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.