Stephen Bilkis
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A New York DWI Defense Lawyer can agree that being charged with a DWI is a frightening experience, and one you will probably not soon forget. It is helpful to be aware of the legal chain of events involved when you are arrested for a DWI. It is important to obtain the advice of a New York DWI Lawyer from the office of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC as early on in the process as possible.

New York DWI Attorney

The Arrest

The first stage of your DWI begins with the arrest. In order for the traffic stop to be legal, the stop has to be supported by reasonable suspicion that a motor vehicle violation has been committed. Once the vehicle is stopped, the police must have Probable Cause to believe that the driver is intoxicated before they can conduct a Breathalyzer Test and arrest the individual. It is important to note that there is no right to counsel at this stage in the legal process.

The Booking Process

After you have been arrested, you will most likely be taken to the police station for booking. During this process, you will be photographed, fingerprinted, and a preliminary bail amount will be set. If you are released from custody, you should be given a notice that will tell you when and where to appear in court.

The Arraignment

This proceeding takes place shortly after your arrest and booking. The main purpose of this hearing is that you have the opportunity to be advised of your rights, and informed of the charges against you. If you do not have a lawyer, the judge should advise you of your right to have a court appointed attorney represent you. Your driver’s license will be confiscated, and your driving privileges will probably be suspended. The arraignment takes place after the motor vehicle hearing. It is highly recommended to have a skilled New York DUI Lawyer from our office at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC with you during the arraignment process. If you enter a plea of guilty, the judge will likely impose a sentence. If you plead not guilty, your case should be set for trial at a later date

Pre-Trial Conference

Your New York DWI Lawyer can discuss the circumstances of your case with the District Attorney and discuss a plea bargain. Your pre-trial conference typically occurs within 6 weeks of your arraignment, after your motor vehicle hearing.

Suppression Hearing

The court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you if it is determined that your constitutional rights were violated. Your motion to suppress occurs 45 days from the date of your arraignment.

Plea Bargain

Many Courts are reticent to plea bargain or reduce a DWI charge. If a deal cannot be made, your case will proceed to trial or you may be forced to plea to the charge.


There are two possible types of trials in New York, a jury trial or a bench trial.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor DWI, you have a right to a jury trial with six jurors. If you are charged with a Felony DWI, you have the right to a jury trial with twelve jurors. The District Attorney will notify announce when they are prepared for trial, 90 days after your arraignment. If you are charged with a felony, the time lapse will be 6 months.

In a bench trial, the judge plays the role of both judge and jury. Often if a DWI case is complex, issues and evidence may be difficult for the jury to understand, in which case a bench trial may be preferable.

At your trial, the prosecution will have the burden of proving the elements of your DWI beyond a reasonable doubt. Your experienced New York Drunk Driving Attorney from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC will have the opportunity to cross-examine the police that were involved with your DWI arrest. Your attorney will also have the option to call expert witnesses on your behalf.

The Verdict

After the trial, the trier of fact either a judge or a jury, will render a decision. If the verdict is not guilty you will have your case sealed and no criminal record. If you are found guilty the case will proceed to sentencing.


The court can impose a sentence after conviction at trial or if a plea bargain is accepted. Sentences can include jail or prison time, community service, alcohol counseling, alcohol classes and fines.

If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to speak with a New York DWI Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC as soon as possible. The sooner you have the advice of counsel, the better your potential result can be. We have a qualified team of lawyers that are ready to protect your rights, and we can aggressively defend you in court. When you come in, we can provide you with sound legal guidance as well as a free consultation. Whether you have been charged with an Aggravated DWI, Felony DWI or Underage DWI, we can help you obtain the best result possible given your situation. We have offices in New York City for your convenience, serving Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. We also have locations in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island, and serve Westchester County. Contact us today to receive your free consultation at 800.696.9529.

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