Group Picture of Tilem & Associates, PC

DWI Causing Injury or Death

Arrested for a Drunk Driving Accident?

If you cause serious physical injury or death as a result of driving while ability impaired, driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs, or driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, you could be facing very serious felony charges.

The White Plains criminal defense attorney you choose must be experienced and knowledgeable in DWI defense because the “trigger” or predicate for a more serious felony charge is the particular, or what is referred to as the “underlying,” DWI or DWAI charge. If you beat the DWI charge, you will generally beat the more serious charge.

Types of Felony Charges

If you cause serious physical injury or death, depending on what the underlying DWI or DWAI charge is, you could be charged with one or more of the following:

  • Vehicular Assault in the First Degree
  • Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree
  • Aggravated Vehicular Assault
  • Assault in the First Degree
  • Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree
  • Murder in the Second Degree

In most cases, even if you were driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and someone suffered a serious injury or death, the prosecution must also prove that your intoxication or impairment was the cause of the physical injury or death.

Potential Legal Defenses

In these types of DWI or DWAI cases, there are generally three theories of defense your White Plains criminal defense lawyer can pursue alone or in combination:

  1. The prosecution cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that you were impaired, intoxicated or impaired by drugs beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were guilty of one or more of the “underlying” DWI or DWAI offenses listed above.

  2. In drunk driving or drugged driving cases involving alleged physical injury or serious physical injury, the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim suffered the requisite physical injury or serious physical injury.

  3. The prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your impairment, intoxication or impairment by drugs was the cause of the injury or death. If another vehicle veered over the centerline and hit your car, resulting in his or her serious physical injury or death, the fact that you were impaired would not be a factor.

Choosing the Right Defense Lawyer

The most important thing you should do is thoroughly research the attorney you hire. When facing these types of charges, which defense lawyer you choose might very well be the most important decision of your life. Now is not the time to price shop. However, that doesn’t mean that you should pay unreasonable legal fees, nor does the fee you pay an attorney in a criminal case guarantee a particular outcome.

You must also understand that no matter what your defense attorney charges you, there is a very real chance you can be convicted. Your lawyer might know the law and the rules of evidence better than the judge or have more experience that the prosecutor, but if you drove your car through front door of the mayor’s house while intoxicated, resulting in serious physical injuries or death, you have a problem.

In these cases, your attorney’s ability to negotiate with the prosecution can, at times, gain you a plea bargain which minimizes the legal punishment you are facing.

Work With a Former Prosecutor

Tilem & Associates, PC can offer you the defense you need when facing these types of drunk driving charges. Together, we have taken defending DWI and DWAI charges to a higher level. Mr. Tilem formerly worked as an Assistant District Attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for more than a decade. While there, he prosecuted over 1,000 cases, including approximately 100 DWI cases.

Mr. Tilem was lead trial counsel on more than 50 cases, giving him criminal trial experienced matched by few. He also spent part of his time in the District Attorney’s Office as a homicide prosecutor, giving him a unique understanding of criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter and murder prosecutions. Since leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Tilem has defended thousands of individuals.

Hire a Firm That Will Fight for You

We don't guarantee a favorable outcome or a particular outcome. What we do guarantee is that your defense will receive a 100% guaranteed effort by competent, knowledgeable, passionate and experienced defense attorneys. For more information, please contact Tilem & Associates, PC toll-free at (877) 377-8666.