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Monday, February 24, 2014

Can I get a criminal record for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in NYC?

Surprisingly  the answer is YES!

Under New York Administrative Code 19-176 (c), a person who rides a bicycle on any sidewalk where it is not permitted by sign, in a manner that endangers any other person or property shall be guilty of a misdemeanor crime. The punishment is fine of up to $100 or imprisonment up to twenty (20) days jail or both.  While I imagine it would take serous danger or injury to person(s) or property for a judge to consider sentencing someone to jail, pleading guilty to this summons or being found guilty after trial would leave someone with a permanent criminal record in New York that cannot be erased or expunged.  Add this to the list of pink summons like "being in the park after dark" or "urinating in public" that can drastically affect your future.  

"Remember one reasonable doubt can make all the difference"

#pinksummons,  #criminallaw,  #criminaldefense, #NYC 

Does the arresting officer, testing officer or both need to show up to my DWI refusal hearing?

If no officers show up to the refusal hearing, the administrative law judge will postpone the case for the officers to appear.  The good news is that they will restore your driving privileges during this adjournment which typically takes 3-6 months in the NYC area. Your lawyer has the option of preparing a subpoena to insure the officer's appearance for the next hearing date.

Unlike traffic tickets, the case is not dismissed if the officer does not appear the next court date.  I have conducted many refusal hearings in the NYC area where none of the police officers appeared and the hearing takes place without any live police witnesses. If one officer shows, they will be allowed to testify as to what their fellow officers told them or what they observed them do.  The reason this is allowed is because hearsay is allowed at a refusal hearing.  There are also cases that allow for the introduction of police reports that ordinarily would not be allowed at trial. The burden for the State is the same as if the officers were present, so it is essential that your attorney knows what elements need to be established by the State because if any one of them is missing, the judge must rule in your favor.  The decision on whether to subpoena the officer to testify is a difficult one as there are many advantages to having an officer testify prior to the criminal trial.  Most likely he has yet to be prepped for cross-examination and has briefly read over his paperwork.  This gives a huge advantage to a skilled trial lawyer and his testimony at the hearing can be used against the officer at trial.  These advantages must be weighed against the improved odds of winning the refusal hearing based on lack of evidence.  That is why it is imperative to hire an attorney with the experience and track record to navigate these difficult decisions.

"Remember one reasonable doubt can make all the difference"

#dwi, #dui, #dwirefusal, #duirefusal, #refusalhearing,  #criminallaw,  #criminaldefense, #NYC

Does New York State honor out of state driver's license points?

For the most part, the answer is "No". New York State does not assign points from out of state convictions or from other countries with the exception of  Ontario and Quebec. I copied the relevant section from the official NYS DMV website and linked the full article below.

Out-of-state convictions: 

If you are convicted of a traffic violation in another state or country, points are not added to your New York State driving record, unless the violation occurred in Ontario or Quebec.

New York State has a reciprocal agreement with Quebec and Ontario. Traffic violation convictions that occur in these provinces are recorded on your New York State driver record, and the convictions have the same effect and carry the same points as convictions that occur in New York State. This can affect your driver violation point total and Driver Responsibility Assessment.

"Remember one reasonable doubt can make all the difference"

#nycdmv,  #criminallaw,  #criminaldefense, #NYC