Anelli Xavier’s Managing Partner Thomas Anelli Discusses the Passage of “Vince’s Law” by the New York State Senate

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Thomas Anelli, Founder and Managing Partner of Anelli Xavier, a DWI Defense Firm, discusses the passage of “Vince’s Law” by the New York State Senate.

With a nationwide reputation as one of the nation’s finest DWI defense attorneys, Thomas Anelli has built the Anelli Xavier practice into the premier DWI defense firm in New York State. In fact, Anelli has devoted several years to crafting a firm that practices solely in the area of DWI defense. The firm has taken on the full range of drinking and driving cases throughout New York State, from first-time DWI defenses to the defense of complex cases involving serious injury and death. In all of these cases Anelli has worked tirelessly to assemble a team that knows every facet of DWI defense intimately.

Recently, Anelli offered insight in his Syracuse Office about “Vince’s Law.” This law, recently passed by the New York State Senate, is an amendment to the Vehicle and Traffic and Penal Laws of New York State, and is named for former Onondaga County resident Vincent Russo. The Bill, S4267-2013, will now go to the New York State Assembly for consideration.

“It’s important for people to realize that no one, myself included, is unmoved by a tragedy such as the one underlying this law,” Anelli emphatically states. “A review of the case shows that Mr. Russo, an 82 year old resident of this County, was going to Sunday Mass when he was struck by a drunk driver. That driver had four (4) times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, and had been convicted of four (4) prior offenses. It’s no wonder that this tragedy engendered strong feelings…”

“Of course it’s difficult…each one of us wants people like Vincent Russo to be safe, and no one I know of or who works in the field of DWI defense feels differently. How could anyone feel differently? We are all fathers, or mothers, or sons, or daughters, or grandsons or granddaughters. Vincent Russo could be my father or grandfather. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and loss his family and friends suffered.”

As an attorney, however, Anelli and those working in his field must view these laws in legal as well as human terms. Anelli continues, “My legal team and I have a specific task, and that task is established by centuries of legal history. It rests on the presumption of innocence, the idea that everyone is entitled to a full and fair defense, and the standard that a person charged with a crime must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Does this create a conflict for Anelli and his team of attorneys? “Sometimes it does…” Anelli concedes. “Of course it does. But all of these stories, no matter how terrible they may seem, have two sides. There are two lives involved … and countless others. Families, friends, co-workers … in each instance, a motorist charged with drinking and driving needs must be afforded the full protection our legal system has to offer. That’s why Anelli Xavier exists, to guarantee those protections. When the system fails for one person, when those protections are NOT afforded an accused – it fails for everyone,” Anelli states.

Tom Anelli and his staff will be carefully watching the progress of “Vince’s Law” through the New York State Assembly. If passed, the law will have significant impact on how persons accused of drinking and driving are charged in New York State. Most notably is the condition that would change the “look back” period for charging a felony from 10 to 25 years. Anelli explains, “Currently, a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense who is then stopped for a subsequent DWI is charged with a felony offense if the first offense occurred less than 10 years ago. This new law would change that to 25 years, resulting in significantly more felony charges. The bill contains other enhancements to how a person accused of drinking and driving will be charged, but this is the one that will likely affect the largest number of people.”

New law or not, Anelli and his team will continue to defend those accused of drinking and driving across New York State. “We honor everyone when we preserve the rule of law,” Anelli concludes, “No matter how difficult that may be, at times, to understand. Our task is to do that to the best of our ability, and we will remain faithful to that task, no matter what legislation is passed. Some truths never change.”

If you are charged with a DWI in New York State, contact Anelli Xavier today: (877) 419-2330. The team of highly motivated, well-trained attorneys knows that not everyone who is charged with DWI is guilty.

About Anelli Xavier
Anelli Xavier limits its practice to DWI defense and the defense of the associated serious vehicular charges. Learn more by visiting Anelli Xavier today and see how they can help with Syracuse DWI charges, along with DWI charges throughout the state.

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Sean Kelsey