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Buffalo New York Legal Blog

The textalyzer: valuable deterrent or invasion of privacy?

You undoubtedly know what a Breathalyzer is - an electronic device that law-enforcement agencies use to measure blood-alcohol content.

But have you heard about the textalyzer? It's a new technology that determines how and when a person has been using his or her smartphone. A company called Cellebrite is developing the technology. 

Study: Hiring a DWI lawyer pays for itself in lower insurance

A New York DWI can be costly. Besides the potential jail time and driver's license suspension, a conviction means a substantial fine, even for a first offense. Next, tack on the mandatory surcharge and crime victims' assistance fee. You could also be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device -- at your own cost. When you've completed your punishment, you have to pay to get your license reinstated.

Those are just the direct costs of a DWI conviction. That doesn't count the increase in your insurance premiums. The average increase in your insurance rate is $4,000 over a five year period. With all that on the line, can you afford to hire a defense lawyer?

Are you worried about driverless cars being hacked?

A recent survey found that the majority of American drivers don't expect autonomous vehicles to be on the road within the next 20 years. That may not be an accurate view, as self-driving vehicles have already in development, but the survey also found that Americans are unconvinced about the vehicles' safety.

American International Group, Inc., surveyed 1,000 people and found that only 42 percent were generally comfortable with the idea of sharing the road with driverless vehicles. Another 41 percent said they had reservations. Only 39 percent were convinced that computer-driven cars and trucks would operate more safely than those driven by human beings.

Supreme Court to hear case involving search for stolen motorcycle

If you look under a tarp for what appears to be a motorcycle, have you searched the motorcycle? Or have you searched the tarp?

That question may be central to the appeal of a warrantless search meant to find a motorcycle that had been stolen years earlier from New York. Police in Virginia apparently spent a great deal of time and energy chasing down that motorcycle and its rider.

A reverse mortgage may help some divorcing couples with housing

The Society of Actuaries says that Americans are living longer. Statistically, half of all women and a third of all men who are in their 50s today will live to 90 years of age. Among married couples, there's a 50-percent shot that one of the spouses will live to 92.

If you're unhappy in your marriage, that's a long time to be miserable. And indeed, as longevity trends upwards, more people in the Baby Boom generation are getting divorces. This trend is often referred to as "gray divorce" -- divorce over 50.

What you need to know about Buffalo-area sobriety checkpoints

Police in most states, including New York, use sobriety checkpoints to discourage drunk driving. Police at checkpoints randomly stop drivers and look for signs of impaired driving. The checkpoints typically are used around holidays on routes that have a higher-than-normal rate of DWI arrests or DWI-related crashes.  

Many people question the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints, but the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1990 that sobriety checkpoints are legal.

I got arrested for DWI. What should I do now?

If you've been arrested for DWI in New York, don't assume that your only option is to plead guilty and hope for the best. Even if you think you might be guilty, there may be possible defenses available, as well as ways to minimize the damage of a conviction. We recommend contacting an attorney for an assessment of your case.

If you are convicted of DWI, you could be facing a number of serious consequences. For example, for a person over 21, a typical, first-offense DWI at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content could get you up to a year in jail and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. That fine doesn't include the mandatory crime victims' assistance fee, conviction surcharge, or driver responsibility assessments -- or the increase in your insurance rates. In addition, your driver's license will be revoked for up to six months. The court may require you to install and maintain, at your own expense, an ignition interlock device.

NY workers' comp reform plan may reduce benefits to workers

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board has just released a new proposal on how permanent impairments will be evaluated. According to the board's chair, the proposal "will incorporate advances in medicine that result in better healing and outcomes for injured workers to use in evaluations and determinations for schedule loss of use awards."

Unfortunately, it's not clear how advances in medicine will be accounted for in schedule loss of use awards, which are payments for permanent impairments.

To end epidemic, Sessions seeks culture 'hostile to drug use'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears to be calling for an overall crackdown on drug use in the United States, viewing it as the best way to reduce deaths from opioid overdoses. Speaking before the annual meeting of the National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children, Sessions said that 2016 saw the highest number of drug overdose deaths so far.

Citing preliminary data for 2016, Sessions said there were nearly 60,000 overdose deaths last year. He called the epidemic "the top lethal issue" in the U.S.

How will divorce or separation affect your taxes?

If you will be finalizing your divorce or legal separation this year, you need to know how changing your marital status will affect your taxes. We can't give legal advice or cover every topic in a blog post, but a few of the major issues include how alimony and child support are treated, contributions to individual retirement accounts, and name changes.

Child support is not considered taxable income and cannot be deducted by the paying party. However, if you have children, you should know that you may be able to claim them as dependents. Generally, the custodial parent gets to claim the children as dependents. The custodial parent is defined, for IRS purposes, as the parent with whom the child lived for the greater part of the year.

  1. Personal Injury

    A client settled their case against a homeowner for $275,000 for a fractured leg with surgery as a result of a fall from a ladder while assisting the homeowner install a second floor ladder.

  2. Wills, Trusts, Estates

    An estate received $57,500 in a wrongful death case involving a defective medical alert device.

  3. Personal Injury

    A client was injured while pulling a hamper with a defective handle which resulted in cervical herniation which then required surgery. The client settled the claim against the hamper owner for $495,000.

  4. Criminal Law

    A man was accused of aggravated animal cruelty for shooting his dog acquitted of all charges.

  5. Criminal Law

    The defense counsel asserted constitutional rights so that no charges were brought against a store owner for tax evasion.

  6. Business, Corporate and Employment Law

    We successfully collected thousands of dollars for a company on a breach of contract issue.

  7. Personal Injury

    A woman received $83,750 for a right knee injury she sustained due to the negligence of a local restaurant and bar.

  8. Criminal Law

    Our counsel successfully suppressed evidence in State Court from an improper search of a residence.

  9. Personal Injury

    A victim of a rear end accident settled with the defendant for $25,000 and then resolved a SUM claim for an additional $200,000 as a result of cervical disc herniations with a recommendation of surgery.

  10. Criminal Law

    A man was acquitted of Driving While Intoxicated and all other charges. The defense showed that the people failed to prove the operation of the motor vehicle.

  11. Criminal Law

    A Niagara Falls resident was accused of murdering a man shot outside his home and with whom he had previous fight and was acquitted on all charges.

  12. Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability

    A man received a $2.4 million settlement for pain and suffering, and lost wages due to a work-related accident.

  13. Criminal Law

    A man’s charges for Aggravated Harassment were dismissed when the defense counsel moved to dismiss charges for insufficient paperwork.

  14. Personal Injury

    A man obtained a settlement of $1.8 million when he lost his wife due to the administering of the wrong prescription.

  15. Personal Injury

    A woman received $100,000 for a neck injury she sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

  16. Personal Injury

    A woman was awarded $115,000 for head and neck injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

  17. Personal Injury

    A woman received a $250,000 settlement from a slip and fall at a rental property where she injured her back.

  18. Personal Injury

    A woman received $62,000 for a neck injury she sustained due to the negligence of a commercial property owner.

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LoTempio P.C. Law Group 181 Franklin Street Buffalo, NY 14202 Phone: 716-427-6683 Fax: 716-855-3437 Buffalo Law Office Map