Long Island Drug DUI Attorney
Serving Those Accused of Drug DWIs and DWAIs Throughout Nassau and Suffolk County
Most people think of a DWI (“Driving While Intoxicated”) charge as an alcohol-related offense. However, in New York, you can also be charged with DWI if law enforcement has probable cause to suspect you are driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs. In New York, this offense is known as Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by Drugs, and a conviction can carry significant consequences.
With offices in New York City and Garden City, Long Island, the attorneys at Barket Epstein & Kearon, LLP, defend clients throughout the tri-state area and in federal courts nationwide. Our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys understand how much is at stake when you are charged with a DWI or DWAI Drugs. We offer a personalized approach to criminal defense that treats clients as individuals while aggressively protecting their freedom.
DWI and DWAI: What’s the Difference?
If you have been charged with DWAI Drugs (a “drug DUI”) it is important you understand how this charge differs from a DWI. In New York, a DWI charge and a DWAI Drugs/drug DUI charge carry many of the same penalties. However, there are some important differences.
A DWI is issued when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. In contrast, a DWAI Drugs is issued when law enforcement has probable cause to believe your ability to drive as a “prudent and reasonable driver” has been impaired as the result of drugs other than alcohol in your system. With a DWAI Drugs, law enforcement does not need to prove you have a certain concentration of a drug in your system. Rather, law enforcement can charge you with DWAI Drugs if a chemical test shows you have any amount of an impairing drug in your system.
Additionally, you can be charged with a Combination DWAI if law enforcement has probable cause to believe your ability to drive as a “prudent and reasonable driver” has been impaired as the result of the combined influence of drugs or alcohol. Combination DWAIs can be charged if any amount of drugs and alcohol, or combination of non-alcoholic drugs, is detected in your system.
What if My Drugs are Prescription?
Even if the drugs in your system were prescribed to you by a doctor, you can still be charged with DWAI Drugs if law enforcement has probable cause to believe those drugs have impaired your ability to drive. Many people are charged with DWAI Drugs or Combination DWAI simply for taking common medications as directed by their physicians, like Ambien, Oxycontin, Percocet, and antidepressants. Many people are also charged with DWAI Drugs or Combination DWAI because after using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants.
What Are the Penalties for DWAI Drugs/ Drug DUI in New York?
The penalties for a New York DWAI Drugs or Combination DWAI charge vary depending on whether you have previously been charged with a New York DWAI.
For both DWAI Drugs and Combination DWAI, if you have never before been charged with that offense you will pay a mandatory fine that ranges between $500 and $1,000. You also face up to 1 year in jail, and a license suspension for at least six months.
If it is your second DWAI Drugs or Combination DWAI violation in 10 years, your charge is treated as a Class E Felony. You will pay a mandatory fine that ranges between $500 and $1,000 and will face up to 4 years in jail. Additionally, your license will be revoked for at least 1 year.
If it is your third DWAI Drugs or Combination DWAI violation in 10 years, your charge is treated as a Class D Felony. You will pay a mandatory fine that ranges between $2,000 and $10,000 and can face up to 7 years in jail. Additionally, your license will be revoked for at least one year.
How Can I Defend Against a New York DWAI Drugs/Drug DUI Charge?
It is very important to understand that you cannot beat a DWAI Drugs/Drug DUI charge on your own. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious problem that kills many people each year, and New York aggressively prosecutes DWAI Drugs/Drug DUI charges. The penalties can be significant, and you need an experienced New York DWAI Drugs/Drug DUI defense attorney to assess the unique circumstances of your case to create the strongest defense possible.
At Barket Epstein & Kearon, LLP, our experienced New York DWAI Drugs/Drug DUI defense attorneys will start by listening to you and asking you questions. We want to know everything that led up to your arrest and exactly what happened during your detention by police. Using this information, we can determine whether law enforcement violated your rights in any way. If evidence was gathered in violation of your Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendment rights, we can argue that such evidence should be suppressed.
We are also experienced in challenging the results of chemical blood and field sobriety tests. Often these test results are unreliable due to the way they were administered, some malfunction of the device (such as a breathalyzer) being used, or the possible mishandling of a sample by the lab. We can also challenge the criteria law enforcement used to determine that your driving was not “reasonable or prudent.” Many times, DWAIs are issued in response to common driving mistakes, like changing lanes without signaling, driving above the speed limit, or not braking quickly.
No matter what the facts of your case are, you can rest assured that the attorneys at Barket Epstein & Kearon, LLP, will aggressively defend you against your DWAI Drug/Drug DUI charge.
Charged With DWAI Drugs in New York?
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs in New York, you need to immediately contact an experienced New York DWAI Drugs defense attorney. At Barket Epstein & Kearon, LLP, our attorneys know that a conviction for a New York DWAI Drugs charge can have serious consequences. You are not guilty simply because you have been charged, and our DWAI Drugs defense attorneys will raise every possible defense to aggressively protect your rights. Contact Barket Epstein & Kearon, LLP, today.