Friday, January 12, 2018

Understanding New York Judges and Plea Bargains

Judges At the Apex of the Legal Triangle
After a few decades of practicing law you start to get a better overview of not only the legal process but the dynamics of how judges think about cases. It is not always the same way because not all judges act, think, or feel the same way about every single case.

That said, there are specific types of judges. I'm not talking about criminal versus civil versus family versus federal versus bankruptcy versus administrative judges. What I am talking about is the overall way that a criminal judge handles the prosecutor/criminal defense lawyer relationship.

What types of New York State criminal judges are there?

How do these judges sort their cases?

How do these judges make final decisions on sentencing?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: College Stickers on Your Car May Give Police Reason to Stop You

Most Cornell University and Ithaca College students are proud of their schools. They like so many these days display their school pride on shirts, hats, and even their cars. I have a license frame for    my daughter's school on my car.

So is having a rear window college decal on your car against the law? 

Can the police legally stop your vehicle for having a sticker on your rear window? 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Power of Circumstantial Evidence

Often there is NO direct evidence of guilt
The jury acquittal in a recent murder trial out of California (People v. Jose Garcia Zarate) shocked the nation. But delving into the facts of the case and what the defense was within the evidence revealed a bigger truth. When a prosecutor uses circumstantial evidence to prove guilt any and all reasonable explanations of innocence weigh in favor of the accused.

California's circumstantial evidence law favors the innocent, does New York law follow?

Does New York circumstantial evidence law clearly help those on trial? 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Help Me Help You

Hollywood Reporter, Jerry McGuire, Sports Agent
You know I love the movie Jerry McGuire. Jerry (Tom Cruise) is a sport agent representing players. This movie speaks to me as a person trying to help people with their legal problems. Often I feel communication is the key to a great relationship.

So why is it so hard at times to guide people into setting up the best outcome for their case?

Why do clients have as much frustration with their attorneys as attorneys do with their clients?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why You Can't Use Affidavits as Testimony?

Notarized Affidavits Can't Be Used in Court

Someone recently contacted me about a traffic violation. He thought it might be  good idea to have his relatives send in notarized affidavits to the judge. They were in his car as witnesses to his driving.
They wanted to avoid having to come to court, he also wanted to avoid having to come to court, and he also wanted to have a trial on his tickets. What people want might not always reconcile with what the law demands.

People need to know their rights. That is not just a blanket statement but is the truth. Because if you know your rights then you will have a better understanding of legal process. With that understanding can come a deeper knowing about making decisions. 

Many people often just do what a lawyer says is best. Because they just don't know how things work people don't make informed legal decisions. 

Can you use a affidavit as testimony at a New York trial?

Can you use an affidavit (notarized) statement at a New York traffic ticket trial?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Crime of AUO (aggravated unlicensed operation) and College Students

Ithaca College and Cornell University students come from many other states and even countries. For a little perspective, Cornell's class of 2019 has representatives from 79 different countries. Coming to New York State with an international driver's license or a license from another state is no problem or is it? It depends, is the most common attorney answer.

What if you make NYS your residence, buy and register a car BUT do not apply for a New York driver's license? 

What if you get a New York State driver's license but fail to keep updating your address?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ithaca Lawyer: Three Reasons to Seal Your Criminal Convictions

I can think of at least three primary reasons why someone would want their old criminal convictions sealed. On the other hand I can also think why someone may not care or see the point of sealing their old criminal history.

Why would someone want their history of criminal activity sealed from public disclosure?

Why would someone not care if their criminal history was found out?