It can be stressful and unnerving to be charged with DWI or another crime and face the prospect of incarceration, fines, and other penalties. If you are facing this challenging situation, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Stewart A. McMillan is a former New York State Prosecutor who has been licensed to practice in New York and Connecticut since 1995 and 1996, respectively. Although Mr. McMillan's principal office is located in Westchester County, he also has offices in New York City and Connecticut. If you have been charged with a crime, Mr. McMillan is ready to fight for your rights and seek to reduce or eliminate the possibility of serious or long-lasting penalties.DUI/DWI
Driving while intoxicated is usually charged as a misdemeanor when it is a first offense in New York. You can be charged with DWI if you operate a car on a public road with a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater. However, if you are charged with a second offense in 10 years, the DWI will be charged as a felony. Driving while impaired (DWAI) is not a criminal charge as a first offense, but it is a violation of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. If you are charged a second time with DWAI, your charge will be treated as a misdemeanor. A DWAI conviction will cause your license to be revoked for at least six months. If you have a prior DWI-related conviction involving a BAC of at least .18%, you may face a longer period of suspension or revocation. This makes it critical to consult a Westchester County DWI defense attorney who can investigate all of your potential options.
Crimes may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are more serious and are defined as offenses for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment of more than a year can be imposed. All crimes need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. There are five classes of felonies in New York. When there are multiple convictions, you may be sentenced to concurrent sentences, which run at the same time, or consecutive sentences, which run one after the other. It is crucial to choose a criminal defense attorney who is an insider in the criminal justice system and knows how to protect your rights throughout the process. Some common types of charges that we handle include drug crimes, theft crimes, and violent crimes.
New York has drug laws that are among the harshest in the country. When certain drugs are involved, you can face incarceration even if you possessed only minor amounts. When drugs like heroin, crack, and crystal meth are at issue, a conviction may result in an extremely harsh sentence, even when small amounts are involved. There are six categories of drug crimes in New York, with the most serious possession charges being charged in the first degree. The most minor form of drug possession is possession in the seventh degree. This crime does not involve a minimum amount of a controlled substance. Your attorney may be able to defeat the charge by proving that you had no knowledge of the presence of drugs, or by challenging the procedures used by law enforcement on constitutional grounds.Theft Crimes
Theft crimes are taken seriously and may be charged as petit larceny or grand larceny. Petit larceny is charged as a class A misdemeanor. Grand larceny is treated as a serious felony and is charged based on the value of what was stolen. When the property was worth less than $1,000, you can be charged with petit larceny under Section 155.25 of the New York State Penal Law. It may be possible to plead a petit larceny charge down to a non-criminal violation. A defendant also may be able to show that they lacked the intent required for a conviction, or that the prosecution cannot prove another element of the crime.Violent Crimes
Some of the most severe penalties in New York State are reserved for violent crime convictions. Often, there are also collateral consequences for violent crimes. Violent crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, arson, sexual assault, assault and battery, and weapons crimes. What must be proven depends on the particular charge. The least serious assault charge is assault in the third degree, which is a class A misdemeanor. You can be charged with assault in the third degree under NYS PL 120.00(2) if you recklessly injure someone else. There are several situations in which you can be charged with assault in the second degree, such as if you caused a serious physical injury. Assault in the first degree is a very serious charge that you may face if you cause a serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or engage in conduct that creates a grave risk of death and results in a significant physical injury.Criminal Appeals
In some cases, lower courts make mistakes, and a defendant may be wrongly convicted by a judge or jury. In other cases, someone pleads guilty because they were afraid of a harsher sentence but were not adequately advised of the consequences of pleading guilty. There are several circumstances in which it may be possible to file an appeal. There may have been improper instructions provided by the judge, or there may have been errors made by the police or a prosecutor or even a defense attorney at trial. You may have grounds to appeal a conviction or sentence to an intermediate appellate court, but you will need to file and serve a notice of appeal within 30 days of the date of the judgment of conviction. It is important to consult an experienced criminal appeals attorney if you believe that you may have grounds to file an appeal.Seek Representation from an Experienced Westchester County Attorney
Mr. McMillan has over 20 years of experience in the criminal justice system, including experience as a prosecutor. As a former prosecutor, he knows how prosecutors think and which defense strategies are likely to be successful. He also works with a bail bondsman with whom he grew up in Westchester County. The bondsman is available to Mr. McMillan 24/7, so Mr. McMillan may be able to get your loved one out of jail more promptly than you could on your own. If you need a Westchester County DWI defense lawyer or have been charged with another crime, call us at (914) 358-4326 or complete our online form. We represent defendants in New York City and in Westchester County and Southern Connecticut.
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Westchester County New York DWI Defense Lawyer | New York Criminal Law Attorney | Stewart McMillan