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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.

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.


Can You Lose Your Job For Being Convicted of DWI?

A Buffalo driver convicted of Driving While Intoxicated often faces many problems aside from the sentence imposed by the court.

It is rare for a DWI conviction and the resulting loss of driving privileges and other restrictions imposed by the court not to have some impact on a defendant’s life at home and work.

Under certain circumstances, a conviction may even result in loss of employment.

For most people, a DWI conviction in itself will not result in losing their job.

The most likely reason someone may find their job endangered following a conviction is because the loss of driving privileges has rendered them unable to get to and from work.

Also, a defendant who needs a commercial driver’s license for work will almost certainly lose his or her job if convicted, because loss of a commercial driving privileges is mandatory following any alcohol-related driving conviction.

There are also certain careers that a convicted driver may be barred from holding.

For example, a person convicted of a crime – whether a misdemeanor or a felony – may be barred from employment with certain law enforcement agencies.

For drivers who hold a professional license – such as lawyers or medical providers – a conviction often will trigger a review of their right to hold that professional license.

While this review will not necessary result in loss of the professional license, individuals considered to have an alcohol problem severe enough that it impacts their ability to perform their professional duties may have their professional license suspended or revoked.

An individual arrested for drinking and driving may have a lot more at stake than just a potential criminal conviction.

If you need an experienced DWI lawyer, we can help you at 716-631-9999.

When a driver with an out-of-state license is arrested in Buffalo or elsewhere in New York State for Driving While Intoxicated, how his or her driver’s license is handled can become very complicated.

New York State does not have the direct power to take away an out-of-state license.

It may only suspend or revoke the defendant’s privilege to drive within the borders of New York State.

This does not mean, however, that a driver from another state who is arrested for DWI will avoid any driver’s license penalty if convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense.

Most states have an agreement to inform each other of any alcohol-related driving conviction.

As a result, the department of motor vehicles in the state that issued a convicted individual’s license will usually take action against that driver’s license.

What specific action will be taken depends upon the law of the state where the license was issued.

A first time offender with an out-of-state license who needs to drive in New York State for work or school may be eligible to obtain a New York State conditional license that allows him or her to drive in New York State only.

This does not affect any action taken against the driver’s license by the department of motor vehicles in the state that issued the license.

Whether there are any conditional driving privileges available outside of New York State depends upon the law of the issuing state.

If you have been arrested for DWI, it is important that you be able to continue driving.

We can help you at 716-631-9999.

DWI defense lawyers in Buffalo have seen many changes to the breath test machines used to measure the blood alcohol content of drivers over the years.

The breath test machines currently in use are highly computerized and designed to allow very little margin for error by the user.

This does not mean, however, that they are always perfect in their performance.

The technology used in current breath test machines has been found to be generally accepted by the scientific community as producing accurate readings and, as a result, has been accepted by the courts of New York State.

Despite this general acceptance, the prosecution is still required to establish that the machine was in proper working order and the test was properly conducted before the score may be admitted as evidence.

While there is really no concrete rule regarding what evidence the prosecution must present to have the breath test score admitted, the procedure used in most cases involves submitting various documents regarding the maintenance and operation of the machine.

These documents typically include:

(1) a form indicating that the machine had been inspected and, if necessary, repaired and calibrated within a reasonable period of time before the defendant’s breath test (usually within six months),
(2) a form indicating that the simulator solution (a bottle containing an alcohol solution used to test the accuracy of the machine at the time of the defendant’s test) had been separately tested and the amount of alcohol in the solution verified, and
(3) a copy of the breath test operator’s permit issued by the New York State Department of Health confirming the officer operating the machine received training to perform the test.

While the breath test score will usually be admitted if these documents are properly presented, there are other factors that the judge or jury may consider when determining if the score was accurate.

If you have been arrested for DWI and need an experienced lawyer, please call us at 716-631-9999.

While spousal maintenance and child support are entirely separate elements in the divorce, in Monroe County, the Child Support Enforcement Unit will take action to enforce spousal maintenance orders when there is also a child support order in place.

In some cases, it can be extremely difficult to get a former spouse to respond to their obligations after a divorce, and it may be necessary to return to court for enforcement.

While most people take their responsibilities seriously and work hard to live up to them, if you’re in a situation where your spouse has simply stopped paying, you have options.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you work with the legal system to protect your children and your budget.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 and talk to an experienced divorce and support enforcement lawyer for free.

No, spousal maintenance isn’t a required part of a divorce, and as more couples with similar earning power get married and then divorce, spousal maintenance is becoming more and more optional in negotiated settlements.

In most marriages though, it’s easy to show a pattern of educational or professional sacrifices made by one spouse, to benefit the educational or professional aspirations of the other.

These sacrifices usually result in an income disparity between the spouses, and in that case, the court has a strong presumption in favor of spousal maintenance to help the lower earner recover.

Depending on age, health status, length of marriage, and many other factors, a judge can order spousal maintenance either for a set period of years, or in some cases, for the rest of your life.

By working with experienced Rochester divorce attorneys, you can expect an award that helps you meet your goals after your divorce.

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

In most cases, spousal maintenance is awarded for a set period of time, usually a number of years, and tying it to something like your children moving out may be appropriate.

The important thing is not to confuse spousal maintenance with child support, which the non-custodial spouse is required to pay in every case, and which is a different consideration entirely.

For instance, child support payments are neither taxable income to the recipient, nor tax deductible by the payor.

Spousal maintenance, on the other hand, is a write off for the payor and is taxable income for the recipient.

It can be structured in a number of ways, and it’s important that you understand all the options, and their ramifications, when developing a spousal maintenance plan.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you have everything you need to move on after a divorce.

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

Yes, so-called durational spousal maintenance can be ordered so that you’ll have the resources to complete a degree and find work in your chosen field.

Five year awards are very common, and it’s typically very easy to demonstrate to the court that maintenance used in this manner will result in your ability to thrive, economically and otherwise, after the divorce.

Judges have a strong interest in ensuring that the lower-earning spouse in a divorce has the tools and resources to continue on indepently.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer win strong spousal maintenance awards for our clients every day, so they can follow their dreams after a marriage ends.

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

Spousal maintenance awards vary considerably in Buffalo, and there’s no statutory formula to guide judges, as there is with child support.

Judges examine each case on its merits, and consider a variety of factors in deciding how much spousal maintenance should be awarded, and for how long.

Judges consider things like the length of the marriage and the ages of the spouses, the health status of each spouse, potential future earnings, net worth, and similar circumstances in order to develop a maintenance plan that ensures that the lower earning spouse won’t be left out in the cold after the marriage ends.

When you work with experienced Buffalo divorce attorneys, you can trust that your maintenance petition will be as strong as possible, and all relevant information conveyed to the court in the clearest, most persuasive way.

Call Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 716-542-5444 to talk to an experienced Buffalo divorce lawyer for free.