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Bereavement is not a good defense to a New York DWI

Losing someone suddenly and violently can take its toll on anyone. Far too many New York residents face this situation each year, and many of them work in high risk occupations such as law enforcement or firefighting. Losing a colleague under these conditions often feels like losing a member of the family. Even under these circumstances, it is not a good idea to drive while impaired since police probably will not care that the individual is grieving and could make a DWI arrest.

For instance, a firefighter in the Big Apple left the funeral of a colleague who fell to his death while trying to save the victims of a car accident. As he drove, his vehicle hit and injured a pedestrian. When police arrived, they say they smelled alcohol on him. To make matters worse, the 36-year-old was driving a vehicle owned by the firefighters union and was wearing his full dress uniform.

Evictions can only occur for legally valid reasons

Owning a rental property can provide an Amherst property owner with an abundant passive income stream. However, that also means dealing with tenants and those relationships do not always turn out as intended. Evictions happen for a variety of reasons, but they must fall within the law.

It may be tempting for some property owners or managers to begin eviction proceedings for reasons that do not fall under the law. For example, personality conflicts occur often. However, landlords and tenants do not have to be friends in order to do business. If there is any hint that the eviction resulted from the landlord's discrimination against a tenant with a protected status, it could easily backfire.

When an officer can make a traffic stop

In order to charge someone for a crime, police officers need to conduct arrests lawfully. In the case of traffic violations, the police officer must also carry out the traffic stop appropriately.

Here’s when and how law enforcement can lawfully request that you pull over while driving by using their lights and/or siren.

Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense

Few people here in Amherst or elsewhere always honor the rules of the road. Police write tickets for speeding, failing to yield the right of way and other offenses that qualify as infractions and ordinarily do not reach the level of criminal charges. However, one traffic offense, reckless driving, could result in a misdemeanor charge, which has more serious ramifications than an infraction.

Amherst drivers could face this charge if authorities believe they exhibited a wanton or willful disregard for safety or for the consequences of the way they drive. An accident does not have to occur for police to claim that a driver violated this law. A conviction for reckless driving could include incarceration and fines.

It is possible to accidentally waive Miranda rights

For many Amherst residents, the first time they hear about the right to remain silent is on television or in a movie. While being read the Miranda rights is properly depicted in several of these shows, they often neglect to accurately portray the fact that waiving those rights can happen unintentionally. Understanding how this happens and learning how to avoid it could come in handy one day.

Amherst residents do have the right to stay quiet and to talk to an attorney, but most people are not aware of how to invoke those rights properly. A person can't just stay quiet and expect that to be enough. It is important that an individual clearly and explicitly let authorities know that he or she does not want to talk and wishes to speak with an attorney.

Protecting your rights in a health care merger or acquisition

Whether you want to expand your current Amherst practice by purchasing an existing one or consolidating with another practice, you look forward to the possibilities and future success. Finding the right opportunity probably took some time, and now that you found it, you are impatient to get started. However, you must address several issues prior to closing a health care merger or acquisition, and you do not have to go through the process alone.

Your specialty is in the health care industry, not the legal industry. You do not have to become an expert in the law overnight in order to bring your plans to fruition. Instead, you could enlist the advice, guidance and support of an experience health care law attorney.

Don't make the mistake of not taking traffic tickets seriously

Many people here in Amherst and elsewhere do not consider speeding, running a stop sign or some other driving violation as serious infractions. After all, you probably will not end up in the back of a police car for most traffic tickets, so they may not seem that serious. The problem with this theory is that they could result in a suspended license, increased insurance rates and problems at work, among other things.

Each traffic ticket you ignore, whether received here in Amherst or somewhere else in New York, will add an average of three to five points to your license. If you receive enough points within around 18 months, you lose your license for a predetermined amount of time, or it could be revoked. This could make it difficult for you to get to work, run errands and engage in activities with family and friends. If you drive for a living, you could lose your job. Your insurance company could consider you a "high risk" driver as well and increase your rates.

Why eyewitness testimony is so hard to trust in criminal law

How confident are you in your memory? What did you have for lunch last Friday? If you witnessed a crime, how sure are you that you could identify the perpetrator in a police lineup later?

Most people know that human memory is often imperfect. As time passes, details fade away. The power of suggestion, say from police questioning, can change the "facts" that you recall. Criminal cases that rely heavily on eyewitness testimony are notoriously difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evicting tenants requires more than telling them to leave

When you own property, you generally think that you have the right to say who can and cannot be on it. That may be true in some instances, but if you rent space to either residential or commercial tenants, you lose the right to simply tell someone to leave under New York law. Rental agreements make evicting tenants a legal process that you must follow in order to successfully evict someone from your property.

A lease is a legal contract, and you must hold up your end of the bargain despite the behavior or actions of a tenant. Even so, you do not have to simply tolerate a tenant's breach of the lease. You can begin the eviction process, which may take some time. If it is done correctly and in accordance with New York law, you will ultimately be able to rid yourself of a problem tenant.

Whether your arrest was minor or life-changing, never forget that you have
options. Your rights are important. Take advantage of your rights now.

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