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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.

Estate planning is a key component of ensuring that your wealth passes to your loved ones with minimal interference from the IRS.

There are as many approaches to estate planning as their are estates, but in general, planning for your estate using wills and trusts gives you control over your assets and wealth while you’re alive, and an efficient transfer to your heirs when the time comes.

These tools also allow you to name a trusted person in your life to manage your affairs in the event that you become unable to do so.

Trusts are an ethical, legal method of protecting your wealth so it goes to the people, charities, or institutions that you prefer, not the IRS.

At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, we give our clients the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the things they’ve worked so hard for will go to the people they love most.

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

Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree (NY PL 120.20) in Buffalo is charged when prosecutors believe that you recklessly engaged in a course of conduct which created a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

The terms of the statute are precise for a reason. While NY PL 120.20 is a Class A Misdemeanor, it can still put you in jail for up to a year, and can never be expunged.

You also face the risk of three years of probation, lengthy terms of community service, and any restitution the court may find you liable for.

This is a serious charge that can have a significant negative impact on your life.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer defend people in Buffalo when they’ve been charged with serious crimes.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo criminal defense lawyer.

If you’ve been charged with Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree (NY PL 120.25) in Buffalo, you should know that you’re facing a long prison sentence if you’re convicted.

The language of the statute is stark, and judges feel a strong inclination to punish a conviction in ways you won’t forget.

NY PL 120.25 defines Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree as, under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, you recklessly engage in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person.

These concepts – “depraved indifference to human life” and “grave risk of death to another person” – are extremely significant in the law, which takes a particularly harsh approach to conduct that can result in death, and where the actor displays an absolute disregard for human life.

Conviction under NY PL 120.25 can put you away for seven years, and will leave you with a felony conviction for the rest of your life.

Don’t take chances with something this serious.

Call Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 716-542-5444 and speak to an experienced Buffalo criminal defense lawyer for free.

Stalking crimes in New York have gained notoriety in recent years because of their strong tie to domestic violence crimes.

Stalking in the Fourth Degree (NY PL 120.45) is the lowest-graded stalking charge available, and alleges that you acted intentionally, and without legitimate purpose, to engage in a course of conduct directed at a person, and knows (or should reasonably know) that the conduct will cause fear of material harm to the physical health, safety, or property of the person or someone close to them.

NY PL 120.45 is a Class B Misdemeanor, which can result in up to three months in jail.

Keep in mind that if you are convicted of Stalking as a domestic violence matter, there may be additional penalties, including the permanent loss of certain rights.

Whatever your situation, you need legal help you can count on when you’re charged with Stalking.

Call Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo Stalking defense lawyer.

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Can Men Get Alimony In A Divorce In Buffalo?

Yes, when couples divorce in Buffalo, men are as able to seek alimony (called “spousal maintenance” in New York) as women are.

The deciding factor when it comes to an award of spousal maintenance is income.

If you are the lower earning spouse in the marriage, and your spouse earns enough money to pay an award of spousal maintenance, you have every right to request and expect some measure of support while you get back on your feet.

Whether you need a short term award that lets you re-establish yourself in your career or expand your education, or a longer term payment system that helps you through a chronic disease or handicap, the attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer know how to get our clients the level of spousal maintenance that’s appropriate for them, regardless of gender.

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

A Buffalo snowmobiler who is operating under the influence of alcohol may face serious charges.

When a snowmobiler is involved in an accident or is stopped for violating any of the regulations surrounding operation of a snowmobile, the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation law authorizes a police officer to ask the operator to take a handheld breath test.

If that test is positive for alcohol, the officer may then ask the operator to take a chemical test of his or her breath, blood, saliva or urine to determine blood alcohol content.

An operator who refuses to submit to this chemical test faces sanctions for doing so, even if any related drinking and driving charges are dismissed.

When the operator first appears in the local court after being arrested, his or her privilege to operate a snowmobile will immediately be suspended, and a hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law judge to determine whether the operator refused to take a lawfully requested chemical test.

At the hearing, the only issues will be 1) did the police officer have reasonable cause to believe that snowmobiler had been operating a snowmobile while impaired or intoxicated by alcohol; (2) did the police officer make a lawful arrest;
(3) was the operator given sufficient warning prior to refusing the test that refusal would result in immediate suspension of his or her privilege to operate a snowmobile whether or not he or she is found guilty of any other charges; and
(4) did he or she then refuse to submit to the chemical test.

If the administrative law judge finds all of these issues against the operator, the penalty for a first time offender is suspension of the privilege to operate a snowmobile for six months and a $200 fine.

Operation of any type of vehicle under the influence of alcohol can lead to serious legal problems.

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

Nearly all DWI arrests in the Buffalo area involve a driver operating a motor vehicle on a public highway – a location where New York’s rules of the road would clearly apply.

When a driver is accused of drinking and driving when not on a public highway, however, whether New York’s DWI laws apply depends on the nature of the location.

Aside from public highways, DWI laws apply on private roads open to motor vehicle traffic – such as access roads to stores – and in parking lots that fit certain criteria.

New York’s DWI laws define a “parking lot” as any area of private property, including a driveway, that is near or adjacent to a premises, used in connection with that premises, and having a capacity for the parking of four or more motor vehicles.

It specifically excludes private property on which is situated a one or two family residence.

Based on this definition, DWI laws apply in most business parking lots (provided there are four or more parking spaces) and the parking lots and driveways for any apartment complexes where more than two families may reside and there is parking for four or more vehicles.

It does not apply to the driveways or other property attached to a private home or duplex.

As a result, a lawful arrest for drinking and driving cannot be made where a driver, for example, only moved his car within his own driveway for the purpose of allowing another vehicle to get out.

All drivers should be aware, however, that the fact that a vehicle was ultimately stopped on private property does not necessarily protect a driver from being charged with DWI if it can be established that he or she drove on public property to get to that location.

If you have been arrested for DWI, it’s important to have a lawyer who understands your rights.

We are experienced DWI attorneys who can be reached at 716-631-9999.

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What Is Implied Consent In A Buffalo DWI Case?

Nearly every Buffalo driver stopped on suspicion of DWI will be asked to submit to a breath test to determine his or her blood alcohol content.

If a driver does not submit to the breath test, he or she will face penalties for refusing the test, even if any drinking and driving charges are ultimately dismissed.

Some people may think that requiring a driver to take a breath test or face penalties for refusing to do so is a violation of the driver’s rights.

Under New York’s “implied consent” law, however, this is not the case.

New York’s implied consent law states that any person who operates a motor vehicle in New York State is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test of his or her breath, blood, urine, or saliva, for the purpose of determining the alcoholic and/or drug content of the blood.

In other words, by the mere act of driving in New York State, a driver is presumed to have consented to taking a breath test at the direction of a police officer when there are reasonable grounds to believe the driver is operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

As a result, a driver stopped for DWI is required to submit to a chemical test.

While he or she usually will not be forced to do so unless an accident occurred involving serious injury or death, the driver may be penalized for refusing to submit to the test.

The penalties for refusing the breath test include a substantial fine and a revocation of driving privileges.

Anyone arrested for drinking and driving should have an experienced DWI lawyer who understands the law surrounding his or her case.

If you need an experienced lawyer, call us at 716-631-9999.

When a Buffalo driver is arrested for drinking and driving, the results of a breath test to measure his or her blood alcohol content can be a critical piece of evidence.

To administer a breath test, a police officer must complete a training course and be issued a permit to perform the test by the Department of Health.

This permit may be renewed every two years so long as the police officer demonstrates continued proficiency in administering the test.

In addition to this requirement to renew every two years, the Department of Health — or the agency designated by the Department of Health to train officers in the use of the breath test machine — may require an officer to demonstrate his or her ability to properly operate the machine at any time.

Moreover, if the Department of Health has information that the operator does not conduct breath tests in accordance with the techniques and methods instructed by the training agency, that the operator’s performance is unreliable, or that the operator is incompetent, it has full authority to revoke the operator’s permit.

While the training agency does not have the same authority to fully revoke a breath test operator permit as the Department of Health, it may suspend the operator’s permit under the same circumstances.

Upon issuing a suspension, the training agency must immediately notify the Department of Health in writing of the suspension and furnish a copy of such notice to the suspended operator.

The operator whose permit has been suspended by the training agency may appeal to the commissioner of the Department of Health.

An operator whose permit has been revoked is not eligible to pursue a new permit for at least 12 months.

If you took a DWI breath test, you need an experienced lawyer who will examine whether that test was properly conducted by qualified personnel. Call us at 716-631-9999 for legal help.

Hazing in the Second Degree (NY PL 120.17) is charged in Buffalo when prosecutors believe they can prove that, in the course of another person’s initiation or affiliation with any organization, you intentionally or recklessly engaged in conduct which created a substantial risk of physical injury to the other person, or a third person.

While 120.17 is graded as a Violation rather than a misdemeanor or felony, you can still go to jail for up to fifteen days if convicted, and you’ll carry the stigma of a conviction for hazing.

Hazing charges can put you and the organization of which you are a member in a lot of trouble.

You may have friends, peers, or colleagues who are also facing these or related charges after an event.

Protect yourself when you’re charged with Hazing in the Second Degree in Buffalo.

Call the attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 716-542-5444 and speak to an experienced Buffalo criminal defense attorney for free.