Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beating the Box or Breath Test Issues in a Nutshell

Winter in Ithaca, NY has finally arrived. Today it is 6 degrees with the windchill, yow! What's funny about that is by Ithaca Winter standards that is still fairly warm. I had a friend of mine visit one winter from Greece, and of course the day he came it was well below zero with the wind. He thought we were crazy to live here. He made it about 15 minutes outside before his breathing became labored and he started to look a bit pee kid.

Anyway, "THE" box, the definite article for sure. The box refers of course to the breathalyzer, aka the breath test, aka the Datamaster (the machine preference of City, Village, and Town Police), aka The Chemical test, aka The Alcotest (the machine preferred by NYS Troopers).

The Box provides a fast, easy, and cheap means to test the breath to indirectly compute a BAC (blood alcohol concentration). We can argue all day about: fast, cheap, easy, and indirect testing. The box is Not to be confused with the field breath test, called the alcosensor, done at roadside, and not admissible in NYS for a BAC result but merely to prove the consumption of alcohol.

There are Three main problem areas in Breath Testing:

1. problem with the person: medications, diseases of the lungs, ie. asthma, COPDs, allergies, diabetes, GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease), is it stomach contents, etc.

2. problem with the machine: out of calibration, simulator/reference solution has bad chemicals (out of date), broken parts, maintenance issues, temperature issues, etc.

3. problem with the operator: did not follow protocols, did not do proper observation prior to testing, used radio, phone, or beeper in room (Radio frequency Interference), did not check mouth for foreign substances, dentures, etc.

Is the BAC machine result reliable? Can the jury rely upon it?

Is the BAC machine result accurate? Is it a real number of the person's BAC?

Another potential issue:

TIMING: Is the machine BAC result (Post driving) a true measure of the BAC at the time of driving?

The idea of arguing that breath testing "in general" is bad, is inaccurate, and is unreliable is usually not the best approach. Juries want to have a "specific" reason or reasons why something like a breath test result in a specific case/situation is not to be trusted.

Beating the BOX then becomes a reality. Because in the end, the jurors should only follow and apply ONE presumption at trial, the POI (presumption of innocence). The government must prove their case, including the BAC result to the BRD standard (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mastering DWI Defense in Ithaca, New York

Well as the year winds down it is a perfect time for reflection. Why do I do what I do? DWI defense: It is challenging, and my goal is mastery.

You see I have always wanted to do things very well. As a kid I loved magic, photography, and bodybuilding/powerlifting. I spent countless hours engaged in those activities. Time was never a factor. It seemed as if I got so involved that the world did not exist. My sister called me (more like labeled me) obsessive and intense. So why was I this way? What drove me?

One of my mentors (btw a good thing to have) Dr. John Demartini, said that the VOID drives the VALUE.

I have always felt less than. I have felt the need to prove myself to the world. To prove my value, my worth, and my ability. I was short, pimpled (nice way to say Acne), curly haired (not a popular thing in my day), husky (another word for fat), clumsy (uncoordinated), nerdy, and a day dreamer. Nobody thought I would amount to much. Childhood was hard for me, picked on, ridiculed, and generally tormented for being different. So I focused on being really good at whatever I chose to pursue. I wanted to show them (them being everyone/everywhere).

I built my own little photo lab in my basement, with used cameras, developing tanks, and an old enlarger. I put on magic shows, I even performed for Mayor Beame and the democratic party back in the day. I invented a magic trick that was published by Tannen's (one of the oldest magic shops in NYC) at the age of 14. Lastly, I competed in powerlifting, eventually coming in 3rd place in New York State in 1980.

I am still on my quest for mastery. I am committed to traveling whatever distance, paying whatever price, and doing what it takes in time, energy, and money to be the best I can . . . This time, at DWI defense mastery. I follow the same SUCCESS formula every time:

1. find and go to seminars, people, and events that I can learn from.
2. find and buy books, tapes, and dvds to learn from.
3. organize and spend part of everyday (or almost every day) reading/listening/writing
4. commit to mastering each part and area of the subject
5. pay the price for success, in time, money, and energy
6. accept and learn from my mistakes and rejections
7. work hard at preparing for all of my challenges.
This year I attended and participated in 10 seminars:

January 2010: Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College: Opening Statement, Asilomar, California

February 2010: Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College: Direct Examination, Round Top, Texas

March 2010: Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College: Closing Argument, Leavenworth, Washington

April 2010: Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Forensic Science for DWI New Orleans, LA

June 2010: Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College: Psychodrama, Dubois, WY

June 2010: New York Criminal Defense Lawyers NY DWI Update, Wayne, New York

October 2010: New York State Bar Assoc. Expert Witness Seminar, Syracuse, New York

October 2010: New York Criminal Defense Lawyers DWI Update, Syracuse, New York

October 2010: The Breakthrough Experience, Self Mastery Program, Boston, Mass.

November 2010: Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers, Advanced DWI Seminar, San Antonio, Texas

7 states, 10 seminars, and one incredible year. I won't even begin to tell you the number of books, dvds, and cds I have purchased on criminal law, and DWI defense. Suffice it to say I have quite a library (my resources).

I believe "You" are always your greatest investment. A great many companies, organizations, and businesses spend millions on advertising/marketing for clients/customers.

If only they spent that time, energy, and money on their product or service. People sometimes ask me How I "Get" Clients. So many people are only interested (primarily interested to be fair) in the bottom line.

In my opinion these companies do not:

Panera's Bread, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Apple, Wegman's, . . . Great bread, coffee, computers, and service . . . looking towards the future, innovating, transforming . . .

They "Focus" on being better, rendering a better product, a better service, not on a gimmick, or selling a fantasy to people.

As to me . . . Well, I not interested in retiring, why would I? I love what I do (contributing and serving as an attorney), I care about doing a great job (the best with the facts/case in front of me), I love learning, growing, and transforming my self and my business with new ideas,

so as 2010 comes to a close I look forward to re-grouping to do more (quality not cases) in 2011.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The DWI Defense Challenge, It's not about the truth

I just came back from two back to back Syracuse Law seminars. On Friday, Oct. 23, I went to a New York State Bar seminar on Expert Witness testimony, and on Saturday, Oct. 24, a New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers event at Syracuse Law school. That seminar had criminal defense lawyers from around the state speaking on a multitude of topics, one of which is my favorite, DWI defense.

I learn something new at each, and every seminar I attend. In fact at this seminar even the speakers hung around to learn from the other speakers. The best lawyers know it is never over. I will be the first to tell you that law is a practice. You work and grow from each case. No two cases are exactly the same. One of the speakers at S.U. is a favorite of mine, Ray Kelly. Ray is one of the most passionate and inspired advocates I have ever met. He reminds me and every other defense lawyer why what we do and how we do what we do is so important.

We represent fellow human beings. Ray takes that Oath to uphold the rights of others very seriously as do I. We have a duty of constant vigilance to not allow illegally sufficient evidence or evidence that has been obtained in a unconstitutional matter be used against out client.

The following synopsis paraphrased and shortened comes from Justice White's opinion in Wade, 388 U.S. at 256. We (criminal defense lawyers) have a duty to protect and defend. I have no obligation to ascertain or to present the truth. I need present nothing, even if I know what the truth is. If I can confuse a witness, even a truthful one, or make him appear at a disadvantage, unsure or indecisive, that will be my normal course of action. My interest in not convicting the innocent allows me to put the State to it's proof, put them in their worst light regardless of what I think or know to be the truth. In fact, my duty has little relation to the search for truth.

I must continue my commitment to POlice the POlice, challenge the prosecution, and to make sure that no person accused of a crime stands alone against the government.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ithaca by Choice not by Chance

Did I choose Ithaca or did Ithaca choose me? I ponder that question often. Do we ever feel called to a place? I feel called to the two professions I have been privileged to practice. Not like a voices in my head ala Berkowitz kinda way but more like an intuitive feeling. You know that you know that something is right.

After years of journaling, I wanted a more authentic life. To me, that meant being in a more natural area (less asphalt more trees). I wanted a radical change of my environment. I was ready to escape suburbia, and big city practices. I was tired of the parking, the traffic, the disconnect, the running from place to place, the rat wheel, and the mindlessness.

Now not everyone gets Ithaca. It is not heaven, merely a nice city nestled here in the Fingerlakes. I can appreciate it in contrast to so many other places I have lived, and so many more places I have visited. Ithaca is merely relative. My closest friends advised a psychological evaluation when I told them I was moving here. Why would you leave the paradise of South Florida? Why would you leave all of this? The swimming pools, the hot weather, the resources, the simple flat roads, the brand new homes, the shopping, and the abundance of money. Why indeed?

Well it now almost four years later... and I can say that Ithaca can grow people the way that it grows flowers and plants, this is a fertile place both figuratively and literally. I could have only imagined what community really means and the communities that surround Ithaca encompass more than just land, they embody caring, I have never in my life met more down to earth, honest to goodness, authentic people, for better or worse who embrace who they are... warts and all!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lawyer Lawrence Newman (Rants and Raves)

I recently got a call from a woman who was looking for DWI representation. She said her reason for calling was that she looks at Craigslist Rants and Raves for laughs and saw this review. If only I could live up to it, lol... I guess there is a "rave" to balance out a "rant"

Lawyer Lawrence Newman (Rants and Raves)

Date: 2010-10-11, 11:36AM EDT

Reply To This Post

Lawrence Newman is one of the two finest private practice lawyers I have encountered over forty years of professional work in two states. The other was a former US attorney. He combines an encyclopedic knowledge of DWI law with productive relationships with the courts that he represents clients in. To have a family member represented by Larry is like knowing that they are under the care of a gifted specialist physician who combines clinical knowledge with true care for those who come to him. His direct availability to clients and his immediate and personal responsiveness to their difficulties reminds you that before becoming a lawyer, he was a clinician. The legal outcomes he gains for clients are extraordinary, his flat-fee billing an expression of an ethic rarely found in the legal profession. You never have to remind him of a case: he is already working on it.

David B. Schwartz, Ph.D.



Location: Rants and Raves

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 2000152256

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I love the old westerns, and especially Clint Eastwood movies. My wife marvels that I am able to watch them over and over without boredom. They are simple, justice is quick and efficient, and I can relate to the code of respect. The people in these movies are usually very black and white, good and bad are easily discernible.

Recently, I was critiqued on Craigslist. It was not very flattering, but I guess if I can accept those testimonials that see me as saintly I must recognize that there will be those others who see me as the devil. You would be hard pressed not to know who I am, what I stand for, my education, my training, my experience, how long I have practiced, where I have practiced, what seminars I have attended, in fact I will make a bold statement, I am probably one of the most open lawyers or people online.

I am neither devil nor saint, although I have played both roles. For the record I take full responsibility for anyone who does not understand something I may have said. I believe that the communicator shall do his or her best to be understood and clear.

I primarily represent people for DWI cases, and these cases are difficult to defend. Some people come to see me with an expectation of "getting off" the charges. I have spoken before about the reality of "getting off" and plea negotiations. The truth is that 90% + of all criminal cases in this country settle by way of a plea. Pleas can happen after hearings or conferences or right before a trial. Everyone has the option of having a trial. They cost time and money. They may or may not be beneficial. Juries then decide guilt or innocence.

Cases are always viewed on their merits, on the evidence, on the proof. With DWI "charges" the government does not care how wonderful you are or that you have a job or that you have multiple degrees or if this is your first offense. All those things may be considered at "sentencing" but not for the "charging" of crimes. They (the prosecutors) are interested in whether or not they can prove a DWI (common law and/or "per se") beyond a reasonable doubt.

Generally, if your case has a breath test it is harder to defend than a case without a breath test (a refusal case). If your case has you falling down, driving on the wrong side of the road, hitting curbs, hitting guardrails, admitting to drinking 8 drinks, stating "thank god you got me," or falling asleep while being questioned, then you may have a "harder" case to defend.

Let's deal with reality, dropping your cell phone and hitting one mailbox, ok explainable, dropping your cell phone and hitting four mailboxes on three different streets, not so explainable. I deal with the not so explainable every day, and how much of it a jury can "buy"as in believe, is something most of us can only imagine or try to predict. I work within the facts of every case to come up with the best defense I can. Within the spectrum of cases I see and evaluate there are the good facts, the bad facts, and the ugly facts. Sometimes the good facts outweigh the bad facts. Sometimes I have DWI cases with no drunk (bad) driving. I have a speeding ticket or an expired inspection or bright headlights. Sometimes I have an improperly done breath test or expired chemicals or a person with asthma. Everything that can be looked at gets looked at. But I cannot turn a blind eye to bad facts, they will not go away.

It is a immature mind that thinks that attorneys can change the facts of any case. No matter how "ugly" the facts of a case are, I believe that everyone deserves to be treated fairly throughout the process. My job is to do the best with what is front of me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ithaca Lawyer Understanding New York DWI Ignition Interlock Devices

Well the IIDs or the ignition interlock devices are here for all first time DWI convictions. Tompkins County is considered District/Region number 2. In little Ithaca, NY there is a monitoring station for the devices set up at one of the auto places on Route 13, also known as Meadow. The company Smartstart is also offering a FREE install (normally a $100 or more) to promote their business.

The law (signed Nov. 2009) began to implemented in August of 2010. It is said that the "Road to hell is paved with good intentions" and ... the idea behind this law has the best of intentions but the actual implementation and practicality of it was not thought out entirely.

It has been a source of both confusion for the Courts and grief to many. The legislature passed the mandatory devices into law but I feel they failed to see the bigger picture. Whereas in the past the devices were sentenced for individuals placed on probation (supervision) and/or for aggravated (high BAC) DWIs and/or for those with diagnosed alcoholism now we have the devices being used on everyone without any Judicial Discretion (a Judge's Decision). They are mandatory for at least 6 months on all DWIs and ADWIs.

In addition, under the new law they must be monitored, re-checked, and information downloaded directly (physically) from the devices every 30 days. In these days where we can talk to people half way around the world in a split second, pay bills without paper, and download books from satellites from the privacy of our bedrooms you would think that the whole having to physically visit with a download site would be old school, as in inefficient and expensive. The monthly charge is around $85...

There are more issues, I call them collateral issues:

Can someone afford the car insurance after a DWI on an IID vehicle?
A father of a young client had his insurance company drop him, and now coverage on the son is being quoted at $1,000 a month, now that's an expensive ride.

If you own or operate more than one car, all the cars require them and require monitoring?
What about if you share the car with someone? Do they also blow into the device?

So we shall see what the future holds?

Larry Newman DWI Defense Google Maps Reviews

In the interests of preserving my reviews on Google Maps, which have been lost or misplaced too many times now... I am reposting them here just in case...  btw you check out more of my reviews on, a lawyer review site.

Larrry Newman, the best out there! Thank you
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By stephanie - Oct 12, 2010
When I was arrested at the age of nineteen for DWI while being away at college, my world was immediately turned upside down. After going home to discuss this incident with my mother we called several attorneys for assistance. After speaking with Mr. Newman for two minutes my mother was certain that this was the guy for us. He immediately explained everything we would need to know. After he accepted our request for service he began doing anything and everything he could to help my case. I had exceptional faith in this man to do everything he could to bring my charges down to a DWAI and after fighting for about a year he was finally able to do so. I put all of my reasonable hope in this brilliant attorney to do his job but he went far beyond what any typical lawyer would do. This man works with a full heart and a desire to serve. If you need a DWI attorney there is no better one out there than LAWRENCE NEWMAN!
- Flag as inappropriate

Reviews (19) Through October 8, 2010
Wonderful Attorney‎
By twiztid4life1723 - May 20, 2010
After having an accident and being in need of a lawyer, Mr. Newman was the first and last one I called. He was wonderful. From the first time we talked on the phone, right up until the final court appearance, he was in constant contact keeping me updated, and he was always there to answer any and all questions. Watching him work is truly entertaining, and he does his job very well. I would definitely recommend his services to anyone in need of a good, honest, personable lawyer.‎
Phd Mom Survives DUI‎
By barborlinki - Apr 20, 2010
I'm a single mother with two kids and when I was pulled over and charged with DUI, I was so worried and scared about what would happen. I called Larry the next morning and he was great! He was confident and knowledgeable and more importantly, I felt like he cared about me and understood my circumstances. In the end, after Larry worked with me and helped me navigate the maze of litigation, the charges against me were reduced. This was not happenstance, this was the result of Larry's performance in another case. His arguments and his questions of the arresting officer caused that case to be reduced and caused them to reduce mine at the same time!! I am so grateful to not have that charge on my driving record and would recommend Larry to anyone facing a similar tragedy in their lives."‎
Thank You, Larry‎
By Ithaca - Apr 11, 2010
I recently made a bad mistake and faced a serious drinking and driving related charge. After sending an query to Larry Newman's office via his website in the middle of the night, Larry called me personally on a Sunday morning just a few hours later and we met in person shortly after that. Without even retaining him, Larry provided me a great deal of information. There was no question I'd found the right lawyer. Larry was friendly and respective and provided me a great deal of honest, straightforward, and beneficial relief during one of the worst experiences of my life. It was clear through my discussions with Larry that he's the kind of guy who pours himself into his work and does extensive professional research into his trade, as well as cultivate personal relationships with local officials so as to be considered a complete expert on DWI law, explicitly though not exclusively, as it pertains to the nuances of the courts of Tompkins County. Larry successfully ...More »
Excellent Attorney‎
By marysheldon75 - Mar 16, 2010
Not that you want to be in this situation, but Larry Newman is an excellent DWI attorney. From the first moment I walked into his office he was professional and knowledgeable. The first day I visited him he was already working on my case! Always there to answer questions and help. He is the best if you need this kind of service!‎
Absolutely Fantastic Attorney‎
By Hypnotist - Jan 7, 2010
Lawrence Newman is the absolute best attorney I could ever imagine. I was facing serious prison time for my 5th DWI and the results that Larry had achieved for me were positively phenomenal!!! DWI's now are a serious offense, and to hire an attorney that does not specialize in this field, and, who does not have an unquenchable passion and an optimism for his work like Larry is not only foolish but you would be seriously gambling your freedom and everything you have worked for.‎
Excellent attorney‎
By Dan - Nov 24, 2009
Larry helped me through my experience and was very attentive, easy to communicate with, and very thorough. He clearly communicated what the options and probable outcomes and the means to achieve them. He was very prompt in answering all my questions even months after my case was settled. Hopefully I never have to, but I would retain his services again or recommend to a friend.‎
Larry Newman is an excellent DUI attorney.‎
By SS2math22 - Nov 15, 2009
Larry Newman worked my DUI case which resulted in the charges being substantially reduced. He knows the local scene well, is exceptionally knowledgeable about this area of law, and is responsible, prompt and affable. Very easy to work with. He seems to have a reputation for fighting hard, and that is helpful when dealing with this sort of case. I will recommend Larry Newman to any friends who happen to face similar charges.‎
My son's DWI‎
By Marjorie - Oct 22, 2009
By sheer luck, I found and retained Larry Newman to help my son through a DWI situation. He was extremely helpful, responsive and kind, always available to me with an understandable explanation of each segment of this process that my son had to deal with. Larry pulled no punches but gave us hope that there was the strong possibility of a positive outcome and that is what he achieved. I would recommend him to anyone who needs legal representation as the result of a DWI arrest because Larry is clearly one of the best in his field.‎
serious violation ticket‎
By Housam - Oct 21, 2009
I got two tickets recently and one of them was a serious traffic violation. I called Mr. Newman who fought the tickets for me and had both of them dropped. I was impressed with the result. The rate was very reasonable. He used to call me and email me with any update. I think he is a great lawyer.‎
Exceptional DWI Lawyer‎
By Kelly - Oct 14, 2009
Lawrence Newman is an exceptional DWI lawyer. He was very helpful, knowledgeable and kind to me during a time that I consider to be one of the worst in my life so far. I called Lawrence the day after my DWI and he returned my phone call immediately and met me in person right away. He made me feel comfortable with the realities of my case and my options moving forward. He is easy to talk to, patient, and extremely accessible with all modes of communication, even text messaging. His work in and out of the court room is thorough, thoughtful and performed with confidence. Above all, Lawrence put my horrible and upsetting experience into perspective and made it approachable and manageable. I am so thankful for all he has done for me and would highly recommend him to anyone who might be in this or a similar situation.‎
Fantastic DWI Lawyer‎
By ithacan - Oct 2, 2009
I got pulled over and arrested a month or so ago and was charged with a DWI which carries huge fines and a licence suspension and possible jail time. However the most serious charge of all would have been the criminal record that I would have had to deal with for the rest of my life, since a DWI in NY is a misdemeanor. I was lost, confused and most of all scared. I made the decision to hire Larry and he was an excellent and fantastic lawyer. I don't think I would have personally asked for a better resolution to my case. He was able to negotiate a settlement to my case that would downgrade the charge to a DWAI which carries with it less fines and less licence suspension time. In addition to all this court stuff, he was great in terms of coaching me through the whole process especially with all the other stuff related to the DMV office and dealing with them. He is always there for you to help you through the process, he always answers his phone or email very promptly ...More »
My Winter DWI‎
By postb42 - Oct 2, 2009
I was arrested for a DWI in late winter of 2009. Those first few days were difficult: full of shame, embarrassment, guilt and the feeling that things were hopeless. It was as if I had hit rock bottom. But just like winter gives way to Spring I saw my first rays of sunlight when I made my first phone call to attorney Larry Newman. Immediately Larry began to allay the fears that had been building up in my mind and made me realize that this was not a hopeless situation. Throughout the next few months Larry continued to guide me through the court system and stayed by me until the situation was resolved. I highly recommend Larry Newman as an attorney who is a seeker of truth and justice, who genuinely cares about his clients, who is always prompt, who is reasonably priced, and as someone who knows how to navigate the court systems in the area in and around Tompkins County.‎
Highly recommend DWI Attorney‎
By Jim - Sep 15, 2009
Attorney Newman under promised and over delivered. I'm from out of state and had never found myself in a situation like this so I didn't have a clue. From my first conversation prior to retaining him, through the education process, Larry told me he would never tell or promise me something he couldn't deliver except that he would always do his best for me. I was prepared for the worst. He was able to persuade the court to accept my affidavit that he would appear and plea on my behalf which saved me seven hours driving time each way. When he told me the resolution he had negotiated I breathed an enormous sigh of relief. The resolution was so much better than I hoped for. If you find yourself in a situation, I would urge you to call him first. Jim in Boston‎
Highly Recommended‎
By Benjamin - Sep 11, 2009
I left a message for Mr. Newman with a question about my DWI case from six years ago after a new issue had arisen. Even though it was after hours, he returned my call minutes later. I was shocked at how forthcoming he was with thoughtful advice, especially since it was at no cost to me. From the few minutes I spent with him on the phone, it was easy to tell that he understands the DWI process exceptionally well, and I highly recommend giving him a call if you find yourself charged with DWI or something related.‎
excellent AUO attorney‎
By mp_hiphop - Jun 14, 2009
Mr.Newman did an outstanding job at defending my case. When I first got AUO, (driving on a suspended license) I was confused, dazed, and felt terrible because my given court date which I was required to attend was too late for me, since I had to fly out of ithaca for my work. Mr.Newman not only explained carefully everything and assured me that how things can work out, but also successfully changed the court date earlier so as to reduce the time conflict with my work. He was able to reduce my speeding ticket and also my dismeanor ticket to a mere traffic violation. I strongly recommend him if you're in a similar situation and looking for help.‎
By Ovie - Mar 7, 2009
I had a bunch of outstanding tickets because I am a foreign student and I didn't understand how the legal system worked here, and not only did he get them to throw out all but one of them, he also got me a deal for a much much lower price than I dared imagine. As if that wasn't enough, he took time out to explain as much as he could how the system worked so I wouldn't have any more trouble. If you have any driving related problems, go to him!‎
"Outstanding Job for me"‎
By Jane - Feb 16, 2009
Thanks Mr. Newman for making a bad situation seem manageable. I recently moved all the way from Mobile, AL to take an Manufacturing Engineering job to get my career jump started. With me making such a big move this far from home wan't easy. So I went out one night on New Year's Eve with a couple of co-workers and then got stopped by two cops in the same night. I had a resisting arrest charge, driving too fast while conditions were prudent, resisting arrest charge, and a d.w.i. all placed on me even though the charges wasn't technically correct. Anyway, Mr. Newman set up a payment plan that was very fair and reasonable. Then he was able to get all charges to be just traffic violations, so record and insurance consequences were avoided. I do not feel bad to have complete the drinking drivers program and attend a night of people that are impacted by alcohol related accident. I feel Mr. Newman did an outstanding job for me and one huge mistake is not going to cost me ...More »
Very happy at the outcome of my case‎
By C - Jan 26, 2009
Mr. Larry Newman returned my voicemail on a sunday morning after my DWI charge. He was very helpful in understanding the depth and severity of the charges to develop a concise plan for representation. His advice and knowledge of the law were just the start of his expertise of Tompkins County and Ithaca's DWI laws that can be difficult to understand without his assistance. I was confident that Mr. Newman would be a good representation of myself. His thorough explanation of the possible outcomes and the steps needed to achieve those outcomes were necessary to be able to resolve with minimal penalties. I am very happy at the outcome of my case and the extra mile Mr. Newman went to see the outcome through. Larry Thanks again for your support during my time in need. Thank you CB‎
Excellent DWI Attorney‎
By shawne - Jan 19, 2009
When I first got my DUI I was devastated. I was upset, anti social, confused, and scared of the consequences. I always knew driving under the influence was bad, but sometimes it seems inevitable when you want to get places. At first I didn't know what to do. I searched online, called several lawyers, asked a few kids if they knew people through the grapevine and how they dealt with it. Well, the general consensus was to get a good deal, you need a lawyer. Searching for a lawyer seemed impossible. You have hundreds to choose from who specialize in DUI alone. I finally found Larry Newman. He was decently priced compared to some other lawyers, and he seemed like a good guy for me since he works in the Tompkins County area and probably deals with the prosecutors and judges on a regular basis. He always answered his phone no matter what time I called him to patiently answer all the new questions i had every night. He was very caring and very focused on my case. When court day came, Larry was there earlier than almost all the other people. He assured me everything would be ok and laid out all my options and the tactics he would use. Turns out his tactics worked. My DUI (keep in mind I was under 21) got dropped to 2 traffic violations worth 2 points each. Point is, Larry Newman is a well priced, very smart lawyer. He knows DUI law back and forth, and had an answer plus more on almost every question I had. He got my DUI reduced to 2 tickets, and did so in a very caring manner. He cares about his clients, and does all in his power to make you comfortable and confident. Overall, if you have a DUI in Tompkins County, call Larry Newman. « Hide

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getting Off a New York DWI

Well this is my 100th blog posting since I began my DWI blogging. Because I have taken a long summer haitus from writing I am filled with inspiration and ideas. I get calls all the time, just last week I got one of those 3 AM calls, yes, nothing like a 3 O'clock on a Saturday morning to shock your system... hello.. my daughter...was arrested... this was not the "should I take the breath test?" calls, it was the post DWI arrest now what? phone calls from a concerned parent.

I do my best to launch into explanation mode (hard to do half asleep) and tell her to have her daughter call me in the morning (Sunday)... I go back to sleep... my wife is very understanding thank G-d... 10 minutes later...another call..."I have a few more questions..." Meanwhile none of this is within the context of the hour, in other words, people sometimes expect me to be waiting by the phone and always ready, when it is necessary I am but sometimes things can wait.

Which brings me to my main point today, what is GETTING OFF,

in common parlance (as in parlez vous = you speak) means...

Not having any charges, or having them dismissed by the District Attorney or Judge, or being found not guilty of everything...

First, how common is this? Not common, but it can happen. If there is no PC (Probable Cause) for a car stop then all the "fruits" of that stop ie. the breath test are "poisoned" Attorneys call this the "fruit of the poisonous tree." PC in New York is a legitimate reason for a stop, a factual traffic violation. We can also raise issues concerning PC to make an arrest but this is usually a small hurdle for the Police to surmount with the stop cop talking about odor of alcohol, slurring of speech, bloodshot eyes, etc. Remember that the DWI common law charge, VTL 1192 (3) is based on the OPINION! of a police officer.

Second, District Attorneys make offers but usually do not let people completely OFF of all charges. It is a ridiculous fantasy. It bothers me when people call me stating that a lawyer or law firm "promised" and/or "guaranteed" them a particular result. It is unethical and unprofessional to ensure a result. I make reasonable predictions and show usual options but to do more in the initial stages (without all the paperwork, police reports, breath test records, etc.) is practically impossible. My promise is to always do my best. I had one attorney locally promise to get a son's client OFF for $5,000 on a 0.19 Aggravated DWI. I told her without any discovery, without a suppression hearing, and without a trial this was highly unlikely. But people want so badly to believe in a FANTASY. Maybe it's human nature, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is BS.

Third, the REALITY in this particular situation is that a Judge cannot accept a plea to reduce a Aggravated DWI (DWI per se with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.18 or more) to a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), a traffic offense, without strong reasons. To further believe that a Judge or District Attorney would dismiss the charges outright would equate with winning the lottery or being struck by lighting.

Fourth, the big win in New York State is a reduction to a DWAI because of two reasons:

1. the proof required is "any extent of impairment," a small burden of proof compared to intoxication (DWI, which requires mental and physical incapacity (to a substantial extent) to operate an automobile as a reasonably prudent driver)

2. since DWAI is a traffic offense you get a bench (judge) trial, no jury, and many judges feel that this outcome is more than fair and just compared to the DWI charges.

So please exercise your RIGHT to not accept anything blindly, and to be skeptical of anyone offering fast, easy, and cheap solutions. A great analogy is that almost all of the contestants on the show "The Biggest Loser" including the "winners" put all their weight back in the months after the show was over. THE REALITY: Long term "healthy" weight loss requires a lifetime of work and lifestyle changes it is not going to be accomplished with a short term FANTASY program.

So many things to talk about for September, 2010:

1. We have a new ignition interlock law (effective August 15, 2010), and IIDs have many issues and the implementation of them (monitoring) has been a nightmare for many counties.

2. We have new forensic studies that make our "one" breath test state even more suspect and in the words of my kids "sketchy."

3. New York Law is being challenged. Specifically the admission of the breath test calibration and simulation solutions records into evidence at DWI trials absent their certifiers appearance at trial. These are sixth amendment confrontation clause issues that have been raised nationally by the Supreme Court, and are now being raised locally by attorneys like myself.

So we are back or off to a new start, as a new school/college term is underway, and we are all learning.