Interviewer: What is usually weighing on people’s minds? You said they’re afraid that they’ll have to speak. What else do they tell you that they’re worried about at that stage?
Individuals Charged with DWI Are Worried about Losing Their Driver’s License
Eric: It depends on the charge. With a driving under the influence charge, everybody wants to know about the driver’s license. When you’re charged in New York State with driving under the influence, whether it’s a DWI, driving while intoxicated, a DWAI, a driving while ability impaired, there are license issues that may arise. That’s why I specialize or focus in certain areas of the law to make sure that I know all the potential ramifications and I can help the client.
If the Breath Test Result was over the Legal Limit and You Enter a Not Guilty Plea at Arraignment, Your Driver’s License Is Automatically Suspended
On a DWI case, I can explain if you haven’t seen the judge yet, and if they’ve blown a .08 or they’re accused of blowing a .08 or higher, that at the arraignment, when they say not guilty, the judge has to, by law, suspend their license.
If the breath test result is under .08 then I’ll explain to them what happens down the road, for example, if there is a finding that they blew between a .05 and a .07. If they are convicted by entering a plea of guilty or after a trial of another charge, I’ll explain to them what the license ramifications are regarding that.
If You Are convicted of a Drug-Related Criminal Charge, Your Driver’s License May Also Be Suspended
This issue also applies to a drug-related criminal charge. If there’s a conviction by entering a plea of guilty or after a trial on a drug case, you could lose your license.
Many People are Worried about Facing a Jail Sentence
People want to know about their licenses. People always want to know, “Am I going to jail for this?” We discuss when people should be concerned about going to jail that they shouldn’t always be concerned. The reality of the situation is just like a traffic ticket. You could go to jail on a traffic ticket, but the reality is and probability is depending on your past, you’re probably not going to.
We discuss with the client anything and everything that is specific to their case. Their case is different than somebody else charged with the same crime because everybody is an individual. Each case has to be handled separately from everybody else’s case.
Interviewer: Are you surprised if you have a good sense of what’s going to happen during a case?
Eric: I’m almost never surprised. I’m doing this for such a long time and I do it in the counties in which I mentioned that you can pretty much predict the worst case scenario. Have I been surprised? I’ve been surprised a few times where it was actually better than I thought it was going to be.
It is always a pleasant surprise in cases where I thought that my client would receive maybe an offer of probation and after talking to the district attorney and convicting them of certain factors, the district attorney was more reasonable than I thought they were going to be. As a result, we received a much more favourable offer of no probation.
Very seldom am I ever surprised to the detriment of the client, but we always like to think that we’ve done a better job than we thought we could do at the start of the case.
It Is Advisable to Retain an Experienced Attorney to Defend a Criminal Charge
Interviewer: When you tell a client what’s going to happen, there are no guarantees but you should be pretty comfortable that what you’re saying is right because of your many years of experience?
Eric: Correct. Absolutely, and that’s what separates my office I think from a lot of the other offices. Experience does play a big part in processing a criminal case, different than a civil case and is absolutely important.
By Eric Sachs