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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.

A Buffalo driver convicted of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated Per Se as a Class D Felony faces very serious criminal penalties.

This is a criminal offense that will result in a permanent criminal record, possible jail time and very high fines.

If convicted of this charge, a defendant may be incarcerated for up to seven years. As an alternative to jail, the Court may impose up to five years of probation.

The Court also may impose a sentence combining incarceration and probation. In many cases, the close proximity in time of the current and prior charges will result in at least a short period of mandatory incarceration.

In addition to or in place of incarceration, the Court may impose a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000. On top of any fine, there will be a mandatory surcharge of $520 and a Driver Responsibility Assessment of $250 per year for three years.

The driver’s license of any defendant convicted of this crime will be revoked for at least eighteen months.

In most cases, a driver convicted of this offense will not be eligible for a conditional license because of the close proximity between the conviction and the underlying prior charges.

If a driver is eligible for a conditional license, there are additional fees associated with obtaining the conditional license and applying for a full license at the end of the revocation.

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se as a Class D Felony has very severe penalties.

If you need a lawyer experienced in defending DWI cases, call us at 716-631-9999.

Buffalo drivers who are repeatedly arrested for drinking and driving often will be charged with enhanced criminal offenses and face additional penalties.

They also face greater penalties when found to have an extremely high blood alcohol content.

The offense of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated Per Se as a Class D Felony is a very serious criminal charge that extremely intoxicated repeat offenders may face.

For a first time offender, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se is a misdemeanor.

It may be charged where a driver has undergone a blood alcohol test which resulted in a score of .18% or greater.

This is more than twice the legal limit of .08%. Aside from this, all that is necessary to support the misdemeanor charge is proof that the driver was operating a vehicle on a public highway, a private road open to the public, or in a lot with parking for four or more vehicles not attached to a one or two family residence.

It does not need to be shown that the defendant was driving erratically.

For a repeat offender, this offense may be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a D felony if it can also be proven that the driver previously had been convicted – on two separate occasions – for any combination of the following offenses:

  • Driving While Intoxicated; Driving While Intoxicated per se; Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated;
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs;
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combination of Alcohol and Drugs;
  • or any of various vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide charges arising from driving under the influence of alcohol.

Both of the prior offenses must have taken place within ten years of the current arrest.

This is a very serious criminal charge, and anyone arrested for this offense needs an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

If you have been arrested for DWI, please call us at 716-631-9999 for legal help.

For a Buffalo driver who has been convicted of an alcohol or drug related driving offense, continuing to drive can carry very serious penalties.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree is an unclassified misdemeanor, which is a crime in New York State and will result in a criminal record.

When the reason for the driver’s suspension or revocation was an alcohol or drug related driving conviction, refusing a blood alcohol test, or a suspension pending prosecution, the court is required to impose a sentence of incarceration of at least seven days, with the potential sentence being as high as 180 days of incarceration.

The Court may also impose a period of probation supervision of up to three years, or a combination of jail time and probation.

There is also a mandatory fine of between $500 and $1,000. In addition to the fine, there is a mandatory surcharge of $175 and a crime victim assistance fee of $25.

These same penalties also apply when the driver’s license was suspended for failure to appear in court or pay on fine for three separate prior offenses.

If the offense was increased from the Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree to Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree because of a prior conviction for aggravated unlicensed operation, however, the sentencing possibilities are slightly different.

Under such circumstances, there is no mandatory seven day lower limit on any sentence of incarceration, but there is also no $1,000 cap on the potential fine.

If you have been convicted of DWI or a related offense and need legal help, call us at 716-631-9999.

A Buffalo driver convicted of any alcohol-related driving offense will have his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked for a period of time.

A driver caught driving without a license – or driving outside the terms of a conditional license – during this period of suspension or revocation may be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree.

To prove the offense of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree, the prosecution must establish the lesser offense of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree is the operation a motor vehicle on a public highway when the driver knew, or should have known, that his or her license to operate a vehicle in New York State was suspended or revoked.

For the offense to be raised from the third degree to the second degree, the reason for the driver’s license suspension or revocation must be a conviction for any drug or alcohol-related driving offense, a revocation for refusing to take blood alcohol test, or a suspension pending prosecution for a drug or alcohol-related driving offense.

The charge also may be enhanced to the second degree if the driver either has – on three separate occasions – had a license suspension for failure to appear in court or has a previous conviction for aggravated unlicensed operation within the past eighteen months.

Continuing to drive after a DWI conviction may have serious consequences.

If you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, we can be reached at 716-631-9999.

Yes, you’ll be ordered by the judge to retain life and health insurance policies for your spouse and children after you’ve been served with divorce papers.

This is one provision in the automatic orders that are issued at the time of the filing, and among other things, you’ll be required to protect physical assets like furniture and cars, as well as financial instruments like credit cards and retirement and investment accounts.

If you take actions that make the courts believe you have emptied accounts or canceled insurance coverage as a way of retaliating against a spouse seeking to divorce you, you may not like the consequences.

To understand both your obligations and your options after your spouse has filed for divorce, call the Rochester divorce attorneys at 585-377-5504 today and talk to a lawyer for free.

Yes, New York law operates under the presumption that the “less monied spouse” will be awarded legal fees as part of the divorce settlement, which allows for a spouse who may otherwise not be able to afford an attorney to pursue a divorce action against a spouse.

In addition, you may be entitled to temporary maintenance, which means that your spouse will be ordered to provide you with funds during the divorce which can help keep you afloat as you transition out of your marriage.

Your best path forward is to speak to an experienced divorce lawyer right here in Rochester who can help you understand your options.

For spouses who don’t work, or who work for much less money than the other partner, there are a number of considerations made by New York courts to allow you to exit your marriage with a minimum of discomfort.

Call the Rochester attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation.

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Does Child Support Start Right Away?

Almost. When you file for divorce, you will be providing the court with what is known as a complaint, which will include the relief you seek.

That may include spousal maintenance, division of assets, and child support, among other things.

The court will make an order for child support, and while payments won’t begin same-day, you’ll have access to necessary funds very soon.

If filing for divorce feels beyond your financial means, especially when you are responsible for a child, we can make a motion for pendente lite support, a type of immediate temporary maintenance paid by your spouse while the divorce makes its way through the courts.

If you need help financing a divorce action against a spouse who holds the financial reins in your marriage, call the attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444 to talk to a Buffalo divorce lawyer for free.

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What Happens After The Preliminary Conference?

After the preliminary conference (PC), you and your spouse will both be required to meet the terms of the judge’s PC order, which will outline the issues in dispute and present a timeline for the exchange of financial information between the parties.

This information will be used during discovery to identify each party’s net worth, marital assets, and other relevant data.

The next meeting between the parties, their attorneys, and the judge will be at the compliance conference, where the judge will check in to make sure that each side is following the terms of the PC order.

If enough information has been shared between the parties, the judge may urge the sides to discuss a settlement agreement in the compliance meeting.

Many divorces reach settlement at the compliance meeting, and doing so typically saves the parties a considerable amount of money.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer help advance divorces as fast as possible, while putting our clients’ interests first. Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation.

No, the equitable distribution of marital assets only applies to property acquired during the marriage.

Homes, cars, jewelry, collections that have significant value, and other property that you brought into the marriage are considered separate assets and are not subject to distribution.

Some assets that you may acquire during the marriage are also considered separate property.

If you receive an inheritance from a relative, that will not be subject to division.

Nor will damage awards from legal cases, which are intended to compensate you for specific losses and are yours to keep.

Distribution of marital property is often a sticking point for couples, especially during a long marriage where ownership was always understood to be mutual.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you untangle your property knot and negotiate a settlement that meets all your needs.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation.

Conviction for Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol as a second offense is one of the more unusual drinking and driving charges defended by Buffalo criminal attorneys.

While the mandatory penalties are increased for the second offense, the charge remains a traffic infraction, which is not considered a crime.

For a second offender, the maximum possible jail sentence doubles from 15 days to 30 days.

The Court also may impose up to three years of probation supervision or a sentence combining the jail sentence with probation.

In addition to a jail sentence or probation, the court may also impose a fine, which for a second time offender increases from a range of $300 to $500 to a range of $500 to $750.

In addition to the fine, there will also be a mandatory surcharge of $255 and a Driver Responsibility Assessment payable to the Department of Motor Vehicles of $250 per year for three years.

The penalty to the driver’s license is also increased, with a second offender facing a minimum revocation of six months.

Because the prior offense must have taken place within the last five years for the penalty to be enhanced and the Drinking Driver Program to obtain a conditional license may only be attended once every five years, second offenders will almost never be eligible for a conditional license during this revocation.

As a result, a second time offender will be unable to drive at all, even if they need a driver’s license to get to work.

Obviously, Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol as a second offense has serious consequences.

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