Since we started writing these types of articles in our communication channels, we have always emphasized prevention. Over the years specializing in accident-related cases and legal strategies to obtain fair compensation, we have seen a myriad of circumstances, diverse endings, complex legal decisions, and families that have been affected by the negligence of third parties who did not think twice before getting into a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
And despite the fact that prevention is our banner when communicating this type of information, the city of Brooklyn was stained with blood just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, once again, the variables that make a fatality occur are excessive alcohol, lack of awareness, and lack of respect for the community.
Several newspapers and online opinion spaces reported the unfortunate events: Following a car accident in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday morning, a woman from Staten Island is fighting for her life at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Lesha Joyner, 32, is also charged with four offenses in connection with the collision that claimed the lives of Shanti Joyner, 21, and her friend, who was also a passenger.
Lesha has been charged with a DWI, operating a vehicle without insurance, operating an unregistered vehicle, and operating while intoxicated, according to investigators. Kashawn Croswell, 25, the driver of the vehicle she collided with, was also charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident causing death. According to witnesses, he was speeding just before the collision.
Before those charges were dropped, Jeanette Perez-Joyner, the mother of Shanti and Lesha, granted PIX11 News an exclusive interview. She stated that she wished for her daughter Shanti to be known as a devoted and caring mother.
As we can see, those involved in this recent event in Brooklyn did not take the necessary precautions to avoid the outcome that we now know. In addition, more than one person, other than the driver, was exposed to danger, which could lead to specific legal liabilities.
Another regrettable aspect that we can highlight is that the event culminated in a tragedy of death. This reminds us once again that drunk driving is not a game, much less a minor detail, but an act that endangers human life.
Are some of these details similar to any of the cases in which you have been involved? Can you imagine if, in the case we have described, innocent pedestrians had also been affected? Or even other lighter vehicles, such as bicycles or motorcycles moving in the area? Can you imagine if it had been more fatal? Perhaps we would not only be suffering the death of one person, but of others, and thus the pain would be higher. What to do then so that this never happens again? Is there any way to avoid it?
We do not have the magic formula, but we do know it to the letter in these cases. There is almost always a desire by someone to generate pain and distress in others. Many times reckless or negligent behaviors hide or mask violence of some kind. Perhaps these people were never given the place they deserved in their community, were never seen to be themselves, but were forced to wear a mask and adapt to the circumstances.
These are almost always personalities that mask a lot of anger and hatred for the welfare of others. But what is the use of psychoanalytical theories or psychological profiles of those who caused such disasters if the lives of these people cannot be recovered?
We are not in favor of giving a thousand meanings to pain or finding intellectual answers to everything. However, some answers are necessary to understand why these behaviors occur. Some answers are necessary so that the void that these people leave in their families can be filled with the understanding necessary to be able to integrate this experience into a new life.
Have you gone through a similar case? Was a loved one taken from you by a similar negligence? Are you afraid to go out in the streets because a similar event caused you some trauma or pain from which you still cannot free yourself? Are you lost between legal paths and alternatives you don't fully understand?
Don't give your money to charlatans or fake lawyers anymore. Contact the best DUI accident lawyer. Contact The Ward Law, the servants of those who need it most. The representatives of the rights of our community. Contact The Ward Law to see a light at the end of the tunnel for your case, and with us on your side, you will have the information and skills you need to go after justice together.
Brief overview of what a Brooklyn Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer offers
You may be wondering how a specialized Brooklyn drunk driving accident attorney from our team can help you. You may have questions such as: Why couldn't I do it alone? Will the information I get online be enough to know what to do at each step of the process? Who should I turn to? How many people do I have to talk to in order for them to understand my case?
We know these are a lot of questions, and we understand that after participating in these life-and-death events, questions will abound, while the answers may take a little longer to come. Don't worry; at The Ward Law, we are not afraid of difficult problems to solve. We have spent the last 25 years of our existence solving difficult problems. So, feel free to sit back and watch the experienced ones at work.
1. Legal Expertise: Our Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawyers possess extensive knowledge of the complex legal landscape surrounding DUI accidents in New York, ensuring you receive the best legal representation.
2. Comprehensive Case Assessment: They conduct a thorough analysis of your case, considering factors such as the severity of injuries, property damage, and the driver's level of intoxication to provide a tailored legal strategy.
3. Strategic Evidence Collection: Lawyers diligently collect crucial evidence, including surveillance footage, witness statements, and accident reconstruction reports, to build a compelling case.
4. Effective Negotiations: Our legal team excels in negotiations, skillfully communicating with insurance companies to secure fair settlements that cover medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
5. Liability Determination: In addition to holding impaired drivers accountable, attorneys may identify other liable parties, such as establishments that overserved alcohol to the driver, expanding potential sources of compensation.
6. Knowledge of No-Fault Insurance: Your lawyer will explain the intricacies of New York's no-fault insurance system, helping you navigate the process and ensuring you receive all available benefits.
7. Maximizing Compensation: Attorneys are dedicated to maximizing your compensation, exploring all avenues for recovery, which may include pursuing punitive damages in cases of extreme negligence.
8. Thorough Court Representation: In cases that proceed to court, our legal team offers strong court representation, presenting your case persuasively before a judge and jury.
9. Medical Expert Collaboration: We collaborate with medical experts who can provide specialized testimony on your injuries and the long-term care you may require.
10. Holistic Support: Beyond legal expertise, our team offers emotional support and guidance, helping you and your family navigate the challenging aftermath of a drunk driving accident.
11. Swift Action: Our lawyers understand the importance of acting promptly in DUI accident cases, ensuring that crucial evidence is preserved, witnesses are interviewed, and legal deadlines are met.
12. Access to Resources: We have access to a network of resources, including accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and investigators, to strengthen your case and provide expert testimony when needed.
13. Alternative Dispute Resolution: In some cases, attorneys explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to expedite the resolution of your case while still seeking fair compensation.
14. Communication Transparency: We maintain open and transparent communication with you throughout the entire legal process, ensuring you are well-informed about the progress of your case and any developments.
15. Customized Legal Strategy: Each case is unique, and our lawyers craft a customized legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances and needs, providing personalized and effective representation.
What Constitutes Drunk Driving?
There is some debate as to how much alcohol level in the body would imply a state of drunkenness, as this could be influenced by the person's build or level of accumulated body fat. All organisms do not react in the same way and at the same time to alcohol. For this reason, certain tests are carried out at the time that are publicly known. Some of the best-known and used by the NYPD are the following:
Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits:
• New York BAC Limits (NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192): In accordance with New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law, the legal BAC limit for adult drivers aged 21 and older is 0.08%. If a driver's BAC registers at or above this limit, they are considered legally intoxicated and can face DUI charges.
• Zero Tolerance for Underage Drivers (NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192-a): New York enforces a strict zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. According to Section 1192-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, any measurable BAC can result in legal consequences for underage drivers. Even a BAC as low as 0.02% can lead to penalties, including license suspension and fines.
• Commercial Drivers (NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192-a): Commercial drivers in New York are subject to stricter BAC limits. As per Section 1192-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the legal BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%. This lower limit is in place to ensure the safety of commercial drivers and the public while operating large vehicles.
Types of Sobriety Tests: Field, Breathalyzer, Blood:
• Field Sobriety Tests: These are physical and cognitive tests conducted by law enforcement officers at the scene of a traffic stop to assess a driver's sobriety. Common field sobriety tests include the walk-and-turn test, one-leg stand test, and horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Failing these tests can lead to further investigation.
• Breathalyzer Tests: A Breathalyzer is a portable device used to measure a driver's BAC by analyzing their breath. It provides immediate results and is often used during traffic stops to determine if a driver is over the legal limit.
• Blood Tests: If an arrest is made on suspicion of DUI, a blood test may be administered at a medical facility. Blood tests are considered the most accurate method for determining BAC. The results of a blood test can be crucial evidence in a drunk driving case.
New York State DUI/DWI Laws
Legal Penalties for DUI/DWI:
• Criminal Offense: Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense in New York. A DUI/DWI conviction can lead to fines, probation, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even imprisonment. (Reference: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192)
• First-Time Offense: A first-time DUI/DWI offense in New York may result in a driver's license suspension for at least six months, a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000, and up to one year in jail. (Reference: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193)
• Aggravated DWI: If a driver's BAC is 0.18% or higher, they may face aggravated DWI charges, leading to more severe penalties, including fines up to $2,500 and a maximum of one year in jail. (Reference: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192)
• Multiple Offenses: Subsequent DUI/DWI offenses within ten years of the first conviction can result in longer license suspensions, higher fines, and mandatory ignition interlock device installation. (Reference: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193)
Implied Consent Laws (NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194):
• Consent to Chemical Testing: Under New York's implied consent law, by operating a motor vehicle, individuals automatically consent to chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine) if arrested for DUI/DWI. Refusing such tests can lead to a one-year license revocation and a civil penalty. (Reference: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194)
• License Revocation for Refusal: For a first-time refusal to take a chemical test, a driver's license may be revoked for one year. Subsequent refusals within five years can result in an 18-month license revocation. (Reference: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194)
Criminal Charges and Civil Liability:
• Criminal Charges: DUI/DWI offenses in New York can result in criminal charges. A conviction can lead to fines, probation, imprisonment, and a permanent criminal record. (Reference: NY Penal Law § 1192)
• Civil Liability: In addition to criminal penalties, individuals convicted of DUI/DWI can face civil liability for any damages and injuries caused by their impaired driving. Victims can file civil lawsuits to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. (Reference: NY Civil Practice Law and Rules Article 14-A)
There are still aspects of the legal system that apply to New York that we should address in person when we have an interview to meet and discuss your case. Don't waste any more time. Contact The Ward Law Group to be assisted by one of our professionals!