Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: College Stickers on Your Car May Give Police Reason to Stop You

Most Cornell University and Ithaca College students are proud of their schools. They like so many these days display their school pride on shirts, hats, and even their cars. I have a license frame for    my daughter's school on my car.

So is having a rear window college decal on your car against the law? 

Can the police legally stop your vehicle for having a sticker on your rear window? 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Power of Circumstantial Evidence

Often there is NO direct evidence of guilt
The jury acquittal in a recent murder trial out of California (People v. Jose Garcia Zarate) shocked the nation. But delving into the facts of the case and what the defense was within the evidence revealed a bigger truth. When a prosecutor uses circumstantial evidence to prove guilt any and all reasonable explanations of innocence weigh in favor of the accused.

California's circumstantial evidence law favors the innocent, does New York law follow?

Does New York circumstantial evidence law clearly help those on trial? 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Help Me Help You

Hollywood Reporter, Jerry McGuire, Sports Agent
You know I love the movie Jerry McGuire. Jerry (Tom Cruise) is a sport agent representing players. This movie speaks to me as a person trying to help people with their legal problems. Often I feel communication is the key to a great relationship.

So why is it so hard at times to guide people into setting up the best outcome for their case?

Why do clients have as much frustration with their attorneys as attorneys do with their clients?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why You Can't Use Affidavits as Testimony?

Notarized Affidavits Can't Be Used in Court

Someone recently contacted me about a traffic violation. He thought it might be  good idea to have his relatives send in notarized affidavits to the judge. They were in his car as witnesses to his driving.
They wanted to avoid having to come to court, he also wanted to avoid having to come to court, and he also wanted to have a trial on his tickets. What people want might not always reconcile with what the law demands.

People need to know their rights. That is not just a blanket statement but is the truth. Because if you know your rights then you will have a better understanding of legal process. With that understanding can come a deeper knowing about making decisions.

Many people often just do what a lawyer says is best. Because they just don't know how things work people don't make informed legal decisions.

Can you use a affidavit as testimony at a New York trial?

Can you use an affidavit (notarized) statement at a New York traffic ticket trial?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Crime of AUO (aggravated unlicensed operation) and College Students

Ithaca College and Cornell University students come from many other states and even countries. For a little perspective, Cornell's class of 2019 has representatives from 79 different countries. Coming to New York State with an international driver's license or a license from another state is no problem or is it? It depends, is the most common attorney answer.

What if you make NYS your residence, buy and register a car BUT do not apply for a New York driver's license? 

What if you get a New York State driver's license but fail to keep updating your address?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ithaca Lawyer: Three Reasons to Seal Your Criminal Convictions

I can think of at least three primary reasons why someone would want their old criminal convictions sealed. On the other hand I can also think why someone may not care or see the point of sealing their old criminal history.

Why would someone want their history of criminal activity sealed from public disclosure?

Why would someone not care if their criminal history was found out?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why Does a Judge Sentence Harshly?

Harsh sentences are given for many reasons.
A recent federal medicare fraud case out of Texas has a lot of lawyers wondering. Why would a judge sentence a woman with two young kids (age 7) with stage 4 metastatic cancer to 75 years of incarceration? Well I've read through this case and have my own take on how this happened.

In our criminal defense practice I always keep two things in mind:

Why does a judge sentence harshly?

Why would a judge show leniency?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

College Dorm Room Searches and the Law

Ithaca is fun because of it's size and isolation but that also creates a problem with privacy. It seems like everyone knows everyone else's business. I can't even tell you the level of town gossip let alone what is published daily on social media. Thousands of people are thrust together closely sharing rooms, apartments, homes, and dorms.

Privacy rights are sacred. We do have a fourth amendment that guards against government intrusion. There shall be NO unreasonable (illegal) search or seizure of your person or home.

Does that same law hold in your dormitory?

Does that same law apply to your on campus apartment? 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New York Sealing Law: Can You Seal Both Your Misdemeanor and Felony DWI?

Second chances shouldn't be wasted!
For over a decade New York has been ratcheting up penalties for DWI. In 2010 our state was one of the first to make ignition interlock devices a must for all first time drunk driving convictions. Then law went from a 6 month interlock to a 12 month interlock. Alcohol evaluations and treatment are now mandatory for those convicted twice within 25 years.

Then in 2012 the DMV began applying a lifetime look back for problem drivers. Those drivers with even a 25 year old conviction were facing strict administrative license penalties. The purpose of all this new legislation was to severely limit or to revoke the driving privileges of those convicted of DWI offense, accidents, or multiple violations.

New York's recently passed sealing law, CPL section 160.59 is a sharp departure from this trend for harsher punishment. The law's primary focus is to shield criminal convictions on rap sheets from public disclosure.

Can you get your misdemeanor DWI convictions sealed under the new sealing law?

Can you get your felony DWI conviction sealed under the new sealing law?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

You're Finally Able to Seal Your DWI: What Must You Know?

Texas and New York Now Have
DWI Sealing, Yay!

Texas just passed a criminal record sealing law similar to New York's. They call their law the "Second Chance" bill. I kinda like that because imho everyone deserves a second chance.

Up until October 2017 New York offered nothing to clear records for those with past DWI criminal convictions.  The only sealing of records was for non-criminal violations, and for  special case situations for drug crimes with proof of rehabilitation.

Often a DWI charge would effect your future ability to gain employment, obtain a state occupational license, or even get an internship. Up until this year New York had no expungement, and no sealing for DWI criminal convictions. We don't have expungement but in October 1, 2017 we do have a close second, sealing of your past DWI.
New York's new broad record sealing law will enable you to seal a misdemeanor and a felony DWI. The new sealing statute also modifies Executive Law so that you do not have to disclose your DWI when applying for  an employment position or an occupational license.

DWI non-disclosure is now available in New York State.

Here's all you need to know about New York Sealing Law 160.59.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Breaking Down New York's New Criminal Record Sealing Law

Law can be quite complicated sometimes even for lawyers. That is why doctors, lawyers, and the large majority of professions are specializing and focusing their practice areas. It is my hope to break down and simplify New York's new sealing CPL 160.59 law into manageable chunks.

So how do you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Using the New York Sealing Law in Multiple Courts of Conviction

Motion to Seal Criminal Record
Which New York Court?

New York will now have a sealing law in place for criminal misdemeanors and felonies beginning in October of 2017. Look at our previous blog post to see if your convictions qualify and when you can proceed to seal them. The new sealing law under New York CPL section 160.59 permits up to two criminal convictions to be sealed.

What if you have a misdemeanor conviction located in one court, and a felony conviction in yet another court and yet another county, which one do you work on to seal both? How do you get to seal both criminal convictions? What if you have two criminal convictions that are misdemeanors in two different courts? How is application made to seal both misdemeanor convictions?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Can You Seal Your Criminal Conviction Under New York's New Sealing Law 160.59?

Our surprise is New York's
New Sealing Law

In April 2017 New York State finally approved a $153 billion dollar budget bill. Much like a box of Cracker Jacks hidden inside this budget bill was a surprise legislative provision. A new law is to take effect in October of 2017 which allows for sealing of criminal records. Those convicted in 2007 or before may want to begin this process.

This is a truly historical, unprecedented, and ground breaking law. This legislation brings hope to millions of New Yorkers who were marked for life by virtue of having an old criminal conviction. New York has NO expungement law so sealing is the next best thing.

There is a lot to discuss about New York State's new criminal record sealing Criminal Procedure SEALING Law § 160.59. Giving people a fresh start is a nice surprise in my opinion.

In this blog post I'll start with the basics: who qualifies for sealing their criminal record, what offenses can be sealed, when can you apply for sealing, and how is sealing different from expungement.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How Do Judges Instruct Juries on DW Intoxication

Proving whether or NOT you were
Hammered is Really the Question?

This is the last of four posts in a multi-blog series on New York Jury Instructions on DWI. The importance of what the jury instructions mean to any case can never be underestimated. Any case moving to trial (and we must assume that to be successful) MUST begin with the end in mind.

In a civil personal injury case we must prove liability and damages. In a DWI case we must defend against the charge and the sub-parts to each element of the offense.

In a DWI or DWAI drugs case this means:

1. The driving (operation)
2. The testing (breath or blood)
* Police testing can also include a DRE (drug recognition evaluation) and/or FST (field sobriety testing)
3. The legal definition of intoxication and/or impairment by alcohol and/or a drug

What is the legal definition of INTOXICATION in New York?

Can you be found legally intoxicated without a BAC test?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How the Judge Instructs the Jury on Breath Testing Part III

Jury Instructions are a critical part of any trial. They are the directions from the judge to the jury. He instructs them in what the law is and how to apply it legally. Remember, trials are about legal guilt and legal innocence or they should be.

There are NYS jury instructions about
DWI (chemical) breath testing 

Getting the jury instructions right and ensuring that the jury understands them is a concerted effort. The defense attorney must outline and argue their defense in light of and in accordance with the law. The law is the instructions. The instructions are the legal definitions of impairment, of intoxication, of operation, and accurate testing. It is in fact what they should consider with each and every element of the DWI case.

What must the jury be instructed about chemical (breath) testing?

What can the jury consider when looking at the chemical test result number (BAC)?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How a DWI Judge Instructs the Jury on Operation Part II

"Another lesson about the justice system: the way the judge charges the jury inevitably pushes them one way or the other, limits their independent judgment.” 

― Howard ZinnYou Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

Is he legally operating a car in New York?

Judges instruct the jury on how they will apply the facts to the law. These are called the jury instructions. In a New York DWI case as in any criminal case these instructions and how they are given can sway a case. It can as in the words of Howard Zinn, "push them one way or the other."

How do DWI judges instruct juries in New York about operation (driving)?

What is the importance of proper DWI jury instructions?

How can a DWI defense lawyer use jury instructions to their client's advantage?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How Judges Instruct the Law to Jurors is Crucial Part I

From themooreconsortium

Have you ever told somebody something and they just don't get it. You tell the same thing again and again, nada, zilch, and then you change a few words and then you speak more slowly. After awhile, a smile, then a knowing understanding emerges on their face. Well anyone in a long term relationship or who's married understands this point.

Communication is far more than the words you speak. 

Communication is facial expression, communication is cadence, It is said that 90% of communication is NOT even verbal.

Can how the judge instructs the jury effect a jury's verdict?

Can the judge instruct the jury as to confuse them about what the law is?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Legally Guilty of DWI with Less than .08 BAC

New York State like every other state has a DWI law which states that if you are driving with .08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) or more you are guilty of driving while intoxicated. New York has another DWI which is called common law intoxication which doesn't require a BAC level at all.

What if your BAC level doesn't match your behavior, responses, and abilities?

Can you be found GUILTY of a New York DWI with a BAC of .07?

Can you found GUILTY of a New York DWI with a BAC of .04?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can The Police Cherry Pick Speeders?

Police can and do Cherry Pick
Most people have this thing about stuff being fair. As in, that's not fair or that is fair or the latest expression "fair enough." Is anything really fair enough? Isn't fairness really arbitrary? Is there any set level or standard for fairness?

We in the business of criminal law and the defense of those charged with crimes and violations have people ask us about fairness. Is the prosecutor being fair? Is the judge being fair? Or are they generally speaking fair with fines, punishments, and how they treat people?

When it comes to police charging people fairness moves into a whole other category.

Can the police decide who gets charged with a crime and who does not?
Can the police "cherry pick" their speeders out of a bunch of cars?
Can they write down a lower speed or even a non-speed ticket for a speed stop?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is Your DWI Charge Dismissed if the Prosecutor Takes Too Long?

I Used to Love this Cartoon
Being Speedy Can Be Empowering

Time marches on but in the world of New York legal defense time can be friend or foe. You see the prosecution, aka the government only has so much time to bring and to prosecute charges. These are called your speedy trial rights.

How long does the prosecution have to try and to prosecute you on a New York DWI charge?

What happens if the prosecution waits too long? 

Does the judge just dismiss all the DWI charges? 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How Do Police Prove It Was Your Car Speeding on Radar?

Our Upstate New York law practice puts out lots of videos and blog posts about the defense of tickets and DWI. I think understand the legal process and how things work practically helps people make "informed" decisions. Because of that we get lots of questions concerning speeding ticket defense.

A recent inquiry went like this, Hi, my name is Ryan.

I saw your video called "How Do Police Prove You Guilty of a New York Speeding Ticket?"

It is a great video that helped me better understand the laws, good job!

However, I am curious about something.

When an officer uses a radar gun to determine your speed, how do they prove that they were measuring your vehicle's speed and not of another nearby? (emphasis mine)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can Video Make or Break Your DWI Case?

Just recently we have seen an uptick in the number of Upstate New York police departments using video. This isn't the video of a few years ago on VHS tape either this is high quality digital images with clear sound. Video is not always positive or negative in every DWI case.

Can video help in the defense of a New York DWI case? 
Can video destroy the defense of a New York DWI case? 
Does video still matter if the DWI case has a breath or blood test? 

Does video matter that much in a DWI refusal case (with NO blood or breath test)?  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Truth About New York Reckless Driving

There is a great deal of mis-information on the internet. The first thing on Google that pops up when searching New York Reckless Driving is this:

Which states that in New York, speeding is automatically considered reckless driving once you're 30 mph over the posted limit. Is this really the case in New York State?

If you are 30 mph over the posted limit are you driving recklessly in New York State?

Is that all they need to prove to find you guilty of the criminal misdemeanor of New York Reckless Driving?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can Foreign Students Legally Drive with an International License?

Driver's License from Another Country Confuses
from life in Saudi Arabia.blogspot 

Cornell University is one of many excellent colleges in New York State which attract thousands of students from countries all over the world. These students come for doctoral and post-doc programs in the fields of science, hotel management, architecture, and engineering. Most have a specific time period for their stay in the United States. It could be for years but most are not intending for New York to become their permanent home or place of residence.

Can these students legally drive on their international driver's license? 

Do these students have to get a New York State driver's license?

Can police ticket them for driving with an International Driver's License?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Proper Apology: Part 3 Execution

from factservices.com
You can plan and plan but if you fail to execute then all is lost. I spend a lot of time in preparation for defending my criminal cases. Having a well laid out plan is great but what if I don't put it all together and get it all to the people that matter.

Why Preparing for the best outcome means laying out the reasons for leniency?

Why Judges want reasons for being or showing leniency?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Power of Apology: Part 2 Contrition

A well crafted apology begins with Ownership of what you have done. After you have owned and taken 100% responsibility for your actions the next step is just as vital: Contrition.

Remorse for your actions is in some people's minds kinda like repentance. Without getting religious many of the concepts and ideas present in good apology do have biblical overtones.

How does remorse work to show or prove a healthy mindset?

How does expressing remorse lessen punishment and consequences?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Crafting the Proper Apology: Part 1 Ownership

A Proper Apology Can Be Priceless
From Duhaime.org

As a criminal defense attorney I sometimes act as a professional apologist. A well written or stated apology can go a long way to resolving conflict, lessening punishment, and bringing closure to a damaged party. This will be a three part blog series on creating a successful apology.

Knowing when to apologize, and how to apologize can really make a difference in many criminal cases.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Milk is NOT Always Milk

I love cashew milk even if it's NOT milk
from latestvegannews.com
I get a kick out of all the things people, companies, and even national organizations argue about. Lately it's all been about Milk. Is Soy Milk milk? Is coconut Milk milk? Is Cashew Milk milk? Or is the only thing that is really milk the stuff that comes from a mother animal's teat? Can it be that we have come to a point in vegan time or vegetarian time when we quibble over definitions?

Well the dairy industry is saying that the only real milk is the one we all know and love and that comes from a cow. The FDA is part of this battle and they are taking a position that guards the public trust in what companies can state or call their products. We don't want people to be deceived by marketers, God forbid.

Should we care about whether cashew or soy milk is milk?

For that matter does it matter what the legal definition of anything truly is? 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Police Report Writing and Dissection

One of my favorite things is learning. I love to read. What's kinda of unusual are the books that pique my interest. I like reading things written for other professions, like police books and psychology books. I am not an aspiring law enforcement officer or psychologist but I am fascinated by those fields. It seems human interest is an underlying theme.

This summer I am reading a book written by a veteran cop on report writing. It is called "The Best Police Report Writing Book" by A.S. Michael.

He is a certified instructor for almost thirty years so I take it he has a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Why am I reading a book intended primarily for police officers? 
How does that help me or our criminal/DWI defense clients?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: CT (Connecticut) Out of State (New York) DWI or DWAI License Consequences

CT DMV is Quite Revolutionary in it's treatment
of out of state DUI

from ct.gov
Sometimes I feel like when I’m on reddit and reading that section TIL (today I learned). Today I learned how to spell Connect-icut.  I don’t practice there, and until you slow down and look at things you can go decades before you realize  that Connecticut has CONNECT in it. I kinda feel the same way about Wed-nes-day, as a kid I always saw weds-day or wens-day. 

The state motto is "Qui Transtulit Sustinet" = He who is Transplanted Still Sustains, and as we all drive from state from state in the pursuit of happiness I ask? 

How does the state of Connecticut connect with and punish CT licensed drivers who have sustained New York DWI, aggravated DWI, and DWAI offenses?

My BIG disclaimer:

I am licensed in four states but CT is not one of them. The focus of our practice is NYS DWI defense but that said we represent lots of people with out of state licenses. Understanding all the consequences to both in state and out of state privileges is important to every case. 

Contact a CT licensed attorney for any information about CT law or consequences. Always discuss your CT DUI or out of state DUI license consequences with a CT licensed attorney. That said the following is for educational purposes only and is my take on CT license issues with any NYS DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DWAI (driving while ability impaired) by alcohol charge.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Demons, Hellcats, and Speeding Tickets

0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds!!
from autoblog.com
I'm a car guy from way back and these days the cars are absolutely amazing. Ford, Chevy, Audi, Porsche, and the rest are in a HP (horsepower) competition. One after the other keeps upping the ante.
We now have the 707 HP (Hellcat) and 840 HP (Demon) cars, with 300 HP cars becoming the norm in mom and pop motoring. My 2004 Honda mini van had a 240 HP V6.

Are all these super horsepower cars causing more speeding tickets?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Are Modern Cars Causing More DWIs?

Idiot Lights on a Dash, Throwing Codes Sucks!
Thank you BMW
I am a car enthusiast, always have been and always will be. Maybe that's one of the reasons I love defending drivers of everything from speeding to DWI. People who love cars and who love to drive get into trouble at times. Doug DeMuro is a auto journalist, and writes a column for Autotrader. He recently wrote about a phenomenon where many people are driving at night without using their head lights. I have seen an uptick of people being stopped for this offense in our practice.

How does driving without your lights lead to increased DWI arrests? 

Is driving without your lights a crime in New York State?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: First Amendment Be Damned, Watch What You Post on Social Media

Harvard University is the best
from  the odyssey online.com

Just this week Harvard University, the bastion of free speech and expression rescinded the admission of ten applicants to their incoming class of 2021 because of offensive and inappropriate Facebook posts. Apparently "Offensive" means joking about sexual assault, child abuse, and the holocaust. These types of messages and graphics are no longer acceptable even though they are permitted under the constitution. This has shocked more than a few people and has been called by many the new morality.

Is this right? Is this the new normal? And what do people facing criminal charges have to be concerned about? What about people with new and old DWI or drug offenses?

Is free speech truly gone? 
Should people be concerned that their party/social image may have untoward collateral effects?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Michigan License with a New York DWI Charge

Michigan Got a Little Piece at the Top as Well
from carnegiemnh.org

First, I want to thank Michigan DWI lawyer Gary Wilson for his help in answering the question of what happens with a New York State DWI charge with a Michigan driver's license. Gary is one of the best in his state at defending DWI or what Michigan calls "DUI" charges.

So what does happen with a New York State DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge back in Michigan?

Can they hit you with double penalties both in Michigan and New York?

Can you do anything to decrease the Michigan penalties of a New York State DWI charge or charges?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Clearing UP the Confusion of BWI (boating while intoxicated) Tiffany's Law

The last big BWI (boating while intoxicated) law that passed in New York State was in 2016. It was called "Tiffany's Law" so named after a child named Tiffany that was killed by a drunken boat operator.

What is Tiffany's Law as it relates to BWI (boating while intoxicated)?

Does Tiffany's Law change any of the DMV rules and laws as they relate to BWI driving privileges?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Cross Faded Driving Dangers

Some of the funniest internet stuff involves cats?
Hanging out with my adult kids teaches me stuff. Some stuff I know about but not always the names of stuff. Seems like there are many more college drinking games these days or maybe I just don't remember. Mixing drugs has been around forever but calling it being "cross faded" has not. Marijuana plus alcohol = cross faded. Technically cross faded means drunk and high, be it pills, grass, or coke is still cross faded. In many cases this leads to puking or at the very least being sick.

How dangerous is it to drive while cross faded?

Is it any less dangerous for the chronic THC user?

Does alcohol increase the effects of THC?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Sealed, Expunged, and Done. The Truth About New York Records

If sealing records was as easy as this

I got an email the other day from an old client, it had been a number a years but I remembered the case. A bar fight, he got thrown out, and then too drunk to know better came back in. Cops called, the charge criminal trespass. It started out as a misdemeanor but we got it reduced to a disorderly conduct with a one year conditional discharge. The basic stay out of trouble and be done.

Why was he calling me after all these years?

What was the problem he was having about something that resolved so long ago?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: What is Ex Parte Mean?

You will sometimes have judges stop defense attorneys from speaking to them because there is NO district attorney present (prosecutor). Beyond discussing the weather or how the hunting is this year case discussions of any type must be delayed till both sides are present.

Why would a judge stop a defense attorney from discussing a criminal case if no DA is present?

Why would a judge not be able to hear just from the district attorney if no defense attorney was present?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is the 6th Amendment Really Disappearing?

There are many states under ever increasing financial pressures to provide their citizens with safety and good roads. Along with the basics of life we are also guaranteed under the 6th amendment to the constitution with a right to counsel. This right is invoked if and when we are charged by the state, by the government with a criminal offense.

Just how ironclad is our right to an attorney?

Does having a right to an attorney also mean that you are also entitled to the best defense possible?

Does having a right to a public defender also guarantee anything else?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cortland DWI Lawyer: Prosecutors Weigh In on Early Interlock Releases

All DWIs in New York State have a mandated (must do) ignition interlock device install at sentencing. Technically it must occur within 10 business days from the actual sentencing date. This has been NYS law since 2010. What that means is that all judges must order it as a condition (an obligation) at sentencing of each and every DWI and aggravated DWI in New York.  With the majority of DWI cases receiving a CD (conditional discharge) this is the primary and main condition.

It has to be ordered for a minimum time period of ONE YEAR. It can be ordered longer than that BUT one year is the absolute minimum.

What is the process to get an early release from the ignition interlock condition?
Are there ways to speed up the process?
Are some courts and/or judges unwilling to even entertain early releases?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Negotiating a Case Ain't Like Anything Else

Maybe people are under a mistaken impression that criminal case negotiation is like other types of negotiation, quite simply, it ain't. In other types of negotiation you can just walk away. As in No Sale today, but if it's criminal charges you are facing then that's just Not an option. You can't just look elsewhere or take a break or come back with a lower price, no.

How do criminal case negotiations work?
How do older defense attorneys size up a plea?
How do you really know if you got the best deal possible?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why Can't Judges Use Marijuana?

from pinterest
The number of states with either decriminalized or legalized weed is increasing at a rapid pace. BUT many of these same states with both recreational and medical marijuana have told their judges, hey do not use any marijuana because it is still illegal under federal law.

Should judges be treated like people when it comes to marijuana?

Should lawyers, as officers of the court avoid pot as well?

Should lawyers and judges be subject to professional discipline for using marijuana in even marijuana legal states?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How Important is Police Paperwork in MY DWI case?

Sometimes people get their DWI police report. Often people arrested for a DWI do not get this information at the beginning of their case. Even defense attorneys don't usually get this information early in a DWI case.

But if people get their DWI police narrative report they tend to place way too much emphasis about what it all says. They get all wrapped up in it's opinion of them and their behavior.

Is the police DWI report important?

Who gets to see the police DWI report?

Is the the police DWI report evidence?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Pulled Over by Plate, Can the Police Do That?

We get phone calls all the time about whether the police had probable cause to pull over cars. Often it's a "he said/she said" in court where the police and the driver have a difference of opinions about what actually happened. The ability to produce probable or reasonable cause to stop a car is many and varied.

Out on the road without body cameras, whose to say what really happened? In New York State as of 2017 body and law enforcement vehicle cameras are still a rarity. So it goes "Well I wasn't speeding, I always use my signals, I didn't go through that stop sign, I paused briefly, and it goes on and on." Police often have the upper hand because judges tend to side with law enforcement, and many judges are former police officers.

These days the police regularly run your plate/tag. They have machines mounted on their cars that are high speed plate readers. Any problems with your vehicle registration being out of date or your insurance or your inspection can lead to a stop.

Is it legal for them to use your plate (tag) information to then pull your car over?

Is that plate information fair game for a legal stop?

What if the computer  is wrong, can they still use information from the car stop against you?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: New York Police Use Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement

This Ain't a CITE? 

I love acronyms and cars, so when the New York State Police rolls out their CITE vehicles I get excited. The state police are on a crack down this summer for texting, calling, ipod-ing, gps-ing and driving. In other words hunting down distracted dangerous drivers.

So what's a CITE vehicle?

How is it being used to get those violating the law?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Fellow Officer Rule

from NY daily news, lots of officers at a scene

As DWI defense attorneys we are always looking for an angle in our cases. A perspective that may lead to a way to keep out evidence, diminish evidence, or even to show that police conduct was improper (illegal). Sometimes it is luck, which is just opportunity meeting preparedness. You have to look and then look some more, something maybe there that you don't see at first glance. In People v. Jace we have attorneys who make just such an argument. They saw something that could be used as a defense to multiple counts of New York DWI.

What did these attorneys see? 

After all this was an DWI accident case where a SUV hit a house. Not an easy case to defend by any stretch of the imagination especially in Long Island, NY.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Pringle Hearings As a DWI Defense Strategy

Sometimes a Pringle Can Be
the Perfect Tool

In my continuing series of blog posts concerning the use, misuse, and history of the Pringle DWI hearing I will now share a "war" story. In the lawyer world a war story is a tale told by an attorney about one of his/her cases. Sometimes they can involve the unusual, the funny, the outrageous, or even the clever.

A DWI defense lawyer can use a Pringle hearing in a number of situations. I like to have a good reason to file a motion, request a hearing, or to challenge any piece of evidence.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Using a DWI Pringle Hearing

I don't like these Pringles at all, gross!
A recent case where a lawyer asked for a Pringle DWI hearing was in Lake Placid, NY. The defendant was being arraigned for an Aggravated DWI. His BAC was .23, now that's pretty high, at almost 3x the legal limit. Way over .08 BAC the judge needs to take your license (suspension pending prosecution). The stop of the car was for a good reason (traffic violation) going over double yellow lines.

So why did the lawyer demand a Pringle hearing?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Pringle Hearings and Suspension Pending Prosecution

This is a delicious Pringle

Back when I was new to New York DWI I attended my first DUI program. They talked about "Pringle" and what it meant to ask for a Pringle.

Why would you even have a Pringle hearing? Many lawyers, judges, and even prosecutors are in the dark when it comes to understanding Pringle. I love Pringle potato chips but that's not the point, I think the point is applying specific legal knowledge to a specific legal goal.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: 420 is More Than a Day, It's a Movement!

It's always 420 in Ithaca, NY
from the weedblog
My son reminded me that today is 420, as in April 20 and I should be mindful. It's 2017, and to me this 420 means our country is just coming to terms with the usefulness of marijuana.

Can THC bring people a better life? 

Will the increasing use and acceptance of THC (marijuana) come with difficult challenges?