George F. Hildebrandt
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Syracuse Criminal Law Blog

Can you refuse to take a breath test in New York?

When police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they will make a judgment on your impairment to justify an arrest. They may ask you to take a breathalyzer test at the scene or a chemical test at the station.

What should you do? Can you say no? If so, is it wise to refuse?

Mistakes to avoid during a DUI checkpoint/traffic stop

In an ideal world, anything you say and do at a DUI checkpoint or during a traffic stop would not have an impact on your case. In reality, things are not that simple. Law enforcement agencies in Syracuse and across the country routinely collect incriminating evidence from alleged offenders and hand it over to the prosecution all the time. If you ever find yourself dealing with law enforcement because they suspect you are operating your vehicle while impaired, you might want to be mindful of your words and actions. 

At the time of a DUI arrest, there may be many things going through your mind. You might feel like you are dreaming because your circumstances seem so farfetched that you are not sure of what to do. Here are a few mistakes you should try to avoid at all costs. 

Key facts about the ignition interlock device

When people drive under the influence of any substance, they put themselves and everyone around them in danger. For this reason, lawmakers are cracking down on those convicted of DUI charges; such parties face strong penalties, such as license suspension. 

However, mistakes happen, and those who truly learn from their wrongdoings may be able to gain back their driving privileges. In certain cases, an ignition interlock device is an integral part of the process.

Determining intent to distribute

Though some states have legalized the use of marijuana, not all have. When people are caught with marijuana and other illegal drugs, they may face serious drug charges

The penalties for such charges are quite strict and can have a major impact on the lives of those facing them, especially if they face charges for distribution. A few important elements help to determine possession with intent to distribute.

4 common white collar crimes

The term "white collar crime" generally refers to various nonviolent, commercial crimes that people commit for financial gain. Individuals usually commit these crimes to receive or avoid losing property, money or services. Most white collar crimes involve sophistication and deception. 

But with so many examples of white collar crimes out there, which ones are the most common? Here is a look at some of the most frequent white collar crimes. 

What should I say if police ask to search my car?

Many people in the Syracuse area believe they must allow law enforcement to search their cars when asked. You, however, might believe they only need a warrant to legally search your vehicle. You should think carefully about what you say to the police. Giving them permission to search your vehicle during a traffic stop when it is not necessary could lead to criminal charges

It is important for you to understand your rights and how they pertain to legal and illegal searches. Law enforcement officials have a lot of authority, but it is unlawful for them to violate your rights. It is not uncommon for some police officers to overstep their bounds and ignore your rights. Here are some things for you to consider when law enforcement asks to search your vehicle. 

DWI and the driver's license points system in New York

DWI comes with many penalties, such as high fees, jail time and the loss of your driver's license, which is one many people overlook, not realizing the long-term effects of a drunk driving conviction. Without a license, you may have trouble getting to work, school and other such places, or spend a lot of time and money on public transportation and car sharing services.

Understanding the consequences of a DWI on your driving privileges in New York may be the motivation you need to avoid getting into such a situation.

Are you under investigation for health care fraud?

As with many other types of white-collar crimes, health care fraud cases often begin long before official charges enter the picture. Understanding what can lead to investigation and knowing the warning signs can help you take timely action to protect yourself.

Generally, health care fraud consists of purposeful misrepresentation, such as using the wrong codes for procedures, double-billing and other types of activities designed to get higher reimbursement than the provider deserves, whether from a private insurer or from the government.

Know your rights and what to expect at DWI checkpoints

If you tend to have a few drinks with some friends and drive a short while afterward in New York, it is important for you to know your rights at DWI checkpoints. If you do not learn them, you could find yourself with a DWI charge and the significant consequences that result.

DWI checkpoints are usually placed where there is a high suspicion of intoxicated driving. Officers can question motorists at sobriety checkpoints to determine if there is a legal basis for further detention and more formal testing. Your actions can lead to further scrutiny, and if arrested, a request that you submit to a chemical test of your breath or blood to determine your blood alcohol content. Take some time to learn what to expect at a DWI checkpoint so you can protect your rights.

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