Thursday, March 28, 2013

What Should You Do If You Have a Bench Warrant in New York State? Anon User A bench warrant has the potential to cause you significant problems and can be taken as a clear sign that you have erred somewhere along the way. If you have a bench warrant out for your arrest, it is important to discuss your options with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Can we get the judge to quash your bench warrant? Can we make arrangements for you to be re-released? In many cases YES. We are committed to helping you find the answers to these questions and making sure your best interest are protected. Call 716-254-1751 for a free initial consultation with an attorney. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How Do Bench Warrants Work? If you were released after your arrest and given a date on which to report in the future, you will be issued a bench warrant by the judge for failure to appear in court on that date. From there, the warrant makes its way to the clerk's office and then to the bench warrant squad who will seek to arrest you. In other cases, a letter will be issued requesting to find out why you failed to show up. It is important to take these matters seriously, as they could potentially impact the result of your case. We are experienced at vacand will seek to clear up your situation with the judge. If you think you may have a bench warrant, to learn more, contact J. John Sebastian today for a free initial consultation . Comment • 11:30 on Sun Mar 17 2013 WHAT CONSTITUTES A DWI IN NEW YORK STATE? Anon User New York State's penalties on driving while intoxicated vary depending on the level of intoxication, the age of the driver and passengers, location of offense and prior convictions. But various types of conduct can actually get you charged with a DWI, even if you were not driving a vehicle at the time you were stopped by police. New York DWI laws include the "common law" theory, which is based on police observation of impairment, and the "statutory DWI charge," which occurs when a test is administered to determine that a driver's blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08. Police determine blood alcohol content levels through either a Breathalyzer, urine, blood or saliva test. Refusing a BAC test usually results in a revoked license. Driving Stopped and Sleeping Arrested for DWI In October, a defendant was arrested for driving while intoxicated after New York State troopers found him asleep behind the wheel of his running car. The police noticed his vehicle was only partially parked and was blocking the traffic lane. Upon finding the driver, the police reported smelling alcohol. He was charged with a felony DWI due to his previous DWI conviction in the past ten years. He faces a potential maximum sentence of four years in jail. In this case, the DWI defense attorney might argue that the driver was not "operating" his vehicle but sleeping in it. But while the exact definition of "driving" or "operating" a vehicle is arguable within DWI laws, most courts have ruled that a conscious person sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition is in operation of or intends to operate the vehicle. Other Scenarios Where Drivers Might Be Charged with DWI In most cases, if a driver has control of a vehicle's keys and is in or around the car, courts have ruled that the driver is, by law, operating the vehicle. But in some other states, courts have dismissed a DWI charge after the driver was proved to have not been driving on the "roads and highways" included in the language of the law, but on ditches, frozen lakes, parking lots and driveways. Drivers who drive at or below the legal limit can still be charged with a drunk driving offense. New York law states that drivers with a BAC of .05 to .07 are below the legal limit, but are guilty of driving while alcohol impaired or DWAI. Drivers under age 21 will be charged with DWI if found to have any traces of alcohol in their system while driving, known as the Zero Tolerance Law. If you have been arrested or charged with DWI or a drunk driving offense in the Buffalo Area of New York State, contact an experienced DWI attorney, J John Sebastian. Comment • 11:27 on Sun Mar 17 2013 Penal Law"240.20" aka "Disorderly Conduct" Anon User As a Buffalo Area Criminal Defense lawyer, I am frequently explaining to clients the "popular" Penal Law"240.20" aka disorderly conduct. It is a violation, not a crime and will result in a sealing underhttp://...160.55 But It is important to point out that a sealing under 160.55 does not seal the Buffalo City Court file, just the BPD arrest records. If the original charge was a misdemeanor, this original charge that was reduced to a 240.20 might be accessible to background checkers and even the public at large So, oftentimes, clients who are offered the 240.20 in the Buffalo Area Courts opt to try to get a further reduction to an ACD which results in a full sealing under CPL 160.50. The New York PL 240.20 Disorderly Conduct Statute says that a violation occurs when: a person, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof: engages in one or more of the following activities: 1. fighting or engaging in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; 2.making unreasonable noise; 3. using abusive or obscene language, or making obscene gesture in a public place; 4. disturbing any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority; 5. obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; 6. congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; 7. creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose. When charged with a misdemeanor in The Buffalo Area, it is often very tempting to accept the 240.20 Disorderly Conduct when and if it is offered by the DA . Because the 240.20, unlike a misdemeanor, is not a crime but just a violation which means that it will not create a criminal record. It means that a person (assuming they have no prior criminal convictions) does not have to answer yes to the question of whether they have ever been convicted of a crime in the state of NY. Comment • 11:25 on Sun Mar 17 2013 Sealing Criminal Records in Buffalo Area Courts under CPL 160.50 and 160.55 Anon User Buffalo City Court follow the laws set forth in the New York Criminal Procedure law in regards to the sealing of records. Despite the confusion and abundant misinformation on the topic, it is a critical area of New York Criminal Law. After all the worst consequence to a criminal charge is usually not jail, a fine or community service, but the criminal record that will usually result. The following information reflects my understanding of what happens to charges when they are disposed of in New York State either by conviction , verdict or pea or by dismissal, (acquittal or dismissal, ACD) WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEALING AND EXPUNGEMENT IN NEW YORK? "Expungement" means that the record is actually taken out of the system. "Sealing" means that the record exists, but that it is hidden from public view. When a record is sealed at the Court level it means that the Court's file is stored at the Particular Courthouse where the sealing was ordered, and that there is also an electronic record there of the case, but neither the actual file nor the computer record is available to the general public. Under New York CPL 160.50, there is a combination of sealing and expungement with regards to a defendant's criminal criminal record. The fingerprints, photographs and arrest records are supposed to be destroyed (expunged) at the police level, but the Court Records are neither destroyed nor returned, Instead, under CPL 160.50 they are sealed at the Court level and are also sealed in Albany, New York. But even Albany maintains a special electronic file of the arrest which is not disclosed except under very special circumstances. What Records can be sealed in New York? In New York State, a record of a criminal conviction, of any misdemeanor or felony except a youthful offender adjudication, is never sealed and is considered a public record available to anyone through the OCA website for a $55 fee. Even if the person had the charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor or only received probation. There are no exceptions to this general rule. In New York, the only records that get sealed are complete dismissals including: ACD's other forms of dismissal and Acquittals, these get the full seal treatment of CPL 160.50. Also, charges that are reduced from a misdemeanor or felony to a violation or infraction get the partial seal treatment of CPL 160.55. j john sebastian attorney The Law Office of J. John Sebastian Comment • 8:23 on Sun Feb 17 2013 Buffalo Area Automobile Accident Lawyer Anon User Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental injury in the Buffalo NY area. Each year, people are killed in motor vehicle crashes and many are injured. These crashes are frequently caused by the negligence of other drivers, leading to their own death or injury as well as those of innocent victims. Negligence is one of the primary causes of most automobile accidents. Negligent acts occur when a driver causing an accident does not exercise a reasonable standard of care. For example, he was driving too fast or too slowly for the conditions. Or driving distracted. Perhaps he ignored traffic signals or conditions. There are many areas in which negligence can occur but negligence is a failure to be careful rather than an act intended to cause harm. A person who is distracted and rear-ends another vehicle is negligent. Intentional misconduct, on the other hand, is an action committed when the person knew that his actions could cause harm and did not care, or actively desired to harm others. A driver who drives at a high rate of speed, cutting in and out of traffic, may be intentionally putting himself and others at risk. The law of strict liability could apply in some circumstances and neither negligence nor intent would need to be shown. Another cause of auto accidents is product failure. The Firestone tire litigation is a good example of product failure. In that case, a defect in the tire caused accidents beyond the control of drivers. The defects were not intentional but the manufacturer was responsible. A similar situation could exist if a repair to the car was done improperly and caused in a crash. In some states, in the case of auto accidents caused by drunk drivers, the business or host who supplied the alcohol and allowed the driver to drive in an intoxicated condition could be found to have a liability in addition to the drunk driver. If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call J John Sebastian Law Office or schedule a consultation and review. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we may work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit or other claim must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation. http//jjohnsebastianattorney.Weebly is the easiest way to create a website or blog Comment • 8:22 on Sun Feb 17 2013 Arrested for Heroin Possession in The Buffalo Area? What to Expect

Heroin use in the Buffalo area has grown  in very  recent years.  Highly  addictive and inexpensive  to buy, it has become the drug of choice for many  people.  If you have been charged  and are facing heroin charges  in the Buffalo Area, there are some important facts to keep in mind regarding  your case.

First of all, New York state  has some of the toughest and most complex   laws regarding the sale and possession of heroin.  It is important that you  find a criminal defense lawyer with  the experience needed to guide your case through the courts.   Don’t try to attempt to navigate this on your own.

 A good lawyer can be the difference in receiving a lesser  sentence than what you could have received.
Secondly, your sentence, if found guilty,  will be based on a lot of  different issues  from your case.  Your previous criminal history, how  much heroin was in your possession, and if you were selling it, — all  contribute to what sentence you will get  Be certain you have all the advantages afforded to you by the law.  All  cases have their own individual circumstances and needs, make sure your  lawyer is aware of all aspects of your situation.

In the Buffalo area,  most people strike a plea agreement in order to  avoid trial, in fact, most heroin cases never go to trial.  Your  lawyer will fight to win you the best plea deal available, helping you  avoid trial and further costs associated with it, while also most likely  getting you a reduced sentence. Don’t take chances with your  future—make sure you have a criminal defense lawyer that understands how  the system works, how to negotiate pleas, and has an extensive  knowledge of the law.

Call J John Sebastian for a free consult.
 j john sebastian attorney

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