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John J. Carney
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John Carney’s Answers

1,024 total


  • I went to lawyer's office and he did legal research in front of me to answer my questions

    is that unprofessional or unethical? I'm about to file a grievance if it is

    John’s Answer

    There are thousands of pages of the penal, criminal law procedure, legal definitions, and literally millions of legal precedents, which are cases which have been decided by the higher courts which define and explain the laws and procedures in each state. No lawyer could possibly know or memorize every law, procedure, or precedent and therefore lawyers who care about giving proper advice occasionally have to research a question or an issue. To make matters worse, the laws change constantly and are interpreted differently as news laws are enacted and old laws are re-interpreted or repealed. What was once a minor felony may now be a class B felony, like selling a gun, which the governor in New York changed to a violent felony offense making people ineligible for Judicial Diversion and enhancing the possible punishments. There are sentencing charts which detail how much time a person faces depending upon their prior criminal history, the severity of the new crime, and the age of the defendant as well as other factors, such as whether they are a second violent felony offender. There are exact definitions of the elements of a crime that a prosecutor needs to prove to win at trial and they must be looked at carefully to see if hey fit the facts of your case. Even if it was a simple question, it only shows that your lawyer cared enough to take the time from his busy schedule to look up the issue to be sure that he was giving you accurate and current advice. Recently, some clients have been using threats of bad reviews and grievances to threaten and extort lawyers to return money not due or to punish them for some imagined wrong and it makes the already difficult practice of law almost unbearable and it is not fair. Lawyers work very hard for their clients and yet cannot always get the results that clients expect, and the client is not entitled to a refund or to destroy their reputation just because they did not get what they had hoped for. Managing client's expectations is an important part of being a good lawyer, as well as listening and caring about your clients feelings, but you cannot please everyone and you cannot help that some people have strange ideas about what their lawyer should or should not do. I get five calls a day from people who say that their lawyer "is not doing anything for them". Usually that means that they have a public defender who has worked very hard for them for six months but the prosecutor is still only offering a plea to the charge with prison (usually due to the person's long criminal history). Public defenders do not have to coddle their clients or worry about bad reviews. They do not have to take calls from the family members or beg people to understand that they do not have a magic wand. They do not have to spend more time trying to collect their fees that they do in court. They can simply tell people the truth and walk away. That is not true when you take people's hard earned money. In that event you must care very much about what your client thinks and says about you and you have to worry about their expectations. I hope you have a good, experienced, hard-working lawyer who cares enough about you to take the time to research your questions. I hope you get the best possible disposition that is possible under the circumstances of your case (all a client should ever hope for), and I hope that you now understand that your lawyer should be commended for being so diligent and careful that he actually cracks a book and not just Googles it like some of us. Please work with your lawyer and understand that a grievance, no matter how absurd or frivolous, is a permanent stain upon his record and reputation and will force him to have to address the matter, write letters, and lose sleep for months, simply because a client was upset over something, or worse, changed the facts or even lied about something for whatever reasons. I wish you the very best of luck and hope that this answers your question.

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  • How can a person do the follow up required while working full time?

    My son went to watch the playoff football game with friends. He did have some beers. He thought once the game was over he would have time to have coffee etc. The group decided to up and leave. He drove to home but was stopped and given a DUI. ...

    John’s Answer

    The fact that he has a clean record or does not usually drink is not really the issue, but it will help. He drove while intoxicated and got caught. In the eyes of the prosecutor, the judge, and the probation officer, he risked his life and the lives of others by being reckless when he could have arranged for other transportation and that is why he is being evaluated, sent to a probation officer to monitor his behavior, and sent to meetings to address his use of alcohol. That is a lot better than going to jail or losing his license for several years. DWI is a serious crime and it is being taken very seriously by the courts. I am not sure that a few AA meetings will not interfere with his work schedule and his probation officer should work around his schedule if you call his lawyer to talk to him. As far as his job you said they are fine with his meetings with probation and AA...usually once a week, so I hope he will not lose his job or violate the terms of his probation. The key is to have his lawyer handle the situation as opposed to someone else. A nice young man like him with a job will probably not have a problem with the probation officer . He will want him to keep his job. The problem will only arise if he does not comply with everything hte judge ordered.

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  • Is it possible for certain lawyers to get better results with criminal charges, specifically regarding plea deals?

    My husband is being charged with criminal possession of a gun in the second degree as well as criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree both in monroe county. These were des covered while executing a search warrant from Orleans county,...

    John’s Answer

    There is no discrimination here, just two courts with serious charges that are currently unwilling to offer a good plea deal. Retaining better counsel may or may not get you a better deal but that is the way to go if you have the funds. Use the Avvo list in your area to interview various top rated lawyers. Gun charges are very serious and are seldom reduced by any counties. You either plea to the charge or run a suppression hearing on the warrant and search.

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  • What can we do to fix this?

    my husband was charged with assault 3° cause of something his kids mother said while she was mad when she tried to drop the charges they didn't let her now he's trying to get into the army and we don't know what to do to fix this, cause it might a...

    John’s Answer

    You should retain a good defense lawyer and the lawyers here on Avvo are a good place to start your search. Call and ask for flat rates and compare the fees and ratings as well as the lawyer's reviews to make an informed choice. The prosecutor is used to women wanting to help the men they charge with DV cases and may or may not listen to the wishes but he needs her to go to trial. Do not tamper with a witness, use a lawyer to negotiate this matter. The recruiter will help you after the case is over and after any period of probation is over if that is the case.

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  • What cell phone data can police legally obtain without warrant?

    Can police legally obtain every bit of cell phone location data from a service provider? Or can the police only obtain data from when a party makes a call and a signal is pinged off of a tower?If your phone is on but you are not using it can the p...

    John’s Answer

    The police commissioner of New York and other officials are protesting a recent Supreme Court Case, Riley vs US that ruled that the police need a warrant to do a "dump" on your phone. As far as getting phone records to see where a person was that requires a supoena duces tecum to get he phone records from your provider or a warrant. If it is not locked they can easily see who you called and get your contacts, but they will need to get a warrant to use the evidence in court. It is suggested that you lock your phone to keep the evidence away from the police and your girlfriend. The police keep the phones they seize as evidence in most cases and you will need a letter from the prosecutor's office to get it back.

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  • Can we challenge DMV if I hire lawyer ?

    Two years ago I got my second dwi. I'm clear from everything but the DMV wanted to go for screening test Which is fine by me. I went to few different clinic to get the screening test they want me to do rehab for minimum 6 months even though I pa...

    John’s Answer

    Retain a good DWI lawyer in your area to find out what your options are, but usually you will have to comply with DMV to get your license back.

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  • Do I plead Guilty?

    I'm 16 and was caught with a burning clip of Marijuana. I also begged to them to not arrest me if that helps.

    John’s Answer

    If your parents qualify you may be eligible for Legal Aid but you are always better off retaining a good criminal lawyer to get the ACD and make sure you do not get a criminal record. You can find many lawyers here on Avvo who will handle this very simple case for a reasonable fee. Never plead guilty to anything as that can effect your ability to get a job, get into school, or get government benefits, a visa, enter Canada, or get a loan, an apartment, or license to do certain jobs.

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  • Police came to house for daughters accidental ingestion of rx pills..on felony probation..do I need to tell probation

    My daughter accidentally took a few prescription pills..I called 911 and an officer and EMS showed up..I am on felony probation..officer took my name and DOB..ended up going to hospital in ambulance where I spoke with a social worker who was not g...

    John’s Answer

    That is police contact and the probation officer should be notified. Unless you did something wrong he should not violate you. Keep all medications locked up so that your children do not take them accidentally or to get high.

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  • Can you get the date of a dat changed in ny?

    I am located in ny. Got a dat for a shoplifting offense. First time offense and never have been in trouble with the law. I am visiting a sick family member during my dat date and was wondering if it can be pushed back or postponed for a later date...

    John’s Answer

    Retain a lawyer from the Avvo lawyers and have them call the prosecutor or a supervisor. There will not be a DA assigned to a DAT, but the supervisor may have the clerk advance the date. In the alternative the attorney may be able to appear with a Waiver of Appearance and get an adjournment but the judge may issue a bench warrant and ignore his request. A bench warrant will be a problem as it will remain on your record and you will often have to surrender and post bail. It is much harder to change a DAT date than a regular appearance date and you will need a lawyer who has a lot of experience in that court since the prosecutor, clerk, and possibly the judge have to agree to it. Visiting a sick family member is not a very good excuse and you may not get the advance date unless the prosecutor sends one of his assistants down to the part to ask for the advance date. The case will not be adjourned to a future date but maybe a sooner date will be allowed.

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  • Can ACD pl 170.55 be changed?

    The court dismissed my case that had an open warrant against me for not appearing to court (got a summons for being at a park after hours) as ACD pl 170.55, Warrant Vacated. Can this be changed to immediate dismissal and sealed? I don't want this ...

    John’s Answer

    Your lawyer should have asked you if you were going to have anyone make a background check in the next six months. If you were he could have asked the prosecutor and judge for a two week early seal unless you had to complete community service or counseling. If the court and DA agreed it could have been sealed before the six months, but you would need to have a very good reason and a job interview or the fact that your company was going to review your criminal record may have been sufficient. Maybe you had a public defender or an inexperienced lawyer who did not bother to ask you or the court or maybe you should have mentioned it to the lawyer before you took the ACD but the only thing you can do now is to retain a lawyer and try to have it sealed early. I have had that occur before and after a plea in Brooklyn and so I know it is possible. The fee should not be a lot since it is just one appearance.

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