- New York
Reckless driving is driving a motor vehicle in a way that either unreasonably interferes with other people’s use of public roads or unreasonably endangers other drivers. A few factors that typically characterize a reckless driving offense are:
- Multiple traffic violations
- Causing a danger on the road
- Showing disregard for others
New York law punishes reckless driving more harshly than other moving violations. This misdemeanor offense carries serious penalties, like a real risk of jail time, fines and surcharges, points on your license, and possible license suspension. It is also treated more seriously by judges and prosecutors.
- Possible jail time (up to 30 days for 1st offense)
- Fines & surcharges
- 5 points on your license
- Possible license suspension
DEFENDING AGAINST A RECKLESS DRIVING CHARGE
Most people charged with reckless driving feel the officer was wrong. And some of them may have a point. The reckless driving offense leaves officers with a lot of discretion to decide what sort of driving they think falls within the offense, and sometimes they are wrong.
There are two main defenses against a reckless driving charge. One is to claim there are no aggravating factors; that the driver did nothing more than commit a traffic violation. Remember that reckless driving is something more than a simple traffic violation. The prosecution might say something like, “the defendant purposely sped through the intersection, running a red light and barely missing several cars.” The defense will paint a different picture. For example, I might say, “my client misjudged his stopping distance and crossed the intersection just as the light turned red.” The first version sounds reckless. My version sounds like a simple traffic violation.
A second defense is that the driver didn’t endanger anyone else and was driving reasonably under the circumstances. This argument focuses on the letter of the law. You’re saying to the court, my driving didn’t endanger anyone, didn’t interfere with anyone’s use of the road, and wasn’t unreasonable, so how could I have violated the statute?
With the right representation, it’s possible to convince the court that your conduct doesn’t amount to reckless driving. If you’ve been charged with this offense in New York, contact Rosenblum Law for a consultation. Our expert attorneys are skilled at swaying the court and helping drivers avoid the consequences of a reckless driving conviction.
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.
A common attitude I see is that a cell phone ticket just isn’t a very big deal. This could not be any more false. Cell phone tickets carry serious penalties, and to win your case, you have to navigate a very formal legal process. These tickets are beatable, but you’ll need the guidance of an experienced attorney.
NEW YORK’S CELL PHONE TICKET LAWS
New York has two different cell phone ticket laws. Section twelve-twenty-five “c” covers talking on a cell phone while driving. Section twelve-twenty-five “d” covers other portable electronic devices. This includes using your phone for things other than phone calls and using other devices, like an iPad or handheld GPS.
OPTIONS WHEN FIGHTING A CELL PHONE TICKET
When it comes to fighting a cell phone ticket, you have a few options. Your first option is to take your ticket to trial and try to convince the judge you’re not guilty. At trial, the police officer that ticketed you will say what led them to give you the ticket and present any relevant evidence. Then, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the police officer and give your side of the story. There are many defenses that you can use to convince the court that you’re not guilty. For example, one part of the cell phone ticket law says that if the police officer establishes that they saw you holding your cell phone to your ear while driving, the court will presume you were talking on the phone. However, your attorney can change the court’s mind by presenting evidence, like phone records, to prove you weren’t engaged in a call when the officer claims they saw you holding your phone to your ear. If you weren’t engaged in a call, you didn’t violate the law.
Another option is for your attorney to ask the court to dismiss your case. This can happen if the officer makes a mistake, like not providing enough information on the ticket. For example, in the case People versus Delprete, a man’s electronic device ticket was dismissed because the officer’s document laying out the facts of the case only had a description of the offense written in shorthand. A knowledgeable attorney will catch these types of mistakes and capitalize on them.
Your final option is for your attorney to try to negotiate your ticket down to a lower offense. This option is available as long as your ticket wasn’t issued in New York City. If your ticket is reduced, you will still be punished, but your penalties will be more lenient.
Cell phone tickets are high stakes and winning these cases is complicated. But you don’t have to go it alone. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. At Rosenblum Law, we combine our legal knowledge with decades of courtroom experience to help our clients successfully fight their cell phone tickets.
New York is the perfect location for boating. Its abundance of lakes and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean make it a popular destination for boating, jet skiing, and all sorts of watercraft. Watersports are exciting, novel, and understandably popular among New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors.
However, these activities carry unique risks and liabilities for those involved. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, it’s important to understand your options for receiving compensation. But, first, let’s do a quick review of boating regulations.
LAWS COVERING BOATING AND BOATING ACCIDENTS
Recreational boating is governed by both state and federal regulations.
Under Title forty-six, subtitle two – Vessels and Seamen, federal regulations cover operational provisions, vessel inspection requirements, marine casualty reporting procedures, vessel identification measures, and requirements for state boating safety programs.
New York also has its own state-specific regulations for boating, including the process for determining liability in various circumstances. These can be found in the state’s Navigation Law. Our attorneys are well-versed in these laws, and can explain how they apply to your specific case after a boating accident.
DETERMINING LIABILITY IN A BOATING ACCIDENT
The process of determining liability requires recalling and analyzing the events that led up to the accident. Here are some key questions that we would will want to address with clients who were hurt in a boating accident:
- Was the operator irresponsible in handling their vessel?
- Was the operator boating under the influence?
- Was the accident caused by human error, and if so, whose error was it?
- Was the boat seaworthy, and was it equipped properly with safety gear?
- Was the boat defective in some way?
- Was the operator trained and licensed in utilizing their vessel?
We will also handle the necessary investigations and file the relevant motions in order to discover the cause of your boating accident.
SEEKING COMPENSATION THROUGH INSURANCE
Boating insurance is not a requirement in New York. Therefore, a victim cannot predict the exact amount of compensation they may receive from another party’s insurance. However, most watercraft owners will have some form of insurance, as they are financially liable for any damages they cause.
Boater’s insurance typically covers bodily injury, medical expenses, and property damage. There will always be policy limits but you generally can expect these policies to cover your expenses after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Coverage could also come from a liable party’s homeowner’s insurance or your own health insurance. However, if your costs exceed your coverage, then you will need to recover damages from the liable party by filing a lawsuit.
TYPES OF BOATING ACCIDENTS AND STATISTICS
The United States Coast Guard recognizes over a dozen water vessel types, each of which come with their own unique risks. This graphic illustrates the seven that are most frequently involved in accidents. As you can see, open motorboats pose the greatest risk of death and injury.
The seven most common causes of accidents in 2019 are shown here. Collisions with other boats and fixed objects lead all other accident types, and falls overboard cause the most deaths. But grounding, capsizing, and other mishaps can be dangerous as well.
Whatever the vessel type and cause, if you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, contact Rosenblum Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced attorneys will take the time to learn about the circumstances of your case, and recommend the best way to proceed.
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.