Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer Are YOU at the Mercy of the New York Police on a Car STOP, Truth or Fiction?

Gotta Love Spidey! My Philosophy Teacher.

Peter Parker (as Spiderman) 

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" 
"This is my gift, my curse"

Many people are skeptical of the honesty of the police. The Primary Question: Are they really going to be honest and truthful in their dealings with me as a citizen? Well to simplify, the police have a dual role or function in our society: to serve and protect /to investigate and charge crime. They have authority, power, and the enormous responsibility to use them properly and appropriately.

Can they be done together? Unlikely? In a perfect world they have to use common sense, and be psychologists, social workers, and enforcers all at the same time. A good law enforcement officer is under a lot of stress to fulfill these roles with the care and attention they deserve.

One Example: The police stop your friend's car for speeding. Everyone in the car is ordered out. The car and it's occupants are searched, a folding knife is found in the car.

What can happen now? What can happen to everybody in the car?

New York States's Weapon Law is Seriously NOT in your Favor

The Best Folding Knives in the World: Buck Knives
But you better know your New York knife law before getting one

Section 265.01 Criminal Possession of a weapon in the 4th degree

A  person  is  guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth
  degree when:

    (1) He or she possesses any firearm, electronic dart  gun,  electronic
  stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal
  knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles,
  metal  knuckles,  chuka  stick,  sand  bag,  sandclub,  wrist-brace type
  slingshot or slungshot, shirken or "Kung Fu star"; or
    (2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk,  razor,  stiletto,
  imitation  pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon
  with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; or
    (3); or
    (4) He possesses a  rifle,  shotgun,  antique  firearm,  black  powder
  rifle, black powder shotgun, or any muzzle-loading firearm, and has been
  convicted of a felony or serious offense; or
    (5)  He  possesses any dangerous or deadly weapon and is not a citizen
  of the United States; or
    (6) He is a person who has been certified not suitable  to  possess  a
  rifle  or  shotgun, as defined in subdivision sixteen of section 265.00,
  and refuses to yield possession of such rifle or shotgun upon the demand
  of a police officer. Whenever a person  is  certified  not  suitable  to
  possess  a  rifle or shotgun, a member of the police department to which
  such certification is made, or of  the  state  police,  shall  forthwith
  seize  any rifle or shotgun possessed by such person. A rifle or shotgun
  seized as herein provided shall not be destroyed, but shall be delivered
  to the headquarters of such police  department,  or  state  police,  and
  there retained until the aforesaid certificate has been rescinded by the
  director  or  physician in charge, or other disposition of such rifle or
  shotgun  has  been  ordered  or  authorized  by  a  court  of  competent
    (7)  He knowingly possesses a bullet containing an explosive substance
  designed to detonate upon impact.
    (8) He possesses any armor piercing ammunition with intent to use  the
  same unlawfully against another.
    Criminal  possession  of  a  weapon  in the fourth degree is a class A

Remember that the Police need to know and understand the laws they have given their oath to protect and enforce.

Who determines if it is a "dangerous" knife?

The police! 

If it looks (appears) to be dangerous, it is! In NYC it also has a 4" limit legally speaking.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, well it's probably a DUCK!

Who determines if you have "the intent" to use it unlawfully against another?

The police!


Law enforcement officers (LEOs), the police make all these determinations.

But the law is again on their side in making such a crucial determination. Once a car is stopped, all they need is Probable cause for a legal stop (any traffic violation or equipment violation) then it (the car) and the passengers in it (and their bags) can also be searched LEGALLY in New York State!


§ 265.15 Presumptions of possession, unlawful intent and defacement.

    1.  The  presence  in  any room, dwelling, structure or vehicle of any
  machine-gun is presumptive evidence of its unlawful  possession  by  all
  persons occupying the place where such machine-gun is found.
    2.  The  presence  in  any  stolen  vehicle of any weapon, instrument,
  appliance or substance specified in  sections  265.01,  265.02,  265.03,
  265.04  and  265.05  is  presumptive  evidence  of its possession by all
  persons occupying such vehicle at  the  time  such  weapon,  instrument,
  appliance or substance is found.
    3.  The presence in an automobile, other than a stolen one or a public
  omnibus, of any  firearm,  large  capacity  ammunition  feeding  device,
  defaced  firearm,  defaced  rifle  or  shotgun,  defaced  large capacity
  ammunition feeding device, firearm  silencer,  explosive  or  incendiary
  bomb,  bombshell,  gravity  knife,  switchblade  knife,  pilum ballistic
  knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger, dirk,  stiletto,  billy,  blackjack,
  plastic  knuckles,  metal  knuckles,  chuka  stick, sandbag, sandclub or
  slungshot is presumptive evidence  of  its  possession  by  ALL  persons
  occupying  such  automobile  at  the  time  such  weapon,  instrument or
  appliance is found, except under the  following  circumstances:  (a)  if
  such  weapon, instrument or appliance is found upon the person of one of
  the occupants therein; (b) if such weapon, instrument  or  appliance  is
  found  in  an  automobile  which  is  being  operated for hire by a duly
  licensed driver in the due, lawful and proper  pursuit  of  his  or  her
  trade,  then  such  presumption shall not apply to the driver; or (c) if
  the weapon so found is a pistol or revolver and one  of  the  occupants,
  not  present  under duress, has in his or her possession a valid license
  to have and carry concealed the same.
    4. The possession by any person  of  the  substance  as  specified  in
  section 265.04 is presumptive evidence of possessing such substance with
  intent  to  use  the  same  unlawfully against the person or property of
  another if such person  is  not  licensed  or  otherwise  authorized  to
  possess  such  substance.  The  possession  by any person of any dagger,
  dirk,  stiletto,  dangerous  knife  or  any  other  weapon,  instrument,
  appliance  or substance designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a
  weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to  use  the  same  
  unlawfully against another.
    5.  The  possession  by  any person of a defaced machine-gun, firearm,
  rifle or shotgun is presumptive evidence that such  person  defaced  the
    6.  The  possession  of  five  or  more  firearms  by  any  person  is
  presumptive evidence that such person possessed the  firearms  with  the
  intent to sell same.

If they find weapons or drugs, one and all can be charged with crimes.

It is up to the police (very subjective) whether to charge one or all of the people in the car with the crime (misdemeanor) criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree.

KEY TAKEAWAY: What all this really means is that you better know the people you are traveling with AND you better know about what's in their car, or else it's your ass on the line if they get stopped.

Always 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 Lawyer Asks Why Roundup is NOT Sold or Used in New York State?

I am an observer. I watch people around me, and try to figure things out. Based on their behavior, Who are they, what are their motivations and beliefs? I like to ask questions, sometimes I just ask them in my head, interrogating those around me is not always a friendly thing to do.

Maybe I'm just noisy? Maybe I'm an amateur psychologist or a little psycho? So I'm watching TV and tons of commercials (or is it just me), and the Roundup ad for weed killer is fantastic, it's almost like magic. Who doesn't love a perfectly green lawn? Then the end credits roll, and the NOT TO BE SOLD OR USED IN NEW YORK STATE. It bothers me. And it infuriates me that I can't have access to something so wonderful, why New York? WHY?

Beauty like this comes at a price?

As I live and practice in the great Empire State I am often reminded of how many seeming innocuous things I cannot do here. New York is special, aside from high taxes and great benefits for those masses in need we have a plentitude of laws. As liberal as we think we are, are we really?

Get it sheep/sleep?
New York State is Our Protector

Apparently New York is a watchdog maybe even a guard dog for us New Yorkers. Protecting us Sheepeople from liars and companies that stretch the truth. Well apparently Monsanto, one of the behemoths of the world (numero uno in fertilizer) was sued by the New York Attorney General in 1996 for false advertising of it's popular product Roundup weed killer.

They (Monsanto) described Roundup as "environmentally friendly" and "safe as table salt." It ain't but honestly who cares, it kills weeds and your lawn will look amazing if you use it. Yeah maybe your unborn fetus may come out looking odd or your neighbor may get cancer but hey beauty costs, right?
Just kidding, but 49 states and the rest of the world (most of it) love and use Roundup. Can't I make my own decisions?

How many things does NYS guard against? 

1. In 41 states you can use your cell phone while driving but Not New York State
2. In 21 states (with 12 more pending) we have legal (prescription/medical) marijuana but Not New York State
3. In New York State you cannot order a Saliva hormone or other medical test without a New York doctor's order
4. In New York State you cannot purchase wine (higher alcohol content) in a convenience store or supermarket
5. In New York you can't order wine abroad (even from New Jersey) and have it delivered to New York
6. In New York we have the strictest of gun laws. You cannot own or possess a gun unless you are a NYS resident with a permit even if you are passing through the state.

And the list goes on and on, but does it make life for us better, I guess yes and no. Nice to know someone cares, and yet in my opinion too much protection restricts our freedom as a people.

Always 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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer Whose Definition is It? The Lie of Truth

Ain't that the Truth

What is the truth about anything? People love to argue over what is and what is not. Definitions come from someone and they come from somewhere but who, what, and where?

Well first off, how something is defined is by more than just one filter but many:

the filter of place (a state, a jurisdiction, a city, a country, a locality have you),
they are also defined by a filter of time (a date),
they are defined further by a filter of culture,
and even further by a filter of personal perspective.

So what we may believe is good or bad, black or white, or variants of legal or illegal, or fair or unfair must pass through all of those filters. What was true yesterday may be untrue or false today. What was good before is now ok or even terrible.

I recently had a person hire me for an appearing simple ticket matter which became more complicated as I learned more of the circumstances surrounding it. As they say, the plot thickened. I was eventually left trying to explain why with all these "new" facts things would be harder.

Complications from Afar

Well their driver's license was from another state. This is usually not a terrible problem with a simple ticket but their state considered any action to their license privileges in New York would also bring the same action and much worse back home. This simple ticket could not be handled without a sit down or two with the District Attorney and Judge. We call these pre-trial conferences.

This action against it in that other state would be on top of any NYS penalties. I was not going to practice in a state where I was not licensed. So I called a lawyer friend in this state, and asked their legal advice. The news was not good or promising. I would have to flex my creativity muscles on this one.
Being creative to package a deal which may or may not have included increased fines, community service hours, a defensive driving course, pleading to multiple smaller violations with lesser points, or nondescript violations or what have you. A deal of sorts.

The Difficulties with Being Your Own Lawyer

I went back to the client, and their parents to relay the news. They first accepted it, and then they decided to do their own legal research. Well not really legal research more like trying to read their state's DMV handbook. Now remember a DMV handbook is NOT the law, it is a watered guideline. It is not even all encompassing or legal speak (definitions).

The difference between understanding law and legal process for a novice is hard enough but to compare a truly unlisted offense with a seemingly similar one is not something that even a lawyer would try and do.

The Bottom Line: Offenses which go beyond standard definitions need local practicing attorneys
for explanation, for context, and for guidance.

The Curse of Knowledge

Sometimes being smart can truly be a curse. I suffer the same fate, thinking that I am smart in some ways and things and then thinking that that I can apply that brain power to other disciplines, ahhh wrong! I have learned to trust the judgement of others. Especially those I hire and have no reason to doubt.

Always 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, April 23, 2014

Oh the Dangers of Upstate New York Speeding with an Out of State Driver's License

Shooting them there FISHES

I handle lots of speeding tickets in the Upstate (Finger Lakes Region) of New York. Many people from other states pass through this area on business and pleasure. Whether you are here for a few hours or a few days the likelihood of getting stopped for speeding is high. This is especially true for those from out of state. To the Troopers, it's like shooting fish in barrel.

Round' em Up

Wide open expanses of highway and rolling little roads where the speed limits are far lower than they need to be. People coming from bigger (more populated) places just can't help themselves. It's a little too slow, and a little too quiet for the majority of them.

One thing that always must be taken into consideration before discussing a plea bargain with the District Attorney is what's going to happen back in their home license state. Because, Well it can range from nothing to a lot. Talk about diverse and crazy laws.

If you are from New Jersey, ANY out of state points (from out of state tickets) come back to New Jersey as only 2 points. Get 8 in NYS it's still 2 in NJ.

But if you are from North Carolina, it's as if it occurred there, in North Carolina.

High speed tickets (15mph over the limit) are misdemeanors in North Carolina with mandatory driver's license suspensions. This is a good thing for your attorney to know BEFORE going in to discuss any potential plea bargains or deals. It would be a bad to find out your NYS speeding ticket had triggered a surprise NC license suspension.

Always 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, April 21, 2014

My First Loves, and the Lesson of Resourcefulness

Growing up I had three main interests besides girls. I loved Magic, Photography, and Bodybuilding. These occupied many hours of self- study and energy. My sister thought I had unhealthy obsessions with these things. I would buy magazines, read books, and focus on nothing else.

Constraints Make You Creative

I had limited finances (poor kid from a poor family) so with this as my constraint I looked for used equipment, went to the library, and learned to be resourceful at an early age. Waste nothing, use everything, and make the most of what I had. I can still remember the New York library section for magic to this day, 793.8.

My little basement gym turned into a crucible for change, this grew over time as I accumulated mismatched weights, odd bars, and benches. With these I learned valuable lessons. No pain no gain. I learned that there was a price to pay for everything I wanted. That I would pay this price in advance for what I wanted. If I worked hard enough and long enough I too could succeed.

I went down to that basement Brooklyn gym night after night with one goal in mind, build myself, and show them. Them being all those with, with the luxuries, with the advantages, and with the resources. That driving force led to a 3rd place NYS Powerlifting trophy (NYS Amateur), a basement darkroom, and a magic performance to NYC Mayor Beame.

That same mentality, brought me to earning professional degrees, passing multiple bar exams, building very successful businesses, and having a wonderful wife.

Too Many Advantages Can Be a Disadvantage

I believe that companies and people that give themselves permission to spend to build and create do themselves a disservice. Having finite resources or thinking you do forces you to go outside the box. To make more and do more with what you do have fosters and encourages deep reflection. I believe that having too much or a mentality of wastefulness leads to aimlessness.

Doing the most with what you have is a philosophy. It is my ideology that truth comes from the bottom, from your core, comes from when you are running on fumes, comes when you become real and authentic, comes from being lean, and from being hungry. As Arnold used to joke, you gotta Stay Hungry to win and continue winning.

Success by Formula NOT Chance or Luck

I tell you all of this not to try and impress you with what I have done or accomplished. I share this because I believe that ANYONE can exceed their hopes and dreams. Having a focus, putting your energy, time, and resources into it wholeheartedly, and then following through by giving back to others is the KEY. Being good at anything and achieving anything you truly desire is not by luck or chance. Although amazing opportunities that seem like sheer luck for these may pop up along the way as your momentum builds.

Who I was as a Chiropractor, who I am as a lawyer, husband, father, and man are directly related to embracing the lesson of resourcefulness. Making the most (and doing the most) with what you have is the Winning Formula. Often having less or nothing at all is far better than unlimited resources.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer How Police Spot The Motorcycle DWI

Way to bring your favorite Kegger along for the ride.

It's mid April in Ithaca, and people are finally starting to feel better. It has been in my estimation, and I'm sure many would join me, a brutal hard winter. No School days based on scary cold weather. Unrelenting days of deep and bone chilling cold. But enough of that, it's warming up, the flowers are blooming.

Now that spring is hopefully upon us the motorcycles are coming out. And with the motorcycles, the motorcycle DWIs. So in this blog I want to shed some light on how police determine someone is DWI on a bike.

Speeding is Usually Not the Culprit

In only 10% of New York State motorcycle speeding stops is there a DWI arrest. This stands in sharp contrast to the many car DWI stops for speeding (well over 60%) I see within my Ithaca DWI practice. Tompkins and the surrounding counties lend themselves to motorbikes. Winding roads, large expanses of beautiful scenery, and rolling vistas. It is a biker's dream.

DWI on a Motorcycle vs. DWI in a Car

The sharp difference between cars and bikes is of course the number of wheels, and the reliance on operator (rider) balance. This is the main thing that stands out when police are looking for motorcycle DWI. Alcohol effects the body's ability to balance, and therefore the rider's ability to balance his bike.

Four Turning Problems (balance is most apparent with turns and curves)

1. Unsteady at slower (too slow) turn speeds

Remember objects in motion tend to stay in motion
while objects at rest, well they fall down


Bikes are kinda like gyroscopes, keep'em in motion and it's not problem, everything looks smooth and fluid, slow down too much and you lose balance, like weebles they begin to wobble. This is especially noticeable on the front wheels.

2. Late Breaking in a Turn

Biker misjudges distances.

3. Improper Lean Angles in a Turn.

Talk about lean angles, this is ridiculous

With DWIs the Biker usually sitting up too high.

4. Erratic Movements in a Turn 

The Three KEY Indicators: 

Police look for drifting, inability to dismount easily, and inability to balance at stops

Police can see the motorcycle shifting or rocking motion from side to side or at night the tail lights going right and then left, this unsteady cadence is a key indicator of DWI

Always 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 Lawyer How to Exert or Invoke Your Legal Rights

YOU want rights then YOU must INVOKE THEM

This may sound like a simple question but how does one exert or assert or invoke their constitutional rights with law enforcement?

Well first ways that are NOT effective or legal:

1. Telling them to f off
2. Telling them to just leave you alone
3. Not doing anything
4. Asking them legal questions and then "Expecting" them to tell you the truth about anything
5. Being silent for a long time (see case below)

The US Supreme Court case is Berghuis v Thompkins, 560 U.S. 370 (2010)

Thompkins was in custody for allegedly killing someone. He sat silent for THREE HOURS.

Never asked for an attorney

The police then appealed to him spiritually, and asked him three questions:

1. do you believe in G-d?  yes
2. do you pray to G-d? yes
3. do you pray to G-d to forgive you for shooting the victim? yes

The police got their admission to the crime.

This was used against him in Court. Thompkins was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole. The case was appealed to the US Supreme Court as a violation of his right to remain silent.

Thompkins argued he had NOT invoked or waived his rights and therefore this admission should not have come into evidence against him.


They (the police) will not leave you alone, they will not stop their games or requests or questions until,,,

Four words 

"I want a lawyer"or "I want an attorney"

Then and only then do they have to leave you alone unless you say more or cancel (waive) that request

Always 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 Lawyer Can the Police Take Away Your Driver's License?

I occasionally get a call that the police have taken away someone's driver's license after a traffic stop. Now the stop may have been for a DWI or reckless driving or maybe even for a crazy speed. BTW "Crazy" can be as little as 90+ Upstate, I know that may sound ridiculous to those from New Jersey and NYC where people regularly travel at the speed of light.

Most people believe at that point that they do not have a driver's license (or a privilege). Well do they?

SYMBOLS (documents) Versus PRIVILEGES

Well you don't have the ID, the symbol of the license but the underlying privilege is still there. The police do have great authority, discretion, and power but what they do not have is the ability to take away driving privileges.

That can come from a Judge or from the NYS DMV but a police officer on the street can only hold your license not take the privilege away. Once a privilege is taken away you need to sign a document that you have received NOTICE and that you can now have a HEARING to dispute the taking.

This process of NOTICE and a HEARING is minimum DUE PROCESS. Things can't be taken without due process, because it's unconstitutional. You have a right to know what is being taken, why it is being taken, and an opportunity to challenge the taking.

As an aside, always be polite and respectful with law enforcement. It is never a good idea to be a smart ass or play games with them. Best to be mature, do not answer questions without an attorney present, and clearly request an attorney. Whether you should perform or submit to any type of testing is a topic to explore on my other blog posts and videos.

Looking for Miranda? The Myth of Miranda

Funny stuff, they can use what you say to them against you!

Phone call after phone call yesterday, if if I hear "but they didn't mirandize me" one more time?

It is a common mistake perpetuated by TV and the movies. The whole "YOU have a right to remain silent, etc. etc. etc. BUT the myth persists, if they don't (the policia, the po po, law enforcement) give me my miranda then everything is tossed out.

First, Miranda ONLY relates to statements that you make. It is one small piece of the puzzle. One aspect of evidence to be used against you. It is NOT the be all and end all of your case. It is the not the crux of all your charges. It is only one way to help them prove their case (the charges) against you. This is especially true with a DWI case.

You have the DRIVING to look at. Was it bad driving? Were there mistakes? Did you violate the road rules? Was your car up to snuff? If you made moving violations and had equipment violations that generally equals = a LEGAL STOP by the police.

You have your BEHAVIOR to look at. Were you drinking or drugging? Was it obvious or subtle? Could you walk, talk, and respond to questions, directions, and inquiry? How were your body movements? Were you slow, labored, or confused?

You have your TESTING to look at. Did you submit to their tests? Did you follow their directions and instructions? Did you give them a sample of your body fluids whether on the street or back at the station?

They don't need your statements to prove you were DWI or that you stole something or that you have drugs in your possession.

And if they don't Mirandize you so what? It doesn't negate the lawfulness of the arrest, the lawfulness of the stop of your car, or the lawfulness of any of their requests.

Miranda ONLY attaches once you are in custody and the begin to interrogate you. Then if they don't give Miranda, your statements may not be used against YOU but that is it.

Always 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, April 19, 2014

Good Doctor Bad Doctor Good Lawyer Bad Lawyer Spotting the Difference

So bad ass! Clint is a mentor.

How do you know? How do you know when you have the best doctor or the best lawyer? Forget the word best for a minute, how bout a good doctor or a good lawyer? and the completion of that thought, the best for you and your particular situation (aka problem).

One of My First Mentors

I love Clint Eastwood, his movies are legendary, his characters pragmatic, tough, a classic man's man IMHO, and his movie lines are epic.

Facing down a criminal next to his gun. "Being that this is a .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world the question you got to ask yourself is do I feel lucky? well do ya punk?"

"Your mouthwash ain't making it."

"You want a guarantee, buy a toaster."

and my all time favorite:

"Man's gotta know his limitations."

Which brings me to today, does your professional "anything" know their limitations. Doctors and lawyers have a very wide scope of practice once they are licensed. They can do a great many things but should they?

Just because you can treat ANYONE with ANY condition, should you?
Just because you can represent ANYONE with ANY legal problem, should you?

Big questions to ponder. My answer came from a wise old doctor many years ago. Dr. Drucker practiced in Boca Raton, FL for decades. He was my friend's uncle. When he spoke you listened. He had a rare air of confidence and sincerity. His knowledge was balanced by his humbleness to what he didn't know. "Any good doctor knows when he is in over his head." They know When it's Time to refer, time to hand it over to someone else with greater or more focused expertise.

Facing Your Limitations

I have faced my limitations both as a chiropractor and as a lawyer. In my ten years of chiropractic practice I saw about 5,000 to 6,000 patients. Of those many had neuromusculoskeletal issues related to causes other than spinal, or muscles, or joints. Whether it was a growing tumor, diabetes, an autoimmune disease, like Lupus or Rheumatoid, etc. they needed a referral. They didn't need me! They needed someone else, and my job was then to direct them to the best professional for that matter.

The Best Professional will take on the things, the people, the cases, and the situations that they have the skills, the knowledge, the expertise, and the passion for. The best doctor has interests. The best lawyer has interests. I do DWI and traffic because it INTERESTS me! I still find it interesting and exciting. To me alcohol and drugs and how they affect the mind and the body are fascinating. Add cars (I love cars) to the mix and you got me.


If your professional is bored with what they do or not interested in you or your situation or interested in doing something else in another field or another place (wishing for greener grass). Don't walk, run!

In my sweet spot!

MY Wheelhouse

In my years of 16 years of legal practice I have referred my fair share of cases outside of my domain. Outside of my wheelhouse as they say. Wheelhouse is a baseball term, and my wheelhouse is the center of my greatest striking (hitting) power, I want things that I take on to be in that sweet spot. I want to hit it out of the park. I'm not swinging at everything. My wheelhouse is also aligned with my interests and what I like to do best. I can't get excited about what doesn't interest me (even for money).

Always 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

Friday, April 18, 2014

New York Traffic Misdemeanors: No Valid Registration, No Valid Insurance, and No Valid Driver's License

There is a world of difference between criminal and non-criminal charges. Criminal charges generally involve an arrest, booking, fingerprints and then they require court appearances, and lawyers.

In a word, the paper documents we call our car insurance, our driver's license, and our car registration are merely SYMBOLS. If there is nothing beneath them, no real validity to there physical presence and representation they are worthless.

The penalties can be huge:

Persons driving a car without valid insurance under NYS VTL section 319 face up to a one year license revocation. Fines between $150 and $1500 plus DMV fees of $750.

Persons driving without a valid registration under NYS VTL section 512 face jail time.

DO You Need to KNOW? 

I recently had a phone call. Grandson borrowed grandpa's car. He was arrested following a stop for speeding. How does that happen you ask? Well Grandpa had not kept up with the registration, ie. he didn't pay, and then let the insurance lapse.

He spent the night in jail because of this, and wanted to know WHY?

Why was he being held accountable for grandpa?
Why was he arrested for this?
Why was he now facing misdemeanor charges?
Why if he truly didn't KNOW, why was he at fault?
Why isn't grandpa being arrested?
I'm just the driver NOT the owner. What if the owner doesn't know and the driver doesn't know?

The Key: Some Crimes require KNOWLEDGE but NOT these.

Well Bob (not his real name), it works like this, you don't have to have KNOWLEDGE about the car not being valid, or insured. It is your responsibility to make sure that any car you drive is actively registered, insured, and that your license is valid. Just like you must make sure the headlights work and the car is safe.

So make sure that the car you borrow, even from family is fully up to date on it's coverages and obligations or else you may be the one paying the price for their irresponsibility.

Always 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 Lawyer: When is a Dismissal Really a Dismissal with New York State Tickets?

Sweet words from a judge:  "Your charges are dismissed!"

But are they? Can they be re-filed? Can it (the charges) come back to haunt you. Is it really in a sense over?

I recently had a phone call. The person wanted to know if the judge dismissed their case how is it now possible that they had received a letter from the District Attorney stating that the charges were re-filed and now they needed to return to court.

In their particular situation the judge had made an error. The information on the tickets was incorrect and the judge just threw the charges out without a ADA (assistant district attorney) being present.

The KEY: 

"This" dismissal was "without prejudice" though, which means in lay terms, that they (the charges) can be refiled by the police/law enforcement/DA (these are all charging authorities). This is usually reserved for those situations where there was a procedural error.

If the dismissal was "with prejudice" then this would have been a different story because then they can't resurrect (refile) the charges. With prejudice is like a finding of not guilty. The prosecution is barred from refiling.

Always 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, April 3, 2014

S-1446 New York Law NOW Mandates Police Test with a DWI Accident involving Injury

Yay Schoolhouse Rock
I used to love this cartoon,
"I'm just a Bill on Capitol Hill"


The New York Senate just passed another new DWI bill. Bill S-1446 now creates a New Police Testing REQUIREMENT of those "suspected" of being under the influence (drugs and/or alcohol) and who are involved in an accident with serious injury or death. This testing requirement could be blood, breath, and urine. Remember the Police can test as much as they would like, even all three.
This Chemical Testing REQUIREMENT is Mandatory under the new law.

In addition, the reasonable cause threshold shall be met by merely the sufficiency of an ACCIDENT.  This will then meet the requirement to REQUEST and/or ORDER the testing. Any judge can sign an order to force a test without a driver's consent.

Current police practice (before Bill S-1446) was DISCRETIONARY Chemical Testing following an accident with serious injury or death. In other words the law enforcement officer (I love LEO) decided.

In it's original form Bill S-1446 states "injury" in numerous places and not "serious physical injury." Whether the final version of the bill will delineate between the two is uncertain.

Serious Physical Injury is defined under Article 10 of NYS Penal Law:

"Serious physical injury" means physical injury which creates a
substantial risk of death, or which causes death or serious and
protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted

loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

Remember that anyone can argue that something is SERIOUS. 

What is protracted impairment or just impairment of ANY bodily organ? In the heat of the moment many tests will be ordered and required. Our 4th amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure again threatened by law. In some states they are now strapping people to boards at roadside or in the back of squad cars and taking blood. They have NO Refusal weekends even without an accident so I guess compared to that NYS is not quite that draconian.

One of the trends that I now see are judges, prosecutors, and even the police losing their discretionary powers. First, NYS created mandated ignition interlock devices, then mandated time periods for these devices, then mandated alcohol and drug evaluations, mandated license suspensions and revocations, and the list goes on and on. 

Some things (conditions) are still decided on a case by case basis and of course can be argued and defended. NYS still has a wide range of punishments associated with the majority of charges and offenses both criminal and non-criminal. Judges and prosecutors can still have a hand in all of that but many other categories I see regulated to the REQUIRED label.

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

For those of you too young to remember, this is how we learned old school about bills and stuff, schoolhouse rock!

Reviews of Larry Newman:

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


New York's New Texting While Driving Law: Long Suspensions for those Under 18

I love my iPhone but texting while driving is scary!

New York has some of the toughest laws in the country. This is true not only in the area of DWI but also when it comes to traffic violations as well. I have seen texting while driving go from a 2 point violation to 5 point violation (serious traffic offense) in less than 2 years. I have been guilty (not legally) of looking at my phone while driving and almost killing myself in the process. I do believe that distracted driving is a huge problem even for us mature and experienced drivers.

New law makes mandatory driving suspensions those under 18 years of age or who are driving on a probationary driver's license (6 months on any newly acquired or recently re-acquired driver's license).

First time texting violation is a license suspension of 120 days (as in 4 months).
Second time texting violation is a license suspension of 1 year.

These offenses are being taken very seriously by the legislature. Distracted driving accounts for many tragedies. I think the next area of concern and change will be to our speeding laws. Speed kills.

Always 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

Lady Flummoxed with an Equipment Violation in Ithaca Town Court: Proof is the Thing

I am a lover of language

I don't know why exactly but people love to approach me. I guess I have an attractive energy that beckons them. So I just came back from Ithaca Town Court (Tioga and Buffalo Street).

Everyone waits around for the Court to begin or something to happen. For those not familiar with the process it goes something like this:

1. Sign in sheet placed out in public view.

This may just be for attorneys (City Court) but in most other courts (town and village) this is for everyone to sign in for the Court session, and write in an attorney's name, if you have one. It is also usually first come first served.

There is a Court Pecking Order

So after jail cases are dealt with (they go on first), I guess they want to get them in and get them out (maybe because they need to be guarded which cost time and money or maybe because they could be odorous from being kept overnight).

Then come private attorneys and public attorneys, then come regular un-represented people. 

2. The Court is then "opened" for business, and people take their seats.

3.  Clerk says "all rise,"Judge appears, gives a short speech on the pecking order, and if they are there for traffic offenses what their potential options are.

So back to the lady that approached me outside.

Question: Do you know how this process works?
Answer: Yes
Question: So What do I do?
Answer: What are you here for? She could be there for a criminal charge, a misdemeanor or a non-criminal charge, a violation level offense like a speeding ticket.
Question: Well I have an equipment violation for a broken tail light, and I got it fixed.

I ask, do you have proof that you fixed it? The judge can dismiss it if it has been fixed. We call this a "fix-it" ticket.

He gets it!
And He gets it too!
from bus

KEY TAKEAWAY: If you get one thing from this blog post let it be this, PROOF, PROOF, and PROOF

Courts want PROOF, Prosecutors want PROOF, after all is said and done what can you PROVE?

I see people asking for leniency, asking for dismissals, asking for money in civil cases, asking for something but they neglect to bring PROOF. The asker, the mover, carries (brings) the BURDEN of PROOF.

Answer: Well I was hoping they could come outside to my car so I could show them that I fixed it.

Wait, you want the Judge or the prosecutor to come out to your car with you to show them you fixed the light? Why didn't you bring a picture of it fixed? Why didn't you bring a receipt for the part? Why didn't you bring a mechanic service order? Something?

She looked at me, as I love to say "Flummoxed"  as in perplexed by my query. Now this is something relatively easy and simple. Yet this woman was lost. I ordered the part from ebay, and it didn't come with a packing receipt.

So I was thinking you couldn't print the ordering of the part, or the confirmation of the ordering of the part, or the confirmation of the shipping of the part? How many emails do you get when ordering anything online, a gazillion!! With a capital G.

Imagine if you will someone proceeding to handle their own criminal matter or even a serious traffic offense. Forget the process for a second, focus on the overall whole, making decisions, exploring options, and then wondering after it's over about the outcome. Scary to even think about.

Always 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