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Man walks into car, trooper arrests him for aggravated DWI

Sometimes a defendant's actions at the time of arrest will make defense counsel's job a bit more challenging. That's probably the case regarding the recent arrest of a 50-year-old male of Troy for aggravated DWI. The arrest occurred at a gas station in Rensselaer County where the arresting New York State Trooper was at a pump filling his tank.

At that time, the suspect allegedly drove up and parked next to the trooper's vehicle. The suspect alighted from his truck and walked directly into the trooper's marked patrol car, according to the trooper.  The man then allegedly stumbled into the store and came back to his car to pump gas.

The officer reports that he "showed obvious signs of intoxication," leading to the trooper's questioning of him. He then gave the suspect a field test which he allegedly failed. At the police barracks, and given a test revealing a purported blood-alcohol level of .18, which represents more than double the allowed limit.

The man was arrested for aggravated DWI, which applies when the blood reading is .18 or greater. The enhanced penalties for aggravated DWI in New York include a minimum one-year license suspension, a jail sentence up to 12 months, a maximum $2,500 fine, lockbox ignition device,and attendance at a driver's education school. There is also up to a three-year sentence of probation, with an initial jail sentence often being ordered by the courts.  

The penalties are less ominous, and jail time is less likely, under a standard DWI where the blood-alcohol reading is less than .18. It is therefore important for an accused individual to obtain the services of an experienced aggravated DWI attorney. A strong legal defense can involve thorough questioning of the procedures used by the police, which often may lead to identifying problem areas under New York law. In some instances, if there are weaknesses in police procedure, experienced defense counsel may succeed in obtaining a reduction of the charge to a standard DWI in return for a plea agreement.

Source: New York Daily News, "New York man arrested for DWI after walking into state trooper's vehicle", Joel Landau, March 16, 2015

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