Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Working Hard to Protect Your Rights As a Poughkeepsie criminal defense attorney, I have been serving the people of the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years through diligent, assertive and quality criminal defense. I am prepared to put my experience to work for you.

Will police leniency in DWI case be matched by prosecutors?

No two legal cases are ever alike. This is a point we attempt to make often because it is so true. Because of that fact, we can never say with certainty that we will get a defendant cleared of charges. Indeed, because of the way the legal system works, we can't even be sure from case to case how matters will be handled by the prosecution.

For example, we can say with confidence, as we did in a post last month, that a person convicted of felony driving while impaired in New York faces mandatory jail time. However, whether prosecutors choose to bring felony charges is a matter of their discretion.

This comes to mind in light of a case from upstate. According to authorities, a 26-year-old Rochester woman was picked up twice in a three-hour time frame on Oct. 22 for allegedly driving drunk. They say she was first stopped around 2 a.m. for allegedly driving without headlights.

She was reportedly taken into custody and released to a sober friend. But less than three hours later, officials say another officer stopped the woman. She was at the wheel of the same car as before. This time, though, she was pulled over for straying across the lane lines. After her second arrest, an officer drove the woman home.

What prompts our question in the title of today's post is that police charged the woman with misdemeanor DWI. But she also has been convicted of driving while ability impaired twice in the past eight years, which might seem to indicate that prosecutors could choose to escalate the charges to felony DWI in the case.

We should know more later this month when the woman is due to be arraigned.

Source: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, "Woman charged with DWI twice in 3 hours had prior convictions," Victoria E. Freile, Oct. 29, 2014

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