A high profile New York DWI law case came to its finalization last week, when Dr. James Corasanti was released from jail on Friday. According to WIVB.Com Dr. Corasanti had been serving time in jail on DWI charges for a July, 2011 incident in which he hit a young woman with his car after drinking at a golf outing. The young woman was riding home on her skateboard when Dr. Corasanti hit her with his car. She was thrown more than 150 feet and passed away later. Dr. Corasanti refused to take a blood test until he was ordered to do so by the court. He was later charged with vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter and other charges.

Dr. Corasanti’s defense counsel argued that Dr. Corasanti did not know that he had hit the young woman, and that if he knew that he had done such a thing, he would have helped her. In the end, Dr. Corasanti was convicted of Common Law DWI and sentenced to a maximum of one year in prison, and a $1,000 fine. His license was revoked for six months and he must install an interlock device on his vehicle for one year.

Under New York law, common law DWI is established by evidence that speaks to the totality of the circumstances. That means that the circumstances surrounding a drunk driving arrest are weighed to determine whether there is enough evidence that the driver was drunk while operating the vehicle. Common indicators of common law DWI include failed sobriety tests, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech.

The case of New York v. Murphy illustrates the difference between common law DWI and per se DWI. In that case, the defendant had followed an unmarked police vehicle too closely, and then passed that vehicle in a no passing zone. The police officer driving the unmarked vehicle stopped the defendant and, upon smelling alcohol and seeing opened alcohol containers, administered sobriety tests. The defendant failed the sobriety tests and then took a blood alcohol test in which her BAC read at .10%. The defendant was charged with felony DWI (she had a previous DWI charge that had happened within the past 10 years).

At trial, the jury acquitted the defendant of the per se DWI charge, but convicted her of common law DWI. The evidence against the defendant included the open containers, and alcohol odor. The officers also testified that she walked awkwardly when she exited her vehicle, and was acting belligerently. She also failed four sobriety tests, which the court found to be significant. On appeal, the court upheld the jury’s finding of common law DWI.

Common law DWI charges, as well as per se DWI charges, can result in jail time, monetary fines, license revocations and suspensions and other penalties that can put severe stress and pressure on a person’s life. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important that you immediately seek out legal help. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and defend you in court. Call the experienced attorneys at 1-866-792-7800 Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at for a confidential consultation.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.