Criminal Charges

Criminal Defense, Ulster County Only

Arrest is traumatic.  Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. represents persons accused of many types of crimes in Ulster County NY. If you have been charged with a crime your career, and even your freedom could be at stake. The police are interested in making the arrest and closing the case. The prosecution wants the conviction. Someone needs to have your best interests in mind. Make that someone Peter and Cordovano, P.C. We will thoroughly investigate the evidence against you and look for any possible misapplication of fact, as well as inconsistencies of fact that may help you.

Having experienced legal counsel on your side could mean the difference between freedom and prison. Contact Attorney Cordovano here or call 845-691-4200 to prevent your legal rights from being trampled.

All Criminal Charges Need to Be Taken Seriously

Any criminal charge can have a profound impact on your life. Even a seemingly minor offenses need to be taken seriously. An arrest may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that you have to list that arrest on every job application from now on, which can affect your ability to get employment. Some charges can result in can result in a prison sentence and can brand you for life. That is why you need experienced Attorney Peter M. Cordovano in your corner. Attorney Peter M. Cordovanowill work tirelessly to make sure your rights are protected, while minimizing financial penalties and jail time, usually through a negotiated plea.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

DWI is a very serious matter. With a .08 limit in New York State, even persons who feel they are not impaired may find themselves over the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.  In such cases, Peter M. Cordovano, P.C.  recommends firm but respectful interaction with law enforcement, while always keeping your rights in mind. Simply being arrested for DWI does not mean you are guilty. You must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Avoid making statements to the police that could prejudice your case and result in severe financial penalties or even a loss of your freedom.

If you have been arrested for DWI in Ulster County, you should seek experienced legal counsel from Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. The Firm will review police reports for inaccuracies, and will determine if the officers had a probable cause to stop and arrest you.  Peter M. Cordovano, P.C.  will obtain results from either blood or breath tests, and will subpoena them if necessary. The Firm will help you in deciding whether to except a plea arrangement or not. Sometimes testing machines will provide results that are incorrect. Also, medications may have caused false reading.

Driving While Ability Impaired

The primary difference between the charge of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) is that DWI is a criminal misdemeanor. DWAI is a traffic infraction.

DWI has substantially higher fines and costs associated with it as well. If your blood alcohol level, your BAC, was greater than .05 and less than .08, you can be charged with DWAI. If your BAC is .08 or greater, you can be charged with DWI per se. You can still be charged with common law DWI without any BAC level, as in the refusal case.

With the charge of DWI common law, the prosecutor will have to prove your intoxication based upon the officer’s observations of your behavior and your performance on the FSTs (Field Sobriety Tests). With DWAI, the prosecutor only has to prove an impairment in your ability to drive by either drugs or alcohol.

Traffic Tickets

Peter M. Cordovano, P.C.   defends all types of traffic tickets in Ulster County such as speeding tickets, running red lights, illegal lane changes, etc. Some violations under the Vehicle and Traffic Law are criminal. That means penalties can include jail time, fines, and state mandated surcharges. Such charges include driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired, driving while ability impaired by drugs, driving without a license, driving without insurance, reckless driving, passing a stopped school bus, etc.

The bottom line on defending any charge under the Vehicle and Traffic Law is to keep “points” off your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record. Obtaining an outright dismissal is the most desirable result. However, if such a result is unobtainable, it may still be possible to negotiate a plea that will keep some, if not all, “points” off your DMV record. Serious consideration is given to either negotiating a plea or trying the ticket. Taking a defensive driving will help to keep points from a traffic infraction off your DMV record.

 DMV Point System

The point system helps the DMV identify drivers who continually commit traffic violations for purposes of either suspension or revocation of someone’s driving privileges. There are mandatory suspensions or revocations. For example, the DMV must revoke your driver license if you are convicted of three speeding violations within an 18-month period even if a motorist has fewer than 11 points.

NOTE: Insurance companies have point systems, which differ from that of the DMV point system. The two point systems have no connection. Contact your insurance company to find out more about their particular point system.

The DMV calculates and targets the total number of driver violation points received during the 18 previous months. Points are counted from the dates of the violation, and not from the dates of conviction. A traffic conviction is required for the points to appear on a driver’s record. The points for that violation are removed from the point total 18 months after the violation date. However, the conviction remains on your record for some time thereafter (usually 36 months).

If a motorist accumulates 11* points or more in 18 months, the DMV will suspend their driver’s license. A DMV hearing can be requested only to show that a different person committed the violations. DMV hearings are not proceedings to prove guilt or innocence of any violations, nor are such hearings utilized to request a suspension waiver. If you receive a ticket, note how many miles over the speed limit, the officer has charged you with going. Then use the table to determine your points:

  • 1-10 miles an hour over the speed limit =  3 points.
  • 11-20 miles per hour over the speed limit = 4 points.
  • 21-30 miles per hour over the speed limit =  6 points*.
  • 31-40 miles per hour over the speed limit = 8 points*
  • 41 mph + over the speed limit = 11 points*. 

Driver License Compact Many states belong to what’s known as the Driver License Compact. The compact is an agreement among member jurisdictions that obligates them to exchange information with each other about an individual’s driving history (Vehicle and Traffic Law §516).

The primary purposes of the compact are:
  •  There are times when motorists: “I have a New York driver’s license but I plan to apply for a New Jersey driver’s license. Will the points and information about my NYS driving related convictions be transferred to my New Jersey driver record?”  The answer is “yes”, if the state where someone is intending to apply for a driver’s license is a member of the “driver’s license compact”
  • A motorist can take a DMV-approved accident prevention course to reduce their violation point total by a maximum of four points, which will also save 10% on automobile liability and collision insurance premiums. An accident prevention course cannot prevent a mandatory suspension or revocation, and course credits cannot be applied against future driver violation points. Contact the DMV to obtain a list of course providers.
  • To promote compliance with the laws, ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations relating to the operation of motor vehicles in each of the member jurisdictions;
  • To ensure that each driver in a member jurisdiction has only one legitimate driver’s license at a time; and,
  • To ensure that the state that issues the driver’s license has a complete record of the individual’s past driving history.According to the New York State DMV, “The NYSDMV does not record out-of-state violations committed by NYS drivers in other jurisdictions. The exceptions are alcohol-related violations, drug-related violations, and moving violations committed in Quebec or Ontario.”

If you have questions or want to minimize the effects of a criminal conviction or DMV points, call our office immediately for experienced and dedicated help. Let Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. be your advocate. Your case will be handled personally, confidentially and professionally.

For example, in accordance with the Driver License Compact, the New Jersey DMV will request your NYS driver record review it for any convictions. For many types of violations, the New Jersey DMV will only record the conviction information on your New Jersey driver record and will not assess points. However, if you have been convicted of one of the serious violations identified in Article IV of the Driver License Compact, the DMV will record both the conviction information and the points associated with the violation. The number of points assessed is equal to the number that would have been assessed if the conviction had occurred in New Jersey.  To make a proper determination, the DMV in the state where someone is intending to apply for a driver’s license should be contacted.


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