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Rochester Criminal Defense Blog

What happens if one refuses a breath test?

Drivers in New York who are stopped by law enforcement and asked to take field sobriety tests or submit to a chemical test will often be confused as to what their rights are. Many might be under the impression that refusing a breath test or declining to take part in field sobriety tests falls under their legal rights. This is a mistake.

When a person has a driver's license, they give implied consent to take part in these tests when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. The goal of the breath test is to determine the blood-alcohol content. If a driver refuses, this can have serious consequences, even if the person was not legally under the influence at the time. To defend against these charges, legal help is imperative.

Do I need to hire an attorney for my traffic violation?

Most people assume that a traffic violation is something they can handle on their own. Given the fact that the general public often views traffic violations as minor offenses, they do not get a lot of attention and certainly are not the first type of violation you may think of hiring an attorney to handle.

However, depending on the unique circumstances of your traffic violation, an attorney may be an essential component in helping you avoid serious and costly consequences you may not be aware of. Consider the following information as you decide whether or not you need an attorney to assist you with your traffic violation.

Man arrested on drug charges, DWI and more after traffic stop

For people in Rochester and throughout Upstate New York, a simple traffic stop because of an equipment issue or due to a minor violation can lead to major criminal charges if there are other issues at hand. For example, if the person is alleged to have drugs in the vehicle and is under the influence, the minor investigation can blossom into a litany of allegations including drunk driving charges, drug charges and more. Since a conviction on these charges can have a long-term impact on a person's life, a legal defense can make all the difference in a case and should not be ignored.

A 21-year-old man who was stopped for what initially appeared to be a traffic violation was arrested on multiple charges related to drugs and DWI. After the stop, law enforcement searched the vehicle. During that search, there were numerous drugs found including marijuana, Xanax, cocaine, and "magic" mushrooms. The man was also alleged to be operating the vehicle with his ability impaired. Since he had a 16-year-old female in the vehicle with him, he is also facing charges for unlawful dealing with a child. The man stated he was heading for a party. He now must deal with the charges ranging from fourth, fifth and seventh degree drug possession and DWI-drugs.

What penalties will a commercial driver face for DWI offenses?

Being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in New York State carries with it serious potential consequences should there be a conviction. Anyone who is confronted with allegations of DWI offenses must be cognizant of what they can face, but it is even more important for those who are commercial drivers and need their Commercial Driver License to make a living. Losing a CDL is problematic enough, but when seeking jobs even after the license has been reinstated can be made more difficult when there are DWI offenses on the record.

Understanding how commercial drivers are treated with a DWI and how it can impact their life is crucial. It is also imperative when planning a defense. A CDL -- whether it is A, B or C -- gives the driver greater responsibility to adhere to the law when it comes to blood-alcohol content (BAC) if there is a test to see if the he or she is under the influence. A driver with a CDL who is convicted with a BAC of .04 percent or more will have the CDL revoked for one year. If the driver is operating a vehicle that must have placards denoting hazardous materials are being carried, it is three years.

Woman faces DUI charges and other allegations after fleeing

In Rochester and the surrounding areas of New York State, law enforcement is out in force seeking drivers who might be operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered such a dangerous act that can lead to accidents and injuries, the law has a litany of potential consequences that can be very severe if there is a conviction. After an arrest, those who are facing charges must make certain they protect themselves and craft a strong defense with help from a lawyer.

A 20-year-old woman has been arrested on several charges related to driving while ability impaired. Law enforcement attempted to stop the woman's vehicle at shortly before 8 p.m. She fled from them and officers pursued her. She continued until stop sticks were put in the roadway so her vehicle would be disabled. After the vehicle was stopped, she got out of the vehicle and tried to run. She was caught and arrested. She now faces charges of DWAI for drugs, fleeing law enforcement, reckless driving, speeding and more.

Can I be cited for having tinted windows on my car in New York?

For many reasons, New Yorkers might want to have the windows on their vehicle tinted. It could be a desire for privacy; there might be a medical reason for it to be done; or they simply like the aesthetic. However, it is important to understand that there are laws regulating tinted windows. If they are too dark, there can be a traffic violation given because of it. When there is a citation for windows that are tinted so dark that it is labeled a violation, it is important to understand the law and how to lodge a defense and perhaps have the violation dismissed.

According to state law, it is illegal for vehicles to have a windshield or a front side window that is dark. There are limits as to the percentage of darkness that the windows can have. More than 30 percent of light cannot be blocked by the tinting of these windows meaning 70 percent of light must pass through. The rear window also falls under this requirement except in cases where there are rearview mirrors on the outside on each side. These mirrors must provide a clear view for the driver to see behind the vehicle.

New York state moves toward legalizing marijuana

After studying the impact, the state is moving toward legalizing marijuana. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo created a group to work on a legalization bill. The group will use the Department of Health's recommendations to write regulations for the legalization of marijuana. 

Charges for DUI and drug crimes spark pregnant woman's arrest

People can face drunk driving allegations in unusual circumstances in Rochester. The potential consequences and penalties should there be a conviction can have a negative impact on their lives in multiple ways. For those whose personal situation makes DUI charges more problematic than they might be for another person, it is even more vital to have legal help.

A 26-year-old pregnant woman was arrested for DUI after she vomited on the side of the road and then fled from law enforcement. A law enforcement officer saw the woman throwing up out of the window of her vehicle at about 9:45 p.m. When the officer went to investigate, she fled. Other officers found the vehicle later. She told them she was sick because she was pregnant and stated she was unaware that an officer had attempted to assist her during the earlier incident. She admitted to having left a bar. She was given field sobriety tests and did poorly. Cocaine was allegedly found in the vehicle. She faces charges of DUI and for possession of a controlled substance.

Nine charged in alleged New York drug network

Many drug-related arrests result from traffic stops and other interactions where police find illegal drugs during a search. These typically result in drug possession charges, but if the quantity of the drugs is high enough, the defendant is presumed to be distributing the drug. However, what the authorities really want to do is to break up large, violent, drug trafficking networks. To achieve this, police attempt large-scale sting operations and prosecutors use more complex charges, such as racketeering charges.

Recently, prosecutors unsealed an indictment against five men they allege to be involved in a violent heroin distribution network in New York. New reports referred to the defendants as the Bushwick Crew, and said they were based in Brooklyn and Queens. Four people have already been charged in connection with the alleged drug network, bringing the total to nine defendants in the case. Seven of these nine have been charged with homicide in connection with their alleged roles in the Bushwick Crew. Some of the charges involve alleged racketeering.

What penalties are there if convicted of prostitution charges?

Although, many call it the world's oldest profession, the reality is that prostitution is illegal in New York. Those accused of engaging in it, both sex workers and customers, may face serious criminal penalties. This blog post will describe the potential penalties for those convicted of engaging in prostitution.

When a person is accused of engaging in sex work, they may face prostitution charges. A person is guilty of prostitution if they engage in sexual conduct in exchange for a fee. They are also guilty of prostitution if they merely agree to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee, or even if they offer to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee. A person found guilty of prostitution in New York faces a maximum $500 fine or a maximum of three months in jail.

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