Criminal Defense, DUI, Matrimonial and Will & Estates
New York & New Jersey Law
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Drug Tests at Work & Your Rights

Drug testing for employees has became standard in many industries. This has left many people wondering about the legalities of this process. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a universal answer since laws and regulations vary widely from state to state.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to Hire a Real Estate Attorney

Buying or selling a house is decision that can seriously impact your financial future. When making important financial decisions such as this, I always recommend that you consult a legal professional. Some potential homeowners try to go through the process with only a real estate agent, but while a real estate agent is familiar with the process of selling and buying homes, they are not knowledgeable about real estate law. They will not be able to advise you on the legal implications of the contract you sign during the closing process. Only a real estate attorney can provide you with proper legal advice.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Common DWI/DUI Defenses

I recently received a NHTSA packet titled “Challenges and Defenses II: Claims and Responses to Common Challenges and Defenses in Driving While Impaired Cases”. I thought it would be useful to share this information to those who are or have a loved one who is facing driving while impaired charges.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Aggravated Assault Becomes Class "E" Felony

A law concerning aggravated assault was recently amended by Governor Cuomo. Penal Law 120.12 originally made it a Class E felony for a defendant who was 18 years or older to have committed assault in the third degree against a child if the defendant had been previously convicted of such a crime within the past three years. Governor Cuomo has signed an amendment into law that mandates that the look back period be extended to ten years instead of just three. This means more offenders who commit assault on a child can be prosecuted.

In New York, there are five types, or classes, of felonies. A Class E Felony is the lowest category, associated with the shortest jail sentences. However, being convicted of a felony is considered much more serious than being convicted of a misdemeanor or violation. Felonies are associated with longer jail time and limitation of your employment prospects. Felony sentences can be particularly harsh if you are a multiple time offender like those who will be affected by Governor Cuomo's amendment.

If you are charged with a felony, you should absolutely contact an attorney. An attorney can advise you of your options and work with the court for a lesser sentencing. If you are in need of an attorney, please contact my office at 718-317-5007.

- Kevin P. McKernan

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to Create an Effective Non-Compete Agreement

A Non-Compete Agreement is a legal document used by business owners to restrict their employees from doing things that will damage the business, such as trying to convert customers or using inside knowledge or trade secrets, after they leave the company.

In New York, Non-Compete Agreements have been historically hard to enforce. The New York Court of Appeals has set strict guidelines that Non-Compete Agreements must follow in order to be considered valid in a court of law. The most important factor in whether or not a Non-Compete is enforceable is whether it is considered reasonable. The agreement must neither place undue hardship on the employee nor place any restrictions on the employee that are greater than needed to protect the company's legitimate interest. Despite the difficulty in enforcing Non-Compete Agreements, it is wise for small business owners to look into drawing up a valid agreement in order to protect their business. Below are some tips that can make your Non-Compete agreements more likely to be enforced in court.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why Should You Get a Cohabitation Agreement?

A recent study done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys shows that matrimonial lawyers are seeing increasing numbers of clients whom are choosing to cohabitate and combine assets without first getting married.

As a long-time family law attorney, I know that just as it can be beneficial for couples who are planning to marry to sign pre-nupital agreements beforehand, it can also be beneficial for couples who are planning to move in together to sign a cohabitation agreement.

Cohabitation agreements are legal documents that a couple draws up in order to protect both persons' assets and define expectations in case the relationship does end. For couples who are living together without the legal protections and procedures of marriage, cohabitation agreements can minimize the financial repercussions of a bad break-up.

VTL 516: How Your Driving Violations Will Affect You

It is important for all drivers to be aware of the vehicle and traffic laws in their state. If you live in New York or New Jersey, you should be informed about VTL 516, which is commonly known as the "Driver License Compact".

VTL 516 states that because "the safety of streets and highway is materially affected by a driver's degree of compliance with state driving ordinances and that violation of those laws by a driver is evidence that the driver regularly engages in unsafe behavior while operating a motor vehicle", states in agreement with the VTL 516 Compact will report driving convictions that occur in other states to the driving authority of the person's home state. For example, if a New York driver is convicted of a DUI in New Jersey, it will affect his license at home in New York just as if it had occurred in New York.

Other convictions that are mandatory to report in VTL 516 States include manslaughter or negligent homicide, DWI, any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used, and failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident which results in the death of personal injury of another.