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Handling The DWI Case In New York: To Refuse Or Not To Refuse

Total Credits
1 - 1.3
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To refuse or not to refuse, that is the question. That is and has been an essential issue for those of us who handle DWI cases. As a result of new regulations and shifting legislation, the answer has become more elusive and the consequences of error far more dramatic. The general rule is that there are no general rules and the decision to refuse, or not to refuse is very much case specific. This CLE program will discuss the factors and situations that you must consider in answering this question. More importantly, the lecture will lead you through the complexity of dealing with test refusals from arraignment through the hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Chemical test refusals are one of the most complicated areas of DWI defense and it is the objective of this program to clearly explain those complexities and provide guidance in how to handle this increasingly difficult area of the law.

Lecturer Bio

Peter Gerstenzang, Esq.

Peter Gerstenzang is the senior partner in the Albany law firm of Gerstenzang, O'Hern, Sills & Gerstenzang. He is a 1970 graduate of Albany Law School. He is one of only three lawyers in New York State who have been Board Certified as specialists in DUI Defense Law by the National College for DUI Defense ("NCDD"). The NCDD is the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association to certify attorneys as specialists in DUI law.* His practice focuses on Criminal Defense with an emphasis on DWI cases and Vehicular Crimes. In addition, Mr. Gerstenzang is listed as a top DWI attorney in the following publications: The Best Lawyers in America®, The New York Area's Best Lawyers®, and New York Super Lawyers® Upstate Edition. He is listed as one of the "Top 25 Hudson Valley Super Lawyers 2010" regardless of category.

Mr. Gerstenzang commenced his legal career as a prosecutor for the United States Army in the Republic of Vietnam. From 1972 to 1975, he was an Assistant District Attorney for the County of Albany. Certified as a breath test operator, he taught at the New York State Police Academy in their Breath Test Training Program for 12 years. Mr. Gerstenzang currently serves as the Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, which holds an annual seminar in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the campus of Harvard Law School. He previously served on NCDD's Board of Regents from 2003 to 2013, and as Assistant Dean in 2012-2013. His book, Handling the DWI Case in New York, published annually by Thomson/West, is considered a standard reference for the defense of Driving While Intoxicated cases.

Mr. Gerstenzang is a regular lecturer for the New York State Bar Association (Chair, Big Apple Program held annually in May, in New York City, and Chair, Representing a DWI Defendant in New York from Arraignment to Disposition, September – October, 2010); the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers/ National College for DUI Defense (Annual DUI Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada 2012); the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; the New York State Defenders Association; Albany County Bar Association; the New York State Magistrates Association; the San Diego Public Defenders Office; and Impaired Driving Specialists, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia; Delaware County Bar Association; Columbia County Magistrates Association; Suffolk County Bar Association; Suffolk County Magistrates Association; Westchester County Court Clerks Association; and Suffolk County Court Clerks Association. Mr. Gerstenzang teaches for various law enforcement, defense and judicial associations. In addition, he has lectured for the New York State Office of Court Administration Judges Training Program.

*The NCDD is not affiliated with any governmental authority. See Rules of Prof. Con., Rule 7.4(c)(1); Hayes v. New York Attorney Grievance Comm. of the 8th Jud. Dist., 672 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2012).

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