According to the New York State Unified Court System, evidence falls into one of two categories: direct or circumstantial. Because direct evidence refers to evidence gathered by observation, it typically holds more weight in criminal cases then circumstantial evidence, which refers to evidence gathered by inference.
In a DWI case, direct evidence might refer to police witnessing a vehicle swerving in and out of its lane. Circumstantial evidence, on the other hand, could refer to officers arriving at the scene of an accident after the motorist has already gotten out of the vehicle and smelling alcohol on his or her breath.
If you are facing DWI charges in New York, turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Darren DeUrso is a criminal attorney with the knowledge, resources and litigation experience to represent your interests.
Call 914-772-8614 to discuss your defense options with a DWI lawyer in White Plains. You can also learn more about DWI laws in New York by visiting the USAttorneys website.
How Can Circumstantial Evidence Affect My DWI Case?
New York has strict drunk-driving laws, and even if police do not witness you driving while intoxicated, you can still face DWI charges if they gather enough circumstantial evidence against you. For example, in People v. Stafford, police arrested the defendant for driving while intoxicated, even though they did not actually see him driving his vehicle.
When police arrived at the scene, the defendant was allegedly standing outside the stopped vehicle, which was in the middle of the road. Its bumper had fallen off, and according to police, the defendant was attempting to start the vehicle from where he was standing, but it would not turn over.
The man allegedly claimed that he was currently leasing the car and that he had gotten into an accident. Police took this as an admission that he had been driving the car just moments before, even though they did not actually witness the man doing so.
In finding that the circumstantial evidence for this case was sufficient, the court relied on precedents that prior cases had set. In one case from 2006 (People v. Espanda), the court used the defendant’s admission that he had been trying to park and “had a few beers” as sufficient evidence to sustain DWI charges, even though police did not actually witness him driving the vehicle.
Past precedents make it apparent that police do not necessarily need to witness drinking and driving in order to make an arrest. These cases also demonstrate how important it is to hire an attorney from the start. For example, if the defendant in either case had talked to a criminal attorney before speaking with police, he might not have incriminated himself by making an admission of guilt.
If you are facing DWI charges, turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Call 914-772-8614 to schedule a consultation with a DWI lawyer in White Plains.