If you cause serious physical injury or death as a result of driving while ability impaired, driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs, or driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, in that case, you could be facing severe felony charges.
The New York DWI DUI attorney you choose must be experienced and knowledgeable in DWI DUI defense because the “trigger” or predicate for a more serious felony charge is the particular, or what is referred to as the “underlying,” DWI or DWAI charge. If you beat the DWI charge, you will generally be at a more severe expense.
Types of Felony Charges
If you cause serious physical injury or death, depending on what the underlying DWI or DWAI charge is, you could be charged with one or more of the following:
- Vehicular Assault in the First Degree
- Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault
- Assault in the First Degree
- Criminally Negligent Homicide
- Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
- Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree
- Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree
- Murder in the Second Degree
In most cases, even if you were driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and someone suffered a severe injury or death, the prosecution must also prove that your intoxication or impairment was the cause of the physical injury or death.
Potential Legal Defenses
In these types of DWI or DWAI DUI cases, there are generally three theories of defense that a DWI attorney in New York can pursue alone or in combination:
- The prosecution cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were impaired, intoxicated, or impaired by drugs beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were guilty of one or more of the “underlying” DWI or DWAI offenses listed above.
- In drunk driving or drugged driving cases involving alleged physical injury or serious physical injury, the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim suffered the requisite bodily injury or serious physical injury.
- The prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your impairment, intoxication, or impairment by drugs was the cause of the injury or death. If another vehicle veered over the centerline and hit your car, resulting in their physical severe injury or death, the fact that you were impaired would not be a factor.