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?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why Does a Judge Sentence Harshly?

Harsh sentences are given for many reasons.
A recent federal medicare fraud case out of Texas has a lot of lawyers wondering. Why would a judge sentence a woman with two young kids (age 7) with stage 4 metastatic cancer to 75 years of incarceration? Well I've read through this case and have my own take on how this happened.

In our criminal defense practice I always keep two things in mind:

Why does a judge sentence harshly?

Why would a judge show leniency?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

College Dorm Room Searches and the Law

Ithaca is fun because of it's size and isolation but that also creates a problem with privacy. It seems like everyone knows everyone else's business. I can't even tell you the level of town gossip let alone what is published daily on social media. Thousands of people are thrust together closely sharing rooms, apartments, homes, and dorms.

Privacy rights are sacred. We do have a fourth amendment that guards against government intrusion. There shall be NO unreasonable (illegal) search or seizure of your person or home.

Does that same law hold in your dormitory?

Does that same law apply to your on campus apartment? 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New York Sealing Law: Can You Seal Both Your Misdemeanor and Felony DWI?

Second chances shouldn't be wasted!
For over a decade New York has been ratcheting up penalties for DWI. In 2010 our state was one of the first to make ignition interlock devices a must for all first time drunk driving convictions. Then law went from a 6 month interlock to a 12 month interlock. Alcohol evaluations and treatment are now mandatory for those convicted twice within 25 years.

Then in 2012 the DMV began applying a lifetime look back for problem drivers. Those drivers with even a 25 year old conviction were facing strict administrative license penalties. The purpose of all this new legislation was to severely limit or to revoke the driving privileges of those convicted of DWI offense, accidents, or multiple violations.

New York's recently passed sealing law, CPL section 160.59 is a sharp departure from this trend for harsher punishment. The law's primary focus is to shield criminal convictions on rap sheets from public disclosure.

Can you get your misdemeanor DWI convictions sealed under the new sealing law?

Can you get your felony DWI conviction sealed under the new sealing law?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

You're Finally Able to Seal Your DWI: What Must You Know?

Texas and New York Now Have
DWI Sealing, Yay!

Texas just passed a criminal record sealing law similar to New York's. They call their law the "Second Chance" bill. I kinda like that because imho everyone deserves a second chance.

Up until October 2017 New York offered nothing to clear records for those with past DWI criminal convictions.  The only sealing of records was for non-criminal violations, and for  special case situations for drug crimes with proof of rehabilitation.

Often a DWI charge would effect your future ability to gain employment, obtain a state occupational license, or even get an internship. Up until this year New York had no expungement, and no sealing for DWI criminal convictions. We don't have expungement but in October 1, 2017 we do have a close second, sealing of your past DWI.
New York's new broad record sealing law will enable you to seal a misdemeanor and a felony DWI. The new sealing statute also modifies Executive Law so that you do not have to disclose your DWI when applying for  an employment position or an occupational license.

DWI non-disclosure is now available in New York State.

Here's all you need to know about New York Sealing Law 160.59.