Common Drug & Alcohol Charges Requiring a Rochester DWI Attorney

Common Drug & Alcohol Charges Requiring a Rochester DWI Attorney

Alcohol and drug infractions are among the most commonly charged criminal cases in Monroe County. The prosecutions are relatively straightforward, and the penalties are quite harsh. So, these arrests and convictions give police officers and prosecuting attorneys a good chance to move up the corporate ladder. Nevertheless, these prosecutions have a number of moving parts. If a Rochester DWI attorney creates reasonable doubt on any one of these points, the defendant is not guilty as a matter of law. Furthermore, an effective defense helps an attorney successfully resolve these cases before trial. That resolution could be a plea to a lesser offense or a complete dismissal of charges.

Hiring a Rochester DWI Attorney for Drug Possession

Simple possession accounts for over 80 percent[1] of all the drug crime arrests in New York. Frequently, however, these charges do not hold up in court, especially once a Rochester DWI attorney probes the state’s case for weaknesses. For example, prosecutors must prove all three of the following points beyond a reasonable doubt:

Substance Production

Physical evidence usually requires either a search warrant or a search warrant exception. Most drug possession cases rely on a search warrant exception, such as consent or a plain view seizure. The state has the burden of proof on this element.

Establish Its Illegality

This prong of a drug possession case is often a problem for the state in marijuana possession cases. Hemp, which is 100 percent legal, is physically indistinguishable from marijuana. If the state has no conclusive chemical-proof the substance was illegal, its case falls apart like a house of cards.

Establish Possession

In the everyday world, possession is synonymous with proximity. But a court of law is different. In addition to proximity, the state must prove knowledge and control. These elements are difficult to prove if the defendant was a backseat passenger in a car, or if the defendant was a guest in a house and drugs were in a closet.

Prosecutors often rely on circumstantial evidence, like the quantity of drugs and the presence of firearms, to upgrade possession charges to drug trafficking or distribution charges. Multiple defenses are available in these cases as well.

Illegal Alcohol Consumption and How a Rochester DWI Attorney Can Help

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected laws regarding public alcohol consumption. For example, sometimes cocktails to go are legal, and sometimes they are not.

Police officers often take advantage of this confusing legal situation. Frequently, officers take a “tell it to the judge” approach. They make illegal consumption arrests regardless of the laws in place at the time. As a result, the defendant might not even know the arrest was illegal.

Illegal alcohol consumption is a low-level misdemeanor which frequently involves no jail time. So, many of these defendants think they do not need a Rochester DWI lawyer. These individuals overlook the fact that these convictions often have substantial collateral consequences.

Driving While Intoxicated

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently declared July 2020 to be an enhanced DWI enforcement month.[2] So, officers are now more aggressive than ever in this area.

Legally, the state can prove intoxication, or a loss of physical or mental faculties, via direct or circumstantial evidence. Both sources of evidence have weaknesses that Rochester DWI lawyers can exploit.

Breathalyzer tests are far from perfect. Unless police officers carefully calibrate these gadgets, they are effectively useless. Additionally, things like a high mouth alcohol level, and recent alcohol consumption often skew the result.

The Field Sobriety Tests, which are the primary circumstantial evidence in a DWI case, are even shakier. The DWI eye test is a good example. Officers have suspects track moving objects with their eyes, without moving their heads, to look for signs of nystagmus. But roadside tests do not happen in controlled environments. And, many things other than alcohol cause nystagmus, a condition also known as lazy eye.

Reach Out to an Aggressive Rochester DWI Attorney Today

Drug and alcohol prosecutions are very common in New York. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester DWI attorney, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.




Defense Attorney Rochester NY Can Help With Animal Cruelty Laws

Defense Attorney Rochester NY Can Help With Animal Cruelty Laws

In 1641, the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted America’s first animal cruelty law. A section of the Body of Liberties decreed that “no man shall exercise any Tirranny or Crueltie towards any Bruite creature which are usuallie kept for man’s use.”[1] Despite this long history, many communities at least tolerate animal cruelty.

Today, most of New York’s animal cruelty laws are in Article 353 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. Almost all these violations are misdemeanors. That could mean up to a year in jail, along with a substantial fine. Additionally, these offenses are usually crimes of moral turpitude. So, a conviction could have substantial collateral consequences.

If you face these charges, you need an effective defense attorney Rochester, NY. Most New York animal cruelty laws are quite subjective, so they are difficult to prove in court. And, since these offenses are misdemeanors, the state must prove every element of every offense beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the highest-burden on proof in New York law.

1. Animal Neglect and Abuse Requiring a Defense Attorney Rochester NY

This offense might be the most commonly charged misdemeanor animal cruelty law in New York. Several provisions in the Agriculture and Markets law prohibit a wide range of activities, such as:

  • Overworking,
  • Cruelly beating,
  • Torturing,
  • Failing to provide food or water,
  • Cruelly carrying an animal,
  • Placing objects on the street, like glass or nails, that could injure animals, and
  • Injuring without justification.

Some of these offenses have some built-in defenses. For example, there is a difference between beating an animal and cruelly beating an animal.

On a related note, dogfighting and cockfighting could be a misdemeanor, depending on the defendant’s level of participation. Watching and betting is not as bad as sponsoring or breeding.

2. General Abandonment

It is a misdemeanor to abandon animals who are so unhealthy or injured that they might not live much longer. Individuals may abandon healthy animals when they relocate or if the animals are incorrigible. Such conduct might arguably be immoral, but there is a difference between illegal and immoral. Jurors often blur this line, so a defense attorney Rochester, NY must clearly draw it.

3. Automobile Abandonment

Animal abandonment law in New York is a bit complex. It is a misdemeanor to abandon an animal in a vehicle if the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold. If the outside temperature is 85, temperatures inside the car exceed 130 degrees after twelve minutes.[2] If authorities respond, they are not liable for any injury the animal sustains or any damages the owner suffers.

4. Unsheltered Animals

This law is complex as well. If an animal, usually a dog, is outside with no way to get in and the weather turns bad, the animal must usually have the following:

  • Waterproof roof,
  • Shade,
  • Insulation, and
  • Movement room.

“Bad weather” could include rain, heat, snow, wind, and almost anything other than clear and 75 degrees. In these cases and other animal cruelty cases, authorities have the right to permanently seize the afflicted animal.

5. Declawing, Tattooing, Piercing, and Clipping

Did you know it’s against the law in New York to declaw a cat unless the procedure is medically necessary? It is also illegal to tattoo a dog except for identity purposes. And, only veterinarians can clip dog ears, only if the animals are sedated.

Reach Out to Frank Ciardi Law, Defense Attorney Rochester NY

New York has a diverse array of animal cruelty laws. For a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney Rochester, NY contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.