Sunday, April 3, 2011

Owego DWI Felony Defense Lawyer, Tioga County Courthouse

I love to explore old courthouses. This is probably a good thing since I frequently find myself in and around them as a criminal defense attorney. They have a certain charm, and I can appreciate the detail of their construction. As they say, "they don't make' em like they used to," although I recently went to a new little courthouse in Chemung county, Big Flats Town Court, and was very impressed by the architectural design inside. Absolutely amazing use of light and windows. The architect clearly gave a lot of thought to the placement of everything. I need to get special permission to take photos inside a Courthouse so I often limit myself to just taking outside pictures.

Which leads me to beautiful, historic, and charming Downtown Owego, New York. It has in a word perfect "symmetry" of the Courthouse to the land and the roads. The Courthouse sits in a central spot facing onto a long bridgeway. The streets are a throw back to an earlier and simpler time. A slower pace is felt everytime I pass through this area.

I only find myself here (County Court) if my client is facing a felony charge (potential punishment of more than a year in jail). A person with a 2nd DWI within 10 years is enhanced to a Class "E" Felony DWI in NYS. The dates that are looked at are the dates of the conviction/sentencing. So the dates of arrest do not count.

Out of state DWIs convictions do not count towards this enhancement (increased penalty) unless they occurred on or after November 1, 2006. This was a recent decision in People v. Ballman, the Court held that Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1192 (8) only allows the use of the prior misdemeanor (called the predicate DWI offense) to increase (elevate) the penalty of a DWI misemeanor to a felony DWI under those circumstances.

In NYS ONLY County Courts can hear (have jurisdiction over) Felony Cases. The lower Town, City, and Village courts only hear (have jurisdiction over) violations and misdemeanors (potential punishment of less than a year in jail).

Ahhh, a grand old Courthouse. Very deceptive outside, much smaller on the inside, lots of little rooms, some with very high ceilings.

NOTE: Thank G-d a DD (Dunkin Donuts) is right across the street from the Courthouse. Perfect for those cold winter mornings.

map link to Owego County Courthouse:

Tioga County Courthouse 

16 Court Street, PO Box 307
Owego NY 13827

Phone: 607-687-0544
Fax: 607-687-5680

Where else can you see buildings like these? Well I know there are a lot of other old towns but this one has it's share of bricks. Rebuilt after the great fire of 1849 (decimated all the wood buildings) and now bricks and mortar so to speak.

Sign on the bridge way, from the ashes of destruction rose the little town of Owego, NY.

Larry Newman
Law Offices of Lawrence Newman
504 N. Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

fax: 866-381-3122
ph: 607- 229-5184

My NY DWI Blog:

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