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Rochester Criminal Defense Blog

Drunk driving: its factors and offenses in New York State

People in New York State invariably understand that being arrested and charged with drunk driving can lead to various consequences. The amount of alcohol in the system is important for drunk driving charges, but it is not necessary to be above the generally accepted level of .08 blood-alcohol content to be charged. Less alcohol in the system combined with other indications of impairment can lead to charges.

There are five factors that dictate how impaired a person is: how much they have had to drink; whether they have eaten and how much while consuming alcohol; how long the person was drinking alcohol; body weight and biological sex. People who have been drinking do not have a way to become sober enough to drive before the alcohol has left the system. That can only happen after enough time has passed for the alcohol to have been absorbed.

Hazing: A light-hearted initiation ritual can ruin your future

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You have read stories of college hazing incidents that result in students getting arrested and charged with serious offenses.

Hazing is defined in New York as conduct that occurs in an initiation that intentionally or recklessly puts a person as risk of physical injury (hazing in the second degree) or causes that person to be harmed (first degree).

Man faces felony charges in alleged domestic violence

There is an understandable stigma surrounding allegations of domestic violence in Rochester and throughout the nation. People who are arrested for charges related to violence in the home can face long-term consequences in a legal sense, but they can also lead to personal issues at work, school and in a multitude of other ways. While it is a serious issue, being charged with domestic assault does not automatically mean the person is guilty. Regardless of the situation, the person must make certain to plan and formulate a strong criminal defense.

A 29-year-old man was arrested for allegedly strangling his girlfriend to the point where she was nearly unconscious. Law enforcement was called to the home after being informed there was a family disturbance. When they arrived, they saw that the woman had visible injuries. She stated that she and her boyfriend had engaged in an argument days earlier.

DWI offenses, ignition interlock and Leandra's Law

New York State residents who are placed under arrest for DWI offenses might have a vague notion of the penalties they will face if they are convicted. Depending on the circumstances, the potential consequences can include hefty fines, a suspension of driving privileges and even a jail sentence. However, there are other penalties that can be assessed and people are frequently unaware of them. In addition, there are subsets of the law that drivers might not know about. A penalty that is often ignored is the ignition interlock device. A law that can cause longer-term problems is called Leandra's Law.

The court will order anyone who was convicted of DWI or aggravated DWI to install and maintain an ignition interlock device onto the person's vehicle or a vehicle that he or she drives regularly. This will be in place for a minimum of one year. The driver will be responsible for the purchase, installation and maintenance of the device. It connects to the ignition and the driver is required to blow into it to check the blood-alcohol content before the vehicle starts. It is possible that the rule that it be installed for one year be cut in half that with no incidents.

Couple calls police after robbery and is arrested on drug charges

Although there is ongoing debate regarding the sale of marijuana and whether it should be legalized or not, people often forget that the drug is still illegal in New York State. With that, it is still possible to be arrested on drug charges related to being involved with it. Often drug arrests lead to charges for other allegations. For those who are arrested for drug crimes related to marijuana, it is important to remember that lodging a strong defense can make the difference between a conviction and the accompanying penalties and a plea bargain or an acquittal.

Two people were placed under arrest in odd circumstances after they contacted law enforcement themselves to report that they had been robbed. The call was made at around 11 p.m. When police arrived, the 23-year-old man and 29-year-old woman who reside there said there had been a robbery. As they investigated, the police found that there had been drug activity at the residence with at least one person being involved with the sale of marijuana.

With a full schedule of sports comes added DWI enforcement

It promises to be an incredibly busy next few days for sports fans here in New York, as not only are the Rangers, Sabres and Islanders all scheduled to take the ice, but the Yankees are also scheduled to play their season opener. This is not to mention, of course, the NCAA Final Four games on Saturday.

While many people will be viewing from the comfort of their living room, many others will undoubtedly be heading to the homes of friends and family, or area bars and restaurants to watch. Regardless of where they end up, there's no question that they will be celebrating with the usual game day staples, including alcohol. 

Should those who harm pets during criminal activity face additional penalties?

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the day for people everywhere is being greeted at the front door by their favorite pet after a long day at work or school. Indeed, the reality is that the bonds many people have with their pets are so strong that they view them as more than just friends, but rather as part of the family.

Interestingly enough, lawmakers here in New York are currently considering a measure that, if passed, would introduce incredibly strict penalties, some of the harshest in the nation, for those who injure pets during the commission of a crime.

There is still room for improvement with New York drug laws

pakalolo and judge gavel.jpegFor many years, New York drug laws were some of the toughest laws in the country. Fortunately, drug crime penalties are continuing to undergo a series of reforms. If you are facing drug possession charges in New York, it is important for you to know what you may be facing.

Were you charged with underage drinking in New York?

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If you are under the legal drinking age in New York, even a small amount of alcohol in your system can get you into legal trouble. The penalties for those under the age of 21 who willfully drink alcohol and then drive are serious. While you may not go to jail, your license may be suspended or revoked.

One narrow exception to the law

In order to be charged with a zero-tolerance violation, you must have blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02% to 0.07%. Why does the BAC start at 0.02% rather than zero? There are a few situations where a positive test alcohol at a very small level may be acceptable, such as using mouthwash, taking communion at church or participating in a toast at a family wedding. However, don't count on one of these narrow exceptions to get you off the hook if you are pulled over.

Fighting a traffic ticket in New York may be worth your time

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If you've been a licensed driver for any length of time, you've probably experienced that sinking feeling that comes from seeing those dreaded flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Your mind races, considering all the ways a traffic ticket could affect your future, such as:

  • Added points to your license
  • Increased insurance rate
  • License suspension

While many moving violations can be resolved by simply paying the fine, you do have another option; one that can help keep your driving record clean and your insurance rates reasonable.

Law Office of James L. Riotto | 30 West Broad Street, Suite 306 | Rochester, NY 14614 | Phone: 585-371-5633 | Map & Directions
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