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Welcome To Our Blog

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How is Distracted Driving Similar to Drunk Driving?

The short answer is that distracted driving is exactly what it sounds like, which is driving while your attention isn't focused on your task.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving comes in three forms:

Manual: when you remove your hands from the wheel
Visual: when your eyes aren't on the road
Cognitive: when your mind isn't focused on the task of driving

How Is It Similar to Drunk Driving?


Although one is caused by alcohol-impaired judgment while the other is caused by distractions of various forms, the most obvious similarity between distracted and drunk driving is that both account for thousands of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries each year.

The Fatalities

The CDC, referencing the findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, discovered that 3, 477 out of 35, 092 total motor vehicle deaths were linked to distracted driving. Injuries due to distracted driving in the same year accounted for 391, 000 out of just over 2 million total motor vehicle-related injuries.

On its study of drunk driving, the CDC noted that drunk driving accounted for 10, 265 or 29% of total motor vehicle deaths.

The Ages of the Drivers


According to the numbers compiled by the CDC, one of the risk factors that both distracted drivers and impaired drivers have in common is that a disproportionate number of the drivers involved are young.

With distracted driving, CDC notes that drivers under the age of 20 account for the largest demographic of fatalities.

Due to the age limit, drunk drivers aren't quite the same age as distracted drivers, but again those between the ages of 21 and 25 accounted for the highest proportion of impaired driving fatalities

The Laws


The particulars vary from state to state but, per the National Conference of State Legislatures, "distracted driving laws", do make texting while driving illegal in 47 states including New York.

All 50 states have a blood alcohol content limit and that drunk driving is very much illegal in New York.

If you're facing distracted driving charges or DUI charges, New York residents have an experienced legal team that they can turn to. Contact us today.

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, August 24, 2017

What Will A First DWI Conviction Entail In New York?

The bad news is that DWI is considered a serious crime in the State of New York, and punishments have only grown more severe over the years. The good news as stated on DUILegalNY is that it is very important to reach out to an experienced attorney, especially if it's your first offense (and if there are extenuating circumstances) because the consequences of a DWI can be reduced.

The Rules Of The Game


If you are convicted of a misdemeanor first-offense DWI in the State of New York, you will not face jail time. You are likely to be fined between $500 to $1000. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months, and an Ignition Interlock Device will be installed on your vehicle. These are the basic parameters when you're confronted with in a first-time DWI conviction.

However, it should also be noted that there can be increased penalties for a first-time offense if the driver has a BAC of .18% or higher. Below is a bit more information about this.

How A DWI Lawyer Can Help


In any DWI case, there are extenuating circumstances worth considering. Was your blood alcohol content (BAC) over or under the designated .08 limit? Anything over .18 would be considered an aggravated DWI, which entails much more severe punishments.

Do you have an otherwise clean criminal record? Would you consider entering an alcohol rehabilitation program? Depending upon these circumstances, an experienced DWI attorney can plead your case and either reduce the fines assessed, or dismiss the charge altogether. In any event, contacting a lawyer is vital.

Clients without a private attorney have a 75% conviction rate. Those who enlist a DWI lawyer have much better chances of success. DWI attorneys yield proven results and are well worth the investment in order to avoid costly fines and a blemish on your record.

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, July 27, 2017

Can A DUI Cost You Your Job?

Every time you drink and drive, you are putting your job and quality of life at risk. The penalties for a DUI conviction are steep, even on a first offense. DUILegalNY also states that a permanent criminal record is a consequence of DWI/DUI. In most states, this means a one-month suspension, with additional restrictions for up to one year. These restrictions usually allow you to get back and forth to work and that's about it.

Can You Get Fired From A Current Job If You Get a DUI?


Most people know that a DUI can prevent them from getting a new job. However, most U.S. states have work at will laws that allow employers to fire employees without stating a reason. There are exceptions that prevent firing someone on the basis of race and other protected categories. Work at will laws are likely going to come into effect if you have been convicted of a DUI and your employer lets you go because of it.

Reasons A DUI Can Get You Fired


An employer who lets you go based on a DUI is not discriminating against you for drinking. They are using the valid argument that driving while impaired makes you a liability to the company. This is especially true if your job requires you to be behind the wheel often. Some states do protect you from discriminatory hiring practices based on arrest records. However, this doesn't cover convictions.

If you drive a truck, company vehicle or bus as part of your job, your driving record impacts your company's insurance policy. Insurance companies require a clean driving record as a contingency to cover individuals under your company's insurance plan. So, with a DUI, you won't be able to operate a company vehicle.

While you can still get legal defense for a DUI/DWI it is important to know that having a DUI on your record can also affect your 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 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dangers Of Prescription Medication While Driving

Driving is a necessary skill that must be performed for a wide variety of reasons. Transportation to a job, traveling to visit family, and commuting to school are just a few ways driving can enable you to get places easier.

Driving requires your full concentration and can be affected by changes in your physical and mental health. Prescription medication can directly alter your physical and mental conditions. Combining driving with prescription medication can result in a charge of driving under the influence (DUI).

How Do Medications Affect Driving?


According to a 2014 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 10 million people, age 12 and older, drove under the influence of drugs during the prior year. The study also found that men are more likely than women to drive under the influence.

Driving under the influence of prescription medication puts yourself, passengers, and all others on the road at risk. Additionally, if you get pulled over by law enforcement you could get charged with a DUI. Prescription medication and substance abuse are serious issues and can produce several unsafe reactions:

  • lack of focus
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • sluggish movement
  • fainting
  • sleepiness

Can You Drive Safety While On Medications?


Both your doctor and pharmacist can help you decide if prescription medication can safely be used while driving. To avoid substance abuse and a possible DWI, tell your doctor about any side effects your medications are causing. Also, consult with your pharmacist and have him/her go over all potential side effects of your medication.

Your doctor is particularly important when ensuring safe driving while on prescription medication. Your doctor may be able to minimize any side effects your medication causes via several different methods:

  • Change medication to another that causes less sleepiness.
  • Recommend a specific exercise or nutrition plan that lessens the need for medication.
  • Alter the timing of doses.
  • Alter the dose.

Substance abuse and DWI's are serious issues and precautions must be taken to prevent them. Learning to monitor yourself while on prescription medication is key and will prevent driving mishaps. Understanding how your body and mind react to certain medication, prior to driving, will lessen any safety complications.

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, May 30, 2017

Understanding A DUI Manslaughter Charge And Sentencing

Every day in the US, 28 people die from drunk driving crashes. Vehicular manslaughter laws, or a DUI manslaughter charge, in New York applies to boaters and drivers who cause the death of another person while under the influence. There are three different types of vehicular manslaughter: first degree, second degree and aggravated.

Each classification of a DUI manslaughter charge involves drugged or drunk operation of a motor vehicle where someone is killed.

Charges That Apply

 

Second Degree


This is the least serious classification. In order to obtain a second-degree vehicular manslaughter conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was either boating or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol in violation of New York's DWI or BWI laws and as the result of such intoxication, caused the death of another person. There must be a proven link between the defendant and the fatality.

First Degree


Second degree can be elevated to first degree if the motorist, in addition to committing second-degree manslaughter, had a blood alcohol concentration of 18 percent or more. Additional reasons include, refusal to submit to DWI chemical testing, if the driver was driving with a suspended license for DWI, or if they had a prior DWI conviction within the last ten years. First degree is also possible if the driver has a prior vehicular manslaughter or vehicular assault conviction, caused the death of more than one person, or has caused the death of a passenger under the age of 15. If the defendant is charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter, all lesser included charges must be dismissed.

Aggravated


To get this conviction, the prosecution must prove the defendant committed second-degree vehicular manslaughter while recklessly driving and had a BAC of 18 percent or more. Additional qualifications include driving on a suspended license for DWI or refusing to submit to chemical testing, having a prior conviction that occurred within the last ten years or having a prior vehicular manslaughter or assault conviction. Furthermore, a motorist would have had to cause the death of more than one person, or killed a person and seriously injured another, or caused the death of a passenger under the age of 15. All lesser charges must be dismissed when convicted of this charge.

Penalties


Second Degree: It is a classic D felony. This conviction carries up to seven years in prison and a maximum $5000 in fines.

First Degree: It is a classic C felony. Conviction carries up to 15 years in prison and up to $5000 in fines.

Aggravated: It is a classic B felony. This particular conviction carries up to 25 years in prison and up to $5000 in fines.

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 

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