Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer Why Sometimes the Need for Speed is Costly

As a traffic lawyer I handle a great many speeding tickets, and other assorted violations in upstate New York. The signs (speed limits) change frequently from the lows of 15mph in school zones to the highs of 65mph on some of our faster byways. It is easy to get caught in a hazy daze with your mind endlessly wandering and wondering when am I gonna get there? It all starts to look the same, mountain, grass, cow, mountain, grass, cow, oh a gas station. You can completely zone out, like being hypnotized. Steuben County has town after town like this, just rolling along the freeway, you must be careful not to get lulled to sleep.

Whether you are from Canada or Utah it is easy to go fast without realizing it, especially on beautiful roads with bucolic scenery. Suffice it to say driving through the center of NYS on Interstate I-17/86 can get boring, you just want to get there, wherever there is.

Recently, the New York Times did an article on the real costs of moving violations to your auto insurance. What will a speeding ticket cost you in the long run? But more importantly they highlighted that many moving violations have varying effects upon your auto premiums.

1. Auto Insurance rates, terms, coverages are STATE/LOCATION SPECIFIC.

Remember that car insurance is always state specific, in fact they are location specific. So someone from California may generally pay more than someone from Mississippi. Then they will figure where in that state, which county, then city location or rural location, higher population versus lower population. Areas with more people usually pay more because they naturally are more accidents. Is the car to housed in a garage or at an apartment complex on the street? So the first factor you may have little to no control over. You live where you live, and you reside where you reside, end of that story.

2. Auto Insurance companies consider both your FINANCIAL HISTORY AND DRIVING HISTORY. 

The insurance companies believe that issues in managing finances (loans, debt, bankruptcy) reflect poor decision making or impulsivity. BTW Interestingly many DWI and other criminal cases involving drugs require a drug/alcohol assessment (diagnosis, recommendation). The most current drug/ alcohol evaluators are now using assessment questionnaires that involve this impulsivity connection to food, sex, gambling, and money to determine a potential link to drug addiction behavior or issues as well. The NYS DDP (drinking driver program) uses a type of self test that reflects this paradigm as well. The goal to to weed out the real problem drivers (DWI re-offenders). All this is based upon research in Sweden that discovered a specific personality type that has more severe problems with drugs and alcohol.

  • Hubicka, Beata, et al. "Personality traits and mental health of severe drunk drivers in Sweden." Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (2009). Web. 3 September 2010
Your FICO is linked to your Insurance Costs

This is why your FICO score can, and will impact not only your ability to get money (credit, loans, mortgage) but also your ability to get less expensive insurance on your home and/or car. The powers that be believe that poor money management (decision making) is directly linked with your ability to assess and gauge other life risks, like driving responsibly.

In the same respect your driving history will be looked at before you are given an insurance premium quote. Those with histories of bad driving which include "at fault" property damage accidents, accidents with personal injuries, lapses in insurance coverage, and/or moving violations will pay higher costs. In addition, they will receive less coverage with more cost. They may not even get the best (AAA rated carrier) to offer them coverage but a company with a low to poor rating on accepting claims.

This next table was taken from the analysis of driving history and rate increases over a two year time period.

1. Reckless driving: 22 percent (this is misdemeanor crime in NYS, typically involving driving erratically in areas where people are present, like on sidewalks)

2. Driving while under the influence: first offense: 19 percent (this is a unclassified misdemeanor in NYS called DWI. In New Jersey, first time and second time DUI are merely traffic violations)
3. Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent (another criminal misdemeanor in NYS called AUO 3rd, aggravated unlicensed operation)

4. Careless driving: 16 percent

5. Speeding 30 m.p.h. over the limit: 15 percent (this is 6 point ticket in NYS, at 31MPH over NYS classifies as a 8 point violation , at 11 points you are suspended)

6. Failure to stop: 15 percent
7. Improper turn: 14 percent
8. Improper passing: 14 percent
9. Following too close/tailgating: 13 percent (this is one of many enumerated "serious" traffic violations in NYS and a four point ticket)

10. Speeding 15 to 29 m.p.h. over limit: 12 percent (this is another "serious" traffic violation in NYS)

11. Speeding 1 to 14 m.p.h. over limit: 11 percent (1 to 10mph over is a 3 point violation and at 11mph over the limit the punishment hits 4 points.

12. Failure to yield: 9 percent
13. No car insurance: 6 percent
14. Seat-belt infractions: 3 percent

In NYS, companies can increase your insurance premiums for three years (look back period) after their discovery. I have blogged previously about which specific violations these are:

New York State Insurance Law § 2335 can be complicated to read and understand. 
It loosely states that an insurance company CANNOT raise your premiums if you have a traffic infraction

UNLESS it is one of the following situations:

1. speeding more than 15 miles per hour;
2. reckless or speeding resulting in a death;
3. 3 speeding tickets;
4. driving drunk (DWI) or impaired (DWAI);
5. leaving an accident w/o reporting it;
6. racing/speeding contests or running from the police;
7. 2 or more moving violations.

TAKEAWAY:  You should preserve your record and reputation by lessening any tickets (driving violations) any where they may occur because if you figure the long term costs, an average increase of 15% to 20% over the long haul could amount to hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Friday, June 29, 2012

Ithaca Cortland DWI Lawyer: Called Out or Called On? Who Should Answer YOUR Legal Questions?

Wow not a day goes by that I am not surprised by something. I state for the record that I focus my practice on the specific areas of DWI defense and personal injury within the Finger Lakes Region of NYS. I am licensed in PA, NJ, and FL as well but the main focus of my practice lies here and now.

I will answer questions, guide, and represent people in those areas of law of which I am familiar.
To me it is more than legality it is ethical and professional to focus yourself. Too many lawyers spread themselves and their practices on thin ice by practicing based upon volume and a gazillion areas. They do everything just not particularly well or thoroughly.

I practiced as a Chiropractor in Florida for ten years. When I sold that practice to enter legal practice I was done. The door closed, and I have only focused on law.

I will NOT answer questions or represent people for any of the following:

Bankruptcy, family law, corporate law, real estate, divorce or separation, contracts, landlord tenant, domestic violence, mediation. There are other areas but I think you get my point.

For me it is Depth over breadth

If it relates to cars and/or drugs (areas I enjoy) then I love to help people legally.

Why don't I do everything? 
Why don't I answer questions outside of my areas?

After all any licensed lawyer is legally allowed to do (to represent) just about anyone for anything.

Because it is 2012, and if you do not practice in that legal area regularly you may be outside of your box. This is dangerous territory to be in if an issue (legal or practical) may arise. I have spoke of the collateral consequences of DWI and traffic offenses, I would imagine that there are also many collateral consequences that you must be aware of when litigating or mediating a divorce or fighting for custody of a child. I could not even begin to understand all the complexity of those areas.

Even in a so called, Simple Divorce, there may be tax issues, Federal and State issues, debt issues, parenting issues, and these issues do not resolve, they go on forever, and may be ongoing for the life of a child or children of that union.

What I am trying to say in no uncertain terms is always consult with people on issues that they are at least familiar with.

I belong to the National College of DUI Defense. I am an active member, and attend numerous seminars in many states. Many of the same legal and practical issues present themselves across state lines and borders. The types of DUI/DWI/OWI have many similarities, and the defenses that may work in one place may in fact be applicable in another. The same breath machines (breathalyzer) are used from state to state. I live and breathe the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments.

Search and seizure is Federal and State
Right to remain silent
Due Process/ criminal hearings and trials

Cross examining police is an art form. If you have not examined cops at DWI hearings you are way outside your comfort zone when you give it the first time college try.

Our DUI listserve is active 24/7 in an exchange of ideas, philosophy, and legal arguments. I have learned DWI law in Texas, GA, LA, IL, and a host of other places that I am NOT licensed.

All of that said if it came time for representation of a client I recommend using a local attorney who is versed in that area of the law. But if I had to choose between a DUI lawyer from Hawaii and a divorce lawyer from California to help with my DWI case I think it would be better to choose the lawyer who understood the legal issues I would be facing. It would be better to choose a lawyer not merely licensed to practice in a particular state but a lawyer experienced in that area of law.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


NYS DWI Probation: NO Alcohol is the Rule, the Law, and the Final Word

Some things are very simple and others complex. Today I want to answer a very simple question:

Can I have an occasional drink if I on (in) NYS probation for a drinking/drugging related offense?

Fast answer, NO. If your crimes in NYS involve the use of alcohol and/or drugs and you receive a sentence of probation (3 years for a misdemeanor level crime and 5 years for a felony level crime) then there is ALWAYS a MANDATORY NO ALCOHOL provision as part of your Probation Conditions.

Probation has lots of conditions. Conditions mean that before you do this or that you MUST do something . . . like ask permission to leave the county or the state, or to change jobs.

check out my prior blog: why probation can be worse than jail here: 

OR you can never do this or that . . . while on/in probation . . . like drink alcohol or use recreational substances (marijuana). 

What about restaurants? Can I go out to eat where they serve alcohol?

You can't be in bars when you are on probation or what many like to call a tavern but is really a bar that serves food. Sometimes there is a thin line these days between places that are really in the alcohol business but also serve food. What percentage we are discussing can be nitpicking but probation will definitely tell you what they think (how they feel) about this topic, is it the Olive Garden or the Tasty Olive? One being a well known chain of bad Italian food, and the other being a bar down the street that thinks olives are a vegetable. Maybe you will be allowed to go to TGIF or Applebees but not to sit at the bar or in the bar area. 

I know you are thinking am a child or an adult? Because you are treated as a child while on probation. In fact for those young ins on probation it is called P.I.N.S. (persons in need of supervision). 


You can be randomly tested via blood, breath, and urine for the use of any alcohol. Your home is free rein for search and seizure at any time by your probation officer. I have even had probation run liver function tests on my clients because they suspected weekend binges on drugs and/or alcohol. 

Probation is the P.S., Not Just the P.

Remember Probation is really P.S. (probation supervision), they feel you are in need of being supervised and monitored because you cannot regulate and control your own life. If the PSI (pre sentence investigation) indicated that the cause of your issues was drugs and/or alcohol then that cause must be removed as the precursor of the effect (your criminal behavior).

CD Sentencing and Alcohol Use

Even in court cases where there has been a reduction from a felony DWI to a misdemeanor DWI they may impose a special NO ALCOHOL provision on even a CD (conditional discharge). CDs can lawfully range from one to two years but most typically are set by the Judge for a one year term in most NYS DWI cases.

Finally, What is a VOP?

A VOP, violation of probation (use of alcohol) can and will result in county jail time. The prosecution in my area (upstate) generally wants 6 months on these types of violations of probation.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Of Tilapia and Adjectives ... the Undervalued and the Overvalued

The Poor Tilapia

I love Tilapia, there I said it, I believe it is an undervalued and misunderstood fish. I am at heart a Tilapia advocate. To me, Tilapia is an inexpensive source of quality protein. In the line up of food choices I think it is pound for pound or dollar for dollar an overlooked bargain. I choose to defend the Tilapia because the truth is this:

1. Tilapia is farm raised as a product. In the wild, it is native to Africa but it can be raised on local farms for consumption. 75% of the Tilapia market comes from these farms, and is not part of the natural environment. For this reason some might put there nose up at this type of fish. I eat salmon as well but Tilapia has it's place.

2. Tilapia can be prepared within a diversity of tastes, styles, and flavors. This fish doesn't over power, it is a sharer. It co-exists peacefully among the other food groups. It is neutral like Switzerland. It will take on and accept just about any and every sauce. Talk about friendly, the Tilapia is the United Nation's answer to global peace. 

3. Tilapia is safe. There are those that are concerned that these farm raised are fed feces and other waste matter. First, Tilapia eat lots of stuff, they are omnivores, just because they eat lots of stuff does not make them bad. The key here is that much like many other things we eat (pigs, chickens, etc.) their fish bodies don't retain contaminants. They process waste into something useful. One of the marvels of nature. Even though raised unnaturally they process and grow perfectly.

So what does the Tilapia have to do with practicing law?

I have personal injury cases that are undervalued much like the Tilapia. People seen from the outside may display no signs or obvious symptoms of injury or disease. We are not supermen and women with X-ray vision. We merely judge what we can see, and what we cannot see stays hidden.

Value is always a Perspective. It is an opinion. Nothing more or less than that. My job is always to advocate for my client's position. I can bring their injuries, their damages, and most importantly the impact to lives into view. I bring out and demonstrate value by painting and illuminating perspectives. This may be accomplished through MRI findings, medical experts, health records, and police reports. And finally my client's story.

TAKEAWAY: The unseen needs to be made seen to bring full value to any case or situation. 

To the Overvalued ADJECTIVE

Well to balance out the undervalued Tilapia I place the much overvalued Adjective. People call me and launch into stories about what happened to them. Invariably they love to use descriptors. Words to describe can muddy the waters of the facts. Most commonly the police get a litany of words thrown upon them, many not very flattering.

The police were mean, nasty, belligerent, stupid, etc. etc. Sometimes stories are top heavy with emotional adjectives and lacking in content. The true substance of the story is based in fact. What I, most Judges, and people really want to know is what happened? What did you see or experience? What was said? Who said it?

To know if and where and when your rights were in  fact violated we need to remove adjectives. To see if you have valid defenses we need to cut to those most powerful FBCs.

THE FBCs (Facts Beyond Change)

Every case or situation has facts beyond change. Either it is or it isn't. If you ate or drank, what did you eat or drink? When did you eat or drink? An old TV show called Dragnet had a detective named Friday.

Police detective Friday when investigating a case loved to say, "just tell me the facts ma' am OR all we want are the facts." Facts are the most powerful part of any good story.

Can we tell the story, and eliminate all the adjectives? 

I think it is possible and helpful to first eliminate the fluff, in other words, the opinion about the facts. Clearly and succinctly we must give the who, what, where, and how. This elimination of adjectives is most appreciated by lawyers, and judges because it removes many of the polarized emotions that go along with victimization. They hurt me is an opinion, better is:

1. they placed the cuffs upon me
2. it left marks upon my wrists
3. I sought medical attention for the bruising
4. the doctors diagnosed a sprain/strain

They hurt me is now made real by the facts. Because to many people, they hurt me is so nebulous. How they did they hurt you? Where did they hurt you? It is the same for they violated my rights. How did they violate them? Where did they violate them? In the world of legal cases, the facts will make it or break it.

To be most effective, facts must have a chronology, and an order. This happened at this time, and then this happened after. Cause and effect is a principle and law that everyone can relate to.

So in closing, facts and Tilapia are of high value while emotionalized adjectives not so much.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ithaca DWI Attorney Why Can't New York Lawyers Make Promises or Guarantees of a Result?

I love the song Promises Promises (1968) by Dionne Warwick

The lyrics are so true to life:

Oh, promises, their kind of promises, can just destroy a life
Oh, promises, those kind of promises, take all the joy from life
Oh, promises, promises, my kind of promises
Can lead to joy and hope and love
Yes, love!!

I know the title of this blog may be a bit much but I believe it. All of us make promises (commitments) to ourselves and to others. Exchanges of promises between people are the basis of all contracts. Companies offer products and services within the marketplace with many unspoken guarantees (promises) of benefit. In a marriage contract this promise is called a Vow. No matter what you call it: vow, promise, commitment, if we are to fully function as a society of rules, conventions, and laws this is the base where it ALL begins.

My legal practice handles a wide range of matters over a pretty good chuck of territory. I do traffic violations, DWI, and personal injury cases fifty miles in all directions. My home base is Ithaca, NY, So I travel from Cortland to Steuben and from Broome to Seneca counties regularly. I even get out to Yates county but only during the warmer months, forget winter snow and ice at night on isolated, desolate country roads. I may be in transit when you call me. 

Communication is Everything

People call me, text me, fax me, and email me with requests, questions, and challenges.
The either want my representation, want a question answered, or want to argue with me about something I wrote or said or videoed... It can boggle your mind but I put myself out there and I do love to help people but it can wear on you at times when we do not have a meeting of the minds.

Contracts Require a Meeting of the Minds

Two people must be on the same page to have a contract, and form an agreement. If they both have different expectations then there is NO contract. Each side Promises something. It is the basis of all civilization. We all make and hopefully keep the promises that we make. It is a sign of integrity. 

As Dionne sings so well, Promises can lead to joy, hope, and love. Now think what is the opposite of broken promises? Commitments made, and then not kept feel terrible.

Engaging or Not Engaging a Lawyer to Represent You

Recently I had a Canadian driver contact me about a speeding ticket. I spoke with him, told him what I could do, what I would charge, and what he could expect.

I discussed ranges, fines, possible/reasonable outcomes, process, and my fees for this.

Then a flurry of 10 emails, all challenging me, how things work, and fantasy notions of Law and Order,

He then left me a message, you are fighting for me in Court tomorrow, right?

My response:

We do not have an agreement, we have been going back and forth via email,
you have certain notions about the process, ie. whether the police are showing up or not,
( I did a recent blog about this here:  )

 and how your case will be dismissed because of that,

I believe that you have certain expectations that I can not promise to meet,
legally and ethically I cannot guarantee any result or outcome,

we have discussed this matter, I have given you the ranges and the potential
outcomes, I have told you what I can do and cannot do,

I can only promise to do my best nothing more than that, when you are ready to accept that
and have confidence in that then I will prepare a contract.

 You will sign it, return it, and then I will do my best to represent you 
and your interests

Promising A Specific Result

The Key concepts above are "that YOU CAN ACCEPT and HAVE CONFIDENCE IN" because if you do not have that with any professional you are doing business with then run away. Seriously, if you cannot accept what they say (promised) with confidence (this means with faith) then you should not engage them.

No lawyer can promise a certain result or a certain outcome. We can offer to do our best and nothing more. I ONLY promise that to my clients, I guarantee that I will care about them and achieve the best results based upon their unique set of circumstances.

 Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Picky Lawyer, the Lazy Eye, & The DWI Refusal Case

I guess my picky personality doesn't always benefit me in my personal life ie. marriage. Who wants anyone being right all the time. Yeah I won the fight but lost the war. My wife told me early in our marriage don't be an attorney with me, She is a wise woman.

Where being picky does serves me is in my role as a defense lawyer. Because I can be a consummate PITA (pain in the a---). I look for holes, gaps, problems, inconsistencies, and issues with what people may do or what they say.

The Refusal Case is Purely an Opinion Case

Police sometimes overreach in what they report. This is a grand understatement. In a DWI refusal case their OPINION evidence is what can convict my clients. The attack on their DWI investigation (their opinion) is on multiple levels.


The three main tests, the ONLY STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY tests are:

1. walk and turn
2. stand on one leg
3. HGN (horizontal gaze nystagmus)

What is Standardized?

Standardized means they must be given, instructed, demonstrated, and scored in a specific way to be valid, and accurate. Every officer, trooper, and deputy must follow protocols. They can't just make stuff up.

So anything I can do to pick apart their methods, their testing, and their investigation is open game. I am a stickler in keeping them honest.

The Lazy Eye

I recently had a lazy eye case DWI Case. My client informed the officer multiple times he had a lazy eye. Naturally this should have placed the officer on guard or at least influenced him to re-think giving the HGN test.

The Police Manual
Procedures & Protocols

The HGN relies upon a normal, healthy, and fully functioning pair of eyes. In fact the manual, the U.S. Department of Transportation Standardized Manual (DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing) states that before giving this test they should ask questions about eye disorders or problems.
People that have issues with their eye anatomy, eye physiology, or have an eye disease may not be the best candidate for this particular test.

They (the police) should check for equal tracking of the eyes. These are police NOT doctors, optometrists, or optholmologists.

What if 3 Becomes Only One or Two?

So the work up of this case included lots of cross examination in this area. Think about it, 3 main tests, what if I topple one of the three? Then I am left with 2, two that are dependent on muscle coordination and balance. How many of us have two left feet? How many of us can perform physically under pressure at the roadside? These are the main base of their opinion, their foundation for proving not just impairment BUT intoxication.

It's all a Matter of Degree

In NYS what is the difference between impairment and intoxication? 

Under NYS law in BAC terms, .08 is Intoxication and .06 to .07 is a presumption of impairment.
But if we have no BAC, then what? Purely OPINION! Purely words, the spoken word of the cops.


Intoxication is a Criminal misdemeanor   NYS DWI VTL 1192 (3)
Impairment is a traffic offense                  NYS DWAI VTL 1192 (1)

Bottom line = You are a criminal with a criminal conviction.

The How to "Nuts and Bolts" of Being Picky

Here is my work up of this lazy eye section (not all hashed out but enough to give you an idea of my thinking) of cross of the cop. I love when the police get into anatomy, science, and biology. My past experience and training as a Chiropractic Physician come into play with many DWI and personal injury cases. You want to diagnosis conditions get a degree, lots of training, pass some boards, and get a license otherwise go home.

MY Lazy Eye Cross Outline (a work in progress):

In your training/ certification

You asked him if he has any medical condition
Eye condition

HGN test

Did you follow all the pre-procedures bf the HGN
Chk for equal pupil size
Resting nystagmus
Equal tracking (following an object together)
Ths is the chk for medical impairment
Medical disorders
In your report 
You said he didn’t have a lazy eye (you can't always see a lazy eye)
(lazy eye is really a lazy brain- the eye and the brain are not working together properly)

After he stated it to you twice
You were trained in dx of lazy eye (of course not, he is a cop not a doctor)
Can you always see a lazy eye (he thought he could)
Isn’t it a visual disturbance problem
A lazy eye is a brain disorder
The eye can appear normal (he didn't know this or reflect this in his report) 
Are you aware of the types of lazy eye
In your training/certification

Lazy Eye and Strabismus are not the same condition.
a person who has a crossed or turned eye (strabismus) has a "lazy eye,"
but lazy eye (amblyopia) and strabismus are not the same condition.
Amblyopia does not equal a visual/apparent misalignment

strabismus can cause amblyopia.
Amblyopia can result from a constant unilateral strabismus (i.e., either the right or left eye turns all of the time).

While a large eye turn or deviation (strabismus) is easily spotted by the layman, amblyopia without strabismus or associated with a small deviation is usually not noticed by parents or pediatricians.

In manual/training

If the eyes do not track together   it may indicate an underlying medical disorder
This underlying disorder can cause the nystagmus that is present

If the eyes are unequal in size 

Where Do We Go From Here?

It (the cross outline) goes on past here but you get the idea. A specific focused attack upon their faulty investigation, and it's issues (weaknesses) can yield a weak intoxication opinion overall. If the driving is terrible I have more to overcome but with fairly good driving or NO bad driving well I am getting there.

The drop of water upon the great rock may mean nothing. But what if I keep dropping water over and over, it will eventually wear down the rock. Little by little things are won or things are lost. There are few home runs in criminal defense law and most especially DWI refusal cases. 

Cumulative Small Things Add UP +++ Big Time

IMHO  It is all base hits, it is the field game, the running game, a matter of yards or sometimes even feet to win at this game. 

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Monday, June 25, 2012

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer The Little Known Right to an Adjournment

Sometimes we take so many things for granted. I believe as an attorney the right to an adjournment is one of those things. It is often overlooked as a right. Everyone knows the right to free speech, adjournment not so much. It has a great many uses, and it has had it's fair share of abuses.

First, what is an adjournment? It's a fancy way of saying delay.

When you or I request an adjournment we are asking that the court hold off, and suspend, the matter's progression until a later time. The matter is usually a case. It could be a civil or a criminal case. Everything legal works on set timelines.

Moving Forward to a Conclusion

In civil litigation (lawsuits) we are seeking money damages and in criminal proceedings the government is seeking justice (criminal proceedings) to render punishment. Everyone is moving to a conclusion. Either guilty or not guilty of the charges or a dismissal of the charges or an award of money.

Example One: THE ACD

With a Judge's granting of an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal this is a conditional period of a set amount of time (a set delay). Often this is a one year delay of the proceedings to see if someone re-offends or remains on good behavior. If they do not (get re-arrested) the matter (the government's proceeding on the charges) is dismissed.

Example Two: The Request to Gather Information/ Evidence / Witnesses

Sometimes to wage the best defense of a case an attorney will request a delay to find proof, locate and subpoena witnesses, and/or allow their client to be evaluated mentally or for chemical dependency.

Example Three: The Client Request to Find or Speak with an Attorney

I have seen Judges allow requested delays to either find representation, or at least talk with counsel. I have even seen allowances for lengthly delays by town and village justices to allow people to work and save money to pay for Felony cases or to pay fines or DMV fees or to perform community service or to enter drug/alcohol rehabilitation.

Caveats (things to watch out for): always have a reason (s) when and if requesting anything.
Reasonable people have reasons for requesting things. These reasons must be valid, rational, and logical to be believed (have integrity). BS reasons for adjourning legal matters are denied.

Remember that time can have great value if used properly. Allowing people more time to get their "houses in order" helps everyone.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Using time to your advantage, that is what makes the right to adjournment a powerful tool.

The Law Offices of Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


My legal practice focuses on personal injury and DWI defense defense within the Finger Lakes area, basically anything that involves gas powered vehicles (cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles) and/or drugs.

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer Visits Montour Falls Village Court: Quaint, Charming, and Timeless

Montour Falls Court 
Schuyler County and the Watkins Glen Area is Lovely in the Summer

As I make my summer Court rounds I love to watch the Finger Lakes come alive with color. The sky, the flowers, and the foliage in June and July are special here not only for the weather but for the dramatic changes in scenery.  I was in Montour Falls last week for a pre-trial conference on a DWI case, and this week for an AUO 3rd (aggravated unlicensed operation) with traffic violations.

Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake lie close by, and this is area heavily traveled by tourists coming to the area for wineries, historic buildings, comfy Bed & Breakfasts, and festivals galore. There are a ton of little hole in the wall diners (more like dinettes). The Blue Ribbon Diner on Route 14 recently added a wood burning Pizza oven, that's a big news around these parts. It doesn't look like much from the outside but don't be fooled.

Montour Falls Court is a Schulyer County Municipal (Local) Court. Mainly this Court is is sessions on Monday afternoons, Court starts at 2:00pm. There is a sign in sheet out on a little table around 1:30pm.

The ADA is not here every week, and they hold pre-trial conferences on specific dates. It is also referred to as the Town or Village Court. Schulyer Hospital is also located in Montour Falls at 220 Steuben Street.

The Montour Falls Falls

This is Common, the All in One Building
Town Court
Town Offices
Village Court
Village Offices

Law Offices of Lawrence (Larry) Newman

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


My legal practice focuses on personal injury and DWI defense defense within the Finger Lakes area, basically anything that involves gas powered vehicles (cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles) and/or drugs.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

CARS: Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services Offers "Treatment on Demand" in Ithaca, NY

"On Demand" kinda says it all, doesn't it? I love my videos and TV on demand so why not other services.

As an Ithaca DWI defense lawyer I am continually on the look out for valuable services that are local. My clients with dependency issues often need resources that are geographically easy to access. Within our 10 miles square locality is often helpful but also merely one consideration. Sometimes a more important aspect of service is the speed at which I can get my clients what they need. If they are in immediate need, waiting is NOT always an option.

1. They may need an immediate chemical assessment/evaluation.
2. They may need to submit to immediate chemical treatment/rehabilitation.
3. They may need a referral into a long term or short term (inpatient or outpatient) program.

This has been a problem within Tompkins County because getting an appointment with local providers was a challenge. Most recently CARS (Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services) has starting offering Same Day- ON DEMAND Services.

This was posted on the door at the Ithaca City Courthouse:

Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services Outpatient Clinic


Same day chemical abuse assessment services as available

CARS Treatment on Demand allows a person to contact CARS and be seen the same day for an appointment for an immediate chemical abuse (drug/alcohol) and Impaired driver assessment

Research (best practices) has proven that that if a person can be seen immediately for chemical treatment services it increases their success rate in beginning and remaining in treatment.

CARS offers dedicated assessment/evaluation at the CARS Outpatient Clinic located at 334 West State Street, Ithaca, NY.


They are offering brief or comprehensive SAME DAY assessments. They are also offering immediate treatment and/or plans of treatment to begin ASAP or persons to be referred for further care based upon need.

They take WALK INS or call 607-273-5500 x 14

Contact Al Alfaro, LMSW, CASAC
Clinical Supervisor

Cell: 607-351-0680

If someone is in need of these types of services it's nice to know they are here locally and readily available. I like that they are extremely service oriented.

My plug: CARS has helped a lot of my clients over the years deal with their addictions. This was even before they became ON DEMAND. For those with some very serious issues I have seen CARS help them help themselves.

My disclaimer: I have met people who did not like CARS. No one place is for everything or everyone, nothing is for everyone. Just as some people living and working in this isolated fish bowl would prefer a more anonymous place to get evaluated and treated. Yes, Ithaca is loved and hated for the same reasons. It is a small town where everyone knows your business.

In the same respect, I am not the right or perfect attorney for everyone. Some people need to find the right fit or a place they feel most comfortable. Do not discount the idea or concept of help wherever it may lie, and remember it can come in many forms or formats.

There are many counselors, programs, and places for people to go seek help. I urge those with problems to not give up on themselves. I believe that working on yourself (and your program of choice) to be healthy is always a lifetime project without end.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Avoca Campbell Lawyer If the Cop is a "No Show" is the Speeding Ticket Dismissed?

Photo Courtesy of Corning City Hall
Can you tell the difference between a NYS Trooper and NYS Deputy?

Most people believe that the cops (officers, troopers, deputies) show up to Ithaca Court or hearings regularly. In most non-city Courts (town and village) the cops are usually housed in a separate physical facility.

In Tompkins County, the State Troopers are in Trooper Barracks, the County Deputies are located within the County Jail complex, and police officers have various locations depending on their jurisdiction. In many New York State City Courts the police are in the same or an attached building. This is how it is in Ithaca City Court. Ithaca City Police and the Ithaca City Court are together in one big building on Clinton Street.

Where are the Police?

I am usually asked by my clients, is the cop going to be there? Most people do not want to face their accusers. The physical face to face confrontation is very uncomfortable. While many like to believe that the cops live in or by the Courts, they usually only submit their paperwork to the Courts. This usually occurs via computer these days. After everything is written up, reviewed, and completed it is sent in for Court processing.

Unfortunately or fortunately they do not show up to anything Court related unless they are either subpoenaed (under penalty) to be there to testify against you by the prosecutor (assistant district attorney) OR they are there of their own free will (usually in a DMV administrative hearings on driver license matters).

The TRIAL of a Traffic Violation (ie . speeding) Case

Your case goes through a process of steps. These can occur over a period of days, weeks, or months.


Procedurally in a traffic violation matter, the initial (first) appearance (aka Arraignment) is where you place a plea of guilty or not guilty on the record with the court. This can be done by mail in these lower level cases. Misdemeanor (criminal) cases generally require your physical appearance in Court. This is because these types of charges can result in a punishment of up to one year in jail.


The next step is called a PTC (pre-trial conference). This is usually a set specific time (date) when the DA or an ADA (assistant DA) will physically be in Court to settle and/or discuss cases. There may be more than one PTC depending on the case, the evidence, and any information that may help settlement or negotiations. Usually a specific ADA (is assigned) handles each specific Court. In Steuben County, in the Corning City Court they assign the Police Lieutenant to handle (negotiate) traffic matters. This is not typical but important to know.


If your case cannot be resolved in the pre-trial conferences it must be scheduled by the Judge for a TRIAL. In a traffic case the police are then compelled to be there for trial AND IF they do not show up then you can be an automatic winner. Case is then dismissed by the Court. Depending on the Judge they may wait out the whole Court session (a number of hours) to dismiss the matter or if a City Court case the Judge may only give them 20 or 30 minutes.

PROOF is Always Required

Remember that in a speeding ticket or other traffic violation matter the government's (DA's) main witness against you is the cop. Without a main witness to testify and prove their case, they do not have admissible evidence against you. They can NOT and WILL NOT try you, and find you guilty on the police papers alone (after all this is hearsay evidence).

New York State DMV Hearings versus Traffic Court Trials

In contrast, in DMV driver's license hearings, the Judge can accept hearsay evidence against you or for you. The cops do not have to show to these hearings. The Judge can choose to take all the police reports, and documents into evidence against you. This is because your license to drive is a merely a privilege (not a right) and the Judge (ALJ = administrative law judge) has much more leeway.

So back to the original question, It's as Simple as 1, 2, 3

if the cop, deputy, or trooper is

1. scheduled to be there
2. for your TRIAL and
3. they do NOT show up,

then YOU WIN!  Case Dismissed!

Law Offices of Lawrence (Larry) Newman

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


The picture at the top of this blog comes from the wall of the Corning City Hall.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Anatomy of Hope and it's Mythos

As a Chiropractic Physician and Attorney I have been fortunate to practice two professions over the course of 26 years in NY, NJ, PA, and FL. I can tell you unequivocally that doctors, lawyers, and clergy are all in the same business. We sell something called, "hope." 

Hope to most people means "that tomorrow is going to be better than today." The answer to that or the path to that goal to be lead by the professional of the law, medicine, or religion. They can somehow help us, counsel us, and guide us to achieve this better future.

First, let's destroy the myths of hope:

1. There is NO "better" future merely a "transformed" future.

Life is always going to be a series of trade offs. There is always a pain with a pleasure and vice versa. People who are single want to be married and sometimes people who are married want to be single. Is one really better than the other? It is all a matter of perspective. 

There is gain and loss with each and every thing. In legal matters involving accusations of wrongdoing, your money, your relationships, your emotions, and your mental state will all go through transformation. What lessons you gain from the experience are up to you. Some lessons in life need repeating, that is neither good nor bad just a truth. That is why some people get involved with the same type of person or relationship over and over. 

If you suffer from a chronic medical problem, the long term healthy solution is usually a lifestyle change not a fast and easy medication or surgery. People go to the doctor expecting them to just fix things. Often the real fix (solution) lies in a personal change. 

2. Nothing is free. Whether it is your health, your liberty, or your sanity.  

There is always a cost to everything. Doctors, lawyers, and clergy want our money but sometimes the most expensive things cost nothing financially. This is because the price of a thing, maybe our freedom can come as a trade of our liberty. Before I go further let me stop, and explain this one.

Freedom is your ability to move about, unrestricted. While liberty is more your ability to do as you please as you move about. This is the real difference between jail and probation. Jail is complete lock down while probation is having someone watching you, checking you, and monitoring your choices.

So having a "choice" of jail or probation is really the lesser or greater of two evils (if you consider punishment evil). These can sometimes be goals for those accused of crimes that they did commit. 
Often county jail is a much better outcome than state prison. Often a conditional discharge is a better outcome than probation. 

The value of what anything costs you in time, money, or emotions is yours to decide. Sometimes you can not place a monetary value on a license, or six months or three years of your life. People need to be reminded that time = money. If something remains open, and is hanging over their head, what is the value of fast closure?

3. Whether you are happy or sad about your transformed future is all based on your expectation. 

If you expected nothing, to get off scott free, then any punishment is bad and you are sad and maybe even mad. Are your goals realistic? Real for your situation? In other words are you thinking, talking, and acting with a reality base? 

Real is based upon the facts of your case. The facts of your background, your history, and the detailed breakdown of your situation yield a foundation grounded in the real. What would be a real outcome in this court with these charges for you? Not for someone else, not somewhere else, but here and now.

Comparing yourself or your situation to a TV police drama or a celebrity in California or a relative five states away is the beginning of doom. This is fantasy thinking. Comparing to something that is in fact incomparable. 

I recently had a client accuse me of taking away her hope. She had continued to drink with the ignition interlock device in her car. Well after a night of hard drinking, she blew a big number on her morning drive to work. Now she was in a real fix. A violation which was bringing her back in front of a conservative Judge.

Her first aggravated DWI resulted in lesser DWI with the minimal punishment now she faced a violation of that CD (conditional discharge). I told her to expect some jail, possibly probation, or a combination. She wanted a "stern" warning. She felt that that was hope. She was hoping for a fantasy. She discharged me, and found another lawyer. I didn't give her BS just a real look at what she should be expecting and facing. 

Hope Made R.E.A.L.

Quite often I am asked for my opinion. I do offer people hope. But it is HOPE that is REAL.

R means Reality

But first it is hope that is grounded and real. Grounded in reality. As a chiropractor, if they were 70 years old, a 100 lbs overweight, and full of arthritis, how real would my hope be if I told them they would be disease free and perfectly straight?

What if I told them they could achieve all of that within six months, and a cost of only $1000? What if I told them they would have to do nothing to help me to help them? 

E means Expectations

I always keep my clients and my past patients expectations in line. What can they or should they reasonably expect at each stage of their process (legal or medical)? Client/patient unhappiness or depression is directly related to their expectation.

A means Alternatives

What are their choices if any? Can they have to pick and decide between things? Empowerment to patients and clients comes from the power to choose. They want to know they can participate in the process and affect the potential outcome. What are their alternatives? Is it time, is it money, is it treatment, is it liberty? 

L means Lessons

If they don't get the lesson, they will be doomed to repeat it. One of my favorite teachers, Dr. John Demartini used to say, "every problem is a lesson and a blessing." Can they see the lesson? Can they interpret the lesson? Can they see the benefits? Every loss has a gain, so what have they gained from the loss? 

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ithaca Lawyer The Importance of Buying Local


Ithaca, NY is one of those places that understands the concept of buying local produce. The less space, travel, and movement that vegetables, fruit, and animals take between farm and consumer the better it is for all of us. So we lament, "Buy Local," conserve, protect, and live closer to nature and her natural cycles.

In criminal defense law I get calls daily from people far and wide asking for legal advice and representation. Nowadays it is not uncommon to see a dozen different area codes pop up on my cell phone in any given day. So we are are living in a non-local world in many respects but in DWI/criminal defense/traffic violations law buying local counsel can have many advantages.

Some areas of legal practice can have a Federal/National (wider) focus point. These encompass things like immigration, bankruptcy, corporations, securities, banking, etc. This is not so with matters that are litigated locally.

The Why of Local Litigation/Prosecution?

In New York State hundreds of years ago it was decided that in local criminal matters/violations/crimes/infractions it was better to utilize a local judge. The judge could generally speaking be more aware of where the crime occurred, the nature of the surrounding area, and a host of other factors that made a local judge a better/fairer decider. In New York State we have thousands of local city, village, and town courts where everything up to misdemeanors are heard. This also includes small claims, and landlord-tenant disputes.

This practice of using local judges for local matters actually dates all the way back to Moses. In Exodus, 18:26, loosely interpreted, "In every great matter you shall judge/decide and in small matters they shall judge/decide." This division of labor into the higher and smaller (municipal) Courts was brought about because Moses was overworked being the Judge for everything and everyone.

 "Difficult cases were brought to Moses, and the simple ones they decided themselves."

The Potential Advantages

Now first my disclaimer: not all cases or matters are better handled by a local attorney. Everyone is free to choose an attorney that they feel can best represent them and their unique interests. This is purely an opinion piece and nothing more. In addition, I make no guarantees or promises or special deals that I am a better attorney than anyone else out there or that I can get them a better result. That all said, here are some ways that local counsel "may" have an advantage:

1. They know the Court hours, times, and staff. 

I am not talking about the ones on a website or a door. They may know that Sally (the Court clerk) comes in on Saturday, that she does the scheduling, that the ADA (assistant district attorney) is there the third Thursday of every month, that the Judge who is difficult to reach is also the fire chief, and can be reached there. Sometimes people with legal problems call at the last minute. It's nice to have people on your speed dial (here I am dating myself), to know their numbers, their locations, their whereabouts, and to know how to get things done in a timely manner.

2. They know the Roads, Routes, Signs, and local business practices.

Knowing where such and such road goes uphill or turns off into a ditch may make a difference in a traffic or accident case. Knowing the history of an area and where there are blind spots or new signage can be more than helpful to a client's viewpoint. When local matters are discussed having familiarity with local customs, trends, and resources puts everyone at ease. We are all on the same page so to speak.

3. They know what a local judge wants from/in certain cases or situations.

Some judges want more proof than others. I know one judge that wants an actual school schedule before she gives a hardship driving privilege (this is NOT typical). Things like that are important to know. One judge wants a drug evaluation for marijuana cases, another wants a clean 30 day urine screen, another likes community service, another likes to give weekends in the county jail, another wants you to say I'm sorry, another wants to see a driving history, another follows the ADA (assistant district attorney) to the letter, another will give great weight to the probation department, and another may not. Some judges have told me they do not go along with (grant) plea bargains to speeds over 95mph or 30mph over the limit or in a school zone. But because I have been in their courts and listened to their logic/reasoning they will entertain reasons for certain behaviors, they may be moved by an explanation, maybe.

4.  They know what a local DA wants from/in certain cases or situations.

Some DAs have specific things they will entertain. How cases are negotiated (over 90% are) is an art and science. In specific cases and situations there is little to no negotiation. In others there is wide latitude. Knowing where the lines are, where they meet, and where they cross can offer a local a huge advantage.
I have brokered creative deals (cases) just because I knew what to ask for. 

So when I get that DWI/DUI call from Ohio or Georgia, I kinda chuckle NOT because I am not licensed to practice there but even knowing that even if I was I would need to know the local courts, judges, and practices to wage the best defense. 

So in the final analysis, is it better to hire someone locally for certain things?

IMHO a resounding yes.

 Law Offices of Lawrence Newman

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor or Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Monday, June 18, 2012

Ithaca Lawyer Discusses Warnings and Precautions About New York Ignition Interlock Devices

As a DWI defense lawyer practicing in the Finger Lakes I see a great many clients who eventually require an ignition interlock installed in their cars. Leandra's Law is real, it is here, and it is enforced Statewide. What you (or your lawyer) don't know can and will hurt you.

IID BASICS or the Most Common FAQs

1. Is an IID a Must or a Should have?

The IID is not discretionary for NYS DWIs, it is Mandatory since August, 2010.
The Judges and the District Attorneys have no leeway or power here, if is a DWI (VTL 1192 (2), VTL 1192 (3), or ADWI (VTL 1192 (a) (a) then a device MUST be installed within 10 days of sentencing.
Bottom Line: There is NO plea bargaining concerning IIDs.

2. What if I live in another state?

It does not matter if you live in NYS or someplace else, you will have to get it installed. So if you live in PA, TX, or CA expect to hunt down an IID provider location, and then they will report back to the county monitor in NYS every 30 days. many of these IID providers have National Support. If you plan on moving (relocating) then plan on continuing monitoring as well. As long as the County Monitor is kept informed and updated it should not be a problem. The device must be downloaded at a physical location every 30 days.
Download times run 5 to 15 minutes. Some places can come out to your car with a handheld downloader.

I have not had the issue with "Out of the Country" (Foreign) License Holders unless they desired NYS privileges. My Canadian Clients end up with far worse consequences from their own country.

3. Could you just say (tell the Court) that you don't have (own) a car?

You could but it is still on your NYS DMV record, a hold will be in place by the county monitor (will be seen in any other state). With this new thing called the internet, and a National Registry of licenses:

When you apply for a license or renew an existing license then they will run your record. If it shows up with a serious driving offense, like a DWI or DUI then the system is alerted. Your license (or driving privilege) in NYS will remain revoked UNTIL it is lifted by the County IID Monitor. If you choose NOT to comply with the NYS Court Ordered IID then other states will not give you (or renew) driving privileges either.

All Motor Vehicle Associations must check you under Federal Law 23 CFR 1327.5(b)(1).

4. What if You really don't Own a car?

It still remains on your NYS record, and the National Database as a revoked privilege/license. I have had clients have to borrow or buy cars to fulfill the Court obligation. They had a rental car, and were merely visiting NYS when they received a DWI. A Court Order is a Mandatory Obligation. It cannot be argued that you are in an unreasonable situation. In fact, a North Carolina client had to figure a way to get their car to a state with IID providers because North Carolina has none.  When I spoke to NYS DMV they just shrugged it off, not a perfect law by any stretch of the imagination. It has a great many issues with practical application in a day and age where people frequently travel, relocate, and are city dwellers.

5. Can it be installed prior to the Court's sentencing?

You "may" be able to get it installed BUT most places (providers) will NOT install it without the Court documents/final Court Order.

6. Are there differences between the units (IIDs)?

For sentences of a CD (Conditional Discharge) which is lieu of Probation and/or Jail, the Tompkins County Monitor has only been requiring a Class I (lowest level device). This one is the least expensive, and has NO camera. Higher level and naturally more costly devices have cameras to take your picture when blowing.

In Tompkins County, Probation sentences require the Class 3 device (with Camera) for the three year probation term.

7. Where Can I get one (an IID) in Tompkins County?

 In Tompkins County we have three main providers:

1. Route 366 and Route 13 next to AAA Motor Club, Autowerks (carries Smartstart IID vendor)
2. Highway Hi Fi, on Route 13 across from Papa John's Pizza Plaza.
3. Hunt's Auto service, Intoxalock Vendor, a little across from Tompkins Trust off Route 13.

Smart start was offering a free install, as an incentive, But I prefer the Intoxalock to avoid problems with the device's operation.

8. How do I get One installed?

You just call and say you need an IID, they will schedule you. Bring the final Court Order. Takes about an hour or less to install. Camera IIDs take longer because of the camera placement.

9. What else Must I do when installing the IID?

You must contact the County Monitor within 3 days of sentencing. It may be a different person if you are on a term of Probation versus receiving a CD (Conditional Discharge). Generally the minimum term for the device is 6 months, but some Judges place it on for 12 months or longer, even for a CD. All misdemeanor Probation terms are for three years.

The contact name and number for the Tompkins county IID monitor:

Michelle Barber:             Phone: 607-274-5461
Fax:  607-274-5429

10. What Should I be aware of when installing the IID?

My Warnings: 

                           1. If the car that is getting the install has issues (mechanical and/or electrical) with the following it "can" affect the function of the device:

low battery
alternator voltage
defective horn
untimed engine
frequent stalling

Check the car out throughly before it gets this device installed. People that do not (screen and fix) or place it upon a junker are not usually happy because the device will malfunction. This can then provide the monitor with false readings of intoxication.

                           2. Do not drink the night before you drive, or else the device may be triggered from alcohol still in your system (body). 

WARNING: A BAC of .05 is an automatic Serious Violation/Failure that will require a Court Appearance.

                           3. Do not use cologne, perfume, mouth wash, toothpaste, mints while in the car or with anything that could trigger the device

11. How is the device set up and used?

The unit is calibrated for up to .25 BAC before it triggers but that said I would not rely upon that as a number because your body naturally produces some alcohol.

-the unit will demand a start up test
-then an initial rolling test (within a random interval ranging from 5 - 15 minutes) 
-subsequent rolling tests, not to exceed 30 minutes

They will (the installer) give you more information, these are merely some highlights. 

12. What if I am in found in Violation?

A violation of a CD will result in your being re-sentenced by the Court. The matter can be re-opened, you can receive jail time, you can receive three years of probation, you can receive a longer term for the IID to be in place.

Law Offices of Lawrence Newman

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850