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New York City Criminal Defense Blog

Is the state liable for roadways that are unsafe for pedestrians?

New York is a very busy city with a lot of traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian. This can lead to many accidents involving those on foot. You have probably been in a situation where it is difficult to cross the roadway due to speeding traffic. In a case like this, it is highly likely that you could get injured. If you do get injured, can you hold the city accountable?

According to StreetsBlog NYC, the answer is yes thanks to a Court of Appeals ruling. The Court decided that it is allowable for judges to order the city liable for a portion of injuries sustained in an accident if proper safety devices are not in place or measures are not taken to ensure the safety of foot traffic. Specifically, the Court ruled that the city is responsible for redesigning streets that have a history of accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists. 

If only avoiding conviction were as easy as filling prescriptions

Many types of drugs are so powerful, they require prescriptions for legal use. When a New York doctor writes a prescription for a particular patient, he or she is the only one legally permitted to consume the prescribed drug. Misuse of prescription medication can be just as lethal as using illegal drugs purchased on the street. In fact, alongside serious prescription medication addictions, many people throughout the nation are currently facing serious legal problems related to drug charges involving various types of prescription medications.

Do you know that prescription drugs are the most commonly misused substances in the United States after alcohol and marijuana? Some people addicted to prescription medications are as young as 14. Many students mistakenly believe others who say taking certain pills will enhance their study habits. Other people use these types of drugs to minimize pain or experience feelings of euphoria.

Plea bargain made in aggravated DWI case

Despite the stereotypes that abound, virtually anyone can be arrested for drunk driving in New York. Consuming alcohol when out for dinner or happy hour or at special celebrations with family members and friends and then driving home is a normal thing for many people. This very socially acceptable and normal thing may well lead a person to being accused of driving while ability impaired by alcohol or driving while impaired no matter their social status or job.

Such is the case today for a man who had been with the Auburn Police Department for 20 years and was named a deputy chief last summer. The 44-year-old officer has been charged with an aggravated driving while impaired charge as well as an unsafe lane change. The incident occured in early April in Aurelius when local officers received a report that a vehicle was being driven in an erratic manner.

Vehicular homicide and sober drivers

When a death occurs in a car accident due to a drunk driver, New York law is fairly clear about how the at-fault driver is to be punished. However, when the driver is sober, it seems to be far harder to decide what to do. According to The New York Times, the state usually requires that a person breaks two laws in order to be found negligent in a traffic crime. The New York Court of Appeals added a new stipulation that must be considered, called moral blame.

Moral blame is the idea that the person intended to do harm. In a drunk driving case, it is fairly easy to establish moral blame and to prove multiple traffic laws were broken, but when a sober driver is involved and the cause of the accident was just due to one action, like speed, it becomes harder to prove a vehicular homicide case.

What your urine, breath and blood might say about you

Brooklyn is a popular borough in New York City known for many things, including heavy traffic. Whether a permanent resident or a visitor just passing through, you might join many others who enjoy the cultural flare, culinary fare and many recreation locations offered in the area, such as Coney Island and Prospect Park.  

From famous hot dogs to bagel shops and wine-tasting delights, there's plenty to do in this town. Unfortunately, the scenes on some of its heavily traveled roadways often include red and blue flashing lights and uniformed officers speaking to people through car windows on the side of the roads. Some of these motorists receive warnings and police allow them to go about their business, and others wind up cited for traffic violations or charged with drunk driving

What are the penalties for driving while intoxicated in NY?

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can not only cause grave injury and loss of life, it can also result in a number of significant penalties in the state of New York. Depending on the circumstances at the time of your arrest, you could potentially face years in jail as well as exorbitant fines and courts costs. In some cases, being aware of the potential legal ramifications can serve as a deterrent to those who may not consider a driving while intoxicated offense a serious one.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the penalty you receive is largely dependent on the type of violation you are accused of. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) refers to drivers who are only under the influence of alcohol, while driving while ability impaired by a single drug other than alcohol (DWAI/Drug) involves drivers impaired by some drug in their system. Drivers who are impaired by both alcohol as well as another type of drug will face a driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of drugs or alcohol (DWAI/Combination).

How can I stop someone from driving under the influence?

For drivers in New York and all over the nation, drunk driving poses a huge threat to the safety of everyone who shares the road. Accordingly, if a friend or loved one intends on driving while inebriated, it’s important to know the steps to take to prevent them from getting behind the wheel. Not only will this stop a potentially devastating accident from occurring, it can also keep your loved one from incurring significant legal consequences.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there are a number of steps you can take if you encounter a person who is clearly too drunk to drive. First and foremost, when planning on drinking it’s important to have a designated driver in place before setting out. This can include having a friend agree to abstain for the night, hiring a cab or arranging for some other mode of transportation that doesn’t require an inebriated individual to get behind the wheel. Should this fail to occur, you can confront the person who intends on driving directly.

Pleading Guilty, the strategy

When you are facing criminal charges, especially from something that seems as damning as a failed breathalyzer, a failed field sobriety test, and a partial confession blurted to the arresting officer, you probably are considering a plea bargain. Plea bargains are viable options for some people, in certain situations. This post will go over the basics of plea bargains and how they are treated by judges and prosecutors.

What you need to know about medical marijuana in New York

Depending on the nature of their conditions, some patients in New York may be able to secure medical marijuana for treatment and pain management purposes. This is good news for certain individuals, but the regulations and laws surrounding the dispensing and appropriate use of this product are strict, and any misuse could lead to criminal charges.

Can a spiked drink absolve you of criminal actions?

The answer is, it depends. This issue was brought front and center by an interesting case in which the suspect claims her drink was spiked which lead to a crime spree that ended in homicide (i.e. the death of another person). Usually, you need to intend to do something for it to be a crime. The law interprets intent very loosely and implies intent in many situations. For example, if you were drunk (voluntarily) and hit and kill someone. The law presumes intent because you chose to drink, which triggered the series of actions which resulted in someone?s death. This post will go over this case and the limits of her defense.

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