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Here’s Why It Is Advisable to Plead Not Guilty in Your New York DUI Case


If you are facing DUI charges in New York, you may wonder what to do during your arraignment. Should you plead guilty, nolo contendere, or not guilty? While you have the right to enter any plea you wish at your DUI arraignment, it is usually best to plead not guilty. You should not assume that you cannot win your DUI case. People arrested and charged with DUI often assume that they cannot win their case because the breathalyzer test results and field sobriety tests indicate they were driving under the influence. For this reason, they plead guilty. Even if you think you are guilty, there are many reasons why you should not plead guilty or nolo contendere.

How the traffic stop was conducted is a major factor in your DUI case. Your case can be won or lost based on what the police did or failed to do during the traffic stop. A qualified DUI defense attorney can help you determine what police inactions or actions (if any) you can bring up in your case to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Below, we discuss how you can win your New York DUI case based on how the police officer conducted themselves during the traffic stop.

#1: The Police Officer Failed to Conduct the Traffic Stop Properly

In New York, the police cannot pull you over if they do not have reasonable suspicion. This generally means that an officer can only stop you if they have reason to believe you have committed a crime or traffic violation. After the police stop you, they need probable cause to arrest you. Probable cause is a higher standard than the standard of reasonable suspicion. If there was no reasonable suspicion to stop you and no probable cause to arrest you, the evidence against you may be dismissed, and your charges dropped.

#2: The Breathalyzer Device Was Not Properly Maintained

Sometimes, the breathalyzer devices that are used to test BAC levels are unreliable. For example, some breathalyzer devices are not correctly calibrated. If the breathalyzer device that was used to test your BAC was not properly maintained, it could lead to the BAC test results being considered inadmissible.

#3: The Officer Who Conducted the Breathalyzer Test Wasn’t Properly Trained

If the police officer who used the breathalyzer device on you was not properly trained in using the device, your attorney could attack the validity of the BAC test results. If your attorney can prove that the police officer lacked the necessary training, the BAC results could be considered inadmissible.

#4: The Field Sobriety Tests Were Not Conducted Properly

If a field sobriety test is not conducted correctly, the test results cannot be accurate. If the field sobriety tests were improperly administered, your attorney can bring that up and argue that the test results cannot be trusted. To explain why you failed the field sobriety tests, your attorney could also bring up other issues, such as the officer’s intimidation, uneven surface conditions, poor lighting, bad weather, or poor footwear.

Contact an NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI Attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge in New York and are awaiting arraignment, our qualified NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI attorney can help you understand your options before you decide how to plead at your arraignment. Contact us today.

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"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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