Sunday, July 27, 2014

Things Not to Bring to Ithaca City Court

Every day can be sort of an adventure in the world of DWI defense. I get surprises, and not like Happy Birthday here's your cake. I was recently in Ithaca City Court for an arraignment on a DWI case.  The bailiff motioned me to come out of the Court room to discuss something privately. To my surprise they found a gravity knife in the bottom of my client's handbag. They were trying to decide what to do about it. They knew she was represented by me so they could not speak with her without me.

looks innocent enough until,,,

the blade is sprung open

So in other states this may be legal BUT in New York State

Penal Law §265.00[5] defines a gravity knife as “any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, lever, spring or other device.” 

The police were called up to the courtroom, and we all had a pow wow of sorts. The cop decided to not bring charges against her, she was so cute to offer him the knife, "hey you can have it." Of course he is going to confiscate it, it's illegal. Anyway, top three things not to bring to Court:

1. Weapons of any kind. From your mace to your brass knuckles or a roll of quarters in a sock.
2. Illegal Drugs or pipes. From your pot to your mini hash pipe.
3. Hot beverages. No soup for you! You can not bring hot coffee, hot soup, or hot tea to court. It is considered a potential instrument of danger.

Simple things I know but I have had clients over the years do all of the above. Keep your toys and drugs at home, and come to court clean, nicely dressed (no shorts please), and without anything liable to get us (me and you) in trouble. 

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

I am certified in Field Sobriety and Breath Alcohol Testing, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 500 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 500 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. 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.