DWAI – Drug  Lawyer in Nassau County, New York

DWAI – Drug

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DWAI – Drug

As a prosecutor, Richard was a member of a specialized unit which focused exclusively on Nassau County Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs cases. As part of this appointment, Richard attended police trainings on DWI detection, DWI policing policies, police testimony, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTS), and breathalyzer technology. With this background, Richard is uniquely qualified as a Nassau County DWI Lawyer to represent you or your loved one who is accused of a crime. Our firm knows how to help you protect your license, protect your record, and protect your freedom.

Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs Lawyer in New York

Everyone knows that driving drunk is illegal in the state of New York and all around the country. That’s because Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) impairs your ability to drive and make good decisions, which puts everyone on the road at risk.

But people sometimes forget that Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) charges can also be brought against you if you’re driving while impaired by drugs or controlled substances. Although DWAI Drug offenses can be more difficult to prove than drunk driving, being charged with a DWAI Drug offense in New York is a serious crime that can come with life-altering consequences.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWAI Drug crime in New York, you should speak with a DWAI Drug attorney in Nassau County as soon as possible. Don’t put your freedom and driving privileges at risk. Contact an experienced DWAI Drug attorney today who can investigate the details surrounding your case and help you fight the charge

What is a DWAI Drug charge in New York?

People sometimes think that only illegal drugs are dangerous to consume before or while driving, but that is not the case. There are a variety of controlled substances, illicit drugs and even legal pharmaceutical drugs that can impair your ability to drive, and if an officer pulls you over and suspects you’re on drugs, you could be charged with a DWAI Drug crime in New York.

Any drug that is on the list of controlled substances other than alcohol can be reason for a DWAI Drug charge. That means even legally prescribed drugs or medications can land you a DWAI Drug charge if they impair your ability to drive.

To be convicted of a DWAI Drug charge in New York, the District Attorney must prove the following:


  • You consumed a drug that is listed under NY State Public Health Law 3306.
  • After consuming the drug, you drove a motor vehicle.
  • The drug impaired your ability to drive.

It is a bit more difficult for a prosecutor to convict a person of a DWAI Drug charge than for a DWI alcohol charge. That’s because unlike DWI charges for alcohol where you can be charged for driving with certain blood alcohol content levels, with a DWAI drug charge the state must prove you were “impaired”—which can be subjective and depend largely on the arresting officer’s observations.

One way the state of New York has tried to more accurately determine if someone is impaired by drugs is to use Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to evaluate people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. These experts can be brought to the scene to observe your behavior and determine whether you are impaired by drugs. Although you can be charged with a DWAI Drug offense based off a police officer’s observations and reports, to be convicted you must have been examined by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) at the time of the arrest or shortly after.

Although DRE reports carry weight in court, they are not infallible. A Nassau County DWAI Drug crime attorney can investigate the specifics of your case and look for holes in the prosecution. In fact, it is not uncommon for DWAI Drug offense cases to be dismissed in court after evidence is deemed inadmissible. But because the penalties for DWAI Drug offense can be so severe, you need to speak with an experienced DWAI Drug crime defense attorney in NY and begin to prepare a defense.


DWAI Drugs: from Marijuana to Opioids

There is often confusion over which drugs are illegal to use when operating a motor vehicle in New York. Many people think, for example, that since marijuana has been legalized in New York and other states around the country, then it is legal to drive after consuming marijuana. However, if marijuana impairs your ability to drive and you’re pulled over, you can be arrested and charged with a DWAI Drug crime.

Besides marijuana, some of the most common drugs associated with DWAI Drug crimes that are listed under Public Health Law include:

  • Concentrated cannabis
  • Stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin
  • Xanax (Alprazolam)
  • Valium (Diazepam)
  • Lorazapam and Clonazepam
  • Oxycodone
  • Heroin and cocaine

Even if you have a prescription for some of these drugs, if you’re under the influence of one or a combination of drugs and it impairs your ability to make good decisions on the road, you can be charged with a DWAI Drug charge in New York. The penalties for a DWAI Drug conviction can be tough, so it is wise to consult with an experienced DWAI Drug crime attorney to discuss your case.



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At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we have years of experience representing people accused of DWI and Aggravated DWI crimes in Nassau County. We understand the best strategies for building a case, and we’re not afraid to defend your rights in court. For a free consultation with our knowledgeable Nassau County DWI defense attorney, give us a call today at (516) 939-1529 or contact us online.

What are the penalties for a DWAI Drug charge?

To deter impaired driving of any kind, the state of New York has the same penalties for DWAI Drug convictions as they do for DWAI convictions with alcohol. And much like DWI convictions with alcohol, the severity of the penalties you can face depends largely on whether it is your first, second, or third offense.

Some of the penalties you can face if convicted of a DWAI Drug offense in New York include:

  • First time offense: Up to one year in prison, probation up to three years, $500 to $1,000 in fines and a six-month license revocation. You may also have to attend a rehabilitation or treatment program.
  • Subsequent offenses: If you commit the same or a similar offense within a period of ten years, you can face Felony DWAI Drugs charges. This means that fines can increase up to $10,000, potential prison time, your license may be suspended up to one year and you may receive up to five years of probation. Also, drug rehabilitation and treatment programs and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car for a minimum of one year are required.

It’s also important to remember that if convicted of a DWAI Drug crime in New York, losing your driver’s license could jeopardize your ability to get to work and once it is reinstated your car insurance rates could skyrocket. Furthermore, a DWAI drug charge can complicate a person’s immigration status and some professional licensing programs.

The quality of a person’s life can be significantly decreased when they are convicted of a DWAI Drug crime in New York. To fight your DWAI Drug crime, contact a qualified defense DWAI Drug crime defense attorney in Nassau County today.


Can I get a conditional license after a DWAI Drug offense in New York?

If you are convicted of a DWAI Drug crime, even if it is your first offense, it carries a six-month license revocation. That means you can’t drive anywhere under any circumstance for half a year. As you could imagine, this can have a huge effect on your life.

Fortunately, the state of NY recognizes these potential problems and, in many situations, a DWAI Drug attorney can help you obtain a conditional license. A conditional license in New York allows you to drive your vehicle for specific purpose under certain conditions you must abide by throughout the duration of your probation. It generally allows you to get to and from the following places:

  • Work, and to use a vehicle at work if necessary.
  • Any activity that is part of a required drug rehabilitation program or treatment.
  • State approved college course or a vocational or technical training program.
  • Medical examinations or healthcare visits for you and your family.
  • Your children’s daycare or school.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles to handle any matters related to your DWI.

Also, most conditional licenses will grant you a three-hour daytime period to operate your vehicle on a day when you’re off from work. If you must drive to maintain your obligations and support your family, being granted a conditional license after a DWAI Drug offense can make a huge difference. If you can’t have your charges dismissed, a DWAI Drug crime attorney can’t help you get a conditional license so that you can maintain your quality of life and uphold your responsibilities.


Have you been charged with a DWAI Drug crime in New York?

At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we have years of experience defending clients in Nassau County who have been charged with DWI drug offenses. Mr. Hochhauser has served as a member of a specialized unit in Nassau County which focused exclusively on Driving While Under the Influence of Drug cases and has trained in DWI policing policies, police testimony and breathalyzer technology. He has a complex understanding of DWI law in New York and can use his knowledge to help you fight a DWAI Drug offense.
For a free consultation and case review, call us today at (516) 939-1529 or contact us online.