Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Dedicated To Protecting Your Rights
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Skilled Representation In DWI And Drunk Driving Offense Cases

DWI arrests are on the rise, not just in New York City but also in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Drunk driving charges have a serious impact on your life, job and driving privileges. It is natural to have questions and great concerns about all these confusing and complicated issues and procedures.

I am attorney Luke Scardigno, and I am the founder of the Law Office of Luke Scardigno in Queens. With over 30 years of experience, I can answer your questions, defend your case and help you get this incident behind you so you can get your life back on track.

Protecting Your Rights On All Fronts

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges set two legal processes in motion. I can represent you in both:

  • Criminal DWI defense: A drunk driving charge, also referred to as a DWI or DUI charge, is a criminal offense under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. If you are charged with this, you will face a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor charge. If it is your second offense within the last 10 years of your first DWI conviction, then you are facing a felony conviction. I will thoroughly investigate the charges against you, negotiate with the district attorney, fight for your rights and ensure that your record remains free of any criminal conviction, if at all possible. I have done exactly that hundreds of times in my career, and I know what the prosecutor is looking for to help you with your case.
  • DMV issues: Even if the criminal charges against you are dismissed, you could still lose your driver’s license if there is a refusal to take a breathalyzer test. The DMV hearing process to get your license back is confusing. I can represent you at a DMV refusal hearing and help you apply for a hardship, pre-conviction or post-conviction license if you are eligible. This type of license will allow you to drive in certain circumstances, such as to and from work, during work hours, for school, for doctors and for three hours a week for personal business.

I will not leave you to fend for yourself at any point in this complicated process. Regardless of when your criminal case is resolved, I will stick by your side (at no extra charge) until the DMV issues are also settled with respect to your DWI case.

Different Types Of Drunk Driving Charges

In New York, the severity of the charges will depend on the results of your breath or blood tests. These different charges include:

  • Driving while impaired: If the results of your breath or blood test range between the limits of .05% up to, but under, .08%, you will be arrested for driving while impaired, a vehicle and traffic law infraction, which is not a crime (VTL Section 1192.1).
  • Driving while intoxicated: If your results range from .08% up to but under .18%, you will be charged with driving while intoxicated, which is a crime under the vehicle and traffic laws. It is a misdemeanor charge under Section 1192.2 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated: If your results range from .18% and higher, you can be charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated under Section 1192.2-a. Although this is still a misdemeanor charge, the revocation period and monetary fines are higher than those of a regular DWI charge (.08% to .18%).

In addition, drivers under the age of 21 face unique consequences for DWI charges. If your child has been arrested on a DWI charge, I can provide the aggressive defense you need to protect your or your child’s future and driving privileges.

Possible Consequences Of A DWI Conviction

It is important to take any sort of DWI charge seriously. The state of New York imposes serious consequences for DWI convictions. Beyond having a conviction on your criminal record, there are additional consequences, including:

  • There is a good chance that your driver’s license will be subject to suspension or revocation.
  • You may have to install an ignition interlock system on each and every car that you own, operate or is registered in your name.
  • You may also be required to enter and complete alcohol counseling classes.
  • You might have to wear an alcohol detection ankle bracelet called a “SCRAM bracelet” or test your breath for alcohol several times a day on your hand-held smartphone device, which is called remote breath testing.

Exactly what you will be required to do varies from county to county within New York state. But every requirement comes with an additional cost that is your responsibility to pay. The classes and devices can cost a great deal of money.

Additional DWI Penalties For Professionals

As if all of that wasn’t enough, you could also lose your vehicle in a civil forfeiture proceeding commenced by the NYPD legal bureau. If you have a professional license, NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) or commercial driver’s license, a DWI conviction can cause you to lose your job and driver’s license, ruining your livelihood and future.

If you were to ask any MTA employee, taxi cab driver or commercial driver who has faced a DWI charge, they would tell you that conditional licenses are not granted for these special classes of licenses. And, of course, any driver is at risk of suspensions, revocations, ignition interlock devices and a multitude of fines and assessments. If you drive an employer’s vehicle and are required to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive, an experienced DWI attorney can help you evaluate your options.

Experienced DWI Criminal Defense

I understand what you are going through. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience in DWI cases, I will protect your rights, attempt to avoid a criminal conviction on your record and fight for your driving privileges to be restored as soon as legally possible. I can also assist you in attempting to obtain the return of your vehicle from the NYPD forfeiture proceedings and in attempting to prevent the ignition interlock device from being installed on your vehicle.

I also have a great deal of experience litigating DMV refusal hearings and have been extremely successful in winning. A DMV refusal can carry a mandatory one-year driver’s license revocation or privilege to drive in New York. Additionally, the laws have been expanded recently to allow the DMV to pursue either extensive or lifetime revocations against repeat DWI offenders without a conditional license in certain circumstances.

The penalties for multiple DWI convictions are complicated and quite harsh. If you are afraid you might qualify for such a revocation, time is of the essence. I can advise you on any related proceedings in criminal court and through the DMV.

Refusing To Take A Breathalyzer Test

DWI defense can be difficult if the result of a breath test is above the legal limit. However, if you refuse to take the breath test, the stakes are even higher. It is extremely important to get help from an experienced DWI defense lawyer to assist you at the DMV refusal hearing as quickly as possible to address this serious issue. Losing a DMV refusal hearing leads to a one-year license or driving privilege revocation and, in some circumstances, without a conditional license.

I have successfully represented many clients who allegedly refused the breath test for over 30 years. Many criminal lawyers are not familiar with the DMV rules and regulations concerning these administrative hearings, which are separate and different from other criminal cases and entail completely different laws and rules of evidence. I have won many of these hearings in my career. I know what to look for to succeed. The administrative law judges handling these hearings at the DMV on Rector Street in Manhattan and on Rockaway Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, have seen me over and over again, and they know that I know the law.

Felony DWI: Subsequent DWI Convictions

If you are arrested for a second, third or fourth DWI within 10 years of your first DWI conviction, then these DWI charges will be elevated to a felony charge.

You can be charged with a felony even on your first DWI if you are driving with a child passenger who is 15 years of age or younger at the time you are arrested for DWI. If this has happened to you, you should immediately contact me to discuss your case. A felony charge is a serious matter and can lead to deportation if you are not a United States citizen. VTL Section 1192(b).

Contact An Experienced DWI Defense Attorney

Call 718-414-6186 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation if you were arrested for DWI or DWAI in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx or New York City or Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Se habla español.

Spanish, Italian and Greek language services are available.