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This law was enacted in 2009 after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado was killed when an SUV that she and six other children were riding in was involved in a crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan. The driver, a mother of one of Leandra’ friends, was allegedly driving while intoxicated (DWI).
This law imposes several penalties on drivers who are arrested for DWI with any passenger who is 15 years old or younger in the vehicle. If a person is convicted for this felony offense, he or she not only faces possible suspension of driving privileges and mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device, but also a lengthy prison sentence.
Manhattan Leandra’s Law DWI Lawyer
If you have been charged with DWI while a child was in your car, immediately contact an experienced Mahattan criminal defense attorney. Jeff Greco and Dustan O. Neyland are both former prosecutors, and this background gives them a unique insight into how your case will be handled and what weaknesses can be exploited following a thorough investigation of your arrest.
Greco Neyland, PC represents clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the greater New York City area. We can review your case to discuss your legal options when you call (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
New York Leandra’s Law Information Center
- What kinds of charges can a person face under this law?
- What are the consequences if a person is convicted of one of these offenses?
- Are there any defenses against these charges?
Charges Involving Leandra’s Law
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and § 1192.2-a(b) additionally criminalizes operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child who is 15 years of age or less is a passenger in such a motor vehicle.
The criminal classification of this offense depends on whether the alleged DWI resulted in any injury:
- DWI while a child who is 15 years of age or less is a passenger — Class E felony
- DWI resulting in serious physical injury to child passenger who is 15 years of age or less — Class C felony
- DWI resulting in death of child passenger who is 15 years of age or less — Class B felony
New York Leandra’s Law Penalties
The possible prison sentences for violations of this law depend on the classification of the offense:
- Class E Felony — Up to four years in prison
- Class C Felony — Up to 15 years in prison
- Class B Felony — Up to 25 years in prison
In addition to possible prison time, an alleged offender also faces the following punishments if convicted of this crime:
- Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device for at least six months
- Driver’s license suspension
- Report submitted to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (if driver is child’s parent or legal guardian)
It is also important to note that a person convicted of this offense who is arrested for DWI again will be charged with a Class E Felony.
Updates to the law also extended the period of ignition interlock device installation from six months to one year for people who claim they do not own and will not operate a car. Convicted offenders are now required to make any claim that they won’t own or operate cars while under oath. Any person who violates such an oath will face additional charges, such as filing a false instrument or contempt of court, both of which are Class A misdemeanors that can result in a one year prison sentence.
Defending DWI Cases Involving Child Passengers
Because judges and juries are likely to take a very harsh view towards these allegations and will presumably impose maximum punishments, prosecutors handling these types of cases in New York are typically unwilling to accept any sort of plea bargain relating to these charges. This makes it critical for any alleged offender to have qualified legal representation as soon as they have been arrested for any violation of this law.
A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges against you dismissed with any one of some common defenses against DWI allegations. These defenses include, but are not limited to:
- Errors in Blood Alcohol Content [BAC] testing
- Illegal stop of vehicle
- Improperly administered field sobriety tests
- No probable cause for officer to request BAC or other sobriety testing
- Other procedural errors by law enforcement
- The drugs you were allegedly under the influence of were legally prescribed and used as recommended
- You were not driving at the time of the arrest
Find the Best Leandra’s Law Lawyer in New York City
Greco Neyland, PC is committed to performing a complete investigation of every aspect of each criminal case the firm handles. Our attorneys know what mistakes to look for in a prosecutor’s case, and we can use any errors to get the charges against our clients reduced or completely dismissed.
Before founding their firm, Jeff Greco and Dustan O. Neyland both gained invaluable experience while serving as prosecutors in district attorney’s offices. They now use their extensive experience on both sides of the aisle to help clients in Manhattan and Brooklyn who have been accused of criminal offenses, and you can call (212) 951-1300 to have them review your case during a free legal consultation.
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