DWI and Criminal Charges
After health, nothing is more important than freedom. Some would even put freedom ahead of their health. When faced with criminal charges and potential imprisonment, you just can’t afford to mess around.
Robert Previto has handled dozens and dozens of criminal cases ranging from minor Infractions like “disorderly conduct” to “white collar crimes” to violent felony cases involving a grand jury.
The most common forms of arrest, however, are misdemeanors.
Here are some things you need to know if ever arrested — or even questioned — by police:
- Do not argue with the police! Do not shout and carry on! Keep your cool, and respond calmly and politely.
- You have the right to remain silent — use it! Only three things need to be shared with a police officer: your name, your address, and your lawyer’s phone number. The less you say the better.
- Sign nothing until your lawyer reads it and approves!
- Once you ask to speak to a lawyer, the police are required to stop questioning you. Hold them to it!
- Do not fail to show up for a summons, or miss any court dates. These will result in a “bench warrant” for your arrest.
Police Tactics to Get You to Break Silence
The approach of the police is to gradually wear you down so you start talking. Many, many people are convicted on their own words, both spoken and written. Police use various tactics to get people to confess.
Some tactics are intimidating, in rare cases illegal, but usually, they simply use the friendly power of persuasion. A promise to “let you go tonight,” or “not charging you with a crime,” or “taking it easy on you,” if only you’ll talk and “tell them what really happened.”
Don’t buy it! If the police are questioning you, keep repeating this phrase: “I can’t say anything more until I talk to my lawyer.” Then say nothing, no matter what they say to you or what they offer. Period. Eventually, they will escort you to a phone.
DWI and Drug Offenses
Driving While intoxicated (DWI) and various drug offenses result in drawn-out proceedings, which often require a substance abuse treatment plan as part of the plea bargain.
If you face charges on either of these types of crimes, be prepared to deal not only with the Courts, but also with the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Probation Department, and a treatment process or facility.
Your driver’s license will likely be suspended or revoked. The goal of the courts today, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and elsewhere, is to get you to stay drug and alcohol free in exchange for keeping you out of jail.
If you commence treatment, you will be tested for drugs or alcohol periodically. Typically, this is only true for the first or possibly the second offense. A second conviction for a DWI or drug possession typically results in at least some jail time
The Purpose of Criminal Defense
The primary goal of any criminal defense is keeping the client out of jail. Or, where jail or prison is unavoidable, then minimizing the sentence. The tenacity of your attorney can make the difference between your keeping or losing your liberty, your job, your wife and family, and your entire future.
Criminal conduct is dangerous. It incurs serious consequences. Don’t commit crimes, that’s the first, best choice. But if you’re ever accused of a crime, don’t hesitate, and don’t cheap out. Call a lawyer.
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