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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.

Buffalo drivers who are convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense outside of New York State cannot avoid the penalties of being convicted simply by going home and not returning to the location of the conviction.

While there are limits on the authority of New York State to impose penalties for an out-of-state conviction, any conviction for drinking and driving will still have an impact in New York State.

While the amount of any fines or jail time will be controlled by the laws of the state or country where the conviction occurred, New York does have authority to take action against any driver’s license that it issued.

Under New York law, a person convicted outside of the state of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor will have his or her New York driver’s license revoked for ninety days.

For drivers under the age of twenty-one, the period of driver’s license revocation for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor is the same as for any such conviction within New York State.

First time offenders will have their driver’s license revoked for one year, while repeat offenders will find their license revoked for one year or until reaching the age of twenty-one, whichever is longer.

For an individual convicted of an offense involving operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, New York State will revoke his or her license for six months.

The laws surrounding driver’s licenses for people convicted of DWI are complicated, and it helps to consult with an experienced DWI defense lawyer.

If you have been arrested for DWI, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.

To be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in Buffalo, the law requires that the defendant be “operating” a motor vehicle.

In most cases, operation will not be an issue because the driver will have been stopped while driving a moving vehicle.

In cases where the driver is found asleep in a stopped vehicle or the car was never moved, it has been left up to the courts of New York State to determine whether this behavior constitutes “operation” under the meaning of the law.

Because there is no clear definition of what it means to “operate” a vehicle under New York State law, the courts have generally looked at the totality of the circumstances when deciding whether the driver actually operated the vehicle.

Generally, there must be an intent to put the vehicle in motion, although the courts have found that the driver does not need to actually move the vehicle.

As a result, there have been cases where someone was found sleeping in a car with the motor started in order to run the heater and the DWI charges were dismissed.

In other cases, defendants have been found attempting to start a car that was incapable of running and the charges were upheld because the defendant intended to put the vehicle in motion, even though it was impossible to do.

The courts may also look at how a vehicle came to be at the location where the arrest occurred.

Thus, an intoxicated driver found passed out behind the wheel of a stopped vehicle on the shoulder of the road may be convicted of DWI based on the circumstantial evidence that he or she drove to the location where the vehicle was found parked and shut off.

If you have been arrested for DWI and have any questions regarding what must be proven in your case, call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.

A Buffalo driver who has previously been convicted of drunk driving may face enhanced charges and penalties, even if the prior conviction took place outside of New York State.

Because modern technology has allowed police agencies and the departments of motor vehicles in different states to share information much more easily, a defendant cannot count on New York State not being aware of a prior conviction from another state if re-arrested for DWI.

Determining exactly how the prior offense will impact the New York State offense requires a comparison of New York State law with the law where the prior alcohol-related offense was committed.

A prior out-of-state conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is deemed to be a prior conviction of a violation of an analogous offense in New York State.

For example, someone who has been convicted of an offense involving driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of greater than .08% will be considered to have violated the New York State offense of Driving While Intoxicate per se, which is an unclassified misdemeanor.

A prior out-of-state drunk driving offense may impact the current arrest in several ways.

It may result in a misdemeanor being enhanced to a felony, lead to a mandatory increase in the length of any driver’s license penalty, and restrict the ability of the defendant to obtain a conditional license to drive to and from work and school.

In some jurisdictions, it may also have a serious impact on the availability of a plea to a lesser charge, depending on the policies of the local district attorney’s office prosecuting the case.

A prior offense, whether it occurred in New York State or outside of it, can have a severe impact on a later arrest.

We are experienced DWI lawyers who can help you understand the implications of a drunk driving charge. Call us for legal help at 716-631-9999.

Any experienced Buffalo DWI lawyer knows that the laws surrounding driver’s licenses following an arrest for drunk driving can be very complicated.

There are a variety of different driver’s licenses a defendant may hold before re-obtaining a full license, each with its own limitations.

A Pre-Conviction Conditional License is one type of limited driver’s license issued in many DWI cases.

The laws of New York State require the court to suspend the driving privileges of anyone arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense at his or her arraignment, which is usually the first court appearance.

Even though the driver has not yet been convicted of anything and may even be ultimately acquitted, pre-conviction suspension of driving privileges has been found to be legal.

If the criminal case has not been concluded within thirty days of arraignment, the defendant may apply for a Pre-Conviction Conditional License.

This license will permit the defendant to drive to, from and for work; to and from school (including transporting family members to school); to and from doctor’s appointments; to and from court; and for three hours per week of discretionary driving.

The Pre-Conviction Conditional License is only available to drivers who have not had a prior alcohol-driving conviction in the past five years and who submitted to a blood alcohol content test.

If you have been arrested for DWI, it is important to have a lawyer who understands how it may impact your ability to drive.

If you need a DWI lawyer, call us at 716-631-9999.

A history of substance abuse, whether alcohol, drugs, or prescription drugs, is something that judges consider very closely when reviewing custody petitions.

Most problem drinkers will have indicators in their financial records of purchases at liquor stores, meals in restaurants and bars that cost far more than food alone, or even a history of seeking treatment for alcohol abuse.

In many cases, the spouse may also have received DUIs or other legal sanctions, which tells the court very clearly that your spouse has a problem.

These are sensitive and complicated matters, because the health of your child’s other parent is in jeopardy.

While the court is unlikely to give custody to a parent whose drinking is out of control, another factor that judges care about is the ability of the custodial parent to help foster an ongoing relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you give the court what it needs to understand the situation, while remaining sensitive to the core issues.

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

Yes, you and your spouse will be required to turn over a statement of net worth and any other relevant financial disclosures during the discovery phase of your divorce.

If additional records are needed, such as if you believe your spouse is hiding cash or assets, the court can compel your spouse to provide additional financial information above and beyond that.

When a spouse seems to be hiding assets that will reduce their on-paper net worth, the goal is almost always to limit their losses, either in the final settlement or in having to liquidate or lose particular property.

It’s important that your Rochester divorce attorney knows how to properly evaluate financial disclosures, and identify the signs of missing information.

The team at Friedman & Ranzenhofer has years of experience tracking down hidden assets and missing cash.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 and talk to an experienced Rochester divorce lawyer today.

Child support calculations are fairly complex, but as a general proposition, the court will look at the couple’s combined income and the number of children they share, then determine a percentage of the combined income to provide for the needs of the children.

The non-custodial parent will then be ordered to pay an amount proportional to their earnings.

But there are various other factors that will be included as well, such as reimbursement of medical costs, contributing to day care, and, in some cases, educational expenses.

In high income families, where the combined total is over $141,000 the court can apply different standards, such as basing child support on the actual calculated expenses of raising the child.

Getting appropriate child support, and an appropriate child support payment, is an important feature in your divorce, and you should have experienced legal guidance to make sure your child is properly cared for and your payment is not higher than it should be.

Call Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 585-377-5504 to talk to experienced divorce and child support attorneys in Rochester today.

Custody matters that include allegations of abuse are extremely difficult for the parent being accused, but unfortunately this scenario is all too common.

In cases where abuse is alleged, it’s important that the parent rebut allegations with factual, clear responses.

For instance, if your child once fell while playing and was taken to the emergency room, your spouse may allege that you were responsible for the injury.

In this case, medical records and witness statements can be provided to show that your spouse is not telling the truth.

When one spouse in a divorce or custody battle uses a pattern of deception with the court, the behavior undermines their own position.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer know how to counter false information with real information, and show the court that your spouse is being dishonest in their statements.

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

In many divorce situations, there is so much animosity between the parties that one or both may somehow feel justified in exaggerating or even fabricating allegations of misconduct against the other.

Unfortunately, there’s no real way to prevent your spouse from making false allegations against you, but once it’s clear that this will be the pattern in your divorce, your attorneys will work to rebut the falsehoods and present the court with reliable, verifiable information instead.

Developing trust with the court is key in these situations, where false allegations of abuse or misconduct are often tied to custody fights.

Judges have to make decisions based on the information they are given by the parties, so it’s imperative that the information you provide is compelling and fact based.

At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, we help our clients present clear, persuasive arguments to judges in divorce and custody matters.

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


Do DWI Laws Apply To Anything Driven On A Public Road?

Most Buffalo drivers arrested for DWI are operating cars, trucks or similar machines.

All of New York’s anti-drinking and driving offenses – including Driving While Intoxicated, Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater, Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol, and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated – specifically apply only to the operation of a “motor vehicle.”

New York State defines a “motor vehicle” as “[e]very vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power….”

The term “vehicle” is defined as a device used to transport a person or property on a public highway, except devices moved by human power or move along stationary rail or tracks.

Based on these definitions, New York’s DWI laws apply only to cars, vans, trucks and similar machines.

They do not apply to devices such as bicycles (which are propelled by human power and therefore do not fit the New York State definition of a vehicle), nor do they apply, for example, to carts or wagons pulled by animals or people riding horses (both of which are propelled by muscular power and do not fit the legal definition of motor vehicle).

Thus, while it would certainly be bad judgment to ride a bike or a horse in the road after having consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, New York’s DWI laws do not specifically bar such behavior.

If you have been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, we are experienced DWI lawyers who can help you with your case.

Please call us at 716-631-9999.