About 130 miles southeast of Newburgh, a New York teacher faces not only a charge of driving while intoxicated, but also 10 other charges, including weapons violations.
The fourth grade teacher from Riverhead pleaded not guilty last week in Suffolk County Court to the 11 charges he faces.
He's accused of DWI, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failure to maintain lane, failure to keep right, driving on the shoulder, operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile phone and failure to comply with a lawful order. In addition to the DWI and the traffic violations, he's charged two felonies: criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.
The teacher faces several misdemeanor charges: criminal possession of a weapon and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. His DWI is also a misdemeanor.
He was arrested last month after being pulled over in Southampton Village. He teaches by the Riverhead Central School District at Phillips Avenue Elementary School.
Law enforcement officials say that when he was pulled over, he had a loaded .45 caliber handgun in his vehicle.
The teacher was reassigned to work at his home following his arrest. However, he retains his job at this point, the school district said.
Clearly, however, his teaching career would be in serious jeopardy if he were to be convicted on all the charges he now faces.
People facing similar legal problems will typically get assistance from an attorney who not only has experience with weapons offenses charges, but DWI accusations as well. In that way, the defendants are ensured of having their rights and interests protected at every step of the legal process.
Source: Riverhead Patch, "Riverhead Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Gun, DWI Charges," May 18, 2012
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