Designation of Therapy Animals to Evade No Pet Policies

The trend of fraudulently labeling pets as “therapy” or “emotional” animals to avoid a building’s no pet policy is on the rise. Landlords are increasingly reluctant to challenge their tenants as any denial could result in a discrimination suit resulting in fines up to $250,000. Unlike trained service animals such as a seeing-eye-dog, emotional support animals do not need formal training. In fact, there are websites online that will generate a doctor’s note stating the tenant’s need for a service dog for under $200. Despite the therapy exemption, the concern is that therapy animals may become a nuisance to landlords and neighbors.
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Attorneys and Real Estate Transaction

The real estate industry in New York is constantly changing. One aspect of this industry that has not changed too much in the past few decades is the role of an attorney in the process. When purchasing a home or a piece of property, the assistance of an attorney is necessary. An attorney with draft documents, aid in negotiations, assist in the closing of the deal, answer any abstract questions that may arise, and more. Without an attorney, purchasing a home would be challenging for those without experience with the process.
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A Negligent Ambulance Driver Can Cause Serious or Fatal Injuries

Ambulance accidents have become common throughout New York State.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationally, on average, there are approximately 4,500 accidents involving ambulances and 33 deaths each year. The vast majority of these deaths are to the driver of the other vehicle.  Ambulance accidents often involve:

  • Pedestrians;
  • Bicyclists;
  • Motorcyclists;
  • Drivers of vehicles;
  • Passengers of vehicles; and,
  • Patients that are transported.

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Suffolk County Committee Decides to Extend Red-Light Camera Program

On September 19, Newsday reported that the Suffolk County Legislature’s Waiver Committee unanimously voted in favor of extending the contract of the county’s red-light camera vendor, resulting in the red-light camera program being extended for at least another year.

Conduent Inc., a technology company based in Florham Park, New Jersey, received an extension on its contract with the county which will run the end of 2019. Republican legislators were upset that the contract was renewed without seeking competitive bids or requests for proposal, but they are more upset that the red-light camera program is more about collecting revenues than making the roads safer for drivers.
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Avoid Intoxicated Driving This Summer

As we begin to reach the height of summer, it seems every weekend is consumed by barbeques, vacations, beach days, holidays, and other activities. Many people choose to relax at these weekend festivities with alcohol and some even choose to operate a vehicle while under the influence. July 4th has become one of America’s deadliest holidays as a result of the increased number of DWI accidents and overall, the abundance of summertime activities tend to heighten the risk of these tragic incidents.

In New York, a person is considered to be driving while intoxicated if he or she operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) equivalent to or exceeding .08. However, a person may also be considered to be a drunk driver even if his or her BAC does not exceed .08, if he or she exhibits other indications of intoxication such as slurred speech, the inability to walk straight, reckless driving, and failing standard police tests for intoxication.

Driving under the influence can result in severe consequences such as fines, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and even jail time.  It is important that you take extra care as a driver, passenger, and party host to avoid being involved in a drunk driving accident or failing to prevent a guest from driving while intoxicated. Several ways to avoid drunk driving this holiday include:

Make a transportation plan to get home safely if you plan to drink.

  • Designate a driver who will remain sober and agrees to drive you home
  • Use a ride-share company such as Uber or Lyft, or another local cab service
  • Plan to stay over the house at which you attend a celebration
  • Cease alcohol consumption hours before driving home—it takes approximately 1 hour for a person’s body to absorb 1 drink

Exercise safe driving practices for you and your passengers if you are on the road on July 4.

  • Buckle your seatbelt
  • Remain attentive and aware of the way others are driving
  • Report those who may be driving erratically and may appear to be driving drunk

In anticipation of the holiday, the NHTSA has developed a mobile app, available on both iPhone and Android to help you get home safe. The app, SaferRide, simplifies the process of using one’s phone to find a safe way home by presenting a user with three alternatives to getting behind the wheel. Upon opening the app, one has the option to click one of three buttons:

  • GET TAXI. Clicking this button will lead to a screen that lists several nearby taxi companies with a button that when clicked, will directly call the cab company’s phone number and another button that displays reviews of the company.
  • CALL FRIEND. This feature is best set up ahead of time. When one clicks the button for the first time, he or she is directed to his or her list of contacts from which the user can choose who to be their trusted driver. Once this person is designated, it only takes one click from the “call friend” button on the home page of the app to call this friend.
  • WHERE AM I? When a user clicks this button, his or her current location will appear on a map.

Driving while intoxicated is a serious crime that may have serious consequences. If you are one of these drivers and have been charged with an alcohol or drug-related offense, it is important to contact an experienced attorney. The Long Island criminal defense lawyers at McGuire, Peleáz & Bennett, PC may be able to assist you and defend your rights. For more information or to schedule a consultation call (631) 348-1702.

What to do if You Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident

As the weather warms, bicycles become a more popular form of transportation and leisurely activity. However, with the increased use of bicycles comes an increased risk of injury as well. Bicycle accidents may be the result of many different circumstances, such as poor road or sidewalk conditions, negligent drivers, or careless pedestrians and fellow cyclists. In some cases, the state, county or municipality can be held responsible for failing to provide safe roadway conditions. In addition, negligent drivers, pedestrians, and fellow cyclists, can be held responsible for the injuries sustained from a bicycle accident if their actions caused the accident.

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Using the SUNY (State University of New York) Cap to Determine Higher Education Contributions

Oftentimes, parents seeking to contribute to their child’s higher education are unaware of how child support may be impacted. In New York State, child support is based on a pro-rata (fewer deductions) share of parental income for the first $80,000 of combined income. Once you have the pro-rata share, the state applies a statutory percentage of income as follows:

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ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Injuries Can Have Lasting Effects

An ENT is a physician that treats abnormalities in the ear, nose, and throat. While most procedures conducted by an ENT pose a minimal risk to a patient, there are still common medical errors that can negatively impact a patient. Common medical errors involving an ENT include:

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Avoiding Online Rental Scams

In recent years, more people are seeking rental units through the Internet. However, individuals often find themselves falling victim to an online scam. Some of the Internet sites commonly associated with rental scams are Craigslist, Trulia, and Zillow. While these websites do their best to eliminate scammers from using their sites, it is important to look for possible signs of a rental scam as well as perform due diligence in the event that a scammer has slipped through the cracks.

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AAA Says Federal Government Underestimated Car Crashes Caused by Drowsy Driving

USA Today reported that the Automobile Association of America (AAA) that the federal government grossly underestimated the percentage of car crashes caused as a result of drowsy driving and is alerting the public of the seriousness of this danger.

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