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Binghamton Criminal Defense Law Blog

Are college crimes going to affect your life?

If you're attending college, you should know that the actions you take will affect you. Once you're over the age of 18, you're a legal adult. You can make adult decisions, and you'll also be penalized for them if they violate the law.

Common college crimes include drinking and driving, using drugs, burglary, motor vehicle theft and aggravated assaults. Any of these can lead to serious consequences, including losing federal loan qualifications, jobs and even being suspended or forced to leave school completely.

Help your friends avoid a DWI after your Super Bowl party

If you're hosting a Super Bowl party, you likely have a lot of planning to do. Without a doubt, your food has to rival the guy's down the street, so you must clean your grill. You'll want to make sure your TV is in good condition and you've invited all your friends. And, as with all good parties, you probably want to make sure you have enough to drink.

But, all things considered, maybe your planning efforts should include helping your guests get home safely once the fun is over. For many, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest party day of the year. With substantial amounts of alcohol often consumed during the big game, understand that New York law enforcement officers will be out in full force this Feb. 1-4 through their STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign. This could lead to trouble if one of your friends has had too much to drink.

How do traffic tickets affect your license?

Most people don't think of traffic tickets as a big deal, but they can truly add up into a real problem. Traffic tickets stay on your record for different lengths of time, depending on what they're for. For example, a DUI ticket will stay on your insurance record for three years. If you get the DUI in California, it'll remain for 10 years.

It matters how long a traffic ticket stays on your record because it influences the cost of insurance and can put your right to a license at risk.

Drinking safety tips anyone can benefit from this holiday

Thanksgiving may be behind us, but two of the most celebrated federal holidays are still around the corner: Christmas and New Year's Eve. Many people are likely anticipating a few more nights of feasting and drinking with loved ones.

In the midst of all the party planning, however, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism (NIAAA) reminds us not to underestimate ourselves when it comes to drinking and driving this holiday season. The number of alcohol-related car crashes is said to double or even triple during Christmas and New Year's Eve, with nearly half of these accidents being caused by intoxicated drivers. As intuitive as it may seem to recognize the consequences of drunk driving, it is always worth considering how you can avoid a DUI conviction during the holidays:

Are there more police on the roads during the holidays?

Every year, there are reports that more people are pulled over and given DUIs during the holidays. One question you may have about this is if there is a natural increase in drunken driving or if there are just more officers on the road to stop people who are drinking and driving.

The reality is that there are more officers who are working on the holidays. They're spending time on the roads to make sure other drivers stay safe, which is necessary due to increased traffic and a higher likelihood of people drinking with family and friends over the holidays.

Get to know the 'Move Over' law

In New York, the "Move Over" law is there to protect drivers and emergency personnel. The Move Over law states that people need to check the traffic around them, slow down and move to the side if they see emergency personnel in their vehicles or on foot.

Drivers are responsible for using care when they approach emergency vehicles. By moving over into a lane further from the vehicle, they give a wider berth to those performing a job. If an ambulance or other emergency vehicle needs to pass through the traffic, it also gives it the space needed to do so safely.

Hate crimes are on the rise on America's college campuses

A report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) late last week captured how hate crimes are increasing on college campus across the United States. Just last year,15 people were killed after getting caught up in hate-motivated incidents. The killing of an African-American student at Bowie State University in May of 2017 marked the first hate-fueled death to occur on a college campus since 2006.

The uptick in hate crimes on college campuses was first acknowledged by the FBI in 2016. That year, police announced a 25 percent increase in the number of these types of incidents over the previous year. In 2015, 194 of these types of crimes were reported. That number climbed to 257 in 2016 and 280 last year.

Know how to avoid a resisting arrest charge

Resisting arrest is a crime -- and it can add to your woes if you're already charged with another offense like disorderly conduct or drunk driving.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to be charged with resisting arrest. As a Class A misdemeanor in New York, resisting arrest is punishable by up to a year in jail -- and that's on top of any other penalties you are already facing. That's why it's important to understand exactly what constitutes resisting arrest so that you know what actions to avoid.

In New York, be careful where and how you drive

If you're a veteran of New York's roadways, this might not come as a huge surprise, but a recent study indicates that your odds of getting a traffic ticket for speeding or something else may depend heavily on where you happen to be driving.

In other words, the rules of the road aren't always evenly applied. The police in Erie County pass out the most tickets. In 2017, they handed out a cool 50,000. Broome County, by comparison, only fewer than 12,500. However, those numbers are actually deceptive because there's far less traffic in Broome. The police there are actually far more aggressive about ticketing drivers than the police in Erie.

How to avoid drunk driving charges this Halloween

Halloween has become one of America's favorite holidays -- and it definitely isn't just for kids! There are a lot of adult-themed parties over the Halloween weekend every year, and most of them involve alcohol.

You can bet that your local law enforcement will be on the watch for drunk drivers throughout the Halloween weekend. Since the penalties you can face for drunk driving are truly frightening, here are some tips you can use to avoid problems:

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Law Office of Jack Kotchick

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