Defending Circumvention of Interlock Charges in New York State: Strategies and Considerations
In New York State, Circumvention of Interlock charges are governed by Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 1198(9). This section makes it a Class A misdemeanor to:
- Request, solicit, or allow any other person to blow into an ignition interlock device or start a vehicle equipped with the device, in order to allow the restricted person to drive the vehicle.
- Blow into an ignition interlock device or start a car with such a device, so that a restricted person can drive the vehicle.
- Tamper with or otherwise circumvent an ignition interlock device.
- Operate a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device, if required by court order.
An ignition interlock device is a device that is installed in a motor vehicle and prevents the vehicle from starting unless the driver provides a breath sample that is below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC). Ignition interlock devices are often required for people who have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).
To convict someone of Circumvention of Interlock charges, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- Was required by law to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
- Knew that the ignition interlock device was required.
- Intentionally circumvented the ignition interlock device.
Circumvention of Interlock charges are a serious offense, and a conviction can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year. Additionally, a conviction for Circumvention of Interlock charges may result in the revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license.
Penalties for a Circumvention of Interlock Charge in New York State
The penalties for Circumvention of Interlock charges in New York State vary depending on the circumstances of the case. However, a conviction for Circumvention of Interlock is always a Class A misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalties are:
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Imprisonment for up to one year
- Revocation of your driver’s license
In addition to these penalties, a conviction for Circumvention of Interlock may also result in the following:
- Increased insurance rates
- Difficulty finding employment
- Negative impact on your reputation
It is important to note that the judge has discretion in sentencing you, and may impose a lesser sentence than the maximum. However, it is important to take these charges seriously, as a conviction can have a significant impact on your life.
Our legal team is well-versed in the nuanced laws of New York State, including its Circumvention of Interlock statutes and sentencing guidelines. Depending on the specifics of the case, we can pursue various legal avenues:
Negotiating Reductions: Through skillful negotiation, we aim to secure reductions in charges or penalties, such as obtaining a plea deal to a lesser offense or pursuing enrollment in a substance abuse education program.
Challenging Evidence in Court: If necessary, we are prepared to take the case to trial. Our experienced litigators will present a strong defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge evidence in court to achieve the best possible outcome.
Protecting Driving Privileges: Circumvention of Interlock convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. We will advocate for our clients to retain their driving rights whenever possible.
Facing a Circumvention of Interlock charge in New York State can be a daunting experience, but the DWI Team is dedicated to providing unwavering support and exceptional legal representation. Our extensive knowledge of the legal landscape, combined with our commitment to protecting clients’ rights, empowers us to construct robust defense strategies tailored to each unique case. From dissecting the traffic stop to challenging sobriety tests and negotiating favorable outcomes, we stand as the shield against Circumvention of Interlock charges, advocating for the best interests of our clients at every turn.