaired driving.

The Most Dangerous Time to Drive


Holiday celebrations and gatherings are usually night time events, which adds to the dangerous element that comes from driving impaired. At night accidents are three times more likely to happen due to impaired driving and more cars on the road, not to mention other factors. Other common factors include:
  • Fatigue
  • Compromised Night Vision 
  • Darkness 
  • Rushed Driving
Clearly, the holidays represent a period of the year when driving and alcohol consumption often occur at an increased rate resulting in more DUI's and traffic fatalities. New Year's eve seems to trump every other holiday of the year in terms of the rate of DUI arrests. Because of this, the responsible driver needs to do everything in his or her power to refrain from driving if they are impaired and to stay alert, particularly at night, during this high risk time of the year.

Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Charges?

If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What Is A Driving While Impaired (DWI) Court And How Is It Different?

When a member of our society chronically repeats a dangerous behavior, even once they've been punished for it, they may need special help to change. At the same time the public must be protected.


What Is A DWI Court?


The traditional court system has proved to be less than effective when dealing with some repeat drinking and driving offenders. Despite the fact that DUI and DWI are extremely serious charges, most sentences do not attempt to address the root causes for individual repeat behaviors. DWI court is designed to be an alternative for those hardcore offenders, who are defined as individuals who drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent or greater, or who have been arrested for or convicted of driving while intoxicated after a prior DWI conviction.

DWI court is an accountability court based on the drug court model. It combines intensive supervision with accountability checks and balances and long-term treatment that examines the history and causes of the offender's alcohol abuse. The tone is non-adversarial, with law enforcement, legal representatives and treatment providers acting as a team in an effort to change individual behavior permanently, and, in doing so, perhaps save lives. Participants undergo frequent and random alcohol or drug testing, must appear before court regularly and are held accountable for their actions. In return, jail time or other penalties may be deferred or mitigated.

Does It Work?


There are a growing number of DWI courts in the US. That's because they seem to work, with recidivist rates of just 15% (compared to a 35% chance of re-offending for those who pass through the traditional court system). Studies note that they also have the potential for reducing the vast expanse incurred from incarceration, lengthy and repeated traditional court proceedings, and the loss of life and property that may result from repeat DWI offenses.

Although public sentiment can fluctuate on the topic of DWI court, it's telling that the concept is fully supported by organizations such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), The National Sheriff's Association and the American Judge's Association.  

Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Charges?

If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Can You Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?



You can refuse to take a breathalyzer test under most circumstances, but since New York has something called implied consent, that course of action will come with serious consequences. Like its name suggests, implied consent means that you have made an implicit agreement with the state of New York whenever you get behind the wheel of your car that you will submit to chemical testing, whether that means a blood, a breath, a urine, or a saliva test, in order to determine the amount of drugs and alcohol in your system so long as a police officer makes an appropriate request for you to do so. As a result, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your refusal will be treated as a traffic infraction.

What Are The Consequences Of Refusing A Breathalyzer Test?


Traffic infractions are a serious matter. In the state of New York, your first refusal can get you a one-year suspension of your driver's license, while both your second and your third refusals can get you an 18-month suspension of your license as long as you have had either a refusal or a DWI conviction within the last 5 years. However, you should know that your driver's license cannot be suspended for the refusal to take a breathalyzer test unless you are warned about the consequences by a police officer after you have done so. Furthermore, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test when you have had either two refusals, two DWI convictions, or one of each incident within the last four years, your driver's license can be permanently revoked.

When Are You Not Allowed To Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?


Finally, you should know that there are circumstances when the police can force you to take a breathalyzer test or some other kind of chemical testing. For example, if you get into an accident in which someone is either killed or seriously injured while driving under the influence, the police can and will get a court order to allow them to take the necessary sample from you by using force if necessary.

Need Help With Your DWI Arrest Or Refusal Charges?

If your arrest occurred in Westchester County, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
2900 Westchester Ave #405
Harrison, NY 10577
914-888-2430

If your arrest occurred in Queens, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
31-19 Newtown Ave #901c
Queens, NY 11102
718-395-4770

If your arrest occurred in Long Island, NY, contact our DWI lawyers at this office:

Acocella Law Group
20 Crossways Park Dr #210a
Woodbury, NY 11797
203-697-8604