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Todd W. Carpenter
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Todd Carpenter’s Answers

131 total


  • If I was indicted on a felony DUI can the charges still be reduced and what happens after the indictment?

    I was just indicted on a felony DUI wanted to kow what happens next and could my charges still be reduced

    Todd’s Answer

    COULD the charges be reduced? Sure. Anything is possible. But typically a defendant is indicted after efforts to resolve the matter by a negotiated disposition (i.e., to a lesser offense) have failed, or the prosecutor is simply unwilling to negotiate based upon the specific facts of the case or the defendant's prior history. (This is a question you should be asking your actual attorney since he or she is in a better position to answer the questions specific to your case.)

    What happens next is that you will be arraigned on the indictment in County Court, where the issue of bail will be revisited. If you have already posted bail and made all court appearances, your attorney should be able to successfully argue to continue that bail. If you have missed appearances or been in trouble since your arrest, then there is a very real possibility bail will be increased in light of the fact that you have now been indicted and have a spotty record. After arraignment you and your attorney should prepare for trial (hopefully your attorney began trial prep as soon as they were retained), exchange discovery (if not already voluntarily provided), draft motions and conduct hearings (if granted by the court). After all of that is completed, you will have your trial (if the matter is not resolved by plea prior to then).

    You are free to enter a guilty plea at any point in the process (even during trial). The fact that you are indicted does not prevent you from pleading guilty if you believe it to be in your best interest. That is a discussion you should regularly have with your attorney, and it should be based upon the overall impression of your case, the likelihood of conviction or acquittal, the potential sentencing consequences if convicted compared to any plea bargain offered by the DA, and your individual tolerance for risk.

    Cases move much quicker once indicted. So be sure to stay in contact with your attorney to discuss your concerns, continuously evaluate any viable defenses, and assist in the preparation of your trial. Good luck.

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  • If I drink one lite beer, will I fail a breathalizer?

    I will ask a non-drinker to drive if 1 can of beer will cause me to fail the breathalizer test.

    Todd’s Answer

    Your question cannot be answered with a yes or no. Whether someone will fail a breathalyzer (which is actually the roadside pre-screen device, versus the Intoxilyzer, Datamaster or Draeger chemical test administered at the police station after you've been arrested) depends on a great many variables. While it is probably unlikely that you would "fail" a pre-screen after just 1 light beer, your alcohol tolerance, weight, body composition, previously ingested medications, whether you smoke, how close in time prior to the test you had your last drink/sip, presence of dentures or false teeth, the calibration/condition of the instrument itself, and many other factors will affect your result. Note that many pre-screen devices do not typically provide an actual numerical value in response to a properly applied breath sample, but only indicate "+" or "-" with respect to the presence of alcohol. Accordingly, a positive pre-screen is just one consideration among many the officer takes into account in developing probable cause to make a DWI arrest.

    Driving after drinking is not per se illegal, provided you are not impaired or intoxicated. But if you are that worried about what affect 1 beer might have on you, your best bet is to not drive at all after consuming any alcohol.

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  • Becoming a teacher with a criminal record..

    My question is, can I become a teacher in New York with a record of criminal mischief in the 4th degree, a misdemeanor? I plead guilty to a vandalism charge, and now I would like to continue my education in education. However, I don't want to wast...

    Todd’s Answer

    I agree with the previous attorney responses in that this is not technically a criminal defense question, and there is no option for "expunging" criminal convictions in New York State. The consequences of a conviction on your potential career is something you should have discussed with your attorney prior to entering your guilty plea. However, even had you done so, I doubt your attorney would have been able to give you a definitive answer. It has been my experience that matters of criminal convictions for potential teachers is a case by case determination and no administrative or licensing entity will issue a definitive answer applicable to each and every circumstance. Perhaps you may want to discuss with your attorney (or another attorney) the viability of vacating your guilty plea (and sentence if already imposed) to possibly avoid having to risk an adverse impact on your future profession in the first place.

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  • How can i ask the judge for an 18b lawyer for free?

    I previously had several oder of protection against a neighbor who lives across the hall from me ,as soon as the case was dismissed for lack of proof the neighbor threatened to kill me and my child we got into a fight she called the police on...

    Todd’s Answer

    You don't actually ask for an 18b attorney. You must attempt to qualify for representation by the Public Defender. If it is determined that you qualify for the PD but there is a conflict within the PD's office (i.e., they represent a co-defendant or have previously represented the alleged victim), then the PD will request that the court assign an 18b attorney from it's panel of approved 18b attorneys. You do not get to select which specific 18b attorney you want.

    If you are already represented by the PD, you will have to demonstrate to the court that there is a very compelling reason for the court to assign you an 18b attorney over your PD (the more likely result is that the PD's office assigns a different PD to your case). If neither of those options appeal to you, the court will be more than happy to advise you that you are free to retain any private attorney you'd like, at your own expense.

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  • I got a failure to yield citation I was hit in the accident. What can I do?

    I had come to a full stop then inces up because there was really bad sight distance before I could move any further I was hit and was given a citation? Can I plead not guilty or should I just say guilty ?

    Todd’s Answer

    I always suggest pleading NOT guilty to a traffic ticket, as well as speaking to a traffic ticket defense attorney as soon as possible. There are points associated with a conviction of that nature, and even if you appear on the pre-trial conference date to speak with the officer or prosecutor, you may be afforded an opportunity to plead guilty to a reduced offense and reduce the number of points which may be assessed to your driving record. Whether you will be given that option depends on many variables and in no way is guaranteed. But it is usually at least worth a shot. Often times, by hiring an attorney to handle the ticket for you, the attorney may be able to make all appearances and resolve the ticket without you ever having to appear in court yourself.

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  • Lie detector

    Does a lie detector result hold up in court or is it not valid?

    Todd’s Answer

    Polygraph results are not generally admissible at trial by either side. However, depending on the jurisdiction, results favorable to the defense may be helpful in negotiating a disposition.

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  • What is the probable outcome in this 7th degree possession charge? (NY PL 220.03)

    I have an ACD in Westchester County for Marijuana. I was given a DAT yesterday, and arrested for 7th degree possession of cocaine. What are the probable outcomes in court? Is there a chance for this to be reduced?

    Todd’s Answer

    It's impossible to say what probable outcomes will be without knowing the circumstances of your new arrest. What was the basis for the stop/arrest/search/seizure? Is the lab back? Issues in these areas may substantially improve any disposition. You also need to be concerned with the prior ACD. If this new arrest occured during the ACD period you're also at risk of having to redefend that charge, or at least have it affect any potential disposition with regard to this new offense. You need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney ASAP.

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  • What happens on the 4th dwi in 10 years? Person is also on felony probation as a result of the previous offense.

    Three previous convicted Dwi charges. Charged with a felony on the last instance which was about 3 years ago. Served 8 months to a year in jail and released on "felony" probation for 5 years. He was now just charged with a Dwi (which is his 4th)...

    Todd’s Answer

    This is a VERY serious matter and you need to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney immediately. No only would a 4th DWI conviction in 10 years expose him to a possible prison sentence of up to 7 years, there is also the violation of probation matter that needs to be addressed and may expose him to additional incarceration. Unfortunately, drug court may not be an option in this situation, but that is something an attorney will be able to answer more accurately after a face to face consultation.

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  • Why would a DWI case be adjourned 6 times?

    The defendant was charged with VTL 1192.2 02 and VTL 1192.3 03 in March of 2016 and the case has been adjourned 6 times, either specifically by the defense or "Case Continued." What would be the reasoning for this many adjournments?

    Todd’s Answer

    A DWI case can get adjourned for many reasons: to continue negotiations with the prosecutor, to compile helpful info/documents, to wait for a blood test/labs to come back, etc. You should ask your attorney what the adjournments are for. I typically advise my clients what to expect before each appearance, or explain the reason for the adjournment, so they have an idea about what's happening with their case.

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  • If I have a acd and I got a possession of marijuana appearance ticket will it mean I violated my acd?

    It was a traffic stop for not dimming headlights they searched my car for some reason and found a grinder with just residue in it which wasn't even mine but it was my car so they hit me with the ticket

    Todd’s Answer

    If you were arrested the second time while still within the ACD period (typically 6 months for a UPM) then yes, you have violated the conditions of your ACD. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

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