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DWI Defenses in Westchester County, NY

Peekskill & White Plains DWI Defense Attorneys

The crime of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) falls under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. In defending a DWI charge in New York State, the Westchester County criminal defense lawyers will explain to their clients what proof is necessary for a conviction. The criminal defense of a DWI charge in New York State usually focuses on what proof the District Attorney has against the accused. In Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess and Orange Counties the criminal defense attorney has an early opportunity to review the proof.

The Charge of DWI

There are several charges under the DWI laws in New York State. Those charges include DWI based upon a BAC reading of .08 or greater (VTL 1192.2), DWI per se based upon the officers observations (VTL1192.3), Aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 or above (VTL 1192 (2-a)(a)), DWI with a child in the car (VTL 1192 (2-a)(b)) or even DWAI by drugs (VTL 1192.4). These charges can be either felonies or misdemeanors depending on the accused history and/or facts of the case.

Understanding the BAC .08 DWI Charge (VTL - 1192.2)

To understand DWI in New York State it is best to review the pattern jury instructions that a judge must follow to find an accused guilty of the charge. The top DWI lawyers or litigation attorneys in general know that these instructions are the most important aspect of any case.

The pattern jury instructions are also helpful for a non-attorney to clearly understand the issues since they were written for non-attorneys to clearly understand the charge in a jury trial situation. Even if there is no jury these instructions will be used for the judge to determine guilt.

DWI Defense Strategy

Prior to trial, the jury instructions must be consulted by the Westchester County DWI attorney to determine if the government can prove the charges against an accused. All proof by the government must be "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt."

Misdemeanor/Felony BAC Above .08 Jury Instructions

"Under our law, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while such person has a .08 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath, urine or saliva"

This is what the government needs to prove. The instructions further define the crime as follows:

  • "Motor Vehicle means every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway (private road open to motor vehicle traffic or a parking lot) which is propelled by any power other than muscular power"
  • "Operate a motor vehicle when such person is sitting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle for the purpose of placing the vehicle in motion and when the motor vehicle is moving or even if it is not moving the engine is running"
  • BAC test "In this case the device used to measure blood alcohol content was ____. That device is a generally accepted instrument for determining blood alcohol content". "You must consider the qualifications and reliability of the person who gave the test , the lapse of time between the operation of the motor vehicle and the giving of the test, whether the device used was in good working order at the time the test was administrated and whether the test was properly given."

When charged with any type of DWI crime it is essential to know the elements of the crimes (as noted above) and the proper defenses. An aggressive strategy is usually the best criminal defense. Contact us today.

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