The word “arrest” means that you are being put in custody of a law enforcement officer and deprived of your liberty. Being put under arrest gives the police the power to restrain you. After you are put under arrest, most jails will allow you to contact someone else by telephone and visit with your attorney.

How do I make bail?

Bail is money that is deposited with the court, or a promise to pay money or forfeit property to the court, to guarantee that you will come to a later court appearance. You may have heard people use the terms “bail” and “bond” interchangeably. There is a difference between the two terms that you should understand. Bail is the amount of money or property required by the court. Bond is a sum of money that is the fee charged by a bail agent who guarantees the bail to the court. At your first court appearance, the judge may simply set bail and you will have the opportunity to pay the amount and get released from jail. Generally, if you show up to all your court appearances, the bail money may be returned to you at the close of your case.

In New York, if your DWI case ends in a conviction, the city government may keep a percentage of your bail money.

If you don’t have money to pay your bail, you might need a bail agent. A bail agent is an independent businessperson who, for a fee, will put up the full amount of your bail for you. The bail agent’s fee (which is usually not refundable) is typically 10-20% of the total amount of your bail. The bail agent becomes liable to the court for the full amount of bail if you fail to appear for a later court date.

Do I need a Syracuse DWI Defense Attorney?

Under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to have legal counsel at all the critical stages in your DWI case. If you are poor and can’t afford an attorney, you have the right to have a lawyer appointed for you and paid for by the government. These lawyers who provide services to poor and indigent people are called public defenders.

A DWI suspect who has been arrested may want to consult a DWI defense attorney to get a professional experienced advocacy. A qualified DWI defense attorney may represent you by making court appearances with you and reviewing important documents in your case, such as the police report. Most importantly, a DWI defense attorney will devise a defense strategy in your DWI case. A DWI defense attorney’s job is to look at all the evidence in your case logically objectively and think through a defense theory to present to the court.

Should I take a Plea Bargain?

If you are arrested in New York on a first-time DWI charge, you should know that you face the possibility of being convicted of a misdemeanor and you could face fines of up to $1000 and might also have your driver’s license suspended for a maximum of 6 months. It is important for first-time DWI defendants to understand that a conviction for DWI in New York may carry the sentence of a maximum of 1 year in jail. However, most first-time DWI offenders are not sentenced to jail time.

Faced with these harsh DWI penalties, you might be wondering if you should agree to a plea bargain in your case. Most convictions in misdemeanor cases are the result of guilty pleas rather than verdicts following a trial. A plea bargain is an agreement with the prosecution where you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor agrees to guarantee you get a lighter sentence. In making the decision to agree to a plea bargain, you should consult your DWI defense attorney about the likelihood of an acquittal and the strength of the prosecution’s case against you. For example, if it is your first-time being charged with DWI, the prosecutor may offer you an opportunity to plead guilty to the charge of DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). This would lessen the charge from the criminal offense of DWI to that of a traffic violation, since DWAI is considered a traffic infraction and not a criminal offense in New York.

Our are experienced in handling DWI cases. If you need a lawyer who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case, call us!

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for The DWI GUYS are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-877-704-9991.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.