Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Former ballet director charged with DWI

On Dec. 29 in New York, Peter Martins, the 71-year-old former director of the New York City Ballet, was taken into custody after a three-car accident that occurred around 8:00 p.m. He was later released. In a court appearance on Jan. 8, through his attorney, he pleaded not guilty to charges of backing unsafely, refusal to take a breath test and driving while intoxicated. Not long before, Martins had retired from his position with the ballet after accusations of harassment that he denied.

Another court date was set for Jan. 29. Martins was released with a promise that he would return for the court date, and his license was suspended.

It was the second drunk driving-related charge for Martins. In 2011, he was detained on New Year's Day and charged with DWI. In that case, he ultimately pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

When a person is facing charges for drunk driving, there nay be legal and other repercussions. License suspension, fines and jail time are all among the penalties for drunk driving. In some cases, a person's career could also be affected by a drunk driving charge. How a person wishes to handle such a charge may depend on the evidence, the situation around being taken into custody and whether the person has been convicted of drunk driving in the past. A person who has multiple convictions may be concerned about avoiding a jail sentence or other more serious penalties. A person may agree to plea bargain. This means the person pleads guilty to lesser charges and usually receives a lighter penalty. If the person's rights were violated during the stop or at any other point, some evidence or the entire case might be dismissed.

Source: Lohud, "Peter Martins: Ex-Ballet leader arraigned on DWI charge in Ardsley", Matt Spillane, Jan. 9, 2018

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