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East Aurora New York Legal Blog

Crash into building results in charges for New York driver

Citizens of New York may believe they are safe from car accidents while inside a building. A bizarre incident that occurred approximately a week ago in Brooklyn demonstrates that this is not always the case. Late Monday evening, as recorded on surveillance video, a car crashed into a building on a street corner, causing partial building collapse.

The driver is a young man who recently turned 20. He reportedly tried to run from the scene in spite of an injury sustained in the crash until Jewish community watch group members in the neighborhood caught him.

How can I create a solid prenuptial agreement?

No one wants to imagine their marriage will end in divorce. Unfortunately, this is a very real possibility for couples in New York, and it's important to ensure your assets remain protected when you enter into a union. CNBC explains the value of prenuptial agreements and how to ensure your document offers the greatest level of protection possible. 

When talking about a prenup with your soon-to-be-spouse, it's best to get the ball rolling early. It's best to have the document written at least six months before the marriage so you can rest assured that it meets all your needs. Waiting too long might impact the strength of the document, but it may also be tough to implement so soon before the marriage. For instance, if your spouse refuses to sign just days before you're due to get married, chances are you'll move forward without an agreement in place. 

Where to begin when discussing child custody

Other people make it sound so easy -- creating a parenting plan. If you received this advice, you may feel overwhelmed and find yourself wondering where to start. You and your future former spouse already agreed to come to an agreement on your own in order to tailor it to your family's needs.

Even so, you know that the court still has to approve your final product. You don't want to have to go back to the proverbial drawing board, so you need to start by understanding what a New York court looks for when reviewing your parenting plan.

New York driver and passenger face DWAI, drug charges

Sometimes a traffic stop can lead to additional charges. A driver and his passenger from Peekskill, New York, are now facing both impaired driving and drug charges in Putnam County after a traffic stop about a week ago revealed that the 31-year-old male driver was allegedly operating the vehicle without a license and the 30-year-old female passenger was allegedly in possession of PCP. 

To further complicate the matter, the driver has reportedly had two prior convictions for driving with ability impairment within the last 10 years and had his license revoked as a result. This being his third similar offense, authorities charged him with a felony count of DWAI. He also faces a felony charge of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. His passenger faces a Class A misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. 

Examining the dangers of drowsy driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 25 adult drivers polled for one survey reported falling asleep at the wheel in the preceding 30 days. The danger of falling asleep while driving is somewhat obvious, but people in New York may not know that it is also hazardous to get behind the wheel when they are overly fatigued or tired.

Driving while sleepy or fatigued is a dangerous combination. This is because drowsiness may slow people’s reaction to situations that occur on the road. It also impairs their decision-making and their ability to focus on the road and the task of driving.

What is New York's "Leandra's Law"?

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, driving drunk with a child passenger in the vehicle is a form of child abuse. 47 states have laws that allow prosecutors to charge additional penalties to defendants who had a child passenger in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest. In all states, including those without such laws in place, prosecutors can charge a drunk driver with a separate crime unrelated to traffic penalties such as child endangerment. Despite this, many drivers continue to transport child passengers while intoxicated. In response, New York enacted Leandra's law, which makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child passenger.

MADD has dubbed Leandra's law, which New York enacted in November 2009, a "model child endangerment law." There are a few key provisions of the law worth noting. For starters, a "child passenger" is any child who is younger than 16 years of age. Second, the state may charge any first-time offenders who drive while intoxicated with a child passenger in the vehicle with a class E felony, which carries with it the possibility of up to four years in prison. The state may also suspend the person's license pending prosecution.

Short and long term car crash injuries

New York residents who get involved in a severe car crash won't just be dealing with the aftermath in the short term. Unfortunately, long term consequences will likely surface for them as well. This can make medical costs hugely expensive and can permanently alter a person's way of living.

FindLaw first takes a look at some of the immediate injuries that can occur during the crash. Typically speaking, these injuries can take anywhere from weeks to months to heal from, depending on severity. Some may even require surgery or physical therapy in order for a person to make a full recovery. They include:

  • Burns
  • Internal bruising or bleeding
  • Lacerations or severe loss of blood
  • Broken, fractured or dislocated bones
  • Whiplash

Making the most of your health care proxy

The need for a power of attorney and health care proxy is not limited to the elderly and infirm. At any time in life, you could face a medical emergency that leaves you incapacitated for a length of time. Who will pay your bills? Who will protect your investments? Who will make legal decisions for you? You may not be able to postpone these matters until you recover.

Perhaps more urgently, who will make medical decisions for you - maybe life and death decisions – if you are unable to speak for yourself? If your family makeup is complicated, for example if your children from your first marriage do not get along with your new spouse, medical professionals may have no choice but to delay your care while your family argues in court about your best interests. You can take steps to avoid this.

Can your ex move away with your kids?

With as devastating an impact your divorce can have on you, your ex-spouse and/or your children, life will go on. Part of that may include your ex-spouse choosing to move away from East Aurora. That can present problems if you share custody of your kids. It may go without saying that putting more distance between you and your kids will place added strain on your relationship. It is also unfair to place the burden on you to shoulder the added financial and emotional burdens of maintaining your current custody situation for a decision that was not yours to begin with.

How, then, might the court overseeing your divorce case handle your ex-spouse's decision to relocate. Often, it will place provisions in your divorce decree detailing the process you both must follow if you want to move away. In the absence of such stipulations, however, your ex-spouse will typically have to ask the court for permission to relocate (that is, if they hope to maintain their same custodial rights). 

How accurate are breathalyzer tests?

If an officer pulls you over and suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol in New York, then he or she will probably ask you to take a breathalyzer test. While you have the right to refuse, you could face further legal issues if you do. However, you may wonder just how accurate the test is. If you fail, you are going to jail, so should you really trust the test?

According to Proctor Cars, a breathalyzer measures the amount of alcohol in your breath. It cannot provide a completely accurate reading. It is just an estimate. In fact, these tests have an average error rate of up to 15 percent. A blood test is much more accurate, but doing these in the field when an officer pulls you over is impossible. You may get a blood test later to verify the breathalyzer results because the breathalyzer results may not be admissible in court.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
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East Aurora, NY 14052

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