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Buffalo New York Law Q & A

In this of section our website, we’ve answered hundreds of questions we’ve been asked over the years. So if you have a question, we might have the answer right here.

There are four ways to get an answer to your question.

One, type your question in the search box to the right and click “Search” – every page we have related to that question will then be shown.

Two, below and to the right, you’ll see a section called “Categories”. Just click the section related to your question and every page we have that is applicable to your question will be presented for your review.

Three, the links at the bottom of this page will take you to a web page that can answer many of the questions you might have.

And four, if we don’t have your answer here, or if you’d like to speak with us, feel free to call and arrange a free consultation – either on the phone or in-person.

We can be reached at 716-542-5444, or if the call is long distance, please call 1-800-729-4571.

When a driver is convicted of a misdemeanor level drinking and driving offense in a Buffalo area court – such as Driving While Intoxicated, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater, or Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se – he or she will be required to have an ignition interlock device on any motor vehicle he or she wishes to operate while full driving privileges are revoked.

This device requires the driver to blow into it when starting the vehicle and periodically thereafter.

If alcohol is detected, either the vehicle will not start or it will sound the horn and flash the lights until the driver pulls over and shuts the vehicle off.

Any ignition interlock device used in New York State as a result of a drinking and driving conviction must be approved for use by the Department of Health.

To obtain approval, the manufacture must submit the device to New York State for testing.

If it passes the testing and other criteria, it will be certified for use in New York State.

If a manufacturer wishes to make a change to the operational functions of the machine, it is required to provide a description of the intended operational modification(s) to the Department of Health, which will then determine whether the existing certification for that model of ignition interlock device shall continue in effect or the manufacturer will be required to apply for separate certification of the modified device.

The Department of Health defines an operational modification as any change to the design or function that would or could affect the device’s anti-circumvention, anti-tampering or analytical features.

Obtaining separate certification would involve submitting the modified machine to the Department of Health for retesting.

If you have been arrested for DWI and have any questions regarding how best to protect your driving privileges, call us at 716-631-9999.

Any Buffalo area police officer who conducts a breath test on a driver suspected of drinking and driving is required to have completed a course regarding the operation of that machine, passed a test, and been issued a permit to perform the breath test by New York State.
If the police officer who performed the test does not have a valid permit, the prosecution may not be able to introduce evidence of the breath test results at trial.

A police officer who has completed the breath test training course and passed the subsequent test is issued a permit by New York State that is valid for the next two years.

As part of the testing, the police officer is required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of each type of breath test machine which he or she is seeking a permit to operate.

To have the breath test operator permit renewed after this two year period, within 120 days prior to the expiration of the permit the police officer is required to complete a retraining course, pass a test, and again demonstrate proficiency in the use of each machine he or she is seeking a permit to operate.

As an alternative to undertaking the course and retesting, however, the police officer instead may be able to submit proof to the training agency that he or she had performed at least six breath tests on subjects within the two year period.

Even if the training agency waives retraining based on the police officer having conducted at least six breath tests, the police officer is still required to complete the retraining course – including a demonstration of proficiency in the use of all breath test machines the officer seeks a permit to operate – at least once every four years.

The breath test is usually the most damaging piece of evidence in a DWI case, and it is important to have a lawyer who understands the laws surrounding it.

Call us at 716-631-9999 if you need an experienced DWI lawyer.

Many Buffalo area drivers who are convicted of a drinking and driving offense will need to take a course to obtain a conditional driver’s license, which allows them to continue driving for work, school and other necessities.

This course is not the same as the Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course that is available to any New York State driver, either in a classroom setting or online.
Successful completion of the Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course will result in a reduction of up to four points on the driver’s license.

Unfortunately for individuals convicted of drinking and driving, the suspension or revocation of driving privileges associated with the conviction is not based on the point system applicable to most other moving violations.

As a result, completion of the Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course has no direct impact on the legal consequences of a drinking and driving conviction.

Of course, if the driver was convicted of other moving violations in addition to the drinking and driving offense, he or she may benefit from having the points associated with these other offenses removed from his or her driver’s license.

It should also be noted that insurance companies offer a discount to individuals who have completed the Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course.

While this does not directly impact the drinking and driving conviction, many drivers convicted of alcohol-related driving offenses find that their auto insurance premiums increase dramatically.

As a result, anything that can be done to help offset at least part of the increase may be beneficial to the driver.

It does not, however, directly impact the drinking and driving prosecution or any sentence arising from a conviction.

We are experienced DWI lawyers who can help you navigate the legal system following an arrest.

If you have been stopped for drinking and driving and need help, call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.

As experienced Buffalo DWI lawyers, we have seen the rules surrounding the issuance of driver’s licenses to individuals convicted of drinking and driving become increasingly complex.

When a driver loses his or her full driving privileges due to an alcohol-related offense, there are a variety of different types of limited driver’s licenses available depending on the circumstances of the case and what stage of the prosecution the case is in.

When a driver is required as part of the court’s sentence to have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle he or she wishes to drive, it may be necessary to obtain a post-revocation conditional driver’s license.

This type of limited driver’s license is needed in cases where the defendant has complied with all of the other legal requirements to have his or her full driving privileges reinstated but is still required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle.

To obtain this license, the defendant must complete a Conditional License/Driving Privilege Attachment (MV-2020) from the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is the same form that the driver was required to complete to obtain a normal conditional driver’s license.

The DMV will not issue full driving privileges until the ignition interlock requirement is lifted, so this form must be completed to include the locations where the defendant is permitted to drive – such as to work or to school.

Once it is completed and submitted to the DMV, a DMV representative must write “ignition interlock device required” on the validation line.

The laws surrounding continued driving privileges following an arrest for drinking and driving are complex, and it helps to have an experienced DWI lawyer who understands them.

If you need legal help, call us at 716-631-9999.

Buffalo Penalties For Persistent Sexual Abuse (NY PL 130.53)

Those who are repeatedly convicted of misdemeanor sexual offenses, such as forcible touching or sexual abuse, will eventually find themselves subject a felony charge in Buffalo.

Under Persistent Sexual Abuse (NY PL 130.53), those with two past convictions for one of those misdemeanor charges in the previous ten years will be subject to a class E felony charge and could go to prison for as long as four years.

Persistent Sexual Abuse is also a registerable offense for New York’s sex offender registry, so you will be subject to intense scrutiny from neighbors and law enforcement long after you’ve returned to society.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer are some of Buffalo’s most experienced criminal defense attorneys, and we know exactly how important it is that you attack the charges against you from every possible angle.

We’ve helped clients in Buffalo since 1955, and we can make a difference in your case.

If you or a family member need assistance with Persistent Sexual Abuse charges, call us today at 716-542-5444 and talk to an experienced Buffalo sex crimes defense lawyer for free.

Penalties For Forcible Touching (NY PL 130.52) In Buffalo

Buffalo Penalties For Forcible Touching (NY PL 130.52)

While many people think of misdemeanor charges as something like getting a traffic ticket, the truth is that they are potentially much more serious than you may expect.

As a class A misdemeanor, Forcible Touching (NY PL 130.52) can carry a sentence of up to one year in Buffalo, and conviction can put you at serious risk of enhanced criminal penalties if you’re charged with similar conduct in the future.

Charges of Forcible Touching must be taken seriously, and you should not endeavor to negotiate with prosecutors or fight in court without an experienced Buffalo criminal defense attorney at your side.

At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, our team has protected the rights and freedom of people charged with crimes in Buffalo since 1955.

We are among the most experienced criminal defense lawyers you’ll find in Buffalo, and we can help you.

If you need help with Forcible Touching charges, call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo defense attorney.

Buffalo Penalties For Criminal Sexual Act In The First Degree (NY PL 130.50)

First degree sex crimes charges are among the most serious, and damaging, criminal complaints that can be brought against someone in Buffalo.

In the case of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree (NY PL 130.50), you’re facing a B felony charge, which can carry a sentence of up to 25 years if convicted.

Upon release, you’ll be required to register as a sex offender, potentially for the rest of your life.

This will affect nearly every aspect of your life, from where you can live to how you plan travel or moves.

Every felon suffers when they transition back into the workforce after a conviction, but those convicted of sex crimes face even greater backlash. You have to protect yourself.

At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, we’ve been defending clients in Buffalo against serious criminal charges since 1955.

We have the resources and experience to make a significant difference in your case, from negotiating for reduced charges with less exposure to penalties, to defending you in court.

If you or a family member need help with Criminal Sexual Act In The First Degree charges, call us today at 716-542-5444 and talk to an experienced Buffalo criminal defense attorney for free.

How Is Alimony Calculated In A Divorce In Buffalo?

Unlike child support, Buffalo judges don’t have a standard formula to apply when it comes to deciding on alimony, known as spousal maintenance in New York.

Instead, they review the relative incomes of the spouses, then decide whether, how much, and for how long the non-monied spouse will receive spousal maintenance.

Aside from the income of the non-monied spouse and the monied spouse’s ability to pay, the court will also consider things like the age and health of both spouses, the non-monied spouse’s ability to become financially self-sufficient, the length of the marriage, and other relevant issues.

When it comes to the financial elements of a divorce, there is no substitute for working with an experienced attorney who can make the strongest case for the most beneficial spousal maintenance structure.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer have been helping people in Buffalo come out of their divorces in the strongest possible position since 1955, and we can help you.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 and talk to an experienced Buffalo divorce lawyer for free.

Buffalo Penalties For Criminal Sexual Act In The Third Degree (NY PL 130.40)

Felony sex crimes charges are permanently damaging to your reputation and opportunities in life.

Under the Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree (NY PL 130.40) statute, conviction will result in a class E felony record, with a sentence of up to four years if convicted.

Once released, you’ll have to register as a sex offender, which means that you’ll be constrained in where you live, what work you do, and that your neighbors will be privy to aspects of your life that are extremely prejudicial to you.

When you’re facing a charge as serious as Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree in Buffalo, get legal help right away.

Whatever the circumstances, there are defenses. You have a constitutional right to a vigorous defense against the charges against you.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer are some of Buffalo’s most experienced criminal defense lawyers.

For help with Criminal Sexual Act In The Third Degree charges, call us today at 716-542-5444 and talk to a lawyer for free.

Buffalo Penalties For Rape In The First Degree (NY PL 130.35)

A charge of Rape in the First Degree (NY PL 130.25) in Buffalo is instantly recognizable to everyone for the underlying crime, and is an extremely serious class B felony that carries a sentence of up to 25 years if you’re convicted.

Once released, you’ll also be required to register as a sex offender, and live with the significant constraints that go with that.

New York does not allow expungement of felony records, so you’ll have no opportunity to have the record of your conviction expunged at a later date.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer are experienced criminal defense lawyers who work closely with our clients to achieve the best outcome possible in criminal cases.

When you’ve been charged with an offense as serious as Rape in the First Degree, call us at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation.