Powers Law, P.C.

Can I Contact An Attorney Prior To Taking A Chemical Test In A DWI Arrest?


You can contact an attorney prior to taking a chemical test in a DWI arrest, but it is not a constitutional right. If you ask for an attorney during a DWI arrest, the police cannot deem that request to be a refusal to take a chemical test without explaining to you that there either is an attorney available to you or that there is not, or how to go about obtaining one. There have been cases in which people have asked to speak to an attorney and the police have said, “I am not asking you whether you want an attorney; I am asking you to take this breath test.” Those people responded by saying, “I would like to consult with an attorney before I decide whether or not to do that,” and the police wrote them up as a refusal, which is against the case law that exists in that field. I cannot tell any one person whether or not they should submit to a chemical test unless I am informed of their circumstances. It is important that you try to reach out to an attorney despite it not being a constitutional right.

What Paperwork Will I Have When I Am Released From Jail?

When you are released from jail, you will be given a court date and a copy of your charges. The paperwork just advises you of the penal law charge and will include some facts from the district attorney’s office that support that charge. If you post a bail, then you will also be given a bail receipt, and it is important to keep that. You may be given a court date that’s set to occur very soon after your release. You may also be given a hearing date with the administrative department of motor vehicles. If you refused to take the chemical test, then you will receive a separate piece of paper with a separate court date.

Some people just concentrate on the fact that they have to be back to criminal court in 30 days and they miss a golden opportunity to appear at and engage in a hearing about their case at the local department of motor vehicles; you should be sure not to do that. Other times, the probation department will monitor your release from the court and you will have to appear at the probation department in order to enroll in a supervised release program (SRP). Although it is human nature to want to just put what happened behind you, it’s really important to look at the paperwork that is given to you.

Will I Leave Jail With Permission To Drive After A DWI Arrest?

After a DWI arrest in New York, you will not leave the court with the privilege to drive; there is a temporary suspension that goes into effect in just about every single DWI case. If you submitted to a chemical test, then you will be able to return to court after a few days and will be eligible for a hearing to determine whether you will be allowed to drive to and from work. Once 30 days have passed since the arraignment date, you will also be eligible for conditional privileges, which is the ability to drive to and from work, to medical appointments, and to school at any time. The hardship hearing limits the times that you can drive to and from work. If you refused to take the chemical test, then you will have a temporary suspension and they will give you a hearing date at the department of motor vehicles. At that hearing, an administrative law judge will make some determinations about your license going forward. It is called a temporary suspension or a “cooling off period” within which the court takes away your license for five to 30 days.

For more information on Contacting An Attorney Before Chemical Test, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (631) 994-7504 today.

John T. Powers, Esq.

Get your questions answered - Call now to speak with an attorney about your legal needs (631) 994-7504.

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