Law Office of Jack Kotchick

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Binghamton Criminal Defense Law Blog

3 tips to help you avoid a holiday DWI

With Memorial Day coming up and various summer holidays around the corner, now is a great time to talk about DWIs and how to avoid them. Regardless of your age, it's possible to end up with a DWI if you drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Anything from being drowsy as a result of taking seasonal allergy medications to driving while drunk can result in a DWI and all the penalties that come with it.

Fortunately, it's easy to avoid DWIs in today's world. There are ride-sharing services and taxis, bus systems and cellphones to call friends or family members for a ride. There are other things you can do, too.

Yes, your federal loans can be impacted by a DWI

If you rely on student aid to go to college, you may be worried about what to expect if you're charged with a DWI. You're right to be concerned because you could have your right to federal student aid affected by your choices if you are convicted of the charges filed against you.

The good news is that you may not lose access to all the different kinds of assistance. Here's more on the impact your DWI could have on your student aid.

Should you plead not guilty to a traffic ticket?

You were rushed to get to school on the day you got your speeding ticket. You were weaving between vehicles, and you were going over the speed limit to try to get to your classes on time. Unfortunately, a police officer saw your unusual behavior and pulled you over.

In the end, the officer's actions were in your best interests, but you now face a traffic ticket. Traffic tickets might not seem very important compared to other types of violations, but they still have an impact on you.

College crimes can ruin your future: Know your rights

There are many kinds of crimes that people get involved in during college. For the most part, people in college are between 17 and 22 years old, so there's always a risk of them making mistakes that end up hurting their chances in the future.

In 2015, for instance, there were 27,500 criminal incidents against property or people on campuses that were reported to security agencies or the police. That was a 2-percent increase from the previous year, which is not a good sign for those enrolling.

Is cellphone use banned while driving in New York?

Distracted driving is a serious threat to all people on and around the roads, which is why it's necessary to keep your full attention on the road when you drive. Distractions lead to serious injuries and deaths in collisions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorists who take their eyes off the road for two seconds double the risk of being involved in a crash. Those who perform secondary tasks, like texting or talking on cellphones, increase their risk of a crash by two to three times as well.

Speeding tickets can cost you money and your driver’s license

You may not think of speeding as a serious violation, but it is. Speeding killed over 9,000 drivers and factored in 26 percent of all traffic deaths in 2017. That’s a startling number since drivers are in direct control over the speed of their vehicles.

There are several other potential consequences for speeding violations aside from death. Traffic violations such as speeding can impact your driving record and in turn, your insurance rates. Accumulating an excess of speeding violations may result in the suspension or revocation of your license. Speeding is a violation taken seriously in New York.

College break? Don't ruin your life with a DWI

Spring break is just around the corner, and as a college student, that's extremely exciting. You may just have reached an age where you can go with friends and be on your own. You may have significant plans to go out of state, too.

If this sounds like you, remember that laws still apply no matter what time of year it is. Additionally, you can end up with a DWI, even if you are on vacation.

Move over to save the lives of those who protect you

When you see the flashing lights of an ambulance, do you pull over to the side of the road or get out of the way to give them a right to pass? If you see an officer on the side of the road, do you move over into a lane farther away from them to prevent an accident? If you do, then you're doing what you should according to Scott's Law. If you don't, then you could be breaking the law.

Also known as a "move over" law, Scott's Law asks that people move over, slow down or stop for law enforcement and other emergency personnel when their hazard or emergency lights are on. Why is this so important? There are dozens of instances where officers or emergency crews have arrived at the scene of an accident or pulled someone over just to end up in an accident when someone on the roads doesn't move over and hits the officer's cruiser or team's ambulance. In those cases, the original victims, the officers, emergency medical technicians and others are all put in danger.

Former health tech CEO accused of defrauding his company

A former CEO is accused of defrauding his former employer, Rochester, New York-based eHealth Technologies. Michael Margiotta faces 15 charges, which include wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return.

Margiotta was the CEO of eHealth Technologies from 2011 to 2014. The company helps organize and retrieve medical records and images.

Speeding in a school zone can cost you hundreds

You know that you should slow down when you approach a school zone, but that doesn't mean you always do. When kids are in class or the lights aren't flashing, you feel like there's no reason to go more slowly.

The best thing to do, though, is to slow down any time you see a school zone. If you are caught speeding in a school zone, you can face additional penalties compared to a traditional speeding ticket.

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Law Office of Jack Kotchick

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