Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer The "Sine Quo Non" of New York DWAI and DWI

Ithaca is isolated. The 10 square miles surrounded by reality lends itself to the escapism of cinema. Yes, going to the movies is often the best way to leave without packing a bag or jumping on a plane. My wife and I saw "Safe House" yesterday. We love Denzel, cool as a cuke (aka cucumber), he exudes confidence with his every step and line. I love memorable movie lines, I believe that great dialogue not special effects make movies great.

When Your Past > Your Future = Your Outlook Changes

One line properly delivered can strike a nerve. One of the movie characters commented on Denzel's vagabond, lone wolf, and non-committed lifestyle, "when you have more past than future you have a different perspective on life." That line resonated, and then reverberated with me long after the closing credits. I'm 50, so the chances of this being true for me are higher than I would like to think about.

How true? Now reverse that for a moment.

What if Your Future > Your Past? 

What if you are in your 20s, 30s, or even 40s?

What if you are going to have, and planning to have a long future? A future filled with jobs, positions, licenses, and certifications. A future taking on and accepting positions of responsibility and authority. Just a side note, "generally" speaking the more responsibility you can take on the higher your pay grade. Those with the highest levels, and are ultimately responsible for hundreds of people or expensive equipment or a company's productivity get paid more than those without it.

This is the truth: Just about Any NYS DW is going to need explanation. This includes DWAI (driving while your ability was impaired) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenses. A DWAI is merely a traffic offense, a violation, but it will stay on your record forever. BTW Most violations get sealed. But Not a DWAI, NYS wants it that way.

The Background Check

If you plan on doing anything of any consequence in YOUR future you will probably need to explain the circumstances of your past offense. Any future involving YOUR accepting a role or position of responsibility for money, people, sensitive records/information, and your better judgement is going to require a background check.

These are the Sine Quo Non of NYS DWs. In Latin, without which nothing, in other words, the must haves.

1. Get a Certificate of Disposition from the Court of record. This is a certified (stamped/embossed) document stating the original charges, and final outcome. The official beginning and end of your matter/case. They are only a few dollars or free to your attorney of record on the case.

2. Get a Drug/alcohol Evaluation. This is indispensable to the conclusion, and the closure of your case. Why? I'm glad you asked, Because it is the first question most people who grant licenses, certifications, and give jobs will ask.

Did you get checked out? Did you get assessed? Do you or did you have a problem? Did you or do you have a diagnosis? Was the diagnosis for drug/alcohol abuse? Was the diagnosis for drug/alcohol dependency? Did you need any treatment? Did you follow through with their recommendations? Did you get rehabilitated? Did you get healthy?

They need to do this for a number of reasons:

1. If they are going to be responsible in their jobs they must do their diligence before granting anything. Diligence is being thorough and making sure you are safe.

2. If it is a company or organization making a hiring decision then they could be liable if they do not check you out. Negligent hire is a real threat to many businesses. If they employ someone without knowing their past or not investigating it sufficiently then if something happens (you screw up) they could be to blame (held accountable).

Good Judgment = Responsibility

This is true with a trucking company hiring a driver or a financial institution hiring a customer service representative. Good judgement is directly related to being responsible. What if they find instances where you were not personally responsible and accountable? What if you never had "closure" of a past instance? What if there are loose ends so to speak?

Questions that remain unanswered get filled with bad answers. People will think the worst. They will think cover up, they will think lying, and they will think intentional guilt not forgetfulness.

Always Do the right things!
Always follow up!
Always follow through!
This is true with anything of any legal, ethical, or professional consequence.

Lawrence A. Newman, D.C., J.D.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850