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Binghamton Criminal Defense Law Blog

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:

DWAI penalties apply to more than alcohol consumption

Perhaps you take a sleeping pill to help you get a good night’s sleep, or perhaps you recently sustained an injury and take pain medication to cope. You know that these drugs may give you side effects that affect your balance and cognitive ability, but you have not noticed any real changes. Unfortunately, one evening after taking your medications, you decide to get in your vehicle to run an errand.

Many individuals that take these types of muscle relaxants or sleep aids do not know the risks of driving while on prescription medication. Not only can you injure yourself or another driver, an officer can arrest and charge you with a DWAI (Driving With Ability Impaired) in the state of New York. Due to your impaired state, a court may find that you drove under the influence and risked the safety of other individuals. It is essential that, if you face conviction for a DWAI due to taking your necessary medication, you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you avoid any serious DWAI penalties.

Minor marijuana convictions leave students with financial woes

A lot of people, especially college students, have a dangerous misconception about so-called "minor drug charges." They mistakenly believe that a misdemeanor marijuana charge or violation that results in a misdemeanor conviction -- without jail time -- is basically not a big issue. 

Even though an UPM (unlawful possession of marijuana) is only a $100 ticket, it is still considered a drug charge. This should not be taken lightly.  This can disqualify students from receiving college financial aid such as Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and other financial aid. This can have enormous impact for college students.

It's actually a very big issue, for students to consider.

New York's 'move over' law: What every driver should know

If you intend to drive anywhere in the state of New York, you need to be aware of the "Move Over" law.

In essence, the law requires motorists to be extra cautious when an emergency vehicle or maintenance vehicle (including a sanitation truck) is stopped by the side of the road or on the shoulder with flashing lights. Moving vehicles are required to slow down and move over one lane away from the stopped vehicle -- whether it is on the right or left -- unless doing so would be unsafe or violate other traffic laws.

Hazing continues to be a problem for schools

As the school season revs up at universities and colleges all across the nation, another seasonal event will soon follow: pledge week.

That's the week that fraternities and sororities indoctrinate their new pledges into "Greek" life -- putting them through a series of challenges that are designed to build a sense of community and weed out those less serious about joining.

How much trouble can you get into over a fake ID?

Many people think a fake ID is pretty harmless. After all, a lot of today's college students probably grew up hearing stories about their parents using fake IDs to sneak into bars back when they were in school.

Unfortunately, the law doesn't consider fake IDs to be "harmless" in any way -- and a lot has changed in the way that the police tend to approach the situation. Instead of merely having your ID confiscated, you're likely to face serious criminal charges that can alter your life significantly -- and a school disciplinary hearing!

What is Leandra's Law?

Leandra's Law was signed nearly nine years ago, which strengthened penalties for drinking and driving in New York. The law, sometimes known as the Child Passenger Protection Act, was proposed after Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old girl, was killed on the Henry Hudson Parkway while she rode in a vehicle with a friend's mother, who was intoxicated behind the wheel.

Below is a look at the different aspects of Leandra's Law and how they have impacted penalties since the law's passage.

Is an Ignition Interlock Device In Your Future?

If you face charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York, the consequences can be severe.

One of the punishments that can affect even some first-time offenders is installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle. When this instrument is installed, it requires that you to take a breath test whenever you get behind the wheel. If the alcohol level is too high, your vehicle won't start.

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