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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.

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.

All Buffalo driver’s convicted of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater who are allowed to continue driving using a conditional license are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on every vehicle they drive.

This device checks the driver’s breath for alcohol.

A failed test may result in the vehicle not starting or, if already in motion, shutting off.

A failed test will also be recorded by the device and reported to the entity responsible for monitoring it.

In most cases this will be the probation department, although the counties are allowed to appoint someone else to monitor the device, such as a law enforcement department, where a driver required to have the ignition interlock device installed is not on probation.

The party monitoring the device is required to submit a report to the court that sentenced the driver and the district attorney’s office if the driver has not complied with the monthly service visit requirement, the device appears to have been tampered with, any report of a lock-out mode (usually caused by back to back readings of alcohol on the driver’s breath), or a failed test where the recorded blood alcohol score was .05% or higher.

The monitor may also recommend penalties for the failure, including an extension of the ignition interlock period, a requirement that the operator attend alcohol treatment, or that the matter be referred to the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether a conditional driver’s license should be suspended or revoked.

A hearing will normally be held before the court to determine what sanction, if any, will be imposed.

If you have been charged with DWI, it is important that you understand the potential penalties.

For legal help, call us at (716) 631-9999.

A Buffalo driver stopped for DWI will almost always be asked to take a breath test to determine his or her blood alcohol level.

The results of this test may be used to support charges such as Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater or Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se, which requires a blood alcohol content of .18% or Greater.

While it would seem to make sense to have a suspected drunk driver undergo a breath test as soon as possible after being stopped, the arresting officer actually should not have the test administered immediately.

This is because the presence of residual alcohol or other foreign objects in the mouth has the potential to alter the breath test score.

As a result, a driver suspected of DWI generally is required to be observed by members of law enforcement for at least twenty minutes before a valid breath test may be conducted.

The purpose of this observation period is to make sure the driver does not place anything in his or her mouth or do anything that may result in alcohol entering his or her mouth, such as belching up or regurgitating alcohol from the stomach into the mouth.

If law enforcement cannot establish that a breath test score was not tainted due to alcohol in the mouth, an experienced DWI lawyer will use this fact as a basis for challenging the validity of the test results.

Successfully doing so may result in any charges of Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater or Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se being dismissed.

The breath test score is frequently the most damaging piece of evidence in a DWI case, and the manner in which the test was given should be carefully examined to determine if the results are valid.

If you need an experienced DWI lawyer to help you with your case, please call us at (716) 631-9999.

In almost all Buffalo DWI cases, the arresting officer will ask a driver suspected of drinking and driving to perform various field sobriety tests prior to placing the driver under arrest.

The purpose of these tests is to determine whether the driver has any physical or mental limitations that would support a finding of intoxication or impairment.

These tests may include activities such as walking heel to toe, touching your nose with your finger and reciting the alphabet.

The results of these tests will almost always be used as evidence against the driver at trial.

While there have been some efforts by law enforcement to make these tests more scientific by codifying which tests appear most accurate and setting forth specific criteria regarding what is considered a “pass” or a “fail” on a given test, these criteria are, unfortunately, rarely actually used by arresting officers.

Instead, the officers continue to use a wide variety of tests and will frequently indicate that a driver “failed” a test with no specific basis for their opinion that the driver failed.

Police officers have even been known to ask individuals suspected of drinking and driving to perform acts that a sober person may have difficulty with – such as reciting the alphabet backwards – and then use that person’s “failure” as a basis for a DWI arrest.

Because of the lack of hard rules regarding what tests to conduct and how they should be conducted, an experienced DWI attorney will carefully examine the circumstances surrounding the field sobriety tests to determine if they actually support a defendant’s intoxication.

If you have been arrested for drinking and driving, you need a lawyer who will examine all of the evidence against you when defending your case.

Call us at (716) 631-9999 for legal help.

It’s certainly possible to get modifications of custody agreements when a non-custodial parent is moving away from New York for professional, family, or other reasons.

It’s always beneficial to bring your former spouse into the dialogue before going to court, and an experienced child custody attorney can help you talk to your spouse if your relationship is less than ideal.

The things to keep in mind when pursuing a modification in custody are the ways that the new arrangement will benefit your children.

If you have been an involved parent after your divorce, arguing for a continuation of that relationship in your new home will be taken more seriously.

There may be opportunities for educational enrichment or exposure to arts and culture in your new location that will broaden your children’s understanding of the world, or maybe just the opportunity to connect better with grandparents and other extended family they may not see often.

When contemplating an out of state move and modification of a custody agreement, call the Rochester child custody attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation.