It is NOT illegal in NY state to record somebody with your cell phone - as long as you are part of the conversation with that person. It is illegal to record someone else who you are NOT having a conversation with at the time.
Also, you do NOT have to inform the other person with whom you're talking that you are recording them secretly.
You may use the recording in court as long as you are a party to the recorded conversation - with our without her consent. However, whatever is on the tape must be relevant to the custody hearing.
Also, don't ever record your children talking or get them to say anything about their mother. That will likely be turned against you rather well by any attorney who knows what they're doing.
Speak to an attorney about the matter in person if you want more particulars.
I am an attorney from NY and they are right, only the Governor can Pardon you.
However, before you go that route, why not make an inquiry in PA about a gun permit and ask what they will want from you before issuing one to you. I believe others have gotten such licenses in the past by obtaining a Certificate of Relief from civil Disability in NY and then using it to offer it to the authorities in other states. Check with PA first and then get back to a NY attorney. I've done them before...
When you say you were forced to enter a plea of guilty, that is the first telltale that you're suffering from a delusion of the system. I almost guarantee that the Judge asked you if anyone had forced, coerced or threatened you to force you to take the plea and you answered "no." It's in every plea allocution I have ever read or stood beside a Defendant. Judges ask that questions as a matter of course - just so someone like you cannot come back and say they were forced to enter a guilty plea....
Your mother should know why she's meeting with the attorney to "sign some papers" before she goes there and gets talked into something that may affect her property rights. First, have her ask what it's all about and then ask that the papers be sent to her in advance so she can review them at her leisure first. Then, if she has questions, have her consult with a different attorney just to be sure and satisfied.
The fact that it's your first one will make little difference when you add the leaving the scene to the DUI, especially with such a high reading.
What is going to happen is fairly similar in all states (although I don't practice in your state and cannot advise you). You first go before a judge and enter a plea of Not Guilty and then a new date is set for another appearance in Court. You should be appointed a lawyer or one from the public defender's office to represent you and they will...
Since you don't say how long you were married or the number of children or a lot of other information, it is impossible to advise (plus I am a NY practitioner) but you have many options. The first and best option is to consult with a local attorney to discover your rights and remedies.
You certainly have many rights and many remedies. You just have to take action, but first find an attorney who will advise and assist you throughout this process. You'll need a good one. I suggest that...
You can still be charged with DWI - even without chemical test results. It just makes it harder for the prosecutor to obtain a conviction. However, with two hit-n-runs and freaking out behavior, many juries will take the word of the witnesses and the cop before taking your word on the matter. It's called a circumstantial case and the circumstances of this case are pretty dreadful on their face.
I strongly suggest that you hire the best local lawyer you can find and defend yourself.
Your Probation Officer's word carries the most weight when it comes to violations of Probation in any court. Of course, your own word, your attorney's words and any therapist and/or employer will also be considered by the Court. Ultimately, it is the Court that must decide your fate, but they do listen intently to the PO's position.
While the prior questions are accurate, I suspect that you may be eligible for a pardon after 20 years if you have the right contacts with the President of the United States. Of course, that takes money and using the right attorney.