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You may have grounds to fight that traffic ticket

Whether an officer pulled you over on the way home from work or you got a ticket in the mail because of a camera at a traffic light, a ticket can seem like a major inconvenience. In reality, it is much more than just an annoyance you need to address as soon as possible. A traffic ticket can represent significant financial penalties and other consequences that affect other areas of your life.

You have the right to fight back against a traffic ticket. You may think this is not necessary or that it would be better just to pay the fine and move on. There are actually several effective ways that you can dispute a ticket. Before you pay or assume that you have no options, you may want to speak with an attorney about the most appropriate way forward.

Does a tenant have a legal defense to eviction?

Amherst rental property owners already know that each party to a lease agreement has certain rights. Even so, some landlords may believe that once they initiate eviction proceedings, they are guaranteed to win. The truth is that may not always be the case. Tenants do have some defenses that could change the outcome.

It may be tempting to accept even partial payment for rent when a property owner believes a tenant has breached his or her lease agreement. Accepting such payments could waive the right to evict. It may be possible to have the tenant sign an acknowledgement that making a partial payment does not waive the property owner's right to proceed with an eviction.

New York woman accused of drunk driving in crash involving bus

Sometimes, when people are involved in a traffic accident, they panic and respond in a way that may be out of character for them. However, failing to remain at the scene of an accident can have serious consequences. In fact, a woman in New York now faces multiple criminal charges, including drunk diving, after police say she fled the scene of an accident. 

The incident that led to the 36-year-old woman's arrest reportedly happened just before 8 a.m. on a day in mid-July. Reports claim that the woman, driving a van, struck the rear of a school bus containing two adults and three children. She allegedly left the scene and struck a trailer attached to a pickup truck soon after. No one was injured in the incidents.

A driver may not need to pay a speeding ticket

Like everywhere else, police officers here in Amherst are tasked with protecting and serving the public. While it may seem like more of an annoyance, handing out tickets for traffic violations is part of that duty since it helps keep the roads safe. Even so, there are times when violating traffic laws such as speeding do not jeopardize safety or may be necessary. For this reason, not every speeding ticket should be paid.

Of course, in some instances, the person accused of speeding may not have been the guilty party. Radar guns are not foolproof, and an officer's gun may have been reading the speed of a similar vehicle. Moreover, like any other electronic device, radar guns do not always function properly. If a driver knows that he or she was not exceeding the speed limit, it would be within his or her rights to challenge the ticket.

Why it's important to pay attention to that traffic ticket

When Amherst residents receive a New York driver's license, they may quickly review the points system for the state. Failing to closely scrutinize these rules could end up being a mistake. Drivers who receive traffic tickets for what they consider minor infractions could end up receiving word that their licenses are suspended, and they may not know why.

Here in New York, it only takes 11 points on a license within 18 months for a license to be suspended. Every traffic ticket is assigned a certain amount of points, and they can add up quicker than a driver realizes. For instance, speeding, which is a common traffic law violation, could result in anywhere from three to 11 points assessed on an individual's license depending on the number of miles over the speed limit he or she was driving at the time a police officer issued the ticket. Driving just one to 10 miles over equals three points, and it only goes up from there. In some instances, a driver could accumulate 11 points in one incident, which would mean an immediate suspension of driving privileges.

College students face unique challenges when charged with a crime

Going to college is often the first real taste of freedom that young Amherst residents receive. As a result, they often make mistakes that could interfere with their ability to continue their academic careers. Some of those mistakes result in being charged with a crime, which not only puts them in a position of needing assistance with the criminal court process, but also with the administrative process of the college or university.

Even if the criminal charges filed against your college student do not result in penalties, simply being arrested could trigger the administrative hearing process at the college or university he or she attends. Depending on the outcome, your child could end up suspended or expelled, which could derail any plans for the future. For this reason, these hearings should be taken just as seriously as the criminal charges.

3 ways you can avoid DWIs

The worst way to celebrate any holiday, birthday, anniversary or wedding is with the loss of your freedom—or life.

During holidays, such as the Fourth of July, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports more people die in motor vehicle accidents than any other day of the year.

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.

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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Amherst, NY 14226

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