Category Archives: Criminal Defense

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Category : Criminal Defense

If police contact has resulted in you or a family member’s arrest, you need to know your rights.  Our Dutchess County criminal lawyers have the skills, experience and judgment needed to help you. Call now for a free consultation.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects your right against unreasonable searches & seizures. The most protected place under the Fourth Amendment is your home. A police officer cannot enter your home unless he has a warrant. There are exceptions to this warrant rule, the most used exception is “consent”. “Consent” is when you open the door. So, if a police officer is knocking on your door and you did not call the police, exercise your Constitutional right and do not open the door. Call me.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects you in your home.  If the police ask you to step outside and talk that is not your home!  Unless the police have a warrant you do not have to let them in and you do not have to step outside.  If you leave the home you may be leaving the shelter of the Fourth Amendment.  You can say “no” and you can tell them “I’m calling my lawyers Mackay and Berube.”  Know your rights and more importantly use your rights.

The law firm of Kevin MacKay & Richard Berube have built a reputation for integrity and skill in successfully representing individuals against prosecutions in Hudson Valley criminal matters. We have been successful in representing local Poughkeepsie clients at the investigative stage, discovery stage, motion practice stage, pre-trial hearing stage, and of course at trial.

Give us a call today to discuss your specific situation, or if you prefer, contact us using our email at

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First-Offense DWI vs Second-Offense DWI or DWAI in New York

First-Offense DWI vs Second-Offense DWI or DWAI in New York

A first-offense DWI, sometimes called a DUI (driving under the influence), where the driver has a BAC of .08% or more (up to.18%) carries an administrative license suspension of at least six months (one year for drivers with a BAC of .18% or more or for drivers under 21 years old).

A DWI is considered a second-offense if you had a prior offense within the past ten years. DWAI’s involving drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol also have a ten-year second-offense look-back period. However, the second-offense look-back period for DWAI’s involving only alcohol is five years.
It’s important to note that New York has multiple look-back periods. Depending on your situation, the look-back period could be four, five, ten, or 25 years. Consult with a New York DWAI attorney to find out which look-back period applies in your case.

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, 33% of all fatalities are due to drunk drivers Because of this, the penalties for an alcohol or drug-related violation include the loss of driving privileges, fines, and a possible jail term.
New York has established severe penalties for DUI. The reason for the severity is not only to punish people who have been arrested for driving drunk, but to set an example to those who haven’t yet. That way, if they are ever in a position where they are considering drunk driving, they will think better of it. And the penalties become even more severe for second- and third-time offenders:

New York first-offense DWI Laws

  • $500 – $1,000 fine
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Minimum 6-month license suspension

New York second-offense DWI Laws(within 10 years)

  • $500 – $1,000 fine
  • Up to 4 years in jail
  • Minimum 1-year license suspension

At Serino, MacKay and Berube we have handled thousands of DWI cases of the course of our careers and more importantly have brought hundreds of these cases to either trial or hearing.  When looking for the right attorney experience matters come in and meet with one of our attorneys for a free consultation on your matter today.  

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drink driving new york law

DUI and DWI explained for the New York State

This article is made for better understanding DUI and DWI in the New York State. So if you confront with any of those charges you can better understand them before contacting Lawyers For DWI or DUI.

A DWI refers to when a driver is intoxicated; that is, when his or her blood alcohol content level (BAC) is at the legal limit (0.08 percent) or higher. A DUI generally refers to a driver who is “buzzed” (has a BAC lower than 0.08 percent), intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs.

Alcohol reduces reaction time, reduces your ability to see clearly, changes your judgment of speed and distances, often makes you less inhibited and makes you more prone to take chances. Drugs, which include many prescription and over-the-counter medications, can affect your ability to drive. They can have effects similar to alcohol or even worse. If you take medication, even a remedy for colds or allergies that is not prescribed, check the label for warnings about its effects. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist about driving while on the medication.

Driving while intoxicated is a crime. Your judgment, coordination and ability to drive a vehicle change when you consume any amount of alcohol. The level of impairment depends on five conditions

  • the amount of alcohol you drink
  • the amount of food you eat before or while you drink alcohol
  • the length of time you drink alcohol
  • your body weight
  • your gender

There is no quick method to become sober. The best method is to wait until your body absorbs the alcohol. The average rate that your body processes alcohol is approximately one drink per hour.

Contact Lawyers Serino, MacKay & Berube PLLC online or call 845-432-5599. Our firm also represents students at Vassar College, The Culinary Institute of America, and Marist students who are facing DWI charges.

DUI and DWI explained

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Poughkeepsie criminal defense law

New developments in Poughkeepsie criminal defense law

Category : Criminal Defense

Poughkeepsie criminal defense law

Poughkeepsie Criminal Lawyer

There are always new developments in Poughkeepsie criminal defense law. It is important to choose a Dutchess county criminal lawyer that understands your situation.
One current issue is the New York State Senate passed “Laree’s Law”, which makes any person guilty of a homicide that unlawfully transports or sells opiates that causes the death of another person. This law will effect Dutchess county and Poughkeepsie criminal lawyers clients. If you or a family member are accused of a crime in Poughkeepsie or Dutchess county this law sounds like our government is out to help the current heroin epidemic that there is in Dutchess County, NY.  However, this law will do very little, if anything, to stem the tide of opiates consumed in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The Senate tells us in their justification for the law that “This law would hold drug dealers accountable for the true cost of their activities, significantly diminish the open availability of these dangerous drugs on our streets and give district attorneys the necessary tools to work up the criminal chain to the ultimate supplier because facing life imprisonment for any amount of drugs that results in death is a profound disincentive to sell drugs within the state of New York.”  There will be zero deterrent effect to dealers of opiates in NY due to this law.  The government should conduct a study on what laws really are deterrents, because this one will not be a deterrent.  The government does not think like a drug dealer.
Drugs are a huge underground economy where jail time is just a part of the overhead of doing business, and for some dealers, it is the only source of income and a way to support their own drug use.  This is just a bill for our legislators to point to when reelection time comes around, and so they have another reason to pat each other on the back and tell each other what a great job they are doing for the citizens and residents of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.
It’s about time for our legislature to address opiate use as a medical issue instead of a criminal issue.  The drug laws have filled our prisons, made criminals of addicts, and done nothing to stem the availability and consumption of drugs.  Final thought:  If I get into my car after drinking to a blood alcohol content of .15 and drive over a person in the crosswalk causing their death, I would be guilty of Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree and subject to a maximum of 7 years incarceration.  If I drive up to Buffalo to see some old college buddies and give them some of my oxys that were prescribed to me after my hip replacement, and they give them to another person who overdoses and dies taking them, I would be subject to a maximum of Life in prison. When choosing a Poughkeepsie Criminal Lawyer or Dutchess County criminal defense lawyer please make sure you ask detailed questions of your lawyer.
If you or a family member needs a criminal defense lawyer please call Richard Berube to set up a free consultation. Poughkeepsie criminal law is very complex involving a multiple of factors unique to the ever changing Poughkeepsie criminal laws.

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When to contact a Dutchess Criminal Lawyer?

Category : Criminal Defense

When to contact a Dutchess Criminal Lawyer?! It is not just a question of trust!

We are all taught to trust the police, and rightly so they are assigned to protect us everyday. Naturally you would feel safe if the police come to your home to question you regarding an alleged criminal event.

Having handled criminal cases as both a prosecuter and criminal DA, from murder trials to petit larceny, I always advise my clients that it is never appropriate to speak with the police without your attorney.
In almost all cases the police have already assumed that you have committed the crime. How the questions are asked, the length of the questioning, and the environment you find yourself in can all lead to misleading or false confessions. The news is rife with people who have confessed to crimes only to later be found innocent after many years in prison.
We are all presumed innocent.
We all have the right to an attorney.
So confronted with that seemingly innocent question, “Can you come talk to us at the police station?”
You should protect your rights and call me, Richard Berube from Serino, MacKay and Berube, Poughkeepsie Criminal Lawyer serving the Dutchess County Area !
Dutchess Criminal Lawyer

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Category : Criminal Defense

Handling a Dutchess County DWI or Poughkeepsie DWI case requires knowledge of the Assistant District Attorneys, the Judges and the procedures in each individual Dutchess County Court.  Having started my career as an Assistant District Attorney in Poughkeepsie prosecuting DWI cases in all of Dutchess County I realized not all Judges, attorneys or cases are the same.  This is where experience matters when hiring an attorney to handle your Poughkeepsie DWI case.

The procedures and policy of the Dutchess County District Attorney are often changing.  When I first started practicing Poughkeepsie DWI law 23 years ago the unwritten policy was if a reading was above a .15 then the person would initially receive an offer of a plea to the charge.  It was then up to the Poughkeepsie DWI attorney to convince the assistant district attorney to reduce the Poughkeepsie DWI case.  When I was a prosecutor I would clearly listen more to a experienced trial attorney then one who had little to no trial experience. I knew they could not back up their arguments in a hearing or trial and often just would back down.  Things have changed little in this regard and Assistant District Attorneys still know who will and will not take borderline cases to hearing and trial.  Worse still is the readings are much lower for a plea to the charge offer, the jail time higher, the fines higher and the possibility of losing your license forever now a threat in all Poughkeepsie DWI and Dutchess County DWI cases. It is more important that ever to hire the right Poughkeepsie DWI lawyer or Dutchess County DWI lawyer to represent you.

At Serino, MacKay and Berube we have handled thousands of DWI cases of the course of our careers and more importantly have brought hundreds of these cases to either trial or hearing.  When looking for the right attorney experience matters come in and meet with one of our attorneys for a free consultation on your matter today.  



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Office Location

Serino, MacKay & Berube PLLC

12 Walker Rd.

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Phone: 845-462-0001