- Criminal Defense
With a stroke of Governor Cuomo’s pen in March twenty-twenty-one, recreational marijuana was legalized in the State of New York. Individuals twenty one years and up can now possess and purchase certain amounts of marijuana without a medical reason. Predictably, the government is balancing access to marijuana with public safety. For this reason, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal in New York. In fact, the law has committed resources to developing better technology to detect drugged drivers. Driving while high is not only dangerous, but it can land you in deep trouble both criminally and civilly.
CRIMINALIZATION OF DRIVING WHILE HIGH
In the criminal context, the most obvious way you can get in trouble for driving while high is by being hit with a DWI charge. New York defines two DWI offenses criminalizing driving while high on marijuana. They are driving while your ability is impaired by drugs and driving while your ability is impaired by either multiple drugs or drugs combined with alcohol. If you are convicted of either of these misdemeanor offenses, you face fines, jail time, a suspended license, and a criminal record. Driving while high can also make you eligible for other serious criminal charges. For example, if you drive high, get in an accident, and cause another person’s death, you could be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. A conviction could send you to jail for up to seven years.
CIVIL CONSEQUENCES OF DRIVING WHILE HIGH
Driving while high can also land you in trouble in civil court. If you get into a car accident, the other driver can sue you civilly for compensation for their injuries. The outcomes of these lawsuits depend on how much each driver was to blame for causing the accident. If it is established in court that you were driving under the influence of marijuana, the court will be much more likely to think you were at fault, since you were driving while impaired.
DEFENDING AGAINST MARIJUANA-RELATED CASE
Besides the risks of getting in trouble, driving under the influence of marijuana is plainly irresponsible. It puts your safety and the safety of others in jeopardy. However, if you do happen to be involved in a criminal or civil case where you are accused of driving while high, you may have a slight advantage. The reality is that we don’t know enough right now about marijuana’s effects on driving. We also don’t have very accurate ways of measuring marijuana intoxication. This makes it hard for these accusations to consistently hold up in court.
If you are involved in a marijuana-related case or have been injured by a driver who was high and want to take them to court, contact us for a free consultation. At Rosenblum Law, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of how the law thinks about marijuana intoxication, and we demonstrate time and again our ability to get results for our clients.
When I first meet clients accused of driving while intoxicated, they frequently ask about the probability of being punished. Naturally, people want to know if they’re at risk of jail time or hefty fines. However, what people commonly overlook is one of the most long lasting consequences of a DWI conviction: its impact on auto insurance. Even when fines, jail time, and other penalties are completed, one’s auto insurance is affected for years after a DWI conviction.
HOW A DWI CONVICTION AFFECTS YOUR INSURANCE
There are two main ways a DWI conviction affects auto insurance. The first way is when the insurance company cancels the driver’s insurance policy. New York’s state law allows insurance companies to cancel a policyholder’s insurance policy in “mid-term,” meaning within sixty days after the start of the policy, if the policyholder’s license is suspended. Being charged with and convicted of a DWI in New York all but guarantees license suspension for some period of time. So, practically speaking, a DWI charge or conviction in New York can mean cancellation of one’s insurance policy as long as it is done within the sixty-day period.
A second way a DWI conviction affects auto insurance is by raising one’s rates, commonly known as a surcharge. When a driver with a DWI conviction tries to become reinsured, the insurance company may use their DWI as a reason to raise insurance rates. A key question is: “for how long will this last?” A DWI conviction stays on a driver’s motor vehicle record for ten years. Different insurance companies look back different amounts of years on someone’s record. Usually, insurers look back either three, five, or seven years.
Some sources estimate that rates increase by up to seventy-six percent after a DWI conviction. Other sources, like The Zebra, an insurance information website, estimate that in New York, rates increase by an average of fifty-seven percent, or nine hundred and sixty-six dollars, based on the average annual auto insurance rates for those with, and without, a DWI.
HOW NEW YORK’S STATE LAW PROTECTS ITS DRIVERS
Fortunately, New York’s state law protects convicted DWI drivers from being taken advantage of when they try to become reinsured. For example, in New York, an insurance company cannot surcharge a policy more than three times what the policy usually charges. So, if the policy usually charges five hundred dollars for the most expensive vehicle to insure, the premium cannot be surcharged to more than one thousand five hundred dollars, which is three times the usual cost. The law also limits these surcharges to the premiums for:
- No-fault coverage
- Collision coverage
- Liability insurance
The fact that a conviction can have enormous impacts on insurance rates only raises the stakes of a DWI charge. At Rosenblum Law, our defense attorneys have extensive experience helping drivers avoid or minimize the consequences of a DWI conviction. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI offense, contact Rosenblum Law today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Shoplifting is one of the most common offenses juveniles are charged with. Whether it’s accidentally walking out of a store with an item or just risky teenage behavior, juveniles can end up with shoplifting charges. These charges can carry serious consequences, so if your child has been accused of shoplifting, find an attorney to represent them.
WHAT IS SHOPLIFTING?
New Jersey law recognizes several types of shoplifting. Purposely walking out of a store with merchandise, concealing merchandise, switching price tags, putting merchandise in another container, or under-ringing items at self-checkout are all considered shoplifting.
WHAT PENALTIES CAN A JUVENILE FACE FOR SHOPLIFTING?
The penalties vary based on the value of the stolen goods and whether it’s a first offense. If the stolen goods were worth less than $200, it’s a disorderly persons offense with a maximum of six months in detention. Between $200 and $500, it’s a fourth-degree crime with a maximum of one year in detention. Above $500 is a third-degree crime with a maximum of three years in detention. Plus, being adjudged delinquent will give the child a juvenile record that can affect college admissions and employment options.
Fortunately, juveniles are tried in Family Court, which is less concerned with punishment than with making sure the child doesn’t commit another offense. That means a good lawyer can usually get the judge to agree to an alternative sentence like counseling or a community service.
HOW DO I BEAT A JUVENILE SHOPLIFTING CHARGE?
It’s usually hard to beat a shoplifting charge because stores usually have security cameras. However, there are a few strategies we can use for juveniles. First, police have to follow special rules when dealing with children and teens, and if they break those rules, charges can be dismissed. Second, prosecutors are usually also more willing to negotiate charges down for children than for adults. As always, the best strategy depends on the specifics of the case, and a lawyer can figure out the best way to deal with a charge.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD IS CHARGED WITH SHOPLIFTING?
If your child has been charged with shoplifting, contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation. Our attorneys have a lot of experience handling both juvenile and adult shoplifting cases, and we can find a way to get the best outcome for your child’s case.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between exercising your rights and unlawfully interfering with the police. Unfortunately, if you end up on the wrong side of that line, you can be charged with obstruction of justice. Being convicted of obstruction of justice can lead to jail time and a criminal record, so make sure you find an attorney if you’re charged with obstruction.
WHAT IS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE?
New Jersey law defines Obstruction of Justice as any purposeful interference with police or prosecutors by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, physical interference, or an independently unlawful act. This definition is a broad one, so many actions fall into it. Common examples of obstruction of justice include lying to or threatening police, fleeing from police, hiding evidence, or refusing to let the police search a building if they have a warrant.
PENALTIES FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Depending on the severity of an offense, obstruction of justice can be charged as a disorderly persons offense or a fourth-degree crime. If charged as a disorderly persons offense, obstruction can lead to up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The fourth-degree crime version of obstruction can lead to up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. Regardless of which version is charged, being convicted of obstruction means you’ll have a criminal record, which makes it harder to find a job, housing, or financial aid.
HOW DO I BEAT OBSTRUCTION CHARGES?
The best defense depends on the specific facts of your case. You have certain constitutional rights, like the right to remain silent and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. You can’t be convicted if all you did was exercise a constitutional right. Another defense might be that the police were acting unlawfully. A lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and figure out what the best defense is in your situation.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE?
If you’ve been charged with obstruction of justice, contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation. Our phone number is on the screen. We’ll be sure to answer your questions, provide you with a fee quote so you know how much representation will cost, and walk you through the process from beginning to end.
Driving While Intoxicated, also known as a DWI or DUI, is one of the most severe charges a New York driver can face. Not only can a DWI conviction lead to fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver’s license, but it will also lead to a permanent criminal record. For that reason, you should make sure you’re represented by an attorney if you face DWI charges.
WHAT IS A DWI?
New York law defines a DWI as driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. New York also has a zero-tolerance law for underage drinkers, meaning anyone under 21 can be found guilty of a DWI if they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 or higher. Although the law refers to blood-alcohol content, a person can also be convicted of a DWI if they display evidence of impairment, such as slurred speech, erratic driving, and bloodshot eyes, even without a breath or blood test.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A DWI?
The penalties for a DWI vary based on blood-alcohol content and whether it’s a first offense. Even for a first offense at .08 blood-alcohol, you face fines and fees from $560-900, up to 15 days in jail, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 90 days. Penalties only go up from there; more intoxicated or repeat offenders can get fines up to $10,000 and years in prison.
Additionally, any DWI will result in higher car insurance premiums and a criminal record. A criminal record will make it harder for you to find a job, housing, or credit, and it can also impact your immigration status. Bottom line: you don’t want to be convicted of a DWI.
HOW DO I BEAT A DWI CHARGE?
Depending on the specifics of your case, there are several defenses we can use. The most common defense is checking whether the breath test was properly calibrated and if police followed protocol. If not, the charge can be thrown out. Another defense is if the police didn’t have probable cause to stop you in the first place. If they didn’t, all the evidence from the traffic stop, including any breath test, has to be thrown out, which usually kills the prosecutor’s case. These are both very technical arguments, and you’re better off if you have an experienced lawyer to make them for you.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I’M CHARGED WITH A DWI?
If you’ve been charged with a DWI, you need an experienced traffic attorney to represent you. Contact Rosenblum Law today. We have a strong track record of helping New York drivers beat DWI charges, and we’ll fight our hardest to get you the best possible outcome.