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DWI Defense Strategies

How to Fight a DWI Charge in Westchester County

A large percentage of people who are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) make a singular mistake: They give up any hope of fighting the charges. They end up losing their driver's license to an automatic revocation and usually end up paying fines, spending time in jail, or both. The fact is that it is nearly always possible to obtain a better outcome to a drunk driving case by contesting the charges in court with the help of a proven Westchester criminal defense lawyer. There are many strategies for fighting a White Plains DWI case, some of which include:

Illegal Traffic Stops

One of the first questions to ask when investigating a White Plains DWI case is, "Did the police officer have probable cause to investigate?" Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you cannot be stopped at random or based on a police officer's hunch. Instead, it is necessary for a law enforcement officer to have probable cause to suspect that a crime is being committed or has been committed.

If the officer's testimony as to the grounds for the traffic stop cannot stand up to your lawyer's aggressive cross examination in court, it may be possible to have the case dismissed based on the fact that the evidence was gathered in violation of your rights.

Invalidating Field Sobriety Tests

The standardized field sobriety tests used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country - the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn and the horizontal gaze nystagmus - are anything but reliable. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency responsible for developing and issuing the tests, admits that the test has a margin of error as great at 19 percent, with some tests being as little as 8 percent reliable in detecting whether a driver is ability impaired by alcohol.

A lawyer can often challenge or invalidate the test results by obtaining a copy of the video footage from the police car dashboard camera to demonstrate that the officer made errors in administering the tests, that the test conditions were prejudiced against the suspect, or that the suspect did not in fact fail the tests. Similarly, a lawyer with a thorough understanding of the field sobriety tests can cross examine the officer in court to reveal that he or she may have made errors which resulted in a false positive.

Challenging Chemical Tests

Even the chemical tests which are used to determine whether a suspect's blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent are not entirely reliable. For example, the breathalyzer test results may be invalidated by obtaining copies of the maintenance and calibration records for the machine and demonstrating that it was not properly tuned.

The presence of residual alcohol in the mouth of the suspect may result in a false positive, just as physiological conditions such as gastric reflux or diabetes may trigger a positive test result. Blood test samples have been demonstrated to be susceptible to fermentation if they are contaminated, and it is also possible to challenge the reliability of such evidence by pointing to gaps in the chain of custody of the sample, thereby suggesting the possibility that the sample is not even yours.

Westchester DWI Attorney Robert Schuster – 100% DWI Trial Success Rate

The most important thing to remember about a DWI case is that, just like in any other criminal case, you are legally presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. Even if it appears that the prosecutor has an open and shut case against you, it may still be possible to defend your driver's license and to safeguard you against the serious penalties you face by hiring a Westchester DWI attorney from The Law Offices of Robert Schuster to fight for you.

Attorney Robert Schuster has received a number of noteworthy accolades during his career as a criminal defense lawyer. He has been named as a Top 10 DWI Lawyer in New York by the American Institute of DWI Attorneys. Also recognized as one of the Top 100 DWI attorneys in the state by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC (NAFDD), Attorney Schuster can be trusted to provide outstanding representation for clients facing the most difficult charges.


Contact the firm now to begin the process of your defense.