The New York criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC are pleased to announced that our client was acquitted of all charges in Brooklyn Criminal Court after he had been initially charged with and accused of DWI / DUI pursuant to VTL 1192.3, DWAI, pursuant to VTL 1192.1 and Driving Without a License pursuant to VTL 509.
Our client was involved in an accident where an individual struck him from behind rendering his 2000 BMW inoperable. Our client waited on the scene until the police came and the other vehicle drove off. Although he only “blew” a .053 on the Intoxylizer 5000, and the police charged our client with the violation of VTL 1192.1, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office bumped the charged to “Common Law DWI,” a misdemeanor. Throughout the case, the DA’s Office had been offering a violation of VTL 1192.1 which we argued was not an “offer,” but merely the “worst case scenario” in that the DWI was not the proper charge (.08 is the legal limit unless prosecutors can establish other characteristics of being intoxicated), but an inflated offense in conflict with the facts of the case.
At trial, the arresting officer testified that he and the defendant pushed the inoperable vehicle across Flatbush Avenue. More specifically, crouched down shoulder to shoulder “huffing and puffing,” the officer didn’t notice the smell of alcohol on our client for 20 minutes. Moreover, at no time during the 20 minutes did our client stumble, slur his speech, trip, loose his balance or show any other indicia of intoxication. The officer was further cross examined to assert that his safety is paramount and if an individual was intoxicated the officer certainly would not have that person push a vehicle with him across Flatbush Avenue (the officer also could not recall who was steering the vehicle). Compounding matters, the officer admitted an error in his paperwork was done in a manner to facilitate that paperwork and although it was not accurate, it was done in a manner that was “easy” for him.
Ultimately, at the precinct, our client complied with the examinations offered by the police and it appeared that he successfully passed those exams despite the officer’s testimony to the contrary. In fact, our client often stood perfectly straight with his arms behind his back. While the officer claimed he was “unsteady” because our client took more than the nine requested steps in one test, there court apparently agreed with us that he was steady.
Although, significantly less serious, the court also acquitted our client of driving without a license pursuant to VTL 509. In part, we argued on behalf of our client that the officer’s testimony as to the Department of Motor Vehicle records and what they revealed was hearsay. Instead, a business record and or custodian of those records was required to establish this lack of a license. Again, apparently the court agreed.
While the above synopsis of this trial is extremely brief and barely touches on the facts of the case, the lesson is always clear. DWI is a serious offense that can destroy lives and one that can be avoided by taking responsible steps. There is no excuse to make a care a weapon. Having said that, whether you are honest, good or even an all around bad guy, you have rights. We all do. You should exercise those right and protect those rights vigorously. An accusation does not equate to guilt.
Representing clients charged with DWI throughout the New York City region, Saland Law PC is a New York trial and criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors.
For further information on New York DWI laws and crimes, please review the DWI section of the Saland Law PC website or the DWI section of the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog (NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com).