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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 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.


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.