What is a Plea Bargain?

In a criminal case, you always have the option of proceeding to trial, and it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Notwithstanding this fact, the vast majority of cases are resolved by plea bargain.  A plea bargain is a negotiated resolution of your criminal case.  If you are charged with a crime, in many cases, you will be given an opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge.  Many defendants choose to accept a plea deal to avoid the cost and uncertainty of proceeding to trial and to ensure a guaranteed result.

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How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back?

A landlord may deduct from a tenant’s security deposit for wear and tear beyond normal damages for reasonable wear and tear.  Typically a landlord may deduct expenses from your security deposit for excessive wear and tear beyond normal use.  This has been decided by courts to include broken walls or windows, excessive filth, and damage to carpeting as a result of fish tanks.

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New Law Would Equip School Bus Stop Arms with Cameras

A new bill recently introduced in Suffolk County would allow school bus stop arms to be equipped with cameras.  Lawmakers hope that the cameras would deter drivers from passing school busses when the stop arms are deployed.  Additionally, the drivers who have been caught on camera passing the school bus when the stop arm sign is up would be subject to high fines.

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Historic ruling allows wife to serve divorce papers through Facebook

Sometimes an individual seeking a divorce has trouble serving their spouse with divorce papers.  A Manhattan Supreme Court has ruled that Facebook may be used to serve a spouse via private message.

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Understanding Leandra’s Law

Signed into law on November 18, 2009, Leandra’s Law was enacted in honor of Leandra Rosado, an 11-year old killed while she rode in a vehicle with her intoxicated mother. Leandra’s Law creates harsher penalties against motorists who drink and drive while transporting children.

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Criminal Convictions and Employment Opportunities

If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal attorney to handle your case to ensure that all aspects of your matter are considered and addressed.

Most people know that criminal convictions can result in jail and probation sentences, but many people are not aware that a criminal conviction can also lead to collateral (secondary) consequences.

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What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?

A divorce is considered contested if either you or your spouse do not want a divorce, disagree about the legal grounds for the divorce, or disagree about what will happen with your children, your finances, or your property after the divorce.

Contested divorces generally necessitate the court to decide issues that you and your spouse disagree about. Because the judge presiding over your case will require detailed information to decide the issues you disagree about, your contested divorce will require you and your spouse to go to Court numerous times. A contested divorce can be very expensive because attorneys are typically paid by the hour.  In addition, these types of divorces can be very stressful for the parties involved, and the process can take months or even years to resolve.

Conversely, a divorce is considered uncontested if two factors are met. First, you and your spouse both want to get a divorce. Second, both you and your spouse agree about what will happen with your children, your finances, and your property after divorce.

An uncontested divorce provides a few advantages. An uncontested divorce is relatively inexpensive, less stressful on the parties, and typically can be resolved within several months. Continue reading “What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?”

What Does “Assumption of the Risk” Mean?

The legal defense “Assumption of the Risk” describes a participant’s involvement in a potentially risky activity.  One example involves a sport or recreational activity.  When the participant consents to take part in such an activity, legally they are sometimes assuming responsibility for the common risks associated with the activity. For example, a football player assumes the risks of suffering bodily harm on the football field because the sport involves constant physical contact with other players.

Motocross, another potentially dangerous sport, consists of motorcycle drivers on a track with hills, jumps, and obstacles. In a 2011 incident, a motocross participant was injured at the Long Island Motocross track in Yaphank, New York. The defendant (owner of the racetrack) argued that the plaintiff assumed the risk of injuries suffered in the motocross race. The plaintiff argued that the poor condition of the racetrack increased the risks associated with the sport and ultimately caused his injury. Continue reading “What Does “Assumption of the Risk” Mean?”

Drunk Driver on Long Island Crashes through Neighbors’ House

A Lake Ronkonkoma man is facing a DWI charge after driving his vehicle into his next-door neighbor’s house on Sunday November 24, 2014.  According to authorities, the 20-year-old male was driving a 2010 Hyundai Sonata when he crashed through the neighbors’ front door.  The driver fled the scene, but police were able to easily locate him as it was quickly discovered that he lived next door.  Fortunately, all of the individuals inside the house escaped injury.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a dangerous and costly illegal offense.  Alcohol not only severely impairs your driving abilities; it also affects your judgment and coordination. If you are convicted of a DWI as a first offense, the consequences may be harsh. Common consequences include fines of between $500 and $1,000, up to 1 year in jail, a minimum of 3 years’ probation, and revocation of your driver’s license for at least 6 months. In addition, there are a number of other fines and programs that may be imposed on you by the court.

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Does Past Medical History Matter in a Personal Injury Claim?

When you suffer a personal injury an insurance company will generally do an initial evaluation of your claim.  In this initial evaluation, the insurance company looks for a way to lessen your potential award for damages.

The first thing most insurance companies examine is generally the nature and severity of your injury.  Often, they will try to prove that it was caused by or affected by a pre-existing medical condition. As such, insurance companies will scour your medical history looking for any previous injuries similar to the one you just suffered. If they can prove that your pre-existing condition contributed to your current injury, your recoverable damages may be lowered.

The fact that you sustained similar injuries in the past, does not mean that you can no longer recover damages for your present injury. Generally you will be given a chance to explain your medical history to the court.  Your personal injury attorney may also choose to employ the assistance of expert medical witness, such as a physician or psychologist, to explain how your medical history is not related to your new injuries. Continue reading “Does Past Medical History Matter in a Personal Injury Claim?”