Monday, January 20, 2014

Respecting the Triad of Drugs, Weather, and Weapons

What comes around goes around!

My father was a great teacher. He taught me to aim high, and to be responsible. He also only demanded one thing from me: RESPECT. He believed that if I respected him then a natural consequence would also be self-respect, respect for others, and respect for the world around me. I have respect for the system of justice we live under. I don't always agree with the law or Judges or some of the prosecutors I argue with but respect is another matter entirely. Authority and position deserve a measure of respect regardless of personal prejudice and political views. Respect goes along way both in and out of the courtroom.

I also think we should also have a healthy respect for three things: weather, drugs, and weapons. 


People go out in the ice and snow believing that all wheel drive and snows can somehow overcome the laws of physics. Weather can truly knock you for a loop, and deserves to be respected. Especially in Ithaca, the weather can go from bad to worse in a very short period of time. If not, proceed at your own risk.

I like the drugs bunny

Drugs (legal, illegal, and prescribed)

Small quantities of drugs alone or in combination can create physical and mental states of impairment. Sometimes the same drug or drugs on a different day and time can have a wildly different effect. Not respecting the power and risk inherent in the taking of these substances is foolish. The first thing that most drugs affect is our ability to think and judge risk. 

Small but dangerous
from global


A small knife or gun can cause great damage. People tend to underestimate the power of a weapon.  

So the power of respect should not be taken for granted, not toward people, weather, drugs, or weapons. Your understanding of this principle can be a life changing experience.

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

Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 90% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 440 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.