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Questions Answered by Mark A. Siesel
1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability for New York on
Q: I WAS CONVICTED OF A MISDEAMEANOR DRUG CHARGE 20 YEARS AGO- I WANT THIS OFF MY RECORD-HAVE NOT BEEN IN TROUBLE SINCE.
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Aug 1, 2011

Unfortunately, this conviction cannot be removed for your record. Only convictions which are sealed at the time of the conviction, or youthful offender convictions, are not disclosed in the future, but there are no convictions to a criminal charge which can be "removed" from your record.

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for New York on
Q: Do I have to pay the Driver's Responsibility Assessment all at once?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 31, 2011

No, you can pay the assessment over a three year period in three equal installments or all at once.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for New York on
Q: What is contributory negligence?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 31, 2011

This is a doctrine which is no longer in effect in New York (it was repealed in 1975) which holds that if a plaintiff is even 1% at fault for his or her own accident, they cannot recover any damages for their injuries.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for New York on
Q: What is comparative negligence?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 31, 2011

The doctrine of comparative negligence examines the negligence or carelessness of each of the parties and "compares" them to determine the percentages of fault in a case. For example, if a plaintiff (person who is suing) is 30% at fault for an accident, then the plaintiff could only... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for New York on
Q: What does assumption of risk mean?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 31, 2011

Assumption of risk is a defense asserted by defendants in cases where it is claimed that the activity that the plaintiff was engaging in was risky, such as skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping, or a whole list of sports such as basketball, football, hockey and lacrosse, as a few examples. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for New York on
Q: What does it mean to mitigate damages?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 31, 2011

Mitigation of damages means that the plaintiff, or person who is suing, take measure that can reasonably be taken to reduce the amount for damages he or she suffers. For example, mitigating damages in a personal injury case would be to follow a doctor's orders to obtain physical therapy... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: Am I required to perform the Field Sobriety Tests, or can I refuse?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

There is no statutory requirement that you agree to perform the field sobriety tests when the officer asks you to do so. However, at trial, the DA will probably be permitted to introduce your refusal to perform these tests as some evidence of guilt in the drunk driving case against you. Unlike... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: What are the standardized Field Sobriety Tests?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

The standardized Field Sobriety Tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, during which the officer examines involuntary movement of the eyes while following a stimulus, the "walk and turn", in which the person is asked to walk along a straight line, heel to toe, for nine steps and then... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for New York on
Q: How does a personal injury case get brought in federal Court?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

The basic ways are either bringing a suit which involves a federal question or federal statute, or having a case between citizens of different states (known as a diversity case) an in which the amount being sued over exceeds $75,000. In the diversity example, it is important to remember that all... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: How much does the MADD Victim Impact Panel cost to attend?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

The cost should be approximately $50.00 to $60.00.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: If I had a DWI 6 years ago, can I take the Drinking Driver Program again?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

Yes, you are permitted to take the Drinking Driver Program once every 5 years.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: If the officer doesn't show for the refusal hearing, will the judge still proceed with the hearing?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

If the officer does not appear for the first scheduled hearing, it will be adjourned by the Judge. If the officer does not appear the second time, the judge will proceed with the hearing utilizing the police report and report of refusal as evidence of the alleged refusal.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for New York on
Q: I know there is a driver safety class I can take to reduce points on my license. How often can i take this class?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

You can take the driver safety class once every 3 years, and it an now be taken online as well as in a classroom.

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for New York on
Q: Can I collect lost earnings under the no-fault provision of my car insurance?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 29, 2011

Yes. You will need to provide proof of employment through a form which get submitted to your employer, or if you are self employed, the insurance company will request documentation to prove your lost earnings, including 1099's or other self employed earnings documentation.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for New York on
Q: Are there jury trials in a case against the State of New York?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 27, 2011

No, cases against the State of New York are brought in the Court of Claims, which only has trials before a judge, known as "bench trials."

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for New York on
Q: What are the elements of damage in a New York wrongful death case?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 27, 2011

In a wrongful death case in New York, the family members of the deceased can sue for pecuniary loss, or the loss of the financial contributions that the deceased was contributing by way of salary, pension, future earnings potential and benefits. Additionally, there can be a claim for loss of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: I was just charged with aggravated DWI. If I pled guilty, how long will I lose my license for?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 27, 2011

On a first time conviction or pleas of guilty to an aggravated DWI, your license will be revoked for one year.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: If I fail to attend or complete the Drinking Driver Program, what will happen to my conditional license?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 25, 2011

Your conditional license will be revoked if you do not complete the Drinking Driver Program and you will have no driving privileges for the length of your revocation or suspension period.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: If I get a second DWAI, how long will I lose my license?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 25, 2011

On a second DWAI, your license will be revoked for 6 months, assuming you are referring to a non-commercial license. The penalties for a commercial license holder are much more severe, and at the very least, you would be looking at an 18 month revocation on a second DWAI with a commercial license.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for New York on
Q: I know that you are allowed to attend the DDP once every 5 years. How is that 5 years measured?
Mark A. Siesel
Mark A. Siesel answered on Jul 25, 2011

The 5 years for the drinking driver program is from the date that you last completed the program until the next DWI arrest.

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