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What does Leandra's Law mean for those charged with DUI in NY?

Leandra's Law came into existence because of a terrible tragedy. Leandra Rosado was 11 years old when she died in a car crash while in a vehicle with a driver who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time. Henry Hudson Parkway is where the accident occurred. Leandra's Law was implemented at the close of 2009 in New York State and sets forth some of the most stringent DWI provisions in the nation. Here is a summary of what to expect if you or someone you know becomes convicted under this law.

  • Those who operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a child younger than 16 years of age present may receive a class E felony. This can result in a state prison sentence of up to 4 years.
  • Courts are required to order those convicted of aggravated or intoxicated driving to have modifications done to their vehicle so that they and others will remain safe. Those convicted must have an ignition interlock installed and maintained on their vehicle for no fewer than six months.
  • Operating a vehicle while influenced by drugs or alcohol, resulting in the death of a child under sixteen years of age could result in a Class B felony. This may mean a state prison sentence of up to 15 years.
  • Those who cause a serious injury to a child under the age of 16 who is in the vehicle could face a Class C felony. A state prison sentence of up to 15 years is possible.
  • When a child who is under the age of 16 is in the vehicle of a person charged with DWI, driving while impaired by drugs, or aggravated driving while intoxicated, police must note this.
  • Police officers are required to report guardians and parents who are charged with DWI or under the influence of drugs with a child under the age of 16 in their vehicle to the proper channels. This means that they must notify the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment of the occurrence.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a potential violation where Leandra's Law applies, it is understandable to be very concerned about what will happen next. It certainly is a process that you don't want to go through alone. It is crucial to speak with an attorney so that you both can develop a plan of action that will best protect your interests and the interests of your family.

Although New York State has some of the toughest laws in place for driving under the influence, that doesn't mean that all cases are handled in the same way by the judicial system. Some individuals receive lesser sentences while others receive the fullest measure of the law. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side will help you to navigate through this process with the least amount of potential difficulty.

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