A teenage driver, a single vehicle accident in the early morning hours and allegations of drunk driving are an all-too-common recipe for disaster on New York roadways. Law enforcement officials in Madison County say those potentially lethal ingredients combined to result in a fatal pickup truck accident not long after midnight on a recent Thursday morning. A 19-year-old woman thought to have been the driver of the pickup was subsequently located and formally accused of a number of DWI related charges.
When tragedies involve criminal accusations, the response of the community to those deemed responsible can be quite strong. In the process, those with a personal interest in the criminal case may elect to speak when it comes time for a New York court to impose a criminal sentence. At such a time it may be important for a defendant to speak well on his or her own behalf, with a good understanding of the applicable law. The need may be even greater when the case includes allegations of drunk driving.
The circumstances of a given incident or criminal accusation can distract from a good defense against any charges. An accused individual may not only need to defend against any crime he or she is accused of, but also be prepared to frame the circumstances of the charges in a way that is not distracting to the court or jury. If the circumstances are very unusual or seem to support the DUI charges, responding to the crime in a way that re-frames the circumstances so the judge or jury can understand may be an important part of creating a strong defense in New York.
Anyone who is suspected of drunk driving in New York has much to lose. Time behind bars, fines and a suspended driver's license are all potential DUI punishments, even first-time offenders. As a person faces subsequent drunk driving charges, the penalties only get stronger.
In the investigation of a fatal accident, police typically gather a wide range of evidence before they decide to make an arrest. In many cases, New York police officers may determine whether the operator of the motor vehicle was intoxicated at the time of the crash. If the evidence does support that the person was in fact under the influence, felony DUI charges could arise.
A majority of motor vehicle stops occur as a result of a police officer witnessing some type of minor traffic violation that leads them to temporarily stop a vehicle and make contact with its operator. When such an encounter occurs, a police officer can only expand the scope of the stop if they have a reasonably suspicion to believe that further criminal conduct is being perpetrated by the driver or the other occupants of the vehicle.
Drunk driving is a frequently prosecuted offense in New York and throughout the country. Despite the strong desire of many to prosecute instill harsh penalties on the individual accused of drunk driving, especially if a fatal crash is involved, there are many factors that may need to be taken into consideration to ensure that the accused individual receives a fair hearing and, if convicted, a just sentence.
As the long Labor Day weekend begins, Syracuse families may already be gathering for parties, cook-outs and other gatherings with family and friends. As always, those who may be indulging in alcohol during these festivities are encouraged to avoid the road for the safety of themselves and others on the road, in addition to avoid the possibility of drunk driving charges. In fact, the State of New York has begun a statewide initiative to crack down on DWI offenses over this holiday.
David Diehl, pro athlete and New York Giants star, was charged with drunk driving after allegedly sideswiping parked cars while leaving a bar earlier this month. When police arrived, he allegedly blew .182 on a Breathalyzer test, which led to his arrest on drunk driving charges. The football player spent the night in a stationhouse, but was later released with a suspension of his license at least until his court date next month.
One Syracuse, New York, man is facing drunk driving charges after witnesses reported him for driving a car that only had two tires. After being reported by a witness for the car being off the road, the man was arrested and charged with a felony-level DWI due to two previous convictions within the last 10 years.