Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ithaca Lawyer Uses the Coram Nobis (New York 440 Motion)

Lawyers love to throw around legal terms, especially latin. Sometimes we just toss out a number, "hey it's in the 710.30" (bill of particulars), or "I'll file a 30.30" (speedy trial), as if everyone should know (or not know) what we mean.

Ah, doctors and lawyers love Latin. Why? It (language) originally was all Latin based to keep the people (the common masses) in the dark. For that matter why was mass called mass? Authority and power resided in the Church, the Court, and the Medical community and they all used Latin. In fact, up until 1962 the Catholic Church held services (mass) in Latin.

So today I wanted to explore the real (pragmatic) use of a Coram Nobis Motion. The real term of art should be "Error Coram Nobis" or "the error before us." I think Coram and I think Coram, Long Island (like exit 64 off the LIE) but I transgress.

When can it be Used?

The Coram Nobis Motion or NYS 440 Motion is used when we believe that the guilty plea of a client in a prior case was entered in ERROR. Error because "maybe" they didn't know they could litigate (fight/defend) the charges, or they didn't know they could plea it down (negotiate) from a top charge or they were not represented by counsel (no lawyer). So "maybe" they did not: Voluntarily, Intelligently, and Knowingly enter a plea of guilt in the prior matter.

One example where I have successfully used a Coram Nobis was in cases where my client just plead guilty to traffic violation or drug (marijuana) charges NOT knowing the FULL CONSEQUENCES of that guilty plea.

Note: Remember that a judge (can decide to not grant the motion) or a prosecutor can argue against it.
There is no given to getting it, but in the situations that follow it is more commonly granted and not argued against by the District Attorney. In DWI cases (misdemeanor cases), you must show good (better) reasons to re-open a prior guilty plea.

If they plead to points or speeds they now might be facing a long driver's license suspension, or a loss of federal financial aid benefits (loans, grants, work study). One of the dangers to or of representing yourself, and not being counseled legally (at all) is not being fully aware. As I like to joke the mushroom in the dark knows nothing, sees nothing, and understands nothing.

Backwards in Time

Going backwards in time with the Coram Nobis literally re-opens the case. You can begin anew, to negotiate, to defend, and to go for a better outcome (result). In the interests of justice and fairness Courts do not like when people willy-nilly plead guilty without thought or consideration. These are the types of cases that are more easily re-opened.

NOTE: In DWI felony cases, where the prosecution must use a prior plea of guilt to a DWI or DWAI drugs (within 10 years) as the predicate enhancement offense, a prior refusal case must be scrutinized thoroughly.  A prior guilty plea to the common law (VTL 1192 (3)) DWI should be carefully evaluated for strength of defenses at the time of the matter. Whether a 440 (Coram Nobis) would be a proper/appropriate/cost effective/successful move must at least be given consideration. Would re-opening that prior DWI case be fruitful? Could it be successful? Much could be written just on this topic alone so I will save that for another day as they say.

The 440, Coram Nobis Motion is just another tool in the lawyer toolbox, just another way to achieve justice, or fairness in a longer, much more complicated process. Glad to have it, glad to use it, and happy when it works out.

Larry Newman, D.C., Esq.

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A NEW JERSEY Legal language Lesson

I've practiced in the Garden State but left for the beauty and tranquility of the Finger Lakes. NJ still has a place in my heart so I deal with a lot of jerseyites (my wife included), they have that jersey twange.

New Jersey language can be confusing. We have all seen Jersey Shore so we know this is true.
Going Fishing = going out to pick up women, fist pumping, GTL (gym, tan, laundry), you get the picture, confusing. So NJ legal language is also a bit, how can I say, "different."

Jersey Lawyers don't use the terms "misdemeanors and felonies." In NYS, we do, but not across the bridge. In Jersey legal speak there are "criminal" offenses based on and named in degrees (1st to 4th).

Jersey "Crimes" have the potential of jail for more than six months.
Jersey  "non-criminal" offenses are less than six months in jail.

The "lesser offenses" in NJ are all the NON criminal offenses: motor vehicle ie. the traffic offenses, disorderly persons offenses, and lastly municipal ordinance violations (ie. noise, dogs).

NJ loitering is a lesser offense, so it is NON criminal.
NJ DUI is a lesser offense as well, so it is not criminal.

DUI is in the category of "Lesser Charges" in NJ.
It is prosecuted in Municipal Court.
You get no jury trial, only a bench trial.
It is listed in the traffic offense section of NJ statutes. 

New Jersey "Traffic" Laws - Title 39
39:4-50. Driving While Intoxicated

Lawrence Newman, D.C., Esq.

New York DWI with a South Carolina Driver's License

I live and work in the Finger Lakes, actually beautiful Ithaca, NY. Believe it or not we get a great many tourists, visitors, and those just checking out Upstate NY and what it has to offer.

My law practice focuses on cars. All things car related. Which of course often includes dealing with the dreaded DMV. Well in the scheme of things they are not as bad as people might imagine. I sometimes call my compadres (similar lawyers in other states) to find out the consequences, punishments, and penalties that my clients passing through NYS will now face back home.

Dealing with Interstate DMV Issues 

We live in a global world, people constantly moving about place to place, some residing, some just taking on temporary work/assignments, and some just going to school. Issues (problems) arise when we have the involvement of more than one DMV in their lives. Having a NYS DMV (license/privilege) problem often causes license and insurance issues back in your HOME state.

Traffic offenses/moving violations can trigger license suspensions and/or revocations of NYS privileges to drive. For those who do not address these tickets they will be convicted by "default." This is called a default conviction. You do nothing about the tickets and you are found GUILTY by NYS, it's that simple.

New York DWAI/DWI/ADWI/DUI also triggers many IN-STATE MANDATORY license/privilege penalties.

1. Fines/surcharges
2. Certified drug/alcohol evaluation/assessment
3. License restrictions/suspensions/revocation/conditions
4. Classes/DMV programs (Drinking Driver Program)
5. Treatment/therapy/rehabilitiation related to the recommendations received post-evaluation

New York DWAI/DWI/ADWI/DUI also triggers many OUT OF STATE MANDATORY license/privilege penalties.

YOUR NYS DUI/DWI Lawyer is going to find out and assist you in dealing with your HOME state as well as NYS

1. What are your penalties back home?
Fines? Fees? Surcharges? 

2. Can anything done in NYS be given credit (reciprocity) back HOME?

Will they accept the NYS evaluation? The NYS DMV DDP? The NYS conditional license is it good in the HOME state?


First off, when contacting South Carolina I expected people to answer the phone and talk to me with that beautiful southern accent. I was so disappointed that they were from other states with unfortunately a not sweet nice ring to their voice. BUT they did have a special unit for Interstate Problems (they are advanced):

ADSAP Interstate Phone line (kinda rhymes with aflac): 843-821-5412

1. They require 16 hour Program Like theirs so the NYS DMV 15 hour program plus one hour of counseling = 16 hours
2. Their provisional license (only good in SC) and Route specific   cost $100
3. Need an SR-22 for insurance (this is a vehicle liability insurance certificate) This is required by the state. SR = safety responsiblity

ONLY 8 states don't require a SR-22 (Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, and North Carolina.)


Their "Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program" is a program certified by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Completion of this program is required following Driving Under the Influence suspensions (anyplace or you must check for reciprocity). ADSAP enrollment must be on file with DMV before obtaining a Provisional License (their conditional/occupational). ADSAP completion must be on file with DMV before your driving privileges can be restored.

SC Provisional Driver License
Individuals suspended for first offense driving under the influence (in NYS or SC) or unlawful alcohol concentration will be eligible for a provisional license if they meet the following criteria:
  1. They must have or have had a South Carolina driver’s license or be exempt under South Carolina Code of Laws 56-1-30.
  2. They must have no other suspensions following the driving under the influence or unlawful alcohol concentration suspension except implied consent, implied consent under 21, BAC of .02 or greater, BAC of .15 or greater deriving from the same incident.
  3. They must have enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (or likely the NYS DMV DDP equivalent, so check).
  4. They must have a certificate of SR-22 insurance on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  5. The cost for a provisional driver’s license is $100.00.
BTW These provisional licenses are very specific. Detailing: where, when, how, and why you are driving.

Key Takeaway: You must check both NYS and the other state license you holds DMV to comply with all administrative actions.

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

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New York DWAI with a Florida Driver's License

I am licensed in four states, before you start thinking that's cool or great, it has plenty of negatives. Paying dues in four states, trying to keep up with changes in four states, and then of course going to seminars for NJ, NY, PA, and FL.

I make it easy as I focus on car related legal matters. Car accidents, DWI, traffic, trucks, licenses. Now with that focus in mind more and more of my practice sees people who migrate. They started in one place but ended up somewhere else. Sometimes they change over everything: jobs, schools, houses, cars, insurance, phones, wives, girlfriends, etc. sometimes only some things.

It gets even more confusing with a traffic ticket or with DWI charges. Now we have multiple state administrative issues. Both states are going to want something, maybe just money, but more likely than not a course, a program, and/or an evaluation for a DWI.

Now some people think the NYS DWAI (VTL 1192 (1)) is a great final disposition for a DWI. Because it is after all classified under NYS law as a traffic violation with less fines, penalties, and long term ramifications but what about if you have a license from another state? then what?

If that state is Florida, it will be considered a DUI under Florida law. Not to create a criminal record but to impact your Florida driver's license privileges and therefore any other state you plan on driving in or through. Kinda like dominos, knock down one and then it hits another and another. A big mess.

Is this Double Jeopardy? Being Punished Twice for the Same Thing?

It is not a double jeopardy. The driver's license is a privilege, not a right and the penalties imposed are administrative, not criminal. Florida can impose additional penalties for your conviction in NYS.

How can Florida regard a NY DWAI as a Florida DUI? 

In the case below the Florida license was revoked (cancelled) for one year based upon the NYS DWAI conviction. This went to the Florida Court of appeals, in 2009. See No. 4D09-743 Lower Tribunal No. 08-2227 ________________
Robert C. Dawson,


State of Florida, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,

"The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (the “Department”) revoked the petitioner’s Florida driver’s license for one year based on the New York conviction. The Department has the authority to revoke the driver’s license of a Florida resident for certain out-of-state convictions. § 322.24, Fla. Stat. (2008).

The Department treated the New York DWAI offense as a conviction for driving under the influence (“DUI”) under Florida law. See § 316.193(1), Fla. Stat. (2008).

So it is a DUI under Florida law as to license issues.

This is not double jeopardy because every state is allowed to give "full faith and credit" to the administrative license suspensions present in other states. See Federal Statute and link below.

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 in another state then the system is alerted. Your license (or driving privilege) in NYS will remain revoked UNTIL it is lifted by the other state. If you choose NOT to comply with the Florida administrative fines and classes then other states will not give you (or renew) driving privileges either. This is under Federal law.

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

What Can You Do to Satisfy Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and NYS DMV?

You can take either states DDP (Drinking Driver Program) and request reciprocity from the DMVs. There may be additional fines or assessments or evaluations but this way you have a clear/clean license with no surprises.

THE KEY Takeaway:

Whatever state you come from or go to you (with a DWAI/DWI/DUI) you will have to deal with the DMV in both jurisdictions (understand the rules/laws) to completely release and clean your driving record/history OR else get a future surprise, and it ain't happy birthday.

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

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dealing with an Ithaca DWI with a New Jersey License

New York and New Jersey are kindred states in many respects. I always felt like I married up because my wife is from Northern N.J. (Verona). Her family was not too impressed with my table manners at Christmas (I'm from Brooklyn). They had way too many spoons, forks, and glasses.

Anyway, the fable of beauty and the beast is not what this blog is about, it is about how those with a New Jersey driver's license facing a NYS DWI will have to deal with both the NJ DMV and the NYS DMV.

The reciprocity of suspensions and of programs between the states is important to know about.

New Jersey DMV: Three Main Things (surcharge, suspension, and program)

1. NJ will assess a 3 year, $1000/year insurance surcharge on your NYS DWI, 
btw NYS DMV will assess an additional $250/yr for three years. 

From NJ website brochure on surcharge:

All Alcohol and drug related offenses
These surcharges are billed each year for three years:
• In-state operating under the influence of liquor or drugs (DUI)
Out-of-state DUI (ie. NYS DWI)
Refusal to submit to chemical test (ie. NYS refusal)
The surcharge for operating under the influence or refusal, whether it occurs in 
New Jersey or another state, is $1,000 a year for three years for both a first and 
a second violation. 

2. NJ will also suspend driving privileges depending upon the driver's BAC level at time of arrest. 

BAC (blood alcohol concentration) less than .10,    90 day NJ suspension 
BAC (blood alcohol concentration) more than .10, 7 month (210 day) suspension 

NOTE: NJ offers NO conditional (occupational/work) license privileges

see the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles Website to confirm all of this

3. You will need to do the NJ Drinking Driver Program or the NYS DMV DDP

-Basic NJ first time program is two (6 hour days) inan Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
-Compare to NYS DDP is 7 weeks (1.5 hours/night) = 15 hours total
(Most NYS Courts, the DMV, and DDP no mandates an evaluation/assessment)

From their website:

NJ Intoxicated driver program

Any person convicted of an alcohol related traffic offense must participate in a program at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC):

  • New Jersey has an IDRC in each county for first and third-time offenders and three regional centers for second-time offenders
  • During the program, offenders attend mandatory Alcohol and Highway Safety Education courses
  • IDRC also evaluates each offender for an alcohol or drug problem and determines the need for treatment
  • If treatment is needed, the center refers the offender to an appropriate provider for a 16-week minimum treatment
  • Offender may supplement the treatment with attendance at a self-help group
  • IDRC monitors compliance and reports noncompliance to the courts and MVC
Satisfactory participation in IDRC is a step toward restoring your license. Failure to comply will result in further license suspension and possible jail time. 

THE KEY Takeaway:

Whatever state you come from or go to you (with a DWI/DUI) you will have to deal with the DMV in both jurisdictions (understand the rules/laws) to completely release and clean your driving record/history.

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

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ithaca Cortland DWI Lawyer What is New York Reckless Driving?

I handle all things car related. Why? I love cars and I love to drive. It is easy for me to read about, research, talk about, video about, and write about car stuff. In my free time I watch lots of car shows, where they sell cars, fix cars, test cars, and of course drive cars fast. My wife just rolls her eyes.

So it is natural that I represent people facing the DMV, the courts, or anyone else concerning car related legal stuff. Which brings me to today and Reckless Driving in NYS.

Every state has a little different definition and understanding of what RECKLESS is or isn't.
New York State defines it as a wanton disregard. This goes beyond I don't care, or careless, or negligent.


The reckless say, "yeah I know it (my behavior/driving style) will probably pose some incredible safety risks to the people/families/children around me BUT you know what I don't give a shit! That is my own little definition of reckless.

I also think it is charged by the police a bit too often. Sometimes what they think is reckless ain't. Driving real fast (speeding) in and of itself ain't reckless UNLESS it's 95mph in a school zone.
Or you could decide to pull out into 50mph traffic at 10mph while smoking your joint.


NYS VTL 1212 Reckless Driving statute states:

Driving "in a manner (way) which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway" 


So what is unreasonable
That there is (or was) NO REASON for such behavior/driving. 
Was someone in labor, having a heart attack, or bleeding? 

NYS Penal Law [PL §15.05(3)] further states: 

"the risk (taken on by the driver) must be of such nature and degree that (wanton) disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation."

All additions are of course mine, but I think you get the picture. Easier to charge than to prove in my opinion. 


Reckless driving has steep penalties: 5 points, up to $300 fines, 30 days in jail, PLUS

It's a misdemeanor, a crime in NYS. Which means (if you are convicted or plea to it) it stays on your permanent record forever.

This means your insurance premiums will likely be high for a very loooong time.

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

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Medical Conditions that Can Cause a New York Driver License Suspension

As a New York Defense attorney (and Doctor of Chiropractic) who focuses his practice on cars and drugs I deal with the DMV a lot. They have their own set of rules, procedures, and regulations which must be followed. Some of it unfortunately is highly subjective.

Everyone Has One, an Opinion

Medical and legal opinions are often just that "opinions." I love medico-legal issues because they are contestable. They are subject to change on a person by person basis or a case by case basis. Give two doctors or two lawyers the same set of facts and guidelines, and you may have more than two opinions. If we could all agree on everything we would have no need for hearings, trials, judges, and juries. These medical opinions have weight based upon the facts in back of them (tests performed, your medical history, medical testing, differential diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, medical stability, etc.) Reasonable, balanced, and rational medical opinions have more weight on the scale. Have greater credence (credibility) and therefore integrity (completeness).

The Importance of WEIGHT: Proof in an Administrative License Suspensions

First thing you must be aware of is that the NYS DMV is an administration. It is not a court of law. The level of proof necessary to award or to lose a license to drive is slightly better than the civil standard of "preponderance of the evidence." Meaning, just a slight tilt to one side of the scales of justice will win or lose the day. This is why the weight of any opinion or opinions is so vitally important. How and what information is presented to the DMV, it's examiners, and medical review unit can affect your driving privileges.

Conditions that Can Affect Your License Privileges

Remember that the mere diagnosis of a disease or condition is NOT the most important aspect but rather how that condition is affecting (impacting) your ABILITY to drive. This is called your Fitness to Drive. 

Regardless of your diagnosis, are YOUR Medical Conditions OR functional impairments causing you to be an UNsafe driver? Are you fit to drive physically and mentally?

How can Your Driving Privileges be Placed up for Review?

ONE (first timers and renewers) 

Those drivers filling out NYS DMV form MV44 for First time license application or Renewal of NYS driver's license are asked specific questions regarding your medical history.

The original driver’s license application asks:

“Have you had, or are you being treated for any of the following, or has a previous
disability worsened? If ‘Yes,’ check all that apply.”

·  Convulsive disorder, epilepsy, fainting or dizzy spells, or any condition which
causes unconsciousness.  
·  Heart ailment.
·  Hearing impairment.
·  Lost use of leg, arm, foot, hand, or eye.
·  Other.

The renewal driver’s license application asks the same question, but also asks whether any of these conditions have been experienced or have worsened since you received your last license?

Word definitions and reading comprehension are KEY HERE: That "Causes" Unconsciousness, treated for, or worsened.

TWO (the accident prone)

Drivers with too many accidents. It does not matter who is "at fault" for these accidents. The DMV does not investigate that (cause/fault) but will record all of them on your DMV driving history. Three strikes and you are out in baseball and with the DMV. 

Three accidents in nine months is an automatic RE-examination. This consists of a vision test, a written test, and a road test.

THREE (family, friends, police, drs report you)

Reports: The DMV receives information about your medical conditions from:

  • accident reports, 
  • doctors reports, 
  • police reports, or 
  • reports your family, or 
  • from someone (concerned citizen) who knows you.  

Any of these people may feel you pose a safety risk to yourself and others by continuing to drive. And place your privileges subject to a REVIEW.

Judging Conditions Affect on Functional Ability

Judging someone's Functional Ability to Drive as I stated earlier can be Subjective but for a general guide (every case is different) I have gone over some common conditions below:

1. Diabetes (aka high blood sugar): If unregulated and unstable can cause coma, unconsciousness, and loss of functional ability to drive. Diabetics with peripheral neuropathy can lose feeling in the feet and legs as well. 

Questions: Are you stable? With or without insulin stimulating agent or insulin, or diet?
Severe, Unstable, Insulin dependent = NO driving

2. Cardio-Vascular Conditions: Angina, Class III or Class IV Unstable arrhythmia (problem with the heart rate or rhythm), Hypertension (high blood pressure). 

Questions: Are you fully recovered and stable? Class IV arrhythmia with loss of consciousness and uncontrolled HTN (hypertension) = NO driving

3. Pulmonary Conditions: Symptoms on activity, on steroids, stable with o2.

Questions: Do you have Severe dyspnea (shortness of breath/labored or difficult to breath), syncope (fainting/loss of consciousness) = NO driving

4. Neurologic Conditions: Neuropathy, radiculopathy, CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome), peripheral neuropathy, etc.

Neurological impairment that greatly affects safety = NO driving

5. Learning Memory, Psychiatric, Emotional Conditions: difficulty with thinking, judgment, adjustment, risk assessment

Questions: Are you severely impaire and have poor judgment = NO driving
Do you have an active condition with risk = NO driving

6. Alcohol and Other Drugs: Chronic use of alcohol and/or drugs

Question: History of ongoing dependency on drugs and/or alcohol = NO driving

7. Musculoskeletal Conditions: Loss of function, impairment, debility

Question: Do you have a chronic condition that makes you unsafe = NO driving

8. Alertness or Sleep Disorder: Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, unstable, severe problem

Question: Have doctors diagnosed you and found that medication and/or treatment for your condition was unsuccessful? = NO driving

9. Hearing and Balance Conditions: recurring problems, untreated, dizziness, spinning sensation

Question: Do you have a chronic severe and unstable balance problem? = NO driving

10. Epilepsy/Episodic Condition: seizures, recurrence rate

Question: Do you have uncontrolled seizures or interfering (with your ability) medications?
= NO driving 

As you can see the list of diseases and potential conditions that can cause a license suspension are extensive. A review of your medical records, history, and documentation may be in order to see if something (disease, condition, disorder) has been mischaracterized by your healthcare providers. Sometimes it all a matter of clearing things up, demonstrating stability, and having testing/review to prove your ability.

         Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Out of State License Holders with Delaware DMV, and New York DWI

The world is not so simple a place as it used to be. Homeland security, iphones, internet, and a culture of continual, fast change. People move all the time. Re-location is a given. You start in NY and wind up in California. You begin as an accountant, and then manage a rock band.

Multiples and Changes

In my life, my wife has a CPA, and a Nursing degree, I have a Doctor of Chiropractic, a Post Graduate in Acupuncture, and a law degree. I also have licensure in four states (NJ, PA, NY, and FL). We have lived, worked, and practiced in all these places. I am not telling you this to brag, believe me life would be far easier (less hectic) without all this change. But we believe (as many) that keeping it moving is exciting.

You could stay single, not have kids, keep one job or profession, buy one house, never move, never travel, and you would be very stable and safe but that (to me) sounds boring. All the moving about and changing does require planning and strategy. Moving state to state requires changing over licenses, titles, schools, and paperwork it can all be a confusing and dangerous mess.

Being Good at Change

What my wife and I are good at is moving. Even with four kids in tow, we can pack up a house in a matter of weeks. We can completely organize and facilitate change at the drop of a hat.

So what does all this have to do with today's blog? 

I have clients with
New York problems but holding out of state licenses. Many people never change their cell phone numbers, and sometimes do not change their driver's licenses either. It is not uncommon to meet people with car plates from one state, a license from another state, and a "permanent" home someplace else. People move about and rent but ultimately they still feel they live (reside) back home.

Because whether or not they hold license in another jurisdiction, I usually have to deal administratively (license) with their cases whether they are facing violations and/or criminal misdemeanors. Dealing properly and completely with DMVs in multiple states becomes a necessity.

The Horse's Mouth

The old expression hearing directly from the Horse's Mouth could not be any more true than dealing with the DMV (any DMV). Their rules may be confusing, convoluted, and frustrating. Which thing has reciprocity, which thing needs to come first, what do we need to do, when do we need to do it? Many questions that will integrate with multiple state agencies. A great big OMG!

Throw in criminal issues with a court of law, and you have a recipe for disaster. A disaster me and my clients wish to avoid at all costs. If you do the wrong thing at the wrong time it can cost you your privilege to drive. Remembering it is, in fact, a privilege, NOT a right to drive as many carelessly assume. Because of all of that, the administrative proofs, hearings, and paperwork can be murky waters.

I do best contacting the DMV directly. Asking the right questions goes beyond their state and may include how they will interact with New York State.

NYS DWI with a DE Driver's License

I recently had been retained by a girl from Delaware. First, I am not licensed in Delaware. I do not know or am I going to counsel in Delaware law. But I do have a NYS DWI to contend with with NYS DMV license issues, and since my client has a DE license it is important to know what DE DMV is going to do.

Three things to integrate and fix:

1. NYS court problems
2. NYS Department Motor Vehicles problems
3. DE Division of Motor Vehicles problems (we have a Department while they have a Division)
Maybe you need a Dept. to deal with 20 million people vs. 650,000?

NYS suspends NYS privileges. NYS Court requires drug/alcohol evaluation. NYS DMV will require NYS DDP (drinking driver program). NYS court may want VIP (victim impact panel). What about Delaware DMV? Delaware driving privileges? Delaware conditional license for work/school?

I first call multiple DE DUI lawyers, NO help this time. They are as confused as I am, not a good place to be. So I call the DE DMV, they turn out to be wonderful and helpful.

NOW DE DMV has a license suspension on first time DWI (anywhere) with NO conditional privileges. BUT I find out that my client can "self admit" to their 3 month drinking driver program. My client can begin to do this before even NYS Court is done. The DE program will probably be accepted by NYS and the NYS DMV (as in reciprocity).

My client can in fact kill two birds (two DMVs) with merely one stone. A win-win all the way around. What if we did not coordinate the timing of events in NYS Court? What if we did not discover all this vital information early in the game? What if we did not do the DE program till after?

Potential Consequences of NOT Knowing

License suspension with NO conditional (for work) privileges. Believe me it is NOT good to be without your own car. Perhaps conditions (evaluation and program) to meet requirements for NYS court and the NYS DMV after a return to DE that could have been accomplished during the interim.

Disclaimer: Always check with your own state DMV and/or local counsel to discover what you need to do to fulfill their requirements for re-licensure. Do not guess, or wing it.

Here is the DE DMV site links

         Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850