DWI for Foreign Citizens
Question: I was charged with DWI in New York State, but I live outside the state. What can I do?
Answer: We've represented clients on DWI charges from many other states and countries. People who are charged with DWI in New York State and do not live here face a tremendous financial challenge. The challenge is that there are court dates that typically need to be attended every 4-8 weeks, and plane tickets can be very expensive.
One of the things that we have been very successful in doing is asking courts to allow our clients who live out of state to waive their appearance on court dates. Judges are, on the whole, a pretty reasonable group of people, and if they are provided with good reasoning as to why a person should be allowed to waive their appearance, they will typically allow it. This allows our clients to stay at home while we take care of their case right up until trial. Without the financial pressure of having to buy plane tickets once a month for a court date, our clients are better able to focus on the big picture and not take a plea deal to a crime they may not have committed.
If you live outside of New York State, and you are charged here with a DWI, you should find an experienced attorney who will be able to answer questions for you about the Interstate Drivers Compact, conditional drivers' licenses, license suspensions, and your right to drive in New York State vs. your right to drive at home. It’s also a very good idea to hire a well-respected, local law firm because sometimes that can make all the difference in the world.
One recent example of why you should hire a local firm to handle your DWI is this one: Not too long ago we were hired by a client from a Central American country who was visiting family locally. He was charged with a felony DWI here in the Greater Rochester Area, and he was scheduled to go home just a few days after he was arrested. Inside of a week, we were able to resolve his DWI with a non-felony plea deal that also included no jail time and no probation. He had to change his flight once, but he was able to get home and get back to work just a few days late. Past successes don't always indicate future outcomes, but this is the kind of personalized attention and focus on helping our clients that we can provide to you on your case.
Another example of how we have helped out-of state clients happened this past winter. I was working late when the phone rang and I picked it up. It was a man who had just been released from jail after spending the night there because of a DWI arrest after a car accident. He was from a western state, his court date was in about an hour, and he was trying to figure out what to do. We talked about the circumstances of his arrest, came up with a strategy for getting him back home, and I met him at court less than an hour later. The judge waived our new client’s appearance at his next court date, which gave the client a little financial breathing room and gave me an opportunity to work on his case. Our client ended up getting a plea to a lesser charge, he never had to return to New York because we were able to get the appropriate permissions from the judge, and he was very happy.
If you are facing a DWI in New York State but you live abroad or in another state, please call us for a free DWI consultation at (585) 351-2500. Jeannie D. Michalski can go the extra mile to help you, and we want to.