New York Implements Installation of Cameras on School Buses

Last week, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a law that will allow schools in New York State to install cameras on the stop arms of school buses.  The cameras are intended to automatically record anyone who passes a school bus illegally. Continue reading “New York Implements Installation of Cameras on School Buses”

Parking Lot Accidents

Long Island residents spend a lot of their time in parking lots.  Whether it is for work, shopping, doctor’s office, or even for school, Long Island residents find themselves navigating a parking lot in a car or on foot.  Unfortunately, due to the crowded nature of parking lots, sometimes accidents occur resulting in personal injuries. Continue reading “Parking Lot Accidents”

When Do You Have a Right to an Attorney?

The right to an attorney is enshrined in the United States Constitution as one of the fundamental rights that every American has by birthright. After all, how can someone defend themselves in court if they aren’t given access to legal expertise, which they are unlikely to have themselves? But things are more complicated than they first appear, because there are two slightly different rights to an attorney, and the distinction can be important.

The right to an attorney is guaranteed by two Constitutional Amendments in the Bill of Rights: The Fifth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment. Though both Amendments guarantee your right to an attorney, they have a couple of important distinctions between them. First is the difference in timing: the 5th Amendment right to counsel guarantees your right to a lawyer while you’re being interrogated in police custody; the 6th Amendment right to counsel, on the other hand, guarantees your right to counsel during the critical parts of a criminal prosecution.

However, there’s another, more significant difference: the 6th Amendment requires the court to appoint you a lawyer if you can’t afford one at the time of your arraignment (when you’re formally charged with a crime). The 5th Amendment requires police to allow you access to a lawyer, if you already have one, but they aren’t required to provide you with one, because an arrest doesn’t necessarily signal the beginning of a criminal prosecution. Thus, you can be in a situation where you are legally entitled to have an attorney, but you aren’t yet legally entitled to have one appointed to you by the court. And if you’re being interrogated by the police, it can be very helpful to have an attorney present to advise you on your rights.

Those who have been charged with a crime can face serious legal consequences. A New York criminal defense lawyer, who is experienced in handling criminal cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you or your loved one has been arrested, contact the Suffolk County criminal defense attorneys at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702.

When AirBNB Goes Wrong

Many people have benefitted from the service that AirBNB provides. It allows people to find a place to stay where hotels might otherwise be too expensive or rare, and it allows others to make money from renting out their homes or apartments when they’re out of town. Everyone wins… provided that neither the “guest” nor the “host” do anything untoward. Because if they do, and you happen to be the landlord whose tenant became embroiled in an AirBNB-related debacle, you could have a major headache on your hands. Continue reading “When AirBNB Goes Wrong”

Swimming Pool Liability

Every day, nine people drown in the United States.  For children, it accounts for the second-leading cause of accidental deaths among ages 1-14.  In most of these cases, a child drowns when they are not supervised at a swimming pool.  But who should be liable for these accidents?  Pool owners in New York State should be aware that they may be liable for accidents that occur in their pool. Continue reading “Swimming Pool Liability”

To Plead, or to Go to Trial: The Costs and Benefits of Fighting a Criminal Charge

When you’re accused of a crime, it can be tempting to say that you’ll fight the charges against you. Indeed, on the surface, it’s not immediately clear why someone wouldn’t fight criminal charges with every fiber of your being. And yet, an estimated 95% of criminal charges result in plea deals, ending the legal process before it ever gets to trial. Understanding why people plead out so often can help you if you ever find yourself accused of committing a crime. Continue reading “To Plead, or to Go to Trial: The Costs and Benefits of Fighting a Criminal Charge”

Court Rules NYPD Illegally Used Sealed Arrest Information Without Court Order

The New York Supreme Court has ruled in a class action suit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) that the department violated state law by using information from sealed arrests without a court order.

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Your Rights When You’re Stopped for a DUI or DWI

It should go without saying that you should never, under any circumstances, drive while under the influence of an intoxicating substance, such as alcohol, marijuana or heroin. However, if you are pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), there are a few things you should keep in mind, so that you can best protect your rights.

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Long Island Distracted Driving Case Moved to Westchester

The Daily Voice reported that a case involving a motorist who struck a state trooper after allegedly exchanging text messages while driving has been moved from Suffolk County to Westchester, where the District Attorney’s office has been appointed as special prosecutor. (Citing a conflict, the Suffolk DA recused themselves from the case, according to the article.)
Continue reading “Long Island Distracted Driving Case Moved to Westchester”

Court Finds Landlord Liable for Failing to Address Racial Harassment of Tenant

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision regarding racial harassment occurring at a Kings Park apartment complex. The Plaintiff, Donahue Francis, was subjected to a continuous campaign of racial harassment, abuse, and threats from his next-door neighbor. The conduct included derogatory language, death threats, and harassing conduct such as attempting to photograph the interior of Francis’ apartment. The conduct continued and Francis contacted the Suffolk County Police out of fear for his life. The Suffolk County Police contacted the apartment complex, Kings Park Manor (KPM), and informed the complex about the neighbor’s activity. KPM did nothing in response to the call from the Suffolk County Police, so Francis wrote them a letter directly.
Continue reading “Court Finds Landlord Liable for Failing to Address Racial Harassment of Tenant”