WNY Lawyers Banner
≡ Menu

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.

As experienced Buffalo DWI attorneys, we understand that there are many ways a conviction for drinking and driving may impact a client’s life aside from any court-ordered sentence.

Driving While Intoxicated is considered a crime in New York State.

As a result, it carries many of the same personal and social consequences that other criminal level offenses carry.

This includes a potential impact on the right to bear arms.

For a first time offender convicted of a misdemeanor level drinking and driving charge who holds a pistol permit or owns other legal firearms, this first conviction usually will not impact their ownership of any firearms.

While it possible for the conviction to trigger a review of the defendant’s pistol permit, a DWI charge standing alone is unlikely to result in any action against the permit.

Offenders who have prior drinking and driving convictions, however, can find themselves barred from possessing firearms.

This is because prior offenses may result in the current DWI charge being enhanced to a felony, and it is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to possess firearms.

While a person convicted of drinking and driving may not necessarily be violent or otherwise dangerous, the law does not distinguish between different types of felonies.

As a result, a conviction for a felony level DWI will result in the defendant losing his or her right to own and carry firearms.

A person who enjoys hunting but faces a conviction for felony DWI should speak with his or her lawyer regarding this situation.

In some cases, it is possible to obtain a document called a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities from the sentencing court which states that the defendant should still be allowed to possess and use firearms for the purpose of hunting.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you need a DWI lawyer who understands all the consequences.

Please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.

The breath test score is often the most damaging piece of evidence in a Buffalo DWI case.

To prove a driver is guilty of Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater or Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se (which requires a score of .18% or greater), the prosecution must be able to establish that the driver’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit when driving.

While it is impossible to administer such a test to a driver immediately after making a stop, law enforcement will usually want to administer the test as soon as possible to obtain a result that is close to the actual blood alcohol content when the defendant was driving.

There is no rule regarding how long after a stop the breath test may be administered.

New York courts have, however, regularly rejected the results of tests given more than two hours after the driver was stopped, and law enforcement frequently will inform a driver who attempts to delay more than two hours in taking the test that any additional delay will be considered a refusal to submit to it.

While a test administered more than two hours after the stop may be admitted as evidence in some cases, the prosecution often will not even seek to use such results as the driver’s blood alcohol content may have dropped significantly over time, and the low breath test result may actually undermine their efforts to prosecute the driver.

If you have been arrested for drinking and driving and have any questions regarding the breath test, we are experienced DWI lawyers who can help you.

Please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation regarding your case.

Any Buffalo driver arrested for Driving While Intoxicated will find that there are many potential penalties following a conviction in addition to the sentence imposed by the court.

For individuals who hold a professional license – such as lawyers, accountants and medical providers – such penalties may include a sanction against their professional license.

What specific penalty will be imposed on a professional license following a conviction depends on the type of license and the specific circumstances surrounding each case.

Generally, any criminal conviction – including a DWI conviction – will trigger a review of a professional license issued by New York State, and the holder of the license will be requested to provide information regarding the arrest.

A hearing may be conducted to determine what sanction, if any, will be imposed on the professional license.

For first time offenders who seem capable of performing their professional duties despite being arrested, the licensing board may require alcohol counseling or other treatment to avoid suspension of the professional license.

Repeat offenders are likely to face more serious sanctions, such as a temporary suspension or even a permanent revocation of the professional license.

Given the potentially serious implications of a DWI conviction to the holder of a professional license, anyone who holds such a license should bring that fact to the attention of his or her lawyer.

An experienced DWI lawyer will consider the potential implications to the professional license when determining how best to defend the case.

A DWI conviction carries serious consequences.

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

Nearly all drivers stopped for suspicion of drinking and driving in the Buffalo area will be asked to take a breath test to measure the amount of alcohol in their system.

It is illegal to drive in New York State with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, and a score of .18% or greater would support the even more serious charge of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se.

Because the results of the breath test may have a serious impact on the case against the defendant, some drivers will ask to speak with an attorney before deciding whether to submit to the test.

Regarding this issue, the courts have determined that if a person suspected of drinking and driving asks to speak with an attorney before taking the breath test, the police are not allowed to interfere with that request, which usually means allowing the driver to make a phone call to an attorney.

However, failure to reach a lawyer (which is not unusual given that such calls are frequently made in the middle of the night) cannot be used as an excuse for not taking the test, so long as the police provided an adequate opportunity to reach an attorney and clearly informed the driver that continuing to delay in taking the breath test would be considered a refusal.

Refusing the breath test has its own consequences, including driver’s license revocation and a large fine.

As a result, the attempt should be made to consult with an experienced DWI lawyer before making the decision to take or refuse the test.

If you have been arrested for DWI and need the advice of an experienced attorney, we can help you. Call us at 716-631-9999.

No, the custodial parent can’t deny you access to your children even if you are behind on child support.

If your former spouse is interfering with your visitation, you should contact an attorney who can help you get the court’s help in creating appropriate boundaries for you and your ex-spouse.

If you are behind on child support because of job loss, illness, or injury, you may be eligible for a modification of your child support payment.

There are risks with falling behind on child support, so taking all steps to resolve the situation and prevent future arrears can protect everything from your tax refund to your right to drive.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you stay close to your children and have a child support payment you can afford.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester child support attorney.

Yes, prenuptial agreements are an excellent way to create certainty around which parties own what property at the outset, and possible dissolution, of a marriage.

Knowing that your spouse may make investments or other contributions to your business, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that regardless of those contributions, the business remains a separate asset that won’t be liquidated or distributed in the event of a divorce.

Remember that prenups don’t anticipate a divorce, they just provide both partners with clear guidance in the event that the marriage doesn’t work out.

A properly written prenup will include the interests of both spouses, and present a balanced approach to the terms of a divorce, should one happen.

To be enforceable, your fiance should have their own attorney review the document and negotiate potential changes.

Remember, a prenup that can’t be enforced in court is just a very expensive piece of paper, so work together to draft a document that provides for both of your interests.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you have the security you need to enter your marriage worry-free.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 to talk to an experienced Rochester prenuptial agreement attorney.

Unfortunately, it probably will. Ending a marriage is extremely stressful, and it’s only human to try to blow off some steam and give your mind a rest for a night.

The problem from the court’s point of view is that DUIs are often indicators of a substance abuse problem, and if your spouse chooses to create a line of attack based on it, you’ll have a hard time defending yourself.

On the other hand, your spouse may not go that route. And a full explanation of the events that led to the DUI may satisfy the court, especially if you’re cooperating fully with any terms the DUI judge may have ordered.

The bottom line is that how a recent DUI impacts your custody petition is dependent on the facts of your own divorce case, and how you present the information to the judge.

At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, we help clients in situations like this all the time, and can help make sure that your one-time infraction doesn’t damage your efforts to stay close and connected to your kids.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo divorce and child custody attorney.

The end of a marriage can bring out the worst in people, but there’s a difference between the normal course of difficult emotions people go through and making threats of violence against a spouse or a couple’s children.

If your spouse is threatening your safety, you should immediately call 911.

Not only will police in Buffalo work to ensure that you have a safe place to stay if needed, but in domestic violence situations, your spouse may be ordered to attend counseling or other therapeutic interventions that can help them find a better balance.

In marriages with kids, it’s very important that the court have all the information it needs to make a good choice when it comes to custody.

Documentation of threats of domestic violence will play a role in protecting your kids from living with a potential abuser.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer know that your safety is the first consideration when dealing with a spouse who may become violent.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 and talk to an attorney who specializes in divorce where domestic violence is a factor.

Yes, a prenuptial agreement can be used to protect investment properties you own in Buffalo and beyond.

In fact, if your business is real estate investment, then the use of a prenup can help you and your spouse develop an understanding of what each person’s role is in regards to the investment properties, and what your spouse can expect if the marriage ends in divorce.

For instance, a prenup might specify what the terms are if you ask your spouse for a loan to solve a problem with a property, including interest and a payment schedule.

In the event of a divorce, any outstanding debts your business has would be payable as part of the settlement – but in the inverse, your spouse would have no claim to any of your properties, regardless of how much money they had put in.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you create an enforceable prenuptial agreement that protects your business interests and provides your marriage with an important degree of certainty.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo prenuptial agreement attorney.

Most Buffalo residents are aware that a conviction for drinking and driving will result in a suspension or revocation of driving privileges.

Drivers convicted of multiple alcohol-related driving offenses or repeatedly refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test may have their driver’s license permanently revoked by New York State.

This is usually triggered when a defendant has three such convictions within a four year period or four such convictions within an eight year period.

While New York State law refers to a revocation under these circumstances as permanent, it is possible for such a defendant to eventually have his or her driving privileges reinstated.

This is, however, much more difficult than for first time offenders.

A driver in this situation may apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for waiver of the permanent revocation after five years.

As part of the application, he or she must not have re-offended within the past five years and provide proof of having successfully completed a rehabilitation program – usually meaning alcohol counseling with an acceptable provider.

He or she must also provide either a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct.

A certificate of relief from disabilities normally will be obtained from the court where the conviction occurred and state that the criminal conviction should not bar the defendant from driving.

A certificate of good conduct is a similar document that may be issued by the department of corrections.

Even if the driver complies with these additional requirements, the Department of Motor Vehicles may still decide to withhold driving privileges.

There is no requirement that the driver’s license ever be reinstated.

A driver with prior DWI convictions who is re-arrested faces serious consequences.

If you need the help of an experienced DWI lawyer, please call us at (716) 631-9999.