Being charged with drunk driving can be a difficult situation for any New York resident. However, for particular residents, like those working in law enforcement, charges can be even more severe, threatening their job and standing in the community.

In separate incidents, two New York Police Department officers recently found themselves on the wrong side of the law after they were arrested and charged with DWI. The first incident happened in Queens during the early morning hours. A 30-year-old off-duty NYPD officer was apprehended after he drove the wrong way on a one-way street and ran into another car. According to the officers who arrested him, the suspect appeared intoxicated and declined to take a breathalyzer test. He was cited for reckless driving and DWI.

Less than an hour later, another off-duty officer was arrested for alcohol-related charges. The 34-year-old was apprehended after he allegedly caused an accident near Thomas S. Boyland and Fulton Streets in Brooklyn. No one was hurt in the accident but the officer was charged with DWI.

Drunk driving and other criminal charges are usually associated with serious penalties and jail time. However, charges may also cause serious damage to an individual’s reputation. For people whose jobs require adherence to a strict ethical code, a DWI conviction could result in loss of both employment and future job opportunities. Regardless of a person’s standing in the community, being well-represented in court can help in the dismissal or lessening of the charges.

A criminal defense professional can help by checking the authenticity of evidence and witness testimonies. Legal counsel can also ascertain if there were errors in the investigation or violations of a suspect’s rights. White Plains, New York, residents facing charges should remember that, despite allegations, they are presumed innocent until convicted and they should therefore take every legal opportunity to clear their name.

Source: New York Daily News, “Two off-duty NYPD officers busted for drunken driving with an hour of each other,” Barry Paddock and Thomas Tracy, April 18, 2014