Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: When is a DWI Accident Not Really an "Accident?"

Who Doesn't Love Maslow but MY POINT is
even DWI Accidents have a Hierarchy!

From markstivers.com

This is not really a trick question, seriously. The truth is that the TYPE of accident will be given great weight when negotiating your DWI/ADWI/DWAI drug charges.

How Do car accidents affect DWI plea negotiations?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ithaca's One Way Streets: A Problem for those Tired, Lost, or Intoxicated

Corner of the Commons: Aurora Street and Seneca Street

Corner of the Commons: Cayuga Street and Green Street

Downtown Ithaca is loaded with one ways. In fact they extend for many city blocks in numerous directions. Even Route 13 splits off into two one ways. The confusion for those from out-of-town or merely just out-of-it (drunk or high) is endless. I represent dozens of people every year who drive the wrong way down our one ways. It is only by the sheer grace of G-d that people have not been hurt or killed.

VTL section 1127 (a) Driving the wrong way down a one way is a three point moving violation.

Ithaca has four main ONE WAY streets that frame The Commons:

  • Seneca Street is a one way that runs from East to West. btw Seneca becomes Route 79 to Cornell.
  • Green Street is a one way that runs from  East to West. Green becomes State Street Route 79 as well. Seneca and Green merge together.
  • Cayuga Street is a one way (in certain areas) near the commons. It is one way from Seneca street to Clinton Street.
  • Aurora Street is a one way (in certain areas) near the commons. It is one way from Seneca Street to Court Street.

The transitions between two way streets that turn into one way streets doesn't follow any sort of pattern. The main streets that surround the common are by far the most confusing.

My Advice for Safely Navigating Ithaca:

When visiting Ithaca for the first time my advice is that people should:

1. First look over a map before visiting Ithaca. Getting an overview of how the streets run is a good beginning to staying out of trouble.

2. Plot out the main East/West and North/South ways (streets) to get around the commons.

3. You should then drive these streets during the daylight hours so they don't find themselves lost when the lights are low.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Ithaca Police: Can Our New Dog Sniff Out Drugs?

Bert is a beautiful German Shepard. 

He has an amazing focus.
Officer Kimmich is holding a hotdog, yum!

I'm familiar with the TV show, Dog with a Blog, now Ithaca Police Department has a new member, Albert the German Shepard. He is from the Czech Republic and answers to Bert. His training is in locating explosives and firearms (not drugs) but I'm sure he's more than capable of other police duties.

I caught up with the newest member of the force while visiting Lou in the commons, out local hotdog/grilled chicken stand guy.

The most dangerous encounter the police deal with day in and day out are traffic stops. Perhaps our new officer can sniff out firearms, and prevent some needless violence. Don't get on the wrong side of Bert. 

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How are Your Driver's License and DWI Integrated?

YOUR Driver's License and DWI Case are Integrated

I get phone calls and emails weekly asking for guidance on DWI/ADWI/DWAI drug license issues. It often begins with "my attorney helped me get "x" deal and my criminal case is done BUT I can't get my license back or how do I get my license back or my home state won't release my license."

What do I do? What can I do? My DWI attorney doesn't seem to know??

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Ithaca Plea Bargains: What's a Farrar Condition?

The Statistics Don't Lie

Average Sentence of Drug Plea bargain: 5 years, 4 months

Average Drug Sentence POST Trial: 16 years

Plea bargaining is a fact of life in New York courts, and for that matter in all courts across the country. This is the reality, our current justice system would be completely backed up if every single defendant (person accused) demanded a trial. Negotiation is part and parcel of the criminal system. How well one can negotiate a case is up to a number of factors. Some facts are hard to swallow and must be analyzed in their best light.

Often the bargain is to plea guilty is to a lesser included offense than the one or ones originally charged. The bargain is further tempered with a recommendation on sentencing to this charge.

In other words plea bargains = CERTAINTY. Certainty is comforting to the majority of people. A specific high, a specific low, and a certainty of no to little surprises as to punishment is a relief.

The judge ultimately has discretion in sentencing but,,,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Dangers of Using a Fraudulent ID ( Fake Identification) in Ithaca, NY

FAKE IDs Abound on Most College Campuses
Warning: Do Not Try to Use them to Buy Alcohol in Ithaca

I am old enough to remember a time when you could get alcohol at the tender age of 18. Funny how that proved not enough to stop me from having someone else's id as a kid. Yes, I hope the statute of limitations has passed on that offense but seriously when you are not young enough to go into certain places it's all you think about.

1984 was a BIG Year

Not too long ago, 30 years to be exact all the states were coerced into changing the minimum drinking age to 21 to receive government funding. See National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. So as of 1984 you can vote, you can fight, you can contract, and you can marry BUT you don't have enough mental function or a right to legally drink. Where the logic is in all of that is something else.

Today Fakes are Common and Very High Tech, But how dangerous are they to use in Ithaca, NY?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: What Happens When a Judge Rejects the Plea Offer?

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

My grandma taught me a great many things. The truth of her words came from a Russian farm culture. She would often say things that would resonate with me for years to come.

What Happens if The Prosecutor Offers a Great Deal but . . .

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can a Prior Out-of-State DUI Affect Your New York State DWI?

Our Little Ithaca Bridge: South Hill to Downtown

If you have a prior out-of-state DWI then you will potentially have greater issues with your current New York State DWI case.

So Many Acronyms of DWI

Remember if you have an (OWI) Operating While Intoxicated charge or a (DWI) Driving While Intoxicated charge or a (OUI) Operating Under the Influence charge or a (DUI) Driving Under the Influence charge they will all be the same back in New York State for both purposes of licensure as well as potential enhancement.

Can ANY Prior DUI Be Used Against YOU?

Your DWI and CPS (New York Child Protective Services)?

Charged with DUI and CHILD NEGLECT

In NYS the majority of DWIs reported to CPS (child protective services) come from law enforcement following an arrest of a parent for an aggravated DWI. I have even seen people use the DWI charges against one another in child custody cases.

Who usually reports you to CPS for your DWI and when?

CPS (child protective services) and Your DWI Charges: Is it Abuse and Neglect?

If you have been charged with any DWI or DWAI drugs in New York and you have young children CPS (child protective services) MAY be notified. But if you have been charged with an aggravated DWI because you were driving while a child under 16 was in your car then the police MUST notify CPS.

When is CPS contacted? What happens next? Does a parent's DWI mean child abuse or neglect?

When the Police Must Report to CPS (Child Protective Services) and NY Aggravated DWI

Substance Abusing Parents are Front Page News
The Stats:

  • 85% of abuse related to Substance Abuse (drugs/alcohol) and poverty
  • 9% of ALL children live with one parent that abuses (drugs/alcohol)
  • 25% of ALL children that die from abuse or neglect had mothers who were addicted to drugs/alcohol

If you are charged with an Aggravated DWI as a Felony in New York that means you have driven your car either:

1. While having a BAC (blood alcohol content) .08 or more (chemical test of your blood or breath), or while impaired by drugs, or while impaired by drugs and alcohol in combo;


2. While the police allege (their opinion) you were mentally and physically incapable of operating that vehicle safely (common law intoxication)


You had a passenger or passengers who were under the age of 16 (15 years of age or less)


Any of these child passengers were under your care as their

Legal Guardian, Legal Custodian, or Parent 

then the police MUST put in their paperwork along with the DWI charges CIV

CIV = (Child in Vehicle) 


They MUST contact CPS (Child Protective Services) and Inform them of these charges against YOU.

You will then be under scrutiny for a host of potential issues.

Do you have a drug/alcohol problem? Are you a bad/negligent/abusive parent, custodian, guardian of this child or children?

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.



Reviews of Larry Newman:


Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers


What are the Two Types of New York Aggravated DWI?

I recently had a person call me utterly confused by her online searches for information. She had ran out in the middle of night to pick up her kid, was not expecting to, and whammo, aggravated DWI.
She was confused because her BAC was only a .09 and her paperwork, said FELONY? How was that possible? Her kid was 15, and so many lawyers and websites said, no, it's someone UNDER 15.

You know how if you say something enough times and in enough places incorrectly it just takes on a life of it's own and somehow becomes TRUE, well that's the internet. Accurate and Reliable Sources are important.

How much Misinformation is floating out there?
from blogs.uww.edu

What is the truth about New York Aggravated DWI charges?

Friday, November 7, 2014

What's the First Problem With a New York DWI Refusal Case?

This video highlights the first problem when dealing with a New York DWI refusal case. If you miss the first DMV administrative license hearing, because your attorney reschedules it OR the police don't show up OR it is adjourned to another date, then it may take many, many months for Albany to reschedule it.

This is months without a license (it is suspended).
This is months without getting credit (time served) towards a suspension or revocation.
This is months without getting an opportunity to challenge the evidence.
This is months waiting for closure and putting this behind you.

Hence the importance of the FIRST scheduled hearing, and your attorney's role in that process. In some cases this first DMV DWI refusal hearing date can be rescheduled (only the first) via the court/judge.

See my previous blog for more issues or potential problems with DWI refusal cases here:


Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.



Reviews of Larry Newman:


Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Problems with New York DWI Refusal Cases

Is there JUSTICE or Is there JUST US?

The New York DWI refusal case has very specific and unique issues. Firstly, when you refuse a chemical test of your breath or blood in New York State you are entitled to a DMV administrative refusal license hearing.

The Problems with the New York DWI Refusal

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What they Should Teach in College: Lawful Orders Versus Lawful Requests

from antiauthoritarian.net
This is Anti-authority Behavior

I doubt whether Cornell University or Ithaca College have in courses or even classes in dealing with authority. I know I have gone through many years of college including law school, and I was never taught the basics of orders and requests.

Basic Human Rights and the Police: What do I have to do?

A crucial difference: Lawful orders vs. lawful requests?

Ithaca DWI Defense: What I Learned from the Cornell Tree

Magnificent tree roots at Cornell Plantations

Tree sculpture at Cornell Plantations

I love trees. You knew I had to be a bit quirky practicing in Ithaca, NY. This is a place where you can really observe nature going through it's paces. They go through the seasons up here, and adapt to change. The harshness of our Ithaca winter conditions only strengthens them for the future. I think we can learn from the trees, especially the old ones who have endured and grown strong over long periods of time. Defense is ultimately more than law, more than facts, and more than words on paper.

Why are trees so strong?

In a word, resilience. They can adapt, they are flexible, and that is why their bending is not defeat. Within every criminal case a person accused of a crime or crimes must also be willing, be willing to adapt to change, be willing to endure, and be willing sometimes to go the distance. Part of your attorney 's role as counsel is to assist and support that adaptation. Survivors Adapt!

In every DWI case we must be able to deal with loss of license privileges or lessened privileges.

In every DWI chemical refusal case this loss of license may stretch for many months while our criminal case is unresolved.

In every DWI case we will have things to do and deadlines to meet for the court, the judge, and the prosecutor. Lessening consequences begins here. Finding certainty step by step leads to the best outcome. Meeting these goal markers, or better exceeding them is where success meets opportunity.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Trees have strong foundations made up of many branches all working in unison to provide support.
Bending our schedules, our routines, and leaning on others may not be what we want to do but it may be what we need to do. Family and friends play a role in our getting over and past this point in our lives. You truly discover who will be there for you in times like these. In my practice I have seen friendships and marriages end over a DWI, and I have also witnessed friendships and marriages strengthened over a DWI.

I believe that people much like trees can endure, can overcome, can learn, can adapt, and can emerge stronger from harsh conditions and situations. So I'll leave with with a favorite quote for it embodies my personal philosophy, and has helped me through hard times.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger" 

                                                 Friedrich Nietzsche

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer "As I Thinketh About Time"

I Love My Star Trek Shirt
Lawrence A. Newman

Today is the day of my birth and as always a real time to reflect. To reflect upon the year and the years that have passed. I am at that stage where knowing who I am and what I am about becomes ever clearer.

Personal versus Impersonal: Challenged by Youth and the New School

I recently went to a legal seminar where a young lawyer who is extremely successful (multiple businesses) challenged me and my practice. Not a bad man, or a stupid man, just one with an assembly line mentality. His thinking centered on the bottom line, delegating everything, being detached from those he serves, ala the four hour work week, and with hundreds of employees he is achieving what to most may be "The Dream."

But it would not be my dream. 

I am living my dream. I chose Ithaca, New York for that very reason. Having a legal practice where people pay me to help them personally, and with care means a lot to me. Their entrustment and belief is something I try not to take for granted. We have gained and lost much with technology. It is all too easy to lose ourselves and our humanity in the process. Is it all just a numbers game?

"Not everything that can be counted counts, 
and not everything that counts can be counted." 
                                                                                                                  - Albert Einstein

Time is not always what it seems , , ,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ithaca Police: Were You Really Arrested and Does it Matter?

I get all kinds of phone calls. This guy called yesterday. He was stopped for a traffic violation, then admitted to drinking, and then was tested at roadside (field sobriety tests). This is where it gets interesting, he said the police told him he was not under arrest

BUT they handcuffed him. They told him he was not under arrest
BUT they placed him in custody. They told him he was not under arrest.
BUT they fingerprinted him. They told him he was not under arrest
AND that this was just PROCEDURE, and then they breath (chemical) tested him at the police station.
AND they gave him DWI tickets (charges) and released him.

Cuffed, Held, and Taken into Custody = ARREST

So First, was he arrested by the police for a DWI?

The Ithaca Lawyer Decision Making Tree

Most of what we do day in and day out is make decisions. What to wear, what to eat, what to study, what to watch, etc. etc. It goes on and on, but the most important decisions we make occur rarely. BUT these may be the life changers.

Arrested, Charged, and Now Alleged to Have Committed...

When you are faced with criminal or even non-criminal charges your brain does not work as well as you would like. The clear objectivity of your logic and reasoning may be skewed under an ocean of emotion. Guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment are not a great base to draw from. That is why lawyers as counselors of law are often a good starting point to at least discuss viable options.
Whether it is a traffic offense or a DWI or a drug charge you need information to make the best decisions. You need correct and current CONTENT (information) which may come from the internet but more importantly YOU need CONTEXT.

Question Number One: So Do You Need a Lawyer?

Need is such a horrible word, being needy is not empowering. I would first ask when do you want or desire a lawyer consultation? You want to talk to a lawyer when you have been charged with any offense. Some people mistakenly believe that only criminal charges can be threatening or dangerous or have bad consequences. This is not true. Depending upon your situation, your job, your future endeavors, your status, your prior history, your licensure, your certification, even seemingly unrelated and innocuous charges can hurt you directly and even indirectly.

Question Number Two: So When Do You Need a Lawyer?

No sooner time then the present. Waiting in these circumstances places you at a disadvantage. Could things be done proactively? In many cases, being proactive requires a window of time in which to make effort.

Question Number Three: For What Do I Need a Lawyer?

What am I facing?

For the majority of people a short consult of less than 15 minutes will allay their biggest fears and concerns. What am I looking at? With the emphasis on "I." You are not your neighbor or your closest friend or the guy down the hall. How this may impact you is probably foremost in your mind and needs to be dealt with first. I call it your EXPOSURE. What are you being exposed to?

Exposure can be jail, prison, probation, fines, classes, treatment, loss of driver's license, loss of pistol permit, loss of work, loss of professional license, and the list goes on.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Old Cars Aren't as Safe as We May Believe: Question Your Beliefs

I had one of these, even had the redlines, completely stock.

I love cars! I have had, enjoyed, and adored old cars, new cars, sports cars. I love them for their mechanics, engineering, innovation, and design. They speak to me of freedom and patriotism. They are a moving tribute to America and the embodiment of liberty. You can call me crazy but driving is more than getting from point a to point b for me. I have a friend that loves Camrys. To me that is like loving an appliance. That is like loving your can-opener or toaster oven, a great utility but without passion or enthusiasm for the underlying symbology or significance of the automobile.

Today I watched a video that was an eye opener. I probably had seen it before, it's certainly not new but it resonated with me today.

Crash Test 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air VS. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu (Frontal Offset) IIHS 50th Anniversary

I guess what we all would like to believe is:

1. They don't make'em like they used to (thank G-d)
2. Them old cars are like tanks (not! watch the video)
3. New cars are less safe because of all the plastic, and they aren't made very well or made to last

What's "THE TRUTH?"

Monday, September 22, 2014

30th Anniversary for New York State's Seatbelt Law

Hypocrisy, I love it!

You know one of the things I love about NYS is it is progressive. In 1908 henry Ford made driving affordable to everyone as long as you liked a black car. The Model T was a bargain at $260. Soon thereafter America and Americans went to the road in droves. The great American love affair, yours truly included would soon follow. Because of the proliferation of motor cars, and then developing mega-highways the number of accidents also went on the rise.

New York State Passed the First Intoxication While Driving Law

We were the first state with a drunk driving law. In 1910, after countless numbers of people were killed or worse, maimed by unfit drivers NYS passed the first DWI laws. It loosely defined "intoxicated" as being unable to drive. We have come a long way in some respects.

New York State Passed the First Seatbelt Law 

In 1984, NYS passed the first mandatory seatbelt law. Thirty years ago after it passed the legislature they gave people 30 days to get used to the idea of having a belt around them, and their children. Before that time kids used to fly about in cars. I remember once going out the back door of my mother's friends cars on a sharp turn. I was too young to make a big deal of it, I don't think I was hurt, and she never mentioned it to anyone.

It was fun to be in the back of a station wagon, lots of freedom to play, and move about. Safe? I don't think so but neither was the cigarette smoke filling the air. Yeah, they didn't know that second hand smoke affected anyone, the glorious denial of the times.

Seatbelts are NOT just for Adults

Thirty years seems like yesterday before cell phones, internet, social media, and bluetooth devices. The real issue with seatbelt laws in New York is not so much against drivers or their adult passengers.

The real issue is and has been CHILDREN in seat belts. I have four kids, although they are not kids anymore, they are now young adults. They no longer squirm out of their seat belts and they don't usually take them off to get comfortable on longer trips, BUT they did. All the time, kids take off their seat belts to play, to sleep, and to just get comfy. Hard to relax or hours on end with a belt around you.

Parents are Punished for the Sins of their CHILDREN

If it wasn't enough to deal with car sick kids. Believe me, I have cleaned up my fair share of vomit, New York will punish you even if you are NOT to Blame or at Fault or even knew about your kids being unbuckled. The bottom line: Kids cost. They are worth it but it can be painful at times.

Typical situation is a parent driving through NYS on Route 17/86 or Route 390. Passing through mostly farm land, Steuben County, Chemung County, Tioga County, wide expanses of road with nothing much to see or do. They are either going up to Canada or Niagara Falls or Buffalo or just passing through and this long trip is boring and painful to their little children.

The children are squirming and complaining. Their seat belts may or may not be fully engaged or on. Then mom or dad gets pulled over for speeding. This is common and happens every day. The troopers look in the back of the min van or car and see kids improperly belted or unbelted.
This is coded by the troopers (I say trooper because their are numerous barracks along 17/86) as
New York VTL 1229 (c) failure to use a seatbelt on passenger under age 4 or age 16.

VTL 1229 (c) (1) NO Child Restraint Under Age 4         3 POINTS
VTL 1229 (c) (2) NO Seat Belt Under Age 16                  3 POINTS

Who is to blame? Not the kids, the parents are guilty and each seatbelt violation is potentially three (3) points upon their driving record. If that was not bad enough PLUS NYS court surcharges PLUS potential insurance rate increases PLUS if a total of six (6) or more points a

THREE YEAR driver responsibility (more like irresponsibility) SURCHARGE of $100 per year for three years plus $50 for every year for very point over six points. Example: Eight (8) Points =
$200 per year for three years.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The DWI Wet Lab: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

I just got back from Las Vegas. Oh the pain and pleasure of being a lawyer who loves to learn. It seems that going to places with gambling, drinking, and a huge party atmosphere is more conducive to continuing legal education, yeah right? This year the conference was held at Caesar's Palace.

Lectures are Boring but Wet Labs are FUN

The NCDD (National College of DUI Defense) and the NACDL (National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers) did a dual program, alcohol and marijuana sessions in the morning, and drugs in the afternoon. In fact, they began with a Wet Lab where volunteers were dosed with drinks, and then sobriety tested. It was fun, and most of all educational. Having the audience play cop, and guess BAC levels as they went through the eye test, balance test, and breath testing. Starting this party up at 9:00am with dosing every 20 minutes till 12:00 must have been painful to the participants who still had an entire day's workshops to get through. The sacrifices that some lawyers make for their friends.

Anthony Palacios, a former police officer and trainer/instructor of DWI breath testing ran the show. I've seen Tony many times before and he is a great teacher. What I got from the Wet Lab is people respond and react so differently to alcohol. Sometimes it has less to do with their BAC (blood alcohol content), and more to do with just who they are AND how the are being tested.

Are they coordinated, are they clumsy, and are the people playing cop being fair and attentive to the process and procedures. As experienced DUI audience members playing law enforcement officers greatly differed in their estimations and assessments.

Ted Simon, Esq. (president of the NACDL)
and Larry Newman

Anyway, my wife and I did enjoy the Michael Jackson ONE show, and the Cirque d' Soleil Beatles shows, the word spectacular comes to mind because they so filled up their respective auditoriums with non-stop action and music.

The lectures on Marijuana, Extrapolation in DWI defense, Challenging Blood Evidence, and Closing Arguments were amazing. One of my favorite programs was put on by Attorney Scott Grossberg from California, he is the iPad lawyer. Explaining how he uses his iPad for trials, preparing and managing a huge law practice was inspiring. He went through the Apps he uses daily for running his life and practice. This year I am committed to being even more tech savvy, and bringing more efficiency to my life/practice.

One of the main things I learned, and I learned a great many things but this needed to be repeated is
What You Name Something is IMPORTANT in the world of DUI Defense.

A breath or blood test result is NOT a Result but an ESTIMATE!
The police don't ask questions of people, they INTERROGATE THEM!

The ideas go on and on but the take aways are truly priceless to me and my practice.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lansing Town Court: DWI and Petit Larceny

Lansing Courthouse and Town Hall
29 Auburn Road = Route 34B

Lansing, NY sits on the east side of Cayuga Lake. It is a beautiful little town. Crossroads Bar and Grill restaurant is a local favorite, IMHO better food by far than many of the fancy Ithaca hot spots, and sits minutes down the road from the courthouse. They have sitting on an outside patio for those great weather spring and summer months. The courthouse sits off of Route 34B / aka Auburn Road which becomes Peruville Road up at the Dunkin.

The Sign on 34B to Look for!!
Make a Left into the Parking Lot

Across from Cross roads there is the Dunkin Dounts Coffee/ Xtra gas station. Gas here is great because they have premium without any ethanol.

Lansing Court jurisdiction takes in our big Ithaca Mall, so it sees lots of shoplifting (petit larceny) cases from Target and Best Buy. In addition, the surrounding byways and highways are dark, winding, and not well developed so many DWIs cases wind up here.
I see many more DWIs around here with accidents or just winding up in ditch in the icy and snowy winter months.

Conveniently close by are: The Tompkins County Jail, and Tompkins Sheriff Station off Warren Road (one exit up 13), and just up the road from the Tompkins County Airport.

Turn in to Court Before the Sign or You've Gone Too Far on 34 B

There are two court judges, two court clerks and two different court sessions: one in the morning and one in the evening. Just the luck of the draw which you get, both judges are fair.

Court Sessions are: Thursday starting at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesdays starting at 9:00 a.m.
It is a very well run, and organized court. Out of the hundred (yes 100 +) I go to this is a favorite for there great response to paperwork and timing.

Judge W. David Banfield with his clerk Jennifer Sandsted

Judge John Howell with his clerk Melody Lombardo


Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Speeding Through The Village of Cayuga Heights

Cayuga Heights Police Station and Courthouse
836 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, New York

The little hamlet of Cayuga Heights is quiet, peaceful, and slow moving. That is why I see and hear about so many speeding tickets around here. For the most part, the speed limit is 30mph. It is easy to go much faster than that when going up and then down our hilly terrain (hence the name heights).
The three most common cases I defend here are related to DWI/DWAI drugs, speeding, and unlawful possession of marijuana, NYS section 221.05 UPM.

Court is Held Every Tuesday and the First Thursday of Each Month

Cayuga Heights has a small but effective police force. They patrol the area regularly, and some of their unmarked (all black) cars can be rather stealth. The grounds of Cornell University are situated right nearby so it is probably not in your best interests to smoke pot or drink in any of the outside areas/parks/golf courses. I can't even imagine telling you the number of marijuana charges this village racks up in any given year.

One of the Newer Marked Sport Utes

The Village Justice is Judge Galbreath. He is a Cornell law professor by day. Which is why those attorneys appearing before him best be prepared. If you are asking for anything you better have good reasons, and an explanation.

This Court can be very busy at times with 1,000 to 1,500 cases per year. That said, the village court clerk, Pat Kannus is on top of things here, and out of the hundred plus courts I go to this is one of the better ones by far.

Things to know: 

  1. Court starts promptly at 6:00 on Tuesdays and 5:00 on Thursdays. 
  2. Sign sheet is out for attorneys and their clients.  
  3. Assistant District Attorney is Andrew Bonavia of the Tompkins County District Attorney Office.
  4. The Court is in a rather old (not well ventilated) but beautiful building, that said dress in layers here. It can be very hot in the summer, and cold or hot in the winter months.
  5. There are three bathrooms (one in the court itself) and two outside the court.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Monday, September 1, 2014

Do You Have To Take the New York DDP (drinking driver program) to Get Your License Back?

My Inspiration!

You know the more I practice the more I truly believe law is all about reading comprehension. I have taken multiple bar exams (btw that's more than a couple). Spare me for bragging but If I had to give advice on taking them (and passing) it would have more to do with learning how to read than memorizing rules of law.

Why Don't People or Lawyers Read?

People are naturally lazy. To all the ditch diggers out there I apologize but I think the hardest work is mental concentration. It is taxing and tiring. Few people past high school even pick up one book. Many of the lawyers I know buy books but never read them. They look good on their shelves as eye candy but the value contained within is hardly explored.

I'm Not the Smartest Guy in the World but,,,

My confession: I love to read. I love books. I buy real paper books, and then mark them up. I know it's sacrilegious but I write in and on and through my books. I devour them. IMHO They were meant to be used and used up. I take notes and journal. They give me ideas, nurture my creativity, and along the way I grow and transform. I wasn't the top guy in my class or valedictorian or summa anything but I am the turtle. Slow and sure, I go, take courses, seminars, workshops, and I read and I grow myself. I believe anyone can.

So Why Begin Here, Online I answer Questions and Other Lawyers answer these same questions and
I can't believe some of the answers.

A recent query:

Do You Have To Take the New York DDP (drinking driver program) to Get Your License Back?

Many lawyers, many of them professing New York DWI expertise/criminal defense expertise saying oh yeah DDP is a must, a mandatory to get a NYS driver's license back after a DWI.

The Truth comes from the mouth of the New York State DMV booklet, a mere public booklet that explains to the general lay public about the program. Try reading some basic brochures, it's enlightening.

There is no DDP requirement. 

The DDP is voluntary unless ordered by the judge upon sentencing. It is not necessary for relicensure. It is only a necessity for those who want a conditional license during their suspension or revocation period. 

From the DDP brochure from NYS DMV: 

However, you may be eligible for a conditional license or a conditional driving privilege if you participate in New York State’s Drinking Driver Program (DDP) or an approved out-of-state program. 

If you are eligible "to participate" in the Drinking Driver Program, even if you "choose not" to participate, you will not be eligible again for the program or a conditional license for the next five years. In some instances, the court may order you to participate even if you already attended the DDP within the previous five years. However, you will not be eligible for a conditional license in this instance. 

Now does the word PARTICIPATE sound mandatory? How about the section in the brochure that asks, "what if you choose not to participate?" Would that even be necessary if it was a must?

Anyway, be careful who you hire and remember reading is a lost art.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Sunday, August 31, 2014

When does a Bad Driving Record Become Good?

Driving Histories Can Stay With You
Longer Than Criminal Records

I was recently asked by a person with a DWI (less than 2 years ago) what should they should answer on an employment application if they are asked?"

"Do You have a Good Driving Record?"

My answer: I think it would depend upon the job and duties. If it were a job that involved driving, then my answer might be never. The DWI/DUI/OUI is going to be there on a background check for a long time. In NYS it would be there on your lifetime DMV history for your lifetime. In other states like PA, it's at least 10 years, and even then with a little digging or the government it wouldn't be hard to find it.

Why, possibly NEVER?

An employer is concerned about their insurance costs overall. The cost of getting you insured under a corporate auto/truck policy may be ridiculous. If someone had merely speeding tickets and/or other moving violations then these would be more time dependent (how long ago), and age dependent (how old were you then, how old are you now). Things that happened when you were in your teens or early twenties may be forgiven by the time you reach your thirties.

NYS Plea Bargain Look Back Periods

For plea bargain purposes on new tickets and/or moving violations the usual prosecutorial (District Attorney) look back period is 18 months. The NYS DMV holds stuff against you on points and/or speeds for 18 months as well. BUT caution thinking you are safe after 18 months because with more serious traffic offenses accumulated over time, this 18 month look back may not even matter.

Serious Traffic Infractions

Speeds of 15mph or more
Reckless Driving
Unsafe Lane Change
Following Too Closely
License Suspensions and Revocations

What About Cleaning Your driving Record in States with Youthful Offender Status (NYS), ARD (PA), Expungement (PA), and Sealing of DUI/DWI/OUI Records?

NYS has special YO (youthful offender) status for crimes committed before the age of 19. DWI criminal convictions are vacated, and closed for public scrutiny BUT your DMV license history will still show the DWI.

PA has ARD (accelerated rehabilitative disposition) which will get rid of a first DUI criminal conviction and expunge it from your criminal history BUT your PA DOT license history will still show the DUI for 10 years.

Administrative Histories and Punishments Will Linger for a Long Time

Remember that even in states that clean up criminal court histories, and records your driving history is another story. License records and histories will always reveal Administrative sanctions. With national internet databases these records will reveal past license suspensions, license revocations, and actions.

As they say, "time heals all wounds." 

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Ignorance of the Law is NOT a Legal Defense

"Where Ignorance is Bliss,
'tis folly to be wise."
                                           From a Poem by Thomas Grey

I get phone calls, emails, and texts daily asking the same question over and over, what if I didn't know that was the law? In my state it's ok to.  I didn't know that in New York State:

1. It's illegal to use my portable GPS, iPod, etc. while driving, I thought it was just phone calls?
2. It's illegal to not change lanes when I saw an emergency vehicle or police car pulled to the right?
3. It's illegal to use my medical marijuana (for which I have a card in NJ/CA) in New York State?

Upon the entry points to many states there are signs posted concerning their move over laws and their phone/electronic device law, but are they always apparent and easy to see?

Ignorance of the Law is Not an Excuse or a Valid Legal Defense

We are held to all the rules and laws of whatever jurisdiction (state/country/province) we find ourselves in or visiting. Here's another recent example:

One of my neighbors placed a package by the building mail boxes:

Does he have to be told by the Postal Service
You can't do this!

The US postal rule as posted on a local mailbox,
does his box weigh over 13 ounces, you betcha!

Rules and Laws of Wherever You Are are Important to KNOW

My neighbor won't be arrested for this but his package ain't going to move very far. Does he have to learn the postal rules and laws? How many of our rules are common sense and how many are open for interpretation? 

In GA and Ohio you can't ride a bicycle high or impaired or intoxicated? You can in NYS. In PA you can't ride a horse or horse drawn carriage high or impaired or intoxicated? You can in NYS. 

Who knows any of this stuff? In Colorado many now know that marijuana is legal both recreationally and medically. But although smoking and possession are legal you Can NOT legally smoke in public areas.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Saturday, August 30, 2014

How Many Times Must YOU Appear for a NY Traffic Violation?

"New" Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1806 is NOW five years old 

Having to physically show up to court over and over sucks. It sucks for regular (lay) people, and it also sucks for their attorneys. It is a true time waster in every sense of the word. What could be handled or settled or negotiated or resolved in less time and less effort and less money drags on and on. WHY?

Form Over Substance

Why after all are new laws proposed, and then passed by our legislators? New laws are aimed at helping all of us but without common sense in their substance they end up making things worse.

I recently had a Court demand my physical appearance on a ticket case. To demand that an attorney physically appear to resolve a rather simple traffic violation with no aggravating factors is frustrating. This is especially true when it is a 7:00 PM Court in the middle of nowhere. Is it any wonder that my next Court date in this Court is also scheduled 3 months away because the Court is so backed up with tickets. This costs everyone more, not good, certainly not justice or fairness for people by any stretch of the imagination.

The NOT so NEW New York VTL Law Section 1806

In 2009, the New York State legislature changed traffic tickets throughout the state to an almost mandatory three stage process:

1. Initial (first) appearance
2. Pre-trial conference (discussion/negotiation of matter with judge and DA or ADA)
3. Trial (police show up ready to go)

In the real world, tickets, violations get negotiated with prosecutors daily via phone, fax, email, and mail. Most offers on these types of matters are then approved by the judge. Most ADAs don't give plea offers that won't be approved by their respective judges.

If you look to the picture above you see one of the Courts using and almost with a certain glee flouting Section 1806 as a mandate to physically appear. They might be using it as an excuse for whatever reason. In many places we can still handle these tickets (violations) within a two stage process or even a one stage process IF we have all the necessary paperwork and documentation prepared in advance.

IMHO With or without new law common sense must prevail because without it we are all going to be spinning our wheels and going nowhere fast.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Virginia Driver's License with a New York DWI = Double Penalties

Lately I have had a number of New York clients with VA (Virginia) driver's licenses. Every state is different as to license penalties but to represent them completely I always turn to my out-of-state comrades. My VA DUI attorney friends gave me the low down of what they will be facing back in Virginia.


= PAIN X 2

#1 It is Legal to be Given Administrative Penalties in Two States

In this case, they must deal with both NYS DMV, and the VA DMV. They will have consequences and hoops to jump through to clear license issues in both jurisdictions. My job is to see if I can get them some reciprocity, eliminate redundancy, and to ensure that punishments to licensure are minimized. Even though these people do not have a NYS driver's license they hold (or held) NYS privileges while driving in NYS, and will now face NYS DMV sanctions.

#2 It is Customary to be Given Administrative Penalties in Two States

Few states do not have penalties for out-of-state of DWI/DUI/OUI/OWI (the number of different acronyms is staggering). I can only name one state currently that has NO out-of-state administrative penalties, drumroll please,,,,,, Pennsylvania. I love PA for a number of reasons, I was first licensed and practiced as an attorney there, and their DMV policy is very generous.

Virginia License Consequences

A Virginia-licensed client will be suspended in Virginia for 12 months on a first offense, and he/she may apply to the district court in his/her resident jurisdiction for restricted privileges (license) with a mandatory interlock for at least 6 months of that period, and be required to attend Virginia ASAP as a condition of any such restricted license

VASAP has many different programs. Some are public, and some are private. When I researched their offerings I was amazed with the number of choices for Virginia residents. Their traditional first offender program is around 20 hours (similar to ours), which is 15 hours. They allow people to proceed with many of the programs on their own schedules. This flexibility coupled with a plethora of options makes finding help and receiving it much easier than in NYS. 

If the BAC was below 0.15, your client will be eligible for a restricted license, but will have to go into the General District Court in his/her county and request one.  

If the BAC was 0.15 or more, it will depend on the judge.  While the driver is technically eligible for the restricted license right away, most Virginia judges will not grant one to a 0.15+ driver for four months.

The (special conditional) license is restricted to:

(i) travel to and from his place of employment; (ii) travel to and from an alcohol rehabilitation or safety action program; (iii) travel during the hours of such person's employment if the operation of a motor vehicle is a necessary incident of such employment; (iv) travel to and from school if such person is a student, upon proper written verification to the court that such person is enrolled in a continuing program of education; (v) travel for health care services, including medically necessary transportation of an elderly parent or, as designated by the court, any person residing in the person's household with a serious medical problem upon written verification of need by a licensed health professional; (vi) travel necessary to transport a minor child under the care of such person to and from school, day care, and facilities housing medical service providers; (vii) travel to and from court-ordered visitation with a child of such person; (viii) travel to a screening, evaluation and education program entered pursuant to  18.2-251 or subsection H of  18.2-258.1; (ix) travel to and from court appearances in which he is a subpoenaed witness or a party and appointments with his probation officer and to and from any programs required by the court or as a condition of probation; (x) travel to and from a place of religious worship one day per week at a specified time and place; (xi) travel to and from appointments approved by the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Department of Social Services as a requirement of participation in a court-ordered intensive case monitoring program for child support for which the participant maintains written proof of the appointment, including written proof of the date and time of the appointment, on his person; (xii) travel to and from jail to serve a sentence when such person has been convicted and sentenced to confinement in jail and pursuant to  53.1-131.1 the time to be served is on weekends or nonconsecutive days; or (xiii) travel to and from the facility that installed or monitors the ignition interlock in the person's vehicle.

NOTE: I find it unusual that VA allows travel for religious worship. NYS has no such provision in our statutes. VA residents may think us heathens.

1. Many jurisdictions in Virginia require the individual to have a letter from their employer, setting out the need to drive for work purposes, and a letter from medical personnel regarding medically necessary transportation of an elderly parent, or other person residing in the applicant’s household. 

2. They will also need a current (within 2 weeks) copy of their Virginia DMV record, and a compliance report from DMV, showing that they are “otherwise qualified” for restricted privileges.  

3. I would also recommend bringing a certified copy of the NYS disposition, showing that he/she was deemed eligible for restricted privileges with an interlock by the convicting court.

NYS attorneys take note of this prior to sentencing although most NYS courts will provide the interlock order which should suffice here.

Some VA administrative (license) consequences, like the ignition interlock will overlap with the NYS consequences. In place of the NYS DDP most judges will allow the out-of-state VASAP program attendance or an equivalent. 

I thank Corinne J. Magee for all this VA license information and guidance. Corinne is a fellow member of the NCDD (National College of DUI Defense), and an excellent DUI attorney.

The Magee Law Firm, PLLC
6845 Elm Street, Suite 205
McLean, VA 22101-3822
facsimile: 703-356-6863

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers