If you were arrested in a drunk driving accident, contesting the charges may be crucial to avoid the serious consequences of a conviction. Fortunately, you have the right to engage a Westchester County DWI lawyer to assist you in presenting an appropriate defense strategy. At Tilem & Associates, we can provide legal representation and guidance to people facing criminal charges in accident DWI cases, including vehicular assault and manslaughter. Our defense attorneys are prepared to investigate the facts of your case and answer any questions you may have about an auto accident that involved drugs or alcohol.New York Criminal Offenses for DWI Accidents
In New York, if an intoxicated driver causes a car accident that injuries another person, the driver may be charged with vehicular assault. Vehicular assault in the second degree is committed when a person causes a serious physical injury to another person as a result of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, impaired by drugs, or impaired by the combined influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to auto accidents, vehicular assault may apply to accidents involving all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and other vessels where the driver’s intoxication or impairment caused a serious personal injury. Vehicular assault in the second degree is a class E felony and carries penalties that may include a maximum four year prison sentence, a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, and probation upon a conviction.
Vehicular assault in the first degree is a class D felony with more severe penalties. The offense includes the same elements as second degree vehicular assault, and also requires one of the following circumstances:
- Blood alcohol concentration level of .18 or more as shown by a chemical test of the driver’s blood, breath, urine, or saliva.
- Suspended or revoked license at the time of the accident due to chemical test refusal or a DWI conviction.
- Prior DWI conviction within the last ten years.
- Prior conviction of a vehicular assault or vehicular homicide offense.
- Serious physical injury to more than one person.
- Serious physical injury to a child age 15 or younger who was a passenger in the driver’s vehicle.
The charge may be elevated to a class C felony for aggravated vehicular assault if the elements of vehicular assault in the first degree are met and the defendant was driving recklessly. A DWI accident that causes fatal injuries may result in homicide or manslaughter charges. Vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, and criminally negligent homicide are New York criminal offenses related to fatal drunk or drugged driving accidents.After an Accident
Hit-and-run drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol may be arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident, as well as an accident DWI offense or vehicular assault if someone was injured. In New York, any driver involved in a motor vehicle accident is required by law to stop and undertake certain actions, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Drivers must present their license and provide their name and address, auto insurance information, and license plate number to anyone who sustained property damage or personal injuries in the accident, and usually a police officer as well. If the driver flees without providing this information or does not stop at all, and knows or has reason to know of the resulting injuries or property damage, the driver may face a criminal charge for leaving the scene of an incident without reporting. In many cases, the police will also investigate whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. If the driver is located soon after the accident, the police may request a blood or breath test to determine blood alcohol concentration.Hire a Westchester County Attorney to Defend Your Accident DWI Case
At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County lawyers have the dedication and legal knowledge to defend against criminal charges arising from DWI accidents. We can assist residents of Bronx, Kings, Queens, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Richmond, and Putnam Counties in cases involving first-time or repeat DWI cases, drug offenses, and many other criminal matters. Schedule an appointment by calling our office at 877-377-8666 or contacting us online.