Monday, June 12, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Demons, Hellcats, and Speeding Tickets

0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds!!
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

Just this week Harvard University, the bastion of free speech and expression rescinded the admission of ten applicants to their incoming class of 2021 because of offensive and inappropriate Facebook posts.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

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?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Creativity in Defense Lawyering

I usually take more than ONE Minute
to handicap anything
I truly believe we are all creative. Anyone can create but the decision to act on it I think separates out the doers from the wallflowers. Whether we are defending a felony DWI or a bunch of traffic tickets creativity can open up new solutions.

Can we bring creativity to criminal defense negotiations? Can we come up with options and solutions that are seemingly outside the proverbial box?

Is succeeding at criminal defense really about handicapping our cases?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can a GIF Be Used as a Weapon?

GIFs Although Funny, can be deadly at the right time and place
From Popular Mechanics

I love to browse the internet and learn. As a fellow Redditor I get to see and read many unusual things. Recently the FBI charged someone with a Federal stalking offense by intentionally using a GIF to cause someone to have an epileptic seizure.

Is a GIF or can a GIF be used as a weapon? Is it against the law to send people electronic messages that can potentially harm them? Is this beautiful electronic digital connected world we are living in getting out of control?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Maryland Driver's License with a New York DWI?

We represent lots of out-of-state drivers. That means we have to help them figure out how their New York State DWI charges will impact their out of state driving privileges. Remember that every state is different. We have even seen that some counties within states DMV (department of motor vehicles) handle license issues differently. So in this blog post I wanted to update Maryland license issues and New York DWI charges.

What exactly happens in MD with a New York DWI?

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Do I Take The Police Test or Refuse?

Just the other week my partner and I were having a drink and a meal at Coltivare. They have a great "Happier Hour" and the bar was hopping. I couldn't help but notice the guy sitting next to us "primed" his dinner with a stiff drink (whiskey), and then ordered a bottle of wine for himself. Yeah, as a DWI defense lawyer how do you not notice that.

Anyway, we all got to talking and he asked us if he was stopped by the police what he should do. Well, this is a common lay question? Do I take the police tests, the breath test? Or do I refuse the test?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Understanding the Full Stay Away Order

It doesn't always play out this way but it can.
You know I didn't always just focus on DWI defense. Some of us that practice criminal defense have been exposed to a variety of cases. I was a public defender and handled the gamut of criminal and family matters. It helps to have a broader understanding and scope when you have more varied experiences to draw from. I love defending people period. They get into trouble, have a problem and need help, it's that simple. Although truly understanding just how everything works, when it comes to New York law and rules can prove complicated.

So what does it mean if the Judge in a New York domestic violence or fight situation issues a FULL STAY AWAY Order? In simple terms, can't I just text a message, or ask a friend or a relative to call them?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Probationers Can't Have Aggressive Dogs

This one is very cute, dressed up.

If you are placed on probation for a New York misdemeanor DWI it is usually for three years. Felony DWI probation is five years. I recently finished up a felony DWI case in Waterloo, NY (Seneca County) and reviewed the terms and conditions of probation with my client. Generally it all the same words and language, and conditions, over and over, from county to county.

BUT this time something caught my eye, I'd never seen a condition of probation supervision and monitoring that limited the right to own a dog?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is Alcohol More Predictable Than Drugs?

In the world of DWI defense intoxication by alcohol is much easier to define and understand than impairment by a drug. Why is alcohol easier to see, to gauge, and to estimate. Alcohol is in a word very "Predictable."

Why is alcohol use and it's abuse so predictable?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Zero Order Kinetics and THC

Zero Order versus First Order
The first drug that was recognized to cause issues with driving was alcohol. Being the most common, socially accepted, legal, readily available, and used substance on the planet alcohol has been studied intensively. Alcohol was easily measured and understood.

New York State as well as the rest of the country found setting specific BAC (blood alcohol concentration) thresholds rather simple. NYS even  separated out intoxication (.08 or more), from impairment (.06 to .07). Now with marijuana use and abuse on the rise everyone wants to apply alcohol terms, alcohol tests, and alcohol pharmacological kinetics to THC.

What does "zero order kinetics" have to do with Alcohol and THC? How can we better defend New York DWAI drugs THC cases from alcohol prosecution?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ithaca DWAI Lawyer: Stoned Driving is Different State to State

This country is at a crossroads in many respects. We are experiencing a dramatic liberalization of marijuana laws amongst the majority of states. I bump into more and more people, young and old who are smoking pot. It's not just for kids anymore, if it ever was?

But the confusion is only beginning with understanding what the law actually is and what it means when it comes to Stoned Driving? When is high, too high to drive? Where are the lines or thresholds for marijuana use from state to state? In New York State when am I too high to drive a car? Does New York prove DWAI drugs by blood or urine?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Will DWI Lawyers Be Replaced By AI?

I love Humans, booth the show and the species 
've been watching this new (well kinda for me) TV show about Artificial Intelligence i.e. robots that have sentience in the future.  It's called HUMANS, which is funny for a show focused on these robots.

Imagine having an AI represent you in court? Would a robot be able to articulate a defense? Would a robot be able to sway (persuade) a judge or a jury?As we head into new technology I often wonder if we can be outsourced?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can the Police Change My Ticket?

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that the police can increase your charges, add charges, decrease charges, and even issue new tickets after the stop of your car. This discretion to charge lies with all members of law enforcement. Prosecutors use it (charging discretion) when plea bargaining.

If a cop tells you, hey "I'm cutting your break," that might really be the case. 

What if you want to contest the charges? What if you believe the break you got wasn't really that great? Should you be afraid of police or prosecutorial retribution?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Does My Arrest Ever Go Offline?

David Cassidy, BTW I Loved the Partridge Family

We get calls from concerned parents about their kids Ithaca DWI arrests all the time. After being arrested, dealing with the consequences of a DWI begins the process of closure.

But what about the online and public arrest information? Does the DWI arrest, my mugshot, and my name ever go away? Is there a way for me to get it taken down from Google?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Just How Safe is Your Social Media?

Whenever we have someone charged with a drug and/or alcohol related offense we ask that they take down their social media accounts. This is for a number of reasons but the main one being do you want the government looking at your Facebook page? Are there pictures or comments online that you would rather not have misinterpreted. Many people these days post pictures of themselves smoking marijuana, using drugs, and partying. Even posting talk (truth or fiction) about how messed up YOU got at an event or party can cast you in a bad light with the prosecution or a judge.

So just how accessible are your "private" or "public" social media accounts?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: DWI Probation: What Do You Have to Prove?

Probar or To Prove is Very
A propos for PROBATION 
People love to throw around the term probation with even knowing it's full meaning. The word "Probation" comes from the latin, Probar, to prove or to test. People are given a chance to prove themselves, to go through the tests that are probation to emerge a new person. Probation for DWI or DWAI drugs in New York State definitely have tests but there not ones you can study for. Sobriety must be absolute as to alcohol and drugs.

But what exactly does probation for DWI mean? What do you have to do to prove yourself, and how exactly do they test you?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: DWI Probation By The Numbers

Some people who are arrested for a New York DWI are placed on community Probation Supervision. Whether an adult who commits a crime needs to be supervised is the real question? Some people who are convicted of DWI or a DWAI drugs absolutely need some form of monitoring post-sentencing. Now whether the monitoring is just having an IID (ignition interlock device) installed in their car or whether they need an overseer for rehabilitation and treatment for a drug/alcohol problem are two ends of the spectrum.

How does a county probation department make that determination for a DWI or DWAI drugs offense? Where does the decision for New York DWI probation truly begin?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is a Transfer of Misdemeanor New York DWI Probation Possible?

For all my years practicing law I have never seen or heard of a New York State misdemeanor DWI case with probation being transferred to another state. I had seen plenty of felony DWI cases get transferred but never ever a misdemeanor level case till this year.

In 2017, we have had out first request by a probation department to transfer a DWI case out-of-state. When is misdemeanor DWI probation transfer a possibility? How does it work to transfer a New York State misdemeanor probation?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Ithaca Starbucks Grows Up, We are a Reserve Store and Have a Clover

Try the Clover, It is Amazing!!
In all my years practicing law in Ithaca our one local downtown Starbucks has remained a regular Starbucks but homey. In recent months the downtown Starbucks has gone through a metamorphosis. First, my disappointment going to the the Collegetown Starbucks store this summer. I always walk up the hill as a meditation of sorts but never went into the store there. To my surprise they don't serve much regular (drip) coffee. NO bold coffee for us older folk at this Starbucks. They serve mostly drinks I'm told so pour over I go when there. No drip coffee so NO milk/creamer bar either, what?

Then our downtown Hilton Starbucks got remodeled, soft comfy chairs and lounge tables are now gone. In their place are now perfectly lined up and cold chairs and coffee bars with more space for more people but we did lose something in the process. The feel of cozy is gone but it is a big grown up Starbucks now. It has also graduated to a Reserve store with a Clover. Ah the Clover, magical machine that it is. If you don't know the Clover then you haven't had a crazy good cup of coffee.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Triad of Fatality: Speed, Drugs, and Distraction

A recent NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) statistic highlighted a huge rise in the number of fatalities on our roads today. In the past two years deaths are up 14%. That is huge increase, and you would think in this day of modern smart-cars (much like smart phones) with anti-lock breaks, automatic breaking, lane departure warnings, heads up displays, and traction anti-skid/anti-slip control, all wheel drive, symmetrical steering, now I'm just making stuff up, but anyway why?

Why do we have such an increase across the board in road accidents and deaths?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Gift of New York Zero Tolerance?

It doesn't happen very often that a criminal charge or any violation offense involving alcohol is reduced to a NON charge. The majority of DW charges (DWAI, DWI, ADWI) in New York are often reduced to something but not something quite as unique as Zero Tolerance. Well if you are under 21 and get an outcome of Zero Tolerance on your case it is a NON-conviction.

What has to happen to make it a non-conviction? You mean to say a New York DWI goes to not a violation, nor to a misdemeanor but something else entirely?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: It's Been Years Since My DWI Why Do I Still Need an Ignition Interlock?

People that have been sentenced to a New York DWI under any VTL 1192 sub section except (DWAI drugs) will have a mandatory condition in place. This mandatory condition is called the A2 license restriction by the NYS DMV. It means you can only drive a vehicle with an installed ignition interlock device or IID. This condition is usually ordered for 12 months and you have the option to petition the court for removal after 6 months if you have no issues (failures) with the IID.

What if you don't have a car? What if your DWI happened when you were only visiting New York State? What if your NYS DWI was in a borrowed car? What if you don't plan to drive for a year or two? What then?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is Using My Cell Phone for GPS or an APP Illegal in New York?

People are often confused by New York State's cell phone law. First, it's NOT just phones, it is ANY electronic device. This can include: any potentially handheld device, iPod, Nano, GPS, iPad, walkman, and of course a smartphone. Is using a handheld device with an APP like WAZE illegal as well? Would that infraction (using your phone like a GPS) be a 5 point moving violation in New York State?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Can You Get Tickets Expunged from Your Driving Record?

The amount of scrutiny people receive these days before being offered a position is staggering. Not only are they doing drug screens but they are requesting fingerprint criminal background checks as well. Many companies and organizations are also checking driving histories as part of a pre-employment background check.

Do you have traffic tickets on your history? Is it possible to clean up your New York State driving history? Can you get tickets or charges removed after a period of time passes?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Transforming the DWI Villain

I Love Potatoes but for Years Vilified Them

So many things get vilified. I am guilty of casting the poor potato in a bad light. For years I loved baked potatoes. But then after reading and hearing how white foods like white rice, white flour, white sugar, and salt were bad for you I changed my feelings to the potato. So on to my naughty list went the lovable potato. It wasn't till years later that I realized that the potato has fiber, it's a vegetable (albeit starchy), and if baked or used in soups has a lot of nutritional value.

You know people get vilified too. They are cast in a bad light following an arrest for DWI or DWAI drugs. Are they really a bad person or merely a person that displayed poor judgment? Can we transform the perception for punishment of a demon into call for rehabilitation of a human?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How Easy Is It To Get a Taxi, Car Service, or Limo License in New York State?

For better or for worse New York State is one of the most highly regulated of places. As I have traveled around the country and my kids encouraged me to use Uber (I love it). I then went about discovering just how many hoops an Uber, Taxi Limo, or Livery driver must pass through to get their TLC (Taxi and Limo Commission) license with a Class E New York City license. Knowing how hard it is to get, and then finding out just how easy it is lose with a DWAI (driving while ability impaired), DWI, AUO (aggravated unlicensed operation), or even a bunch of traffic tickets may boggle your mind.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is it Pleaded or Pled Guilty?

Pleading Guilty = Being Found Guilty
You know for as long as I practice law, and live life there sometimes isn't a "right" answer. Language and usage based in culture, in country, and most appropriately in time vary. One of my daughters loves to use the word "dank," as in that is so dank, and one of my sons loves to say that I am "savage"and "vicious" when I tell it like it.

But what is the right and wrong tense of the word plead? Is the past tense pled or is the past tense pleaded? Since 95% of criminal cases in this country do just that is this important?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why Judges, Prosecutors, and the Defense Must Protect DWI Due Process

Many People Need Help

A recent DUI case out of Nebraska firmly illustrates some of the problems we still are facing in our courts today. Imagine if you will a woman brought before the court on a DUI probation violation. But she has to be barreled in on a wheelchair stinking drunk. Later to register a .44 BAC, remember .08 is legal intoxication. Is it fair ask her to plead guilty on a first appearance? Is it right to negate her right to decide to plea voluntarily, intelligently, and willfully? Is it fair to provide her ineffective counsel (one who will NOT advocate on her behalf)?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Is a New York DWI a Crime of Violence?

Deported for DWI?
Well the crime of DWI has made the front page of news once again. Concerns over potential offenses that can trigger deportation has Mayor De Blasio on the defense. New York State now has a list of 170 deportable offenses. Most are the most heinous of felonies. These are crimes like rape, sexual misconduct, and sexual abuse but some are not like welfare fraud and identity theft. Well what anyone considers a crime of violence or a crime of moral turpitude or one that should in fact make someone deportable is highly subjective. Should a first time New York DWI be on that list of deportable offenses?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: How a First Time DWI in New York Can Be a Felony

Man drives child to school while highly intoxicated. 
When you read the headlines you see some people charged with DWI as a felony. The truth is that most first time DWI offenses are not felony level crimes. In fact the large majority of New York State DWI and DWAI drugs charges for first time offenders are charged as misdemeanors. But there is a special law for those people who are driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs with kids under the age of 16 years old in the car as passengers.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Four Questions That Your DWI Lawyer Must Answer?

I believe that DWI Lawyers should be
more like doctors using a Report of Findings
I practiced for ten years as a Chiropractic Physician before my nineteen years of practice as an attorney. Believe it or not both professions, law and chiropractic can have similarities in their approach and strategy. Doctors are taught to use a Report of Findings to explain to patients what is wrong with them, and to help them answer their most demanding questions. Unfortunately I have found that many lawyers don't use a Report of Findings because they aren't really taught this approach in law school nor do they understand the clinical nature of their job.

So what is a legal DWI report of findings, and how does it help people understand their situation?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Do YOU Have a History of Drug or Alcohol Abuse According to the NYS DMV?

It's funny to me that Pluto is no longer a planet. Sometimes things or even the definition of things changes. It is a bit disconcerting to think I spent my whole childhood looking at a map of the planets and now all of it is suspect. What's next? Well I can tell you what's next. . . the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has expanded the definition of the word "history." There is a new look back period of years to diagnose a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse.