Anelli Xavier is a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys who exclusively represent clients accused of drunk driving throughout the State of New York, including Albany and its surrounding communities.
Our knowledgeable team of DWI attorneys is comprised of former prosecutors and skilled criminal litigators who have extensive backgrounds in both criminal law and drunk driving defense. By limiting our practice to New York DWI defense, we are aptly qualified to help clients deal with challenging New York DWI laws in Albany and elsewhere in the Capital District.
Retaining a qualified DWI attorney is imperative given the substantial consequences caused by a driving while intoxicated conviction. New York DWI penalties are very serious and can result in a criminal record, job lost, restriction or loss of your driver’s license, costly fines and surcharges, installing an expensive Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle, and possible jail or prison.
In addition to their extensive knowledge of DWI penalties, Anelli Xavier drunk driving lawyers who are located in the Capital District have considerable trial experience with defending New York DWI charges. While we are often able to obtain a favorable outcome without a trial through a negotiated offer, we pride ourselves in the ability of our Albany DWI lawyers to achieve favorable trial verdicts.
Our Commitment to the Capital District
Let us help you now: 1-518-269-3660 522 Broadway | Albany, NY 12207
Anelli Xavier’s team of DWI attorneys is proud to announce our new office located on Broadway in the heart of downtown Albany.
Our Capital District office, located in downtown Albany, is home to several experienced drunk driving lawyers who have significant experience handling driving while intoxicated cases throughout region.
By primarily dedicating a team of knowledgeable DWI lawyers to the Capital District, we are able to provide clients charged with drunk driving exceptional legal representation by attorneys who have established relationships with courts and prosecutors from beyond Saratoga, Schenectady, Troy, and Poughkeepsie together with all the points in between.
A DWI arrest is a confusing and stressful experience. From the moment a vehicle is stopped by the police, those accused of driving while intoxicated are confronted by an overwhelming number of unanswered questions. Furthermore, for many, a DWI arrest is their first encounter with law enforcement and the New York criminal court system. The uncertainty caused by these events can result in one of the most distressing periods of a person’s life.
Our Albany DWI lawyers pride themselves on understanding that drunk driving defense involves more than just getting the best result possible. It involves a commitment to educate clients about DWI defense. Listening to clients located in Albany and helping them understand their DWI charge not only provides them with some peace of mind, but it also makes sure that they have the information necessary to make meaningful and informed decisions concerning their drunk driving arrest.
If you or a loved one is arrested for DWI in Albany, New York, our team of drunk driving lawyers can provide legal representation with the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully defend DWI charges.
Fines, imprisonment, conditional discharge, and community service are all potential sentences for committing DWI. A DWI offender may also be sentenced to probation. Probation is a court-imposed criminal sentence that, subject to stated conditions and restrictions, releases a convicted criminal defendant into the community instead of confining them to jail or prison. Usually, a defendant is sentenced to probation in one of the following three ways: (1) the imposition of a sentence is suspended, and the defendant is placed on probation; (2) A sentence is imposed, but the execution of the sentence is suspended, and the defendant is placed on probation; (3) the court sentences the defendant to probation. These differences are very important. When a court suspends imposition of a sentence, the court may re-sentence the defendant to any period of incarceration up to the statutory maximum if the defendant violates any of the conditions of probation. When a court suspends the execution of a sentence, the court will first announce a period of incarceration, then suspend its execution or service while the defendant serves the term of probation. If the probation is revoked, the court will order the defendant to serve the jail time that it had suspended. If the defendant’s sentence is probation, the court may impose any sentence allowed by the applicable statutory guidelines if the defendant violates their probation and it is revoked.
Probation is used in many DWI cases to encourage offenders with alcohol problems to follow through with mandated treatment programs. Probation is usually conditional in nature and may be revoked if the offender refuses to comply with conditions such as participating in a treatment program.
As a condition of DWI probation, many courts impose sentences involving community service. Many states now have laws allowing community service sentencing for drunk driving offenses. The state of New York allows this type of sentence for first and second time DWI offenders. Read More »
In most jurisdictions, the charge of reckless driving will not be a lesser included offense of DWI. The charges of DWI and reckless driving usually are two distinct charges with different elements of proof necessary to establish the offenses. The crime of DWI usually requires proof that an offender drove, operated or was in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Under many DWI statutes, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender drove, operated, or was in control of a motor vehicle while having blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of the statutorily prescribed limit. In New York, a person commits DWI when they are found to have been driving with a BAC of 0.08 or the driver shows other signs of intoxication.
A reckless driving charge is different than a DWI charge. A reckless driving charge generally requires proof that an individual operated a motor vehicle “recklessly” so that the lives and safety of the public were endangered. The word “recklessly” usually is defined to mean that a person drove with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other persons or property. The usual standard of proof in reckless driving cases not only requires proof of reckless operation of a motor vehicle but also proof that the reckless operation endangered the lives or the safety of the public.
Statutes that prohibit reckless driving, like DWI laws, are designed to deter dangerous driving and to make these actions crimes. DWI laws differ from reckless driving laws because they do not require proof of a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving is usually a criminal offense classified as a misdemeanor. In New York, Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1212 codifies the offense of reckless driving. Under this statute, reckless driving consists of “driving or using any motor vehicle…in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.” Reckless driving in New York is a misdemeanor which carries a fine of $100 to $300 for a first offender. Read More »
Alcohol-impaired driving legislation and sanctions have historically targeted offenders with multiple convictions. Many statutes provide for increased sentences for what are called “persistent” or “repeat” offenders. These statutes, which generally deal with felonies, provide for substantially increased punishment upon conviction for a specified additional felony. If a DWI offender has a certain number of prior felonies at the time they are arrested for DWI, many states will enhance the DWI charge to a felony charge because of the number of prior convictions.
In New York, when a driver has a current DWI violation and has had a prior DWI conviction within the prior ten years, then the pending charge will be upgraded to a Class E Felony DWI charge. When a driver has been convicted of DWI twice before and has a third DWI arrest, they will be charged with a Class D Felony DWI. Felony DWI cases are heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York within the five counties of New York City and in the county courts in the balance of the state.
According to NY VTL§ 1193 (1)(c)(ii), there is an enhanced class D felony punishment embodied in the statutory language for drivers who have had two prior DWI convictions and are charged with a third DWI in New York. This section of the statute became effective on November 1, 1996 and provides in relevant part that, “A person who operates a vehicle in violation of subdivision two, three or four of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this article after having been convicted of a violation of subdivision two, three or four of such section … twice within the preceding ten years, shall be guilty of a class D felony, and shall be punished by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars or by a period of imprisonment as provided in the penal law, or by both such fine and imprisonment.” In enacting this provision, the legislature clearly meant to impose stiffer penalties upon repeat DWI offenders in order to respond to the severity of the problem of repeat DWI offenses.
In the case of People v. Homero, the court upheld the law which makes second and subsequent DWI convictions a Class D Felony in New York. The court considered the legislature’s intent in enacting the law and stated that the law was intended to punish more severely those people who persistently drive while intoxicated regardless of whether their prior offenses resulted in misdemeanor or felony convictions. Read More »
The passive alcohol sensor (PAS) can detect alcohol in expired breath at a distance of 6 inches from the face and provides a means for detecting heavy drinking within 15-30 seconds. Passive alcohol sensors draw in a mix of expired and environmental air from in front of a person’s face and can provide a good estimate of whether a driver has been drinking.
The PAS appears to be particularly effective when the observation time is short; therefore, it is a helpful police aid at sobriety checkpoints and during regular patrol operations. The PAS is a screening device for use at the front end of an impaired-driving investigation. It provides decision-making information to police officers on whether to initiate an impaired-driving investigation of a driver who has been legally stopped. The PAS is used in the initial interview at the driver’s window.
The PAS is a high speed breath alcohol screening instrument that doubles as a high-intensity flashlight. The passive alcohol sensor is designed to offer a non-invasive method of alcohol detection. The PAS is used to detect alcohol levels with or without a subject’s direct participation. This differs from the active testing method requiring full participation from the subject, such as blowing into a mouthpiece of a breathalyzer device.
The system uses a small, silent pump that draws an air sample through a fuel cell, generating a small electrical current in the presence of alcohol vapor. This current is amplified electronically and is displayed on a multi-colored bar graph. The number of bars lit in the display indicates the approximate alcohol concentration in the air sample. For instance, if the green bar light is activated, alcohol may be present, but it is probably not at the intoxicating level. The yellow bar indicates that the subject’s blood alcohol level is approximately .04%. The red bar light reveals that the subject may have exceeded the .08% legal limit. Read More »
Expert witnesses serve a powerful role in DWI litigation. Many DWI cases frequently involve complex scientific, technical, and specialized issues which require expert testimony to assist a judge or jury’s fact-finding. The Federal Rules of Evidence relate to admissibility of expert witness testimony and the material on which experts can rely in court. According to these rules, expert witness testimony is admissible in court when: a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge can “help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue”; b) the testimony of the expert is “based on sufficient facts or data”; c) the testimony of the expert is “the product of reliable principles and methods”; and d) the expert has “reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
In Albany DWI cases, expert witnesses can be helpful in attacking the chemical tests involved, establishing a defense related to the metabolism of alcohol or drugs, and discussing the propriety or impropriety of the field sobriety tests (or any other aspect of the investigation) and accident reconstruction.
In DWI cases, expert testimony can be crucial to the defense. A qualified expert can help recreate the driver’s drinking and eating pattern on the night they were arrested and offer evidence about the driver’s actual blood/breath ratio. An expert in a DWI case can estimate the blood alcohol content of a driver by looking at the particular facts involved in the case.
There are three main types of experts generally used in DWI cases. First, there are pharmacologists or toxicologists who testify about the effect of alcohol on the body at trial. Second, there are engineers who testify about the operation and reliability of the breath testing equipment used at the time of the arrest. Third, if a blood or urine test was administered, a chemist may testify to challenge the state’s use of such tests. If a breath test is at issue in a DWI case, the defense will generally establish that the expert witness is familiar with the type of breath test instrument in question, explain how the instrument works, and discuss the types of errors that the particular kind of instrument is prone to make. Read More »
“All my questions were answered within an hour of sending an email. Everything was explained to me in a way I understood. I wasn’t treated like a criminal. My lawyers were awesome and down to earth. Very easy to talk to. Nothing was ever promised a far as outcomes. Everything explained was matter of fact yet comforting and professional. The payment plan was a huge huge help!!”