Friday, June 26, 2015

Ithaca DWAI Drug Lawyer: the DUTY of the Police to Preserve BLOOD EVIDENCE.

IN A DWI or DWAI Drugs Case...

If you are arrested for either Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and the police taken a sample of your blood.... 

...Then they MUST PRESERVE THE SAMPLE for independent testing by the Defense. 

Criminal Procedure Law s. 240.20(1)(f) requires that if a Defendant makes a demand for discovery (evidence against him/her) then the People MUST "make available for inspection and testing, ANY PROPERTY (your blood = your property) obtained from you.. \

So, if you get your blood drawn ---then the Police have a duty to PRESERVE that sample and make it available for you (and your lawyer) for independent testing & analysis.  

This is a crucial step in ANY blood case.  

Case law goes on to say that:  "since testimony of blood alcohol content is invariably dispositive in drunk driving cases, independent testing by a defense expert is imperative if the defense is to have a fair opportunity to confront the toxicologist and her findings..." 

"It is FUNDAMENTALLY UNFAIR to deny someone reasonable access to fluid specimens taken from one's own body..."  

HOWEVER BE WARNED!!!!  It's not that simple.  

If the police INADVERTENTLY fail to preserve the blood sample, the evidence can still be used against you at trial.  If this happens, the Court is just supposed to "SANCTION THE PEOPLE"  (What the heck does that even mean?).

What does "inadvertent" mean?    = Oops!  We lost it....our bad. 

For practical purposes, it means that you're in bad shape case-wise because the prosecutor lost your blood sample, he can still use it against you, and the DA's office gets a slap on the wrist in court.  

OK --that is clearly a problem---how do you avoid that outcome??? 

By your lawyer being meticulous and persistent.  In blood cases, we make at least 5 requests for the blood sample.  In every case.  We make sure that the DA knows we want it, the police know we want it, and the Court knows we want it ---AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.  We tell them at the FIRST COURT APPEARANCE.  We make a formal request on the record in Court.  We also send emails to the DA's office.  All to create a paper and oral record of our numerous requests --so they can't drop the ball.  Or if they do--it does NOT look like an accident. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ithaca Seneca Falls DWI Lawyer: If convicted of DWI, you CANNOT go to Canada for 5 years!



Should you decide to travel to Canada, please be aware that any conviction for any drinking/driving offense is considered a crime in Canada. Thus, you could be refused entry to Canada if a driving abstract or a DMV printout is produced. To seek entry if 5 years have not transpired since your conviction, you may apply for a so-called Minister’s Permit

After five years have transpired from the date of your last court appearance to the date you intend to enter Canada, application can be made to the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for “Approval of Rehabilitation.” The application form for both of these certificates can be obtained from any Canadian Customs and Immigration Office or consulate, or by phoning 1-416-973-4444 (Form IMM- 5312E which consists of an information guide, application form, and instructions), or from the worldwide web at: 

You can also contact an immigration attorney if it is necessary for you to travel to Canada.  They will help you process your application through proper channels.  Our office does not handle these applications. 

Canada takes drunk driving offenses VERY SERIOUSLY and if you get through the border without getting checked out properly (i.e. you slip past them with a DWI conviction on your record), you could face criminal prosecution if the Canadian authorities figure out you have a DWI conviction upon re-entry to the USA. 

By Attorney Mike Cyr


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ithaca SUNY Binghamton DWI Lawyer: WHY we cross-examine the Field Sobriety Tests

WHY we Cross-Examine the
Field Sobriety Tests

In this video, Attorney Mike Cyr, an Ithaca DWI lawyer, explains why we cross-examine the 3 Standard Field Sobriety Tests.  / 607-229-5184

 In short, because they are the NATIONAL standard set forth by the Federal Government (NHTSA), they must be: 

1. Instructed the same way every time
2.  Given the same way every time,
3.  Scored the same way every time... 

OR THEY ARE UNREIABLE and INVALID!   If they are unreliable or Invalid, then we can ask the judge to toss out the evidence against you. 

If you have questions, give us a call for a FREE Consultation:

Find us online:  @ithacadwi

*This video is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.  If you are charged with a crime, consult with a local, licensed criminal defense attorney immediately. *

*Attorney Advertising.*

BY Attorney Mike Cyr

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ithaca Watkins Glen DWI Lawyer: Why you FAILED the Police Eye Test!

(Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus)
NHTSA Standard Field Sobriety Test

in this video, Attorney Mike Cyr, an Ithaca DWI Lawyer from CYR & ASSOCIATES, explains WHY you failed the police eye test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test).  


There are three main reasons people fail:

1. The test is NOT about whether you can track the object ...
2.  The test is SUBJECTIVE.  The officer decides if you fail.
3.  Many things can cause jerking of your eyes other than alcohol.

If you have any questions, call us 607-229-5184 

or find us online:

Email:   @ithacadwi

*Attorney Advertising*   This video is NOT intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.  If you are charged with a crime, consult with a licensed local defense attorney immediately to protect your rights.

BY Attorney Mike Cyr

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ithaca Corning DWI lawyer: What is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Field Sobriety Test? (HGN)

WHAT IS THE Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Field Sobriety Test?  

In this video Ithaca Corning DWI Lawyer, Mike Cyr, of CYR & ASSOCIATES explains the Standard Field Sobriety Test --Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus ( or HGN for short). 

The HGN Test is "the most reliable" of the 3 approved NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Tests --as it is supposed to measure your body's INVOLUNTARY response to consuming alcohol by checking your eyes. 

The Police officer is looking for an involuntary jerking of your eyes to see if you are under the influence of alcohol. 

However, there are many problems with this test as I will discuss in future videos.  Nystagmus (or jerking) can be caused by MANY things --and the test itself must be done correctly for it have any reliability at all.  Also, everybody has different degrees of nystagmus even when SOBER.  So, the HGN is not infallible as a prosecutor would have you believe. 

If you have questions about a DWI or criminal matter, call us for a FREE CONSULTATION.  607-229-5184

Find us online!
Twitter @ithacadwi

*Attorney Advertising*

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ithaca DWI Lawyers: Welcome to CYR & ASSOCIATES --Updated Firm Trailer

See our updated Trailer.

Welcome to CYR & ASSOCIATES. We are Ithaca-area DWI Defense Attorneys.  We are a law firm located in downtown Ithaca, NY.  We represent people charged with DWI, traffic-related matters, and other crimes.  Phone: 607-229-5184

We represent people throughout Ithaca, NY and surrounding counties.  We have clients in:  Corning, NY, Elmira, NY, Bath, NY, Binghamton, NY, Vestal, NY, Nichols, NY, Dryden, NY, Lansing, NY, Cortland, NY, Auburn, NY, Owego, NY, Candor, NY, Seneca Falls, NY, Watkins Glenn, NY, Dix, NY, Catherine, NY, Romulus, NY, Montour Falls, NY and many more... If you have a case within 90 minutes of Ithaca, we can help you.

We serve Tompkins County, Cortland County, Steuben County, Tioga County, Seneca County, Broome County, Cayuga County, Yates County, Schuyler County, and others.  

Call if you have questions about a New York DWI charge or any criminal matter.  

(607) 229-5184

Please visit us on the web:  

Twitter:  @ithacadwi

*This video constitutes attorney advertising in NY*


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ithaca Catherine Town Court DWI Lawyer: Are you REQUIRED TO DRIVE while the IID is on your car?

ARE YOU REQUIRED to Drive While 
the Ignition Interlock Device is on
your car? 

Short answer:  NO.  

The statute itself (VTL 1198(2)(a)) nor any case law indicate that it is REQUIRED that you start or drive your car while the Ignition Interlock Device is on it.  In other words, you are required to have the device on your car---but there is no duty to DRIVE. 

However, you ARE REQUIRED to install the device within 10 days of sentencing and notify the County STOP DWI Monitor of the installation within 3 business days.  You are also required to upload the information from the device to your local County Stop DWI monitor (in Tompkins County it is Michelle Barber) every month.  

In theory, you could leave the car sitting in your driveway for 6 months and only upload the information to the STOP DWI monitor on a monthly basis.  

Unfortunately, not every Judge KNOWS THIS.  We have some judges around Tompkins County that have the opinion that the IID program is also a "monitoring device" to prove that you have learned your lesson and are NOT imbibing with any alcohol.  

Most first offense DWI conditional discharges --DO NOT --have the condition that prevents someone from drinking during the 1 year term of the sentence.  To make things clear, some Judges believe that despite your ability to legally consume alcohol you should probably abstain for a period of time, and would not look kindly on you not driving your car with the IID on it.  

It does not make sense, but it is how things are for some parts of Tompkins County. 


Despite any judicial misunderstandings of the law, there IS NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT that you must drive your car while the Ignition Interlock Device is installed on it.  As long as you comply with the other rules surrounding an IID, then you are doing nothing wrong.

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ithaca DWI lawyer: TWO DWI's within 10 years means you must do an OASAS program to drive again

IF YOU GET 2 DW's within 10 years...
You CANNOT get your license back 
unless you take a Drug/Alcohol Program

In addition to potentially facing FELONY-LEVEL charges, if you get a 2nd DWI conviction within 10 years of the first, then you MUST enroll in an OASAS approved drug/alcohol program to ever get your full driving privileges back.

What is "OASAS" ?

It stands for Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. 

The DMV has your fate in its hands with respect to your New York driving privilege.  

In practical terms, you could complete an OASAS program as required by the DMV --and they could tell you to get more treatment or impose further conditions prior to you getting any driving privileges back. 

If the facts and circumstances of your DWI convictions were particularly bad (if you hurt somebody or killed somebody), then it is within the discretion of the DMV to revoke your driving privileges for LIFE.

As mentioned in many prior posts, when it comes to your ability to drive --remember, it is a PRIVILEGE and NOT A RIGHT.  

The DMV has tons of power to withhold your license and never give it back. 


BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ithaca DWI lawyer: How many POINTS on my license do I get for a DWI ?


My clients ask me this question all the time.  The short answer is...


Instead, the DMV gives you what they call: 
"negative safety units."  

These units are given for any serious traffic offense under the Vehicle and Traffic Law.  

If you generate up to 25 negative safety units, you may never drive in New York again.  Problem is, the DMV doesn't tell us how many you get per DWI conviction... so it is hard to estimate.  In our experience, if you get three DWI's or more, there is a good chance that the DMV will take away your driving privileges forever. 

The DMV Commissioner has broad powers to limit the privilege to drive in New York State.  If you generate both points on your driver's license and negative safety units over the course of your driving history, then it is possible for the DMV to revoke your driving privileges indefinitely.  

Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right, so it does not have the kind of legal protection that you would get in a criminal case.  Rule of thumb, if your freedom is NOT in jeopardy for a legal case, then you usually have less protection from bad outcomes. 

That's why it is so important to have a local DWI attorney from the start of any DWI case so you can potentially avoid these negative outcomes to your freedom, or your license.

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ithaca College Cornell DWI lawyer: what is DISORDERLY CONDUCT ?

"OUT OF ORDER!?!? I'll SHOW YOU OUT OF ORDER!!!!!" --Pacino, Scent of a Woman [best scene in movie]



I've previously discussed this charge on Cornell's SLOPE DAY.   But here I hope to give some examples of what Disorderly Conduct can mean and how to avoid the charge itself...

For starters...are you IN PUBLIC?  

Generally, this means that you are outside.  If you are inside a house or apartment it is unlikely you will be charged with Disorderly Conduct ("DisCon" to us local criminal defense lawyers).

However, if you are inside a PUBLIC BUILDING --such as any building on the campus of Cornell University or Ithaca College--then you can be charged with DisCon. 

Also, be aware that any street within Cornell of IC's campus is considered a PUBLIC street.  So you can't avoid this crime just because you're on campus.

When do the police normally charge this crime? 

1.  When you're outside
2.  You're drunk or high
3.  You're causing some kind of disturbance (i.e. yelling, talking loudly amongst a group of people, fighting, using loud stereo equipment, honking a car horn, etc)
4. You may (or may not) have talked back to the Police. 

I see college students charged with this crime MOST OFTEN when they're disregarding the police.   Usually in Ithaca, if there is a party or group of students outside someplace, the Police arrive and instruct everybody to go home (unless they see drugs or something else more serious).  

It's when some drunk college students start to protest or talk back to the Police--that's when kids get charged with DISORDERLY CONDUCT or worse... 

[ Resisting Arrest = Class A misdemeanor]
[Obstructing Government Administration 2nd = Class A misdemeanor]

DisCon is NOT a crime in New York.  It is a violation. However, be warned that it does carry a jail sentence up to 15 days.   It is NOT uncommon for a prosecutor to ask for some small jail sentence to "scare you straight."


If you are outside and speak disrespectfully to the police and refuse to obey them, then it is VERY LIKELY that they will charge you with Disorderly Conduct (or worse).  

Be smart.  Do what you're told and keep your mouth shut. That's my best advice.  

You can always consult an attorney AFTER an interaction with the police.  

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ithaca Dix Town Court DWI lawyer: 2 DW's in 5 years means NO Conditional License (no NY driving privileges at all)!

TWO DWI's (or DWAI's (alcohol) or DWAI (drugs)) within 5 years means 

If you are charged with a second DWI / DWAI within 5 years of the first conviction, then you will NOT be eligible for a CONDITIONAL LICENSE.  

What does this mean?

It means that you will have NO DRIVING PRIVILEGES in all of New York State before any conviction or even after any conviction for the full duration of any suspension or revocation period.  

The New York DMV website lays it out pretty well:

Participation in the Drinking Driver Program is available on a voluntary basis if you have been convicted of an alcohol or drug related driving violation, unless you have participated in the program within the last 5 years, or have been convicted of another alcohol or drug violation within 5 years of the current alcohol or drug violation. However, these limitations do not restrict the ability of the court to mandate participation, even if you have already attended a Drinking Driver Program within the previous 5 years. In such situations, participation will be required, yet you will not be eligible for a conditional license or privilege. 

Normally, somebody who completes the DDP (after a first offense with a clean history) will get their NY driving privileges back in full (even if the revocation period is still applicable).  

In a situation where somebody is charged with a second DWI within that five year period, the DMV and the Court will no longer give somebody the benefit of the doubt in an effort to protect the public.  


If you were convicted of a DWI --- you will be enhanced to a FELONY within a 10 year period -- and if you were convicted of DWAI (alcohol) then you won't be facing a FELONY, but as I said above, you will NOT be eligible for any driving privileges whatsoever during and after your case. 

Be careful out there.  

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ithaca Watkins Glen DWI lawyer: Lawyerin' in Schuyler County Court

Schuyler County Courthouse, June 2015, Copyright CYR



It is important to know the local courts where one practices....or know about them if you are charged with a crime. 

The Courtrooms are upstairs --its a very huge and old courthouse building (actually complex).  It is several buildings all tied together.  The Court also handles Family Court issues.

Schuyler County Court handles all FELONY-LEVEL charges for the entire county.  This includes charges in Watkins Glen, Montour Falls, Dix Town Court, Catherine Town Court, and Hector Town Court, among others...  

Any felony-level DWI charge will begin the case in the local town or village court and then be transferred over to the Schuyler County Court (in downtown Watkins Glen).  

The County Court is up the street from Watkins Glen Village Court. 

Schuyler County Court, Copyright CYR 2015

Here is the pertinent info for this Court:

105 Ninth Street, Unit 35
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Phone: 607-535-7760
Fax: 646-963-6590
E-Mail: Rita S. Decker
Hours of Operation:
9 AM to 5 PM
Monday through Friday
(Except State Holidays)

Hon. Dennis J. Morris
Barbara L. Weiss
Court Attorney
Elizabeth A. Corley 

County Court Chambers 
Schuyler County Courthouse 
105 9th St., Unit 35 
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Phone: 607-535-7015 
Fax: 646-963-6590

DISTRICT ATTORNEY (assigned to Court):    Joseph Fazzary (the DA himself)

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ithaca DWI lawyer: Refusing the Field Sobriety Tests


That you can REFUSE 
Without Punishment?

In addition to NOT telling you that "you have a right to remain silent.." the police also DO NOT have to tell you that you have a right to REFUSE their requested Field Sobriety Tests.

....and there is no penalty.  

If you refuse a breath test or a blood test, you will lose your license for a year.  If you refuse a Portable Breath Test (on side of road), you get a traffic ticket.  However, 
if you refuse the FSTs...there are no repercussions (other than making the officer mad).  

But if they wanted to do the FSTs on you, it is extremely likely that you were going to be arrested anyway for matter how many times they tell you "we will do them just to rule out that you're not drunk."

If you get pulled over and the officer asked you to get out of the car... 9 times out of 10, you will be arrested.  They do not ask people to get out of the car if they plan on letting you go. 


BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ithaca DWI lawyer: COMPLETING the DDP (Drinking Driver Program) may get your FULL License back!

Fast and Furious 2 (more furious-er)
That the NY DMV MAY restore 
Upon Completion of the DDP Program?

Yes.  If you were a FIRST OFFENDER for DWI or DWAI (alcohol) in New York, then you are eligible to take the Drinking Driver Program (a.k.a. DDP) which will allow you to obtain a CONDITIONAL LICENSE during your court-ordered suspension or revocation of your driving privilege. 

HOWEVER many PEOPLE do NOT KNOW that... if you successfully complete the 7 week DDP then many first time offenders (with otherwise clean driving records) MAY be given their full NY driving privileges back.

It is a common enough occurrence that I encourage ALL OF MY CLIENTS to take the DDP as soon as they can take it.  

There is never a guarantee that the DMV will automatically restore your full privilege, but it is definitely worth it to take and complete the DDP for the ability to get the CONDITIONAL LICENSE. 

Of course, there may be OTHER criteria for you to get full driving privileges.  These include paying outstanding fines or civil DMV penalties, following up on required treatment or any other requirement set forth by the DDP or the DMV.

We always have our clients get an independent drug and alcohol evaluation BEFORE the case is completed to protect our clients from the DDP requiring an additional evaluation.  This process is explained at our first consultation. 

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ithaca Waterloo DWI lawyer: What is an AUO in the 3rd degree?

License to Drive --Corey Haim and Corey Feldman

WHAT IS AN AUO 3rd Charge in New York?

This is a very common charge in New York when you are DRIVING WITHOUT A VALID LICENSE.  

AUO stands for "Aggravated Unlicensed Operation"

AUO in the 3rd degree is a MISDEMEANOR (a crime) in NY.
*NOT a mere traffic violation

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of AUO 3rd, then you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life.  

So that's why it is a big deal.

AUO in the 3rd degree occurs: 

when a person operates a motor vehicle on a PUBLIC HIGHWAY while KNOWING or HAVING REASON TO KNOW that his license or his privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked. 

The elements to prove AUO in the 3rd degree are:

-operated (drove)
-a motor vehicle
-on a public highway
-license was suspended or revoked

All of the above elements MUST be present in order to prosecute somebody of this crime.  Also, the Court paperwork must contain all of these elements to be acceptable. 


-up to 30 days in jail
-$200-$500 fine
-court surcharge
-a Conditional Discharge (stay out of trouble)


This may appear to be a minor traffic offense, but since criminal records are NEVER EXPUNGED in New York, it is critical to take these cases seriously.  It is in your best interest to consult with a local criminal attorney to address AUO 3rd charges. If you have AUO 2nd or 1st ---the charges become even more serious.  AUO 1st is a Felony in NY.

BY:  Attorney Mike Cyr 

P:  607-229-5184

Twitter:   @ithacadwi