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DWI and the professional assistance program

Amherst residents with a career that requires state licensing face scrutiny from many sources. When their behavior violates the ethical code of their profession, it can cost them that license and, thus, their livelihood. For instance, if someone with a professional license faces DWI charges, it could lead to devastating professional consequences.

The professional assistance program could provide a way to avoid some of those repercussions. Individuals who qualify can temporarily surrender their licenses and undergo treatment for substance abuse instead of facing disciplinary action. Under certain circumstances, individuals may still practice their profession, as long as they do not pose a threat to those they serve.

How long will it take to resolve my car accident claim?

Suffering injuries in an automobile accident can take a toll on your life in several ways. If involved in a car accident, the state of New York allows you to seek compensation for your losses. How you go about doing that and how long it will take depend on many things.

Every accident case is unique. There are times when people can reach settlement terms quickly, without having to go to court. There are also times when litigation is the only way to achieve maximum relief. No matter which way your case goes, seeking compensation all starts by reporting the issue with insurance.

New York's new discovery laws help make criminal defense easier

Being accused of breaking the law can be a frightening experience for any Amherst resident. The outcome of the case will have significant effects on his or her future. Having the opportunity to prepare the best criminal defense possible often includes knowing what evidence prosecutors have to present to the court. A new law that went into effect this year could help with that endeavor.

In preparing a defense, an Amherst resident needs all of the information prosecutors have. Up until recently, the government could legally withhold certain information. Now, a new law requires all information to be turned over to a person facing criminal charges long before a trial is set to begin, which gives him or her ample time to review the information and formulate a defense.

The right to remain silent applies even before an arrest

Even being pulled over in a traffic stop is enough to make many Amherst residents nervous. They may feel as though they are obligated to answer any questions posed to them by police, and officers will not usually correct them. The fact is that the right to remain silent applies even before a person is placed under arrest, including during a "stop and frisk," during which officers have the right to briefly detain individuals when they reasonably suspect a crime was or is about to be committed.

Most everyone knows that, once under arrest, one has the right to remain silent and to talk to an attorney. However, there remains a gray area when it comes to exercising this right before an arrest. As far as the United States Supreme Court is concerned, there is no gray area, but when it comes to lower courts and appellate courts, some confusion continues to occur. Correcting this problem will more than likely take more people coming forward to complain about arrests resulting from the refusal to answer police questions prior to an arrest.

Don't risk charges for drunk driving during the holidays

During the holiday season, police here in Amherst and elsewhere are often out in force looking for impaired motorists. They watch for people who may have had one too many drinks at a holiday party or family get-together. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying some holiday cheer, it would be wise to take the steps necessary to avoid charges for drunk driving.

Two primary ways exist for making this happen. The first is for individuals not to drink if they intend to drive. The second is to find a safe ride home if they intend to drink.

Driver could face more than just DWI charges in fatal crash

As is the case anywhere else, Amherst police often begin their investigations into motor vehicle accidents by questioning whether a driver involved was impaired at the time. If there is enough evidence to make police believe their suspicions are substantiated, then a driver could end up under arrest and facing DWI charges. Thereafter, police will conduct the remainder of their investigation into the crash, which could mean more charges for the alleged impaired driver.

For instance, a 33-year-old man was driving when his vehicle crashed. During the accident, the vehicle rolled and caused fatal injuries to a 38-year-old passenger. The other two passengers suffered serious injuries for which they were taken to a hospital in the area. When police arrived, they suspected the driver of intoxication and arrested him on that charge.

Holiday parties may have adult beverages. Drink responsibly.

It is the time of year when many New York residents have busy holiday schedules. While your work schedule may seem a bit more hectic as you try to reach end-of-year deadlines, you may also have a full social calendar. Work-related functions, get-togethers with friends, and family gatherings may all be on your list of events.

Undoubtedly, you look forward to this time of year and the social interactions that you have. You may be able to get together with friends and family that you have not seen in a while, and even the office party may not be that bad. Plus, you may be able to see some people loosen up after a drink or two.

What does it mean to face charges of disorderly conduct?

It is football season, and many people in New York take the sport seriously. They attend tailgating parties and games regularly, and sometimes, they get a bit out of control. When that happens, they could end up facing charges for disorderly conduct.

Like many other states, New York's disorderly conduct law encompasses a variety of behaviors. It serves much as a "catch all" when no other charge really fits the situation. For instance, an individual could face such a charge if he or she gets into a fight, threatens someone or is otherwise engages violent behavior that does not quite fit any other charge. It could also serve as an additional charge in those cases if the police accuse the individual of assault and/or battery.

Keep traffic tickets from adding points to your driver's license

Like other states, having a driver's license is considered a privilege by the state of New York. A driver makes certain agreements with the state when getting one, the least of which is following all the rules of the road. Failing to do so could result in traffic tickets, and points are added to a driver's license for most moving violations.

If a motorist reaches 11 or more points within a certain amount of time, his or her driver's license could be suspended. For this reason, it is a good idea not to simply pay a traffic ticket. For some violations, it is possible to participate in New York's Point and Insurance Reduction Program -- better known as a motor vehicle accident prevention course or defensive driving course.

Traffic tickets could cost more than fines and points

Most people here in Amherst and elsewhere tend not to follow the rules of the road all the time. Some people speed, some roll through stop signs and some push the limit when it comes to getting through yellow lights. When police officers witness these actions, they often result in traffic tickets. If not taken seriously, these citations could cost more than just points on their driver's licenses and fines.

How insurance companies determine drivers' premiums depends on a variety of factors. One of them is an individual's driving record. The premiums go up depending on the type of infraction and how long ago it occurred. This determines whether a driver is considered high risk. For instance, a conviction for even a first-offense DUI could increase his or her rates dramatically.

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

Phone: 716-267-6430
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