The Hauppauge Traffic Court, which is located in the H. Lee Dennison Building, in Hauppauge New York is currently being sued by the Federal Government. This lawsuit, which commenced in 2015 in U.S. District Court alleges that the traffic court is acting unconstitutionally by jailing motorists, and refusing to engage in plea-bargaining for motorists who seek sworn depositions in their respective cases. Attorneys claim that the traffic court is eliminating all appropriate checks and balances by selecting both the judicial hearing officers and prosecutors for the local traffic court. Traffic Court in Hauppauge, New York has locally gained a reputation as a chaotic court system which will keep attorneys and motorists waiting for inordinate amounts of time.
Traffic courts and traffic policies on Long Island have been subject to public protest as of late. Particularly the school speed zone camera program which was shut down after great public outcry. The red-light camera program which does not allow the accused to defend their case in court but rather mandates a fine automatically upon issuance has also sparked vehement opposition. These developments cause many motorists to see traffic law as a backdoor tax rather than as part of a comprehensive public safety policy. Traffic violations are violations, not crimes and so certain constitutional rights pertaining to the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments do not technically apply and sometimes are practically ignored altogether by the courts. Formal rules of evidence during trials are also frequently ignored or enforced by the courts in a half-hearted and informal manner. In the United States, driving is a privilege, not a right though for many in modern society. Their well-being and ability to earn an income depends upon it.
Hiring an experienced attorney that understands how to negotiate your case can determine whether you keep your driving privileges in Suffolk County. Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620, to speak with an experienced traffic attorney.
NOTICE OF CLAIM REQUIREMENT
Before one can bring a lawsuit to collect damages against a city, town, or a public agency in the state of New York, a notice of claim requirement must be satisfied. A claimant has ninety days during which to file and comply with the notice of claim requirement or they will be barred from bringing the action. This is not the same as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations against municipalities is one year and ninety days as opposed to the normal statute of limitations for personal injury matters in New York which is three years.
One of the main purposes of the notice of claim requirement is to give the government a thirty-day time window upon receipt of the notice of claim to request a “50-H” hearing. This hearing is somewhat like a deposition and it is an advantage that non-government entities do not receive. It gives the government an extra opportunity to acquire information and testimony it may use to defeat a claim. The government may also request a medical examination during this thirty-day time period. Every municipality has the power to designate who must be served with the notice of claim and if the notice of claim requirement is not satisfied, the claim itself will be barred forever. It is important to determine who it should be served on before attempting to serve a notice of claim.
It is advisable to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before attempting to comply with the notice of claim requirement. The barring of the action for failure to comply with the notice of claim requirement is a strict penalty and not worth the risk of attempting this task pro se.
Personal Injury Attorney
Retaining an attorney that understands the process of suing a municipality can make all the difference in your case. When you or a loved one are injured by the negligence of a municipality, you need a personal injury attorney who understands the process. Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Bankruptcy Court’s Loss Mitigation Program
In 2009, The United States Bankruptcy Court – Eastern District of New York adopted a Loss Mitigation Program which applies in all individual Chapter 7, 11, and 13 cases.
The Bankruptcy Court’s General Order #543 provides the following:
The term “loss mitigation” is intended to describe the full range of solutions that may avert the loss of a debtor’s property to foreclosure, increased costs to the lender, or both. Loss mitigation commonly consists of the following general types of agreements, or a combination of them: loan modification, loan refinance, forbearance, short sale, or surrender of the property in full satisfaction. The terms of a loss mitigation solution will vary in each case according to the particular needs, interests, and goals of the parties.
Loss Mitigation may be requested by a debtor or creditor. Also, the Bankruptcy Court may enter a Loss Mitigation order at any time after notice to interested parties. However, in our experience, the Debtor’s attorney typically files a motion requesting loss mitigation in an effort to obtain a loan modification for the debtor.
We currently have several clients who are participating in the loss mitigation program. The program has some similarities to foreclosure settlement conferences held in state court, but appears to move along at a much faster pace.
You can click here to watch a video entitled “Loss Mitigation and Mortgage Modification in Bankruptcy Courts.”
Additionally, you can always call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620, to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
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The Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Crimes
Misdemeanor and Felony crimes are defined differently. Felony Crimes are crimes which are punishable by a year or more in prison. Violations are technically not crimes and tend to involve fines and no more then 15 days in jail. While misdemeanor crimes are punishable by at most one year. The location and particular circumstances of incarceration are handled by the department of corrections or on the federal level the bureau of prisons.
The felony classifications in NY are as follows:
Each of the above classifications of misdemeanor and felony crimes carry with it sentencing guidelines which may limit a Judge’s discretion during sentencing. One significant aspect of misdemeanor and felony crimes is that the Supreme Court has stated that any crime for which a jail term of one year or can be sentenced will be deemed a “serious crime” and will trigger a defendants right to a jury trial. In New York this means that a class A misdemeanor will mean that a defendant has a right to a jury trial. Many times felony convictions will mean certain rights such as the right hold public office, serve on a jury, vote, own firearms, the right to hold professional licenses such as in the areas of law or medicine and even the right to certain public housing will be terminated. These rights may or may not be terminated with the conviction of a misdemeanor. During the plea bargaining process prosecutors will sometimes be willing to drop charges from felonies to misdemeanors but this is often more difficult then negotiating a plea agreement to the initial charge.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Retaining an attorney that understands the potential consequences of a misdemeanor and felony conviction can make a huge difference in your case. When you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, you need someone fighting on your side. Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.