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Best DUI Lawyers in Syracuse

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Tom Anelli and Associates, PC logo
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Tom Anelli and Associates, PC

272 W Jefferson St, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Tom Anelli and Associates, PC, is a criminal defense firm that focuses on DWI charges in Syracuse. Its attorneys explain every step involved in the criminal justice process to those who are facing alcohol-related traffic allegations. Anelli, who has represented and defended thousands of individuals with DWI charges, actively participates in the National College of DWI Defense. He is also an NHTSA certified practitioner and the author of "A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding DWI – DWI Litigation in America."

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (350)
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (28)
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (16)

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Azria & Bruffett logo
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Azria & Bruffett

211 W Jefferson St, Suite 22, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DUI Defense
  • DWI

Business Description

Azria & Bruffett provides services to Syracuse and the neighboring cities. It offers legal services to clients charged with DWI or DUI to help reduce their penalties or consequences, such as jail time and fines. The law firm also handles other traffic violation cases, including speeding and passing red lights. One of its attorneys, David C. Bruffett Jr., has served as an assistant district attorney at the Onondaga County's special victims unit before establishing his own firm. He was also elected as a Cicero Town Judge.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (143)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (4)

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Azria & Bruffett Law Firm PLLC logo
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Azria & Bruffett Law Firm PLLC

211 West Jefferson Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Azria & Bruffett Law Firm PLLC is a law firm based in Syracuse that practices criminal law, personal injury, and traffic law. Much of the firm's experience is in defending people charged with driving under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol. It handles cases throughout the State of New York, representing clients charged with their first DWI offense and those who have multiple convictions. The attorneys also defend commercial driving license holders charged with having BAC levels that exceed 0.04.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
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4.6 / 5 (5)

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Cambareri & Brenneck Attorneys at Law logo
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Cambareri & Brenneck Attorneys at Law

300 South State Street 1st Floor,, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Cambareri & Brenneck Attorneys at Law offers legal representation to DUI and DWI defendants in Syracuse. It guides accused individuals in exploring defense options on how to approach their charges. It assists clients in navigating the processes related to driving while ability impaired and implied consent law. Its attorneys help the defendants avoid or get diminished penalties like fines, jail time, or court-mandated alcohol treatment. They also offer criminal defense for other cases such as vehicle traffic tickets, vehicular assaults, arson, and white-collar crimes,

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (50)

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4.0
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CDH Law PLLC logo
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CDH Law PLLC

100 Madison Street, Tower 1, 12th Floor Syracuse, NY 13202, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

CDH Law PLLC is a team of DUI attorneys in Syracuse with many years of experience defending people charged with being intoxicated in their vehicles. They handle every aspect of DUI, such as defending clients accused of violating Leandra's Law, driving intoxicated with a child in the car. They also represent clients who have multiple DUI and DWI convictions on their records. The firm's additional areas of practice include family law and estate planning.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (13)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

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5.0
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Christina Cagnina, Esq. logo
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Christina Cagnina, Esq.

247 West Fayette Street, 3rd Floor, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Christina Cagnina, Esq., offers legal representation to defend clients in various criminal charges like DWI and traffic violations in Syracuse. Cagnina informs clients about their rights and guides them in exploring options for avoiding convictions. She provides criminal defense for those who are involved in drug, white-collar, sex, assault, and larceny crimes. Her firm's focus is family law wherein it deals with divorce, alimony, custody, and protection order. It represents individuals in the village, town, state, and federal courts.

Reputation:

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5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

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DeRoberts Law Firm logo
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DeRoberts Law Firm

333 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Jeffrey DeRoberts, a DWI lawyer in Syracuse who earned his JD from Syracuse University in 1992, founded the DeRoberts Law Firm to serve clients in and around the city. The attorney practices many areas of law, including DWI and DWAI, where he defends first-time and repeat offenders charged with misdemeanors and felonies. He also accepts cases relating to underage DWI and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. Mr. DeRoberts also practices family law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.8
Avvo
4.2 / 5 (12)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Driscoll Law Office Syracuse, NY logo
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Driscoll Law Office Syracuse, NY

327 West Fayette St., Suite 210, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DWI

Business Description

The Driscoll Law Office Syracuse, NY, caters to clients in Syracuse and the surrounding areas. It provides legal representation to people facing alcohol-related offenses, including DWI. Margaret M. Driscoll, the firm's lawyer, evaluates the accused clients' cases in preparation for their defense in court. She also guides and assists defendants who need to undergo the alcohol evaluation process. In 1994, Driscoll earned a master's degree in Social Work, aiming to better communicate and sympathize with her clientele.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (16)
Fallon, Fallon & Bigsby logo
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Fallon, Fallon & Bigsby

501 E. Washington St, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DUI Defense
  • DWI

Business Description

Fallon, Fallon & Bigsby is a multi-practice firm that caters to clients in Syracuse. Its associates hold over 60 years of collective legal experience, working on cases involving criminal defense, real estate, workers' compensation, and social security. They also handle traffic violation cases, which include DUI, reckless driving, speeding tickets, and driving without insurance. Its lawyers aim to protect defendants' legal rights and educate them on potential penalties, including fines, jail time, and license suspension or revocation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
4.2 / 5 (13)
Facebook
3.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Felasco & Cuomo Attorneys at Law, PLLC logo
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Felasco & Cuomo Attorneys at Law, PLLC

151 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069
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  • DUI Defense

Business Description

Felasco & Cuomo Attorneys at Law, PLLC, handles cases on criminal, family, and traffic law, including DWI, traffic tickets, and same-sex divorce in the Syracuse metro. It has been representing DUI defendants for over 20 years. Its attorneys employ a hands-on approach, personally working with forensic experts and private investigators to build a strong defense. One of its attorneys, Mary Felasco, previously served as Senior District Attorney. Meanwhile, Lisa Cuomo is a former Assistant District Attorney. The attorneys now use their prosecutor experience to defend the criminally charged.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.4 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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George F. Hildebrandt, Attorney at Law logo
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George F. Hildebrandt, Attorney at Law

304 S. Franklin Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

George F. Hildebrandt, Attorney at Law, has been representing clients in and around the Syracuse metro area for over three decades. The attorney's clients include people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Mr. Hildebrandt has many years of experience handling felony and misdemeanor cases, such as first-time DWI, causing injury while drunk driving, and being intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. The firm also handles federal, violent, and white-collar crimes.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (23)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (8)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (5)

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Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Harrell Law Office logo
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Harrell Law Office

333 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Harrell Law Office is a solo practice founded by M. Jerald Harrell, a DUI lawyer in Syracuse who serves clients throughout the counties of Onondaga and Oswego. Attorney Harrell is a retired police officer and former NYS magistrate court judge. He handles DUI felony and misdemeanor cases, such as first-time DUI, causing injuries to others while driving intoxicated, and refusing to provide the arresting officer with a breath sample. The attorney also represents multiple DUI offenders.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
3.3 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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James C. Hopkins, III Attorney at Law logo
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James C. Hopkins, III Attorney at Law

217 Montgomery St Ste 1200, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

James C. Hopkins, III, Attorney at Law, serves clients in Syracuse and nearby areas. It offers legal counsel and representation to individuals who have been charged with a DUI or DWI. It helps them avoid hefty fines, jail time, and license revocation by helping examine condition reports, videos, testing procedures, and documents. James C. Hopkins has been practicing law for more than 30 years. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Kelly Law Center P.C. logo
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Kelly Law Center P.C.

2717 Bellevue Avenue, Suite 6, Syracuse, NY 13219
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  • DWI

Business Description

Kelly Law Center P.C. handles traffic violation matters and criminal defense cases in the Syracuse metro and nearby areas. It represents individuals charged with DWI/DUI offenses ranging from first offense and multiple offenses to drug- or medicine-related DUI. Donald Kelly guides defendants in facing the legal process starting from case analysis and defense plan development to litigation and trial. Kelly has been defending DUI clients for over 20 years and is a member of the NCDDA.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Avvo
4.8 / 5 (4)
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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King Law logo
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King Law

60 Presidential Ct #210, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DWI

Business Description

King Law serves the legal needs of clients throughout the Syracuse community. It represents those facing DWI charges. It handles cases involving first, second, and third offenses, assisting accused individuals in navigating the legal system. It develops defense strategies for its clients by analyzing evidence, witness statements, police reports, and blood or breath test results. The firm's founder, Robert King, previously worked as a prosecutor. This background enables him to anticipate how the prosecutor's office will handle the case.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (21)
Avvo
4.0 / 5 (21)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Leonard Criminal Defense Group logo
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Leonard Criminal Defense Group

205 West Court Street, Rome, NY 13440
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  • DWI
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

Leonard Criminal Defense Group represents people facing criminal accusations in Syracuse and throughout New York. Since 1999, founder John G. Leonard has been defending the rights of people accused of DUI and DWAI, traffic infractions and penalties, and vehicular manslaughter. He assists clients in obtaining a reduction or dismissal of charges involving the suspension of their driver's license, incarceration, and penalties. Leonard is a DWI trial specialist who is also certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and the DataMaster breath test system.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
3.8 / 5 (4)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Luke Z. Fenchel Attorney at Law logo
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Luke Z. Fenchel Attorney at Law

200 E. Buffalo Street Suite 102B, Ithaca, NY 14851
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  • DUI Defense

Business Description

Luke Z. Fenchel, Attorney at Law, handles DUI and criminal defense cases for clients in the Syracuse area. Fenchel utilizes his skills in crisis management, problem-solving, and complex criminal litigation to help obtain the dismissal of the case or reduction of penalties. He is admitted to practice law in state and federal courts in the metro. Fenchel was recognized by Ithaca Times as the Best Attorney in 2016. He is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (136)
Passalacqua & Associates logo
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Passalacqua & Associates

499 S. Warren St Syracuse , NY 13202, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Passalacqua & Associates is a multi-disciplinary law firm based in Syracuse, whose attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience practicing criminal and DUI law throughout the surrounding communities. The firm's services for DUI clients include negotiating to have charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced; pushing for probation instead of jail time; and aggressively defending clients if their case goes to trial. Typical DUI clients include first and repeat offenders and commercial driving license holders.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Porter Law Office logo
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Porter Law Office

220 South Warren St., Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DUI Defense
  • DWI

Business Description

The Porter Law Office is a Syracuse-based firm that addresses the concerns and inquiries of clients around the local metro. Its team, which is led by founding attorney Annaleigh Porter, represents those who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors, such as DUI and DWI offenses, in front of both state and federal courts. Prior to establishing her own practice, Porter worked for years under criminal defense attorney James McGraw. She also expanded her knowledge and experience with litigation under Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.7 / 5 (12)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Robert S. Baska, MD, Esq. logo
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Robert S. Baska, MD, Esq.

441 South Salina, Suite 700, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DWI

Business Description

Robert S. Baska, MD, Esq., serves clients in Syracuse and its surrounding areas. He offers consultation, evaluation, and legal representation for DUI cases. He fights the serious consequences of a DUI charge, such as the loss of driving privileges, mandatory court fees, probation, and even imprisonment. Baska is a veteran of the first Gulf War and is also a doctor who spent 10 years in private medical practice before deciding to attend law school.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (8)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Robert Sinesi Law Firm logo
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Robert Sinesi Law Firm

103 East Water Street, Suite 204, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DWI

Business Description

Founded in 1980, the Syracuse-based Robert Sinesi Law Firm focuses on cases involving traffic offenses. It defends clients facing charges of driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired. Founding attorney Robert Sinesi combines his knowledge of breath testing devices with the firm's access to the manuals of these machines to help build defenses for clients. Other types of traffic violations he works on are speeding, driving with a suspended license, and illegal cellphone use while driving.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.3 / 5 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Spano Criminal Defense Lawyer logo
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Spano Criminal Defense Lawyer

304 South Franklin Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
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Business Description

Spano Criminal Defense Lawyer serves accused individuals in the Syracuse area. The firm's founding attorney, Michael Spano, is committed to representing clients who are facing criminal charges. For over 25 years, he has successfully defended clients in DUI cases by working quickly to prevent their driver's license from being suspended. Spano is committed to minimizing the consequences of a client's DUI arrest. He also has experience handling DUI-related matters including breathalyzer refusal cases.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (25)
Google
4.6 / 5 (21)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Spicer Law logo
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Spicer Law

121 East Water Street Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13202
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  • DUI Defense
  • DWI

Business Description

Spicer Law fights for the legal rights of individuals in Syracuse. Its principal attorney, Graeme Spicer, has been in practice since 2006, representing clients facing drunk driving charges. He works with defendants to create a comprehensive defense to beat their charges and protect their future by avoiding penalties like license suspension, jail time, and fines. Spicer also handles drug charges, sexual assault, fraud, and white-collar crimes. He also extends his practice to personal injury cases. Spicer serves as the vice president of the Onondaga County Bar Association.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a DUI charge involve?

DUI, or driving under the influence, is a criminal charge applied to someone who is suspected of operating their vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, such as drugs and/or alcohol. Every state in the U.S. has a law on the books that bans driving while intoxicated; however, the specific criteria may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some states, a driver with blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of 0.08% can be brought up on DUI charges while other states set a higher threshold or increase the severity of charges in accordance with the level of intoxication. In some cases, DUI is determined not via testing but by behavior; drivers who are intoxicated to the point of impairment and who cannot safely operate their vehicle may be arrested on suspicion of DUI.

What's the difference between DUI, DWI, and OVI?

The terms driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI), and operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) are all legal phrases that refer to the crime of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs (illegal or prescription), alcohol, or both. These terms are largely interchangeable though some states use only one acronym in their statutes for the sake of clarity. There are also other acronyms occasionally substituted for DUI, such as DWAI (driving while ability impaired), OWI (operating while intoxicated), OUI (operating under the influence), and DUII-CS (driving under the influence of intoxicants: controlled substances).

How long does a DUI stay on your record?

In addition to the more immediate penalties that come with a DUI conviction, this costly mistake can have other consequences. DUIs stay on your driving record for years with the exact length of time differing from state to state — the California Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, tracks DUIs for 10 years and may use that information to determine things like license eligibility. In Alabama, DUIs stay on the record for five years while in Alaska they're permanent. In states that use point systems to track driving infractions, DUI points may stay on the record far longer than the DUI itself.

How much does a DUI lawyer cost?

The cost of a DUI lawyer depends largely on three things: geographic area, the lawyer's experience, and whether the case is settled quickly with a plea or ends up going to trial. Attorneys may charge a flat rate, more commonly used for simple cases that are likely to wrap up quickly, or they may charge by the hour, which can add up quickly if the case requires a lot of pretrial preparations and court time. Ultimately, a DUI lawyer could cost as little as $700 or bill in excess of $4,000.

How do I choose a DUI attorney?

Finding the right DUI lawyer is crucial, especially when it comes to preventing a suspended license and minimizing fees and other penalties. To choose the right one:

  • Look for attorneys experienced in DUI case law
  • Ask for referrals from family and friends
  • Check the internet for reviews, keeping in mind that no two DUI cases are exactly alike
  • Meet with prospective lawyers (many offer free consultations) to hear their perspective on the case and see whether their personality feels like a good fit
  • Ask whether the lawyer will be the primary representative or if the case could be passed to an associate and how many clients the lawyer/firm represents at one time
  • Discuss billing options — the difference between an hourly rate and flat fee can be considerable

What happens when you get a DUI?

Individuals detained on suspicion of a DUI are typically taken to jail, their vehicles impounded, and either held on bail or processed and released pending a court date. That initial court appearance is a chance to enter a plea; it's a good idea to retain legal representation prior to this hearing so they have an opportunity to argue for reduced charges or even dismissal.

Drunk driving charges are often enough to warrant a suspended license pending the outcome of the case. A DUI conviction could mean losing that license entirely as well as paying fines, court costs, and DMV fees and paying for treatment or other intervention programs as instructed by the court — perhaps even completing jail time. These penalties tend to be less severe for first-time offenders and increase significantly thereafter.

Can I contest a DUI without a lawyer?

While it's possible to contest a DUI without a lawyer present, case law is complex, and navigating those laws can be tricky. A DUI lawyer can't guarantee a positive outcome, but they are in a far better position to make crucial moves, such as challenging the legality of the original traffic stop, questioning the officer-led sobriety tests, and introducing evidence that could lead to an exoneration. In short, it's tempting to save money by going it alone, but the consequences could be costly. Before deciding against a lawyer, take advantage of a free consultation and weigh their recommendations. If budget is a factor, there are court-appointed public defenders who may take on the case.

How much does a DUI cost?

DUIs are expensive. In addition to attorney fees that often run the gamut from $700 to over $4,000, there may also be bail costs, court-ordered fines, alcohol education courses, traffic school, DMV fees, the cost of increased insurance rate, fees associated with recovering an impounded car, and the possibility of paying for a court-ordered ignition interlock device. All together, the average cost of a DUI sits at around $6,500 not counting peripheral expenses, such as alternate transportation while unable to drive and lost income due to court dates and incarceration.

When does a DUI become a felony?

Driving under the influence is classified as a misdemeanor unless the DUI meets certain state-specific criteria such as:

  • It's not the first offense. Anyone arrested for DUI who has been convicted of driving under the influence previously may be charged with a felony, depending on the length of time since the last conviction.
  • The offender was driving without a license. Getting a DUI with a license that has been suspended, revoked, or restricted is a felony in many states.
  • The DUI resulted in someone else's injury or death. Some states cite bodily harm as one of the reasons to change a DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony.

How much does car insurance go up after a DUI?

Since car insurance rates are based on driving history and projected risk, it stands to reason that a DUI conviction will result in higher insurance rates. How much those rates go up depends on the state. In Colorado, insurance rates jump around 18% following a DUI conviction while North Carolina sees a median rate increase of more than 300%. To put that in further perspective, consider New Jersey; the state's average insurance rate is $1,419, but the average rate with DUI increases 132% to $3,292.

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