The Law Offices of John Ferrara

What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About A DWI Arrest?


After a DWI arrest, the primary concern for most people is the potential sanctions that they face. Frequently, they are unpleasantly surprised by the potential penalties. In addition, many are surprised to learn that they could lose their license or right to drive at the very first court appearance, even if they are not yet convicted. In dealing with this, it is crucial to have a plan in place to mitigate this possibility.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make Once They’ve Been Arrested For DWI?

Many people who are under arrest think that they can talk their way out of the charges. When people speak to the police on the side of the road and after their arrest, the police take it all down and eliminate potential defenses to the charges. When the police tell you that you have the right to remain silent, you should use that right and not say a word. You will not talk your way out of the charge, and you will decrease the odds of acquittal.

A second mistake pertains to the decision (or lack thereof) to take the chemical test, which is most often the breathalyzer. It is usually best to submit to the breathalyzer, but not always. The sanctions for not taking the chemical test are severe, both in terms of fines and one’s right to drive. The unfortunate truth is that this decision is often made without a lawyer and when one is under high stress and/or possibly impaired.

Why Is It Unadvisable To Plead Guilty To a DWI Charge In New York?

I can think of plenty of strategic reasons to resolve the case quickly. Simply giving up to get the case over with is unwise. Anyone who employs this strategy will be in for numerous unpleasant surprises, including possible incarceration, loss of license and fines that will keep coming for three years.

If pleading guilty is the best strategic move for the client, he or she should be able to negotiate something in exchange for that guilty plea, whether that is a reduction in the charges, dismissal of other potential charges or some leniency in the sentence.

A quick resolution may be wise in order to keep a person who refused the chemical test driving legally to and from work. It may also be keep wise in order to keep a person legally driving to and from work who may not qualify for a hardship privilege. If one could have been charged with a felony DWI because one had a prior DWI conviction but the police mistakenly charged a misdemeanor, it may still be possible to eliminate the felony by pleading guilty to the misdemeanor. There are a series of cases going in both directions on this issue, usually turning on whether the defendant did anything to mislead the court or prosecutor into thinking it was only a misdemeanor case.

The point is when to resolve the case is a strategic decision dependent upon the client’s priorities and the facts and circumstances of the case. The client and the lawyer need to work together to make the decision that is right for each particular circumstance.

For more information on Misconceptions About DWI Charges, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 794-1303 today.

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