Handling First New York DWI Case (2021 edition)

Jonathan D. Cohn
Joseph Gerstenzang
Rachel Kugel
Jonathan D. Cohn | Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang
Joseph Gerstenzang | Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang
Rachel Kugel | The Kugel Law Firm

On-Demand: December 6, 2021

$245.00 5 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I – Client Interview - Jonathan Cohn
This program will focus on the initial meeting with your prospective client. It is critical to obtain all the relevant information close in time to the incident. We will also focus on being realistic with the client about their goals and managing the client’s expectations. Finally, during the lecture I will also discuss different retainer agreements depending on the specific situation.

Key Topics:

  • Client interview
  • Intake information
  • Retainer agreements
  • Client’s goals and expectations

Session II – The basics of DUI Science - Joseph Gerstenzang
Attorneys handling their first DWI case in New York need to have a basic understanding of the science associated with standardized field sobriety testing so as to best attack the arresting officer’s conclusion that probable cause existed for your client’s arrest. Therefore, one must understand how these tests should be administered before attacking how they were administered. This lecture will focus on how to attack an individual officer’s administration of these tests. Furthermore, this seminar will provide an introduction to breath testing generally and will focus on how a lawyer can attack the validity of a particular client’s certified result without feeling the need to discredit breath testing generally.

Key Topics:

  • Moving to preclude horizontal gaze nystagmus
  • What you need to know about the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test
  • Mouth alcohol and how it can corrupt the breath test result

Session III – Court Process - Rachel Kugel
Follow the path of a NY DWI case from Arraignment to Trial.
Most DWI cases originate when our client is stopped by the police for a perceived traffic infraction. From there the client is arraigned. In a DWI case this process has collateral implications for the client's ability to drive.

In addition, the new NY criminal law reforms directly impact the discovery process and speedy trial rights. Cases are often won and lost on motions so knowing what motions to make and when is imperative. Understanding how to navigate the process and what to expect will help you get an overview, consider strategy, and set expectations for your clients.

Key Topics:

  • Arraignment and its implications
  • Suspension pending prosecution and hardship privileges to drive
  • Discovery and certificates of compliance considerations under the new law
  • Motion practice (suppression, speedy trial, refusal)
  • Plea negotiations and proffers
  • Hearings and trial

Session IV– The DWI Trial - Rachel Kugel
Getting to "Not Guilty!" DUI defense is an uphill battle due to public perception and tough laws. In this presentation Attorney Rachel Kugel will give you tips and strategies to maximize your chances of achieving a win for your client while holding the State to their standard in every situation.

Key Topics:

  • Developing a Theory of Your Case
  • Handling the Police Officer witness
  • Working with Experts

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: December 6, 2021

  • 10:00 am – 3:10 pm Eastern
  • 9:00 am – 2:10 pm Central
  • 8:00 am – 1:10 pm Mountain
  • 7:00 am – 12:10 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available


Jonathan-D.-Cohn_Gerstenzang-Sills-Cohn-Gerstenzang_FedBarJonathan D. Cohn | Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang

Jonathan D. Cohn is a partner in the law firm of Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Lafayette College, where he graduated with honors. He is a 2008 cum laude graduate of Albany Law School, where he was selected as a member of the Government and Law Journal. Mr. Cohn was one of a select group to be published as a member of the journal. Mr. Cohn is also a former state delegate for the National College for DUI Defense (“NCDD”). Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Cohn was an Assistant District Attorney in the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office, who handled all aspects of criminal law. He also gained a thorough understanding of the Criminal Procedure Law and Penal Law as a Law Clerk to Honorable Karen A. Drago, Schenectady County Court Judge.

Mr. Cohn’s practice is focused on criminal defense – with an emphasis on alcohol-related offenses.


Joseph-Gerstenzang_Gerstenzang-Sills-Cohn-Gerstenzang_FedBarJoseph Gerstenzang | Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang

Joseph Gerstenzang is a partner at the law firm of Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang. He is a 2011 magna cum laude graduate of Albany Law School, where he served as Senior Editor of the Albany Law Review. After admission to the bar, Joseph immediately focused on handling DWI and DWAI Drugs cases. He is a faculty member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). In addition, Joseph has lectured for the New York State Bar Association for years on a variety of topics, as well as for the New York State Defenders Association, the Ontario County Public Defenders, the New York State Magistrates Association (2018 annual conference), the National College for DUI Defense, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Westchester County Bar Association. The topics are almost exclusively related to Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and on how to approach Vehicle and Traffic Law matters in Town, Village and City Courts.


Rachel-Kugel_The-Kugel-Law-Firm_FedBarRachel Kugel | The Kugel Law Firm

Rachel Kugel lawyer and founder of the Kugel Law Firm, Rachel has always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Rachel is a criminal defense attorney focusing on DWI cases both in New York and New Jersey. Having defended hundreds of people on charges related to driving under the influence, it’s no wonder that when the media needs an expert, they call her. Rachel is a regular guest on CNN, FOX News, Court TV, MSNBC, HLN, and many others.

A lawyer that believes that her clients are good people who deserve the best defense possible, she will stand up for individual rights and hold the State to their obligations. When she’s not zealously defending her clients in court, Rachel gives back to the community by bringing “Mock Trial” programs to middle school students.

If you would like to find out more about Rachel, you can see Rachel in the media.


Session I: Client Interview | 10:00am – 11:00am
1. Intro | 10:00am – 10:05am
2. Client interview | 10:05am – 10:25am
3. Understanding the consequences | 10:25am – 10:35am
4. Helping the client decide the best approach to their case | 10:35am – 10:45am
5. Retainer agreements | 10:45am – 10:55am
6. Conclusion and questions | 10:55am – 11:00am

Break | 11:00am – 11:10am

Session II: The Basics of DUI/DWI Science | 11:10am – 12:50pm
1. Introduction | 11:10am – 11:15am
2. Importance of standardized field sobriety tests and being familiar with the NHSTA manual | 11:15am – 11:30am
3. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: What it is and how to attack it and move to preclude it | 11:30am – 11:45am
4. Vertical Gaze Nystagumus: Do I want it, or should I move to suppress it? | 11:45am – 11:55am
5. Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand: What you need to know? | 11:55am – 12:10pm

Break | 12:10pm – 12:20pm

6. Breath Testing: How to attack the result | 12:20pm – 12:40pm
7. Conclusion and questions | 12:40pm – 12:50pm

Session III: Court Process | 12:50pm – 2:00pm
1. Arraignment and its implications | 12:50pm – 1:05pm
2. Suspension pending prosecution and hardship privileges to drive | 1:05pm – 1:20pm

Break | 1:20pm – 1:30pm

3. Discovery and certificates of compliance considerations under the new law | 1:30pm – 1:35pm
4. Motion practice (suppression, speedy trial, refusal) | 1:35pm – 1:45pm
5. Plea negotiations and proffers | 1:45pm – 1:50pm
6. Hearings and trial | 1:50pm – 2:00pm

Session VI: Court Process | 2:00pm – 3:10pm

1. Developing a Theory of Your Case | 2:00pm – 2:30pm

Break | 2:30pm – 2:40pm

2. Handling the Police Officer witness | 2:40pm – 2:50pm
3. Working with Experts | 2:50pm – 3:10pm