Friday, June 21, 2013

Buffalo City Court

Posted 02:54 AM April 03, 2013
n our series highlighting local criminal courts, we focus on Buffalo City Court . The Buffalo City Court has jurisdiction over both civil and criminal cases originating within Buffalo City. In the category of criminal law, the Buffalo City Court part hears misdemeanors and pre-indictment felonies, including drug possession, unlawful possession of marijuana, robbery, petit larceny, DWI, DWAI, criminal possession of a weapon, assault, and other cases.
Buffalo City  Court also hears Vehicle and Traffic offenses such as violations of VTL 511 (Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle) and the Traffic part hears traffic cases such as speeding, red light and stop sign violations.
The Buffalo City Court is located at 50 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202.Image

Vehicular Assault under New York Penal Law 120.03 and 120.04

  Vehicular assault charges can be  added to felony or  misdemeanor DWI complaints where there has been an injury to someone  other than the driver of the vehicle as a result of an alcohol- or  drug-related accident.  For example, in People v. Mojica, 62 A.D.3d 100,  the defendant allegedly “drove a pickup truck through a red traffic  light and struck a marked patrol car driven by a city police officer,  Richard Poluzzi. Officer Poluzzi, who was removed from the scene by  ambulance and transported to St. Francis Hospital, suffered head  injuries and spent one month in an in-patient rehabilitation facility  before returning to work six months after the accident, in January  2007.”
The elements of the basic charge, PL 120.03, are as follows:
§ 120.03 Vehicular assault in the second degree.
A  person  is guilty of vehicular assault in the second degree when he
or she causes serious physical injury to another person, and either:
(1) operates a motor vehicle in violation of subdivision  two,  three,four  or  four-a of section eleven hundred ninety-two of the vehicle andtraffic law or operates a  vessel  or  public  vessel  in  violation  of
paragraph   (b),   (c),  (d)  or  (e)  of  subdivision  two  of  section
forty-nine-a of the navigation law, and as a result of such intoxication
or impairment by the use of a drug, or  by  the  combined  influence  of
drugs  or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, operates such motor vehicle,
vessel or public vessel in a manner that causes  such  serious  physical
injury to such other person, or
(2)  operates  a  motor  vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of
more  than  eighteen  thousand  pounds  which  contains  flammable  gas,
radioactive  materials  or explosives in violation of subdivision one of
section eleven hundred ninety-two of the vehicle and  traffic  law,  and
such  flammable gas, radioactive materials or explosives is the cause of
such serious physical injury, and as a result of such impairment by  the
use of alcohol, operates such motor vehicle in a manner that causes such
serious physical injury to such other person, or
(3) operates a snowmobile in violation of paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of
subdivision  one  of section 25.24 of the parks, recreation and historic
preservation law or operates  an  all  terrain  vehicle  as  defined  in
paragraph   (a)   of  subdivision  one  of  section  twenty-two  hundred
eighty-one  of  the  vehicle  and  traffic  law  and  in  violation   of
subdivision  two,  three,  four,  or  four-a  of  section eleven hundred
ninety-two of the vehicle and traffic law,  and  as  a  result  of  such
intoxication  or  impairment  by  the  use of a drug, or by the combined
influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or  drugs,  operates  such
snowmobile  or  all terrain vehicle in a manner that causes such serious
physical injury to such other person.
If it is established that the person  operating  such  motor  vehicle,
vessel,  public  vessel,  snowmobile  or all terrain vehicle caused such
serious physical injury while unlawfully intoxicated or impaired by  the
use  of  alcohol or a drug, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption
that, as a result of such intoxication  or  impairment  by  the  use  of
alcohol  or  a drug, or by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol
and any drug or drugs, such person operated the motor  vehicle,  vessel,
public vessel, snowmobile or all terrain vehicle in a manner that caused
such serious physical injury, as required by this section.
Vehicular assault in the second degree is a class E felony.
The enhanced class D felony of Vehicular Assault in the First Degree  requires first the commission of second-degree vehicular assault, but  also requires the presence of at least one of 6 different “bump-up”  circumstances, including (i) committing the crime after “blowing” a .18  or higher (Penal Law 120.04(1)); (ii) committing the crime with  knowledge that your driver’s license is suspended (Penal Law 120.04(2));  (iii) committing the offense with a prior DWI on your record (Penal Law  120.04(3)); (iv) causing “serious physical injury” to another person  (Penal Law 120.04(4)); (v) committing the offense with a prior homicide  on your record (Penal Law 120.04(5));  or (vi) committing the offense  with a child 15 years of age or younger as a passenger (Penal Law  120.04(6)).
One of the best strategies for defeating the charge at trial would  seemingly be to challenge the DWI element.   Other strategies would  probably entail challenging whether the injury was severe enough to  constitute physical injury under the Penal Law definition.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI or Vehicular Assault,  your best bet will always be to consult with an experienced DWI lawyer  before proceeding.

Charged with Domestic Violence: Do I Need a Buffalo Area Attorney?

Posted 04:13 AM April 22, 2013
In Erie County NY , domestic violence is a serious crime.  No  matter how small  the injuries to either party might be, an arrest,  charge, or conviction for domestic violence can have far reaching  consequences for anyone accused of the crime in the Buffalo area.   A person can be convicted of domestic violence not just  against a spouse, but against anyone with whom the person lives with or  has a child.  The individuals involved do not have to be of the opposite  gender or even related, nor do the pair have to be romantically  involved.  In fact, even a college student living with roommates can be  arrested for and convicted of domestic violence if he or she is ever  violent toward those roommates.

The Facts Make a Difference

The law is something that is very situation  specific.   The circumstances surrounding each accusation will also be taken  into consideration and weighed by the court in determining guilt .   Despite the fact that defendants are welcome to go pro se in court, anyone facing the serious charge of domestic violence is  highly encouraged to let an experienced attorney handle all aspects of  the defense. Attorneys are experienced and trained at presenting  legally good  arguments to the court that laymen may not realize they  can argue in their defense.

For example, what if the defendant acts in  self-defense?  Or walks in on a shocking scene that would shock most  reasonable people?  Or acts under a mistaken belief of facts?  All of  these questions and more represent the many nuances of criminal law that  can weigh factor  on the outcome of a charge for domestic violence.
Another plus  of partnering with an attorney to defend against  charges of domestic violence is that the attorney will be able to  explain any of the questions that a defendant might have about the  criminal process, chances of success, and the charges involved in  non-legal, simple to understand terms.

If you have been charged with DV call J John Sebastian  for a free consultation today.

Whiplash Neck Accident Claim

Posted 12:31 PM April 24, 2013

Whiplash is a very common injury caused by a car accident, trucking accident, or any vehicle crash.. When the head and neck are jolted violently to the front and back, the result can be a case of severe whiplash.
The ligaments, tendons, and discs in the neck become strained, causing  pain shooting through your shoulders and down your arms. These shooting, or "radicular" pains can be evidence of a serious disc injury in your cervical spine. It is important to seeek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have whiplash from an accident.
Insurance claims adjusters usually do not take whiplash injuries  seriously, at least not until an experienced neck injury attorney files a claim on your behalf. Adjusters just seem to feel that whiplash is a minor injury that will always resolve itself with time.
That just isn't  reality. You can suffer a bad whiplash injury in a very low-speed car accident. Doctors agree that even in low-speed, minor impact collisions, whiplash  results. Pain can become so intense that it causes numbness and tingling in your arms and hands(radiculopothy and parastesia). This sensation is particularly disturbing for almost anyone.
Whiplash must be properly diagnoses by xrays and MRI at the hospital. These imaging studies will identify the extent of the damage done to your spine and neck area. It will also give your orthopedist or neurologist and idea on the next course of treatment.
Conservative treatment for whiplash includes pain medications, physical therapy, and  localized epidural steroid shots. If these treatments do not fix the problem, your doctor may recommend a neck surgery. Surgery for whiplash after a crash may likely require disc removal (discectomy) and spine fusion. This is a serious surgery with real risks.

Buffalo Area Credit Card Fraud Lawyer

Buffalo Area Credit Card Fraud Lawyer

Posted 09:09 AM May 31, 2013

According to theFTC, Credit Card Fraud affects over7 million people annually. A Buffalo Area  Credit Card Fraud Lawyer can explain that these charges are usually  prosecuted. As the use of computers  increased in  the recent past, these crimes are more prevalent than ever. The District Attorney is aware of this, and aggressively prosecutes these crimes. It is important to speak with a Buffalo Area Criminal Fraud Lawyer  for guidance.
The crime of Credit Card Fraud includes a variety of crimes that involve the fraudulent use or theft of a credit card. This offense usually occurs when someone else’s card is used to make a purchase. This crime is closely linked to Computer Fraud, because often the use of the internet is usually  involved. Credit Card Fraud can also be linked to Mail Fraud and Bank Fraud.
Credit Card Fraud can include:
  • Using a credit card without the owners consent
  • Stealing a credit card from the owner
  • Acquiring a credit card thru the mail
  • Manufacturing fake credit cards
  • Purposefully misrepresenting information on a credit application
  • Creating a fraudulent website to access credit card information
You do not have to be physically in possession of the credit card to be charged with Credit Card Fraud. The use of the credit card information is enough to commit this crime, over one-half of all online Credit Card Fraud is committed by only using the numbers.
The penalties if you are convicted of this crime can include prison time that ranges from 10-20 years, and financial retribution. Speak with a qualified Buffalo Area Criminal Lawyer from the Law Offices of J John Sebastian  for guidance. We will explain the charges against you and answer the many questions you likely have. We will provide you with a free consultation with your first visit.Image

What is "IDV Court"?

What is "IDV Court"?

Posted 01:24 PM June 13, 2013
First established in 2003, IDV Courts are made  for a single judge to preside over multiple cases between family members, where the main or prevalent  issue is alleged domestic violence between the parties.
For example, a wife and husband have a marital fight, the police are called. In short order, the spouses might accumulate one or more criminal proceedings in a local criminal Court, one or more family offense cases in Family Court, and a divorce proceeding in Supreme Court. In the past, different judges would have been assigned to  each of those proceedings, requiring court appearances in three different courthouses, sometimes resulting in conflicting decisions between the various judges. Now, one judge presides over all of the family's interrelated legal matters in IDV Court.
So far, approximately 18,000 families throughout New York State have had their legal matters resolved in IDV Courts. That number will continue to grow.  IDV Courts look like they will be around for a while.