New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

New York Civil Rights And Criminal Law Blog

What can you do if you witness police brutality?

If you are like many people, you want justice when you see police brutality. You may think that there is little that you can do, but really witnesses can make all of the difference. According to the Huffington Post, without witnesses, police brutality goes unchecked in the United States. If you witness police brutality, you can film it. The following are some tips on what you can do. Remain at a safe distance Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot film the encounter. If you see an officer abusing his or her power, you have every right to use your phone to film it. Be careful, however....

read more

When must officers record video footage?

In recent years, judges, politicians and ordinary citizens have held police officers accountable for misconduct based on video recordings. While much of this footage comes from passersby, other footage officers record with their own body cameras. If someone you love becomes a victim of police brutality or another form of official misconduct, getting your hands on the officer's body camera footage may be critical. Unfortunately, officers do not have to record all interactions with the public. Privacy concerns One of the official goals of police body cameras in New York is to provide...

read more

Domestic violence charges can unhinge your world

If you and your spouse or partner are heading for a breakup, things are probably tense between you. In fact, they may be worse than tense. When relationships deteriorate, there are often loud arguments, threats and perhaps violence. Because the situation with your partner is especially volatile, you may be facing the risk or reality of domestic abuse charges.  Whether things got out of hand or your ex is using abuse allegations as a weapon against you, these accusations are nothing to shrug off. Charges of domestic abuse can place you in a difficult predicament, and you may not realize how...

read more

Why are some people fighting to withhold misconduct files?

Accountability and transparency are important to preventing corruption in law enforcement. Until recently in New York, as well as in many other states, misconduct records in personnel files were not available to the public. However, state lawmakers repealed the law that kept the files private in 2020. On the surface, this appears to be a win for civil rights and justice. It appears that legislators' intentions and the execution of their legislation may not go hand in hand, though. Creating roadblocks to access According to ABC News, repealing section 50-a of New York's civil rights law did...

read more

Do you have to use an ignition interlock after a DWI?

If you drink and drive, you could face severe consequences for this crime. For example, you may have to spend time in jail, pay a significant fine and perform community service. Another consequence of drinking and driving in New York is the requirement to use an ignition interlock device. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, all drivers convicted of DWI have to use and maintain an IID in any vehicle they use or own for 12 months after the conviction. The law in New York After a drinking and driving conviction, you must pay for the use and maintenance of the IID in your car...

read more

What are the rules about officers drawing their firearms?

It seems there is a new story every week about law enforcement having run-ins with individuals and drawing their guns. These stories often result in a shooting death. Some recent cases have brought about outrage due to the senseless nature of the situation. It also has led to people wondering what the rules are about officers drawing their guns and using them as deadly force. You may wonder about the specific rules for officers in New York. No rules According to the New York Times, there are no rules regarding when an officer can draw his or her gun on a suspect. The general rule of thumb is...

read more

How do police gather evidence against me?

When New York police arrive at the scene of a crime where no suspect is in sight, they must begin an intense and detailed investigation to find and gather clues and evidence that will lead them to the perpetrator. If that evidence led police to your door, you have a right to be concerned about what may happen next. Additionally, you should know that the methods investigators use to collect and process the evidence against you may provide the building blocks for your criminal defense strategy.  Law enforcement must carefully follow the rules for collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses and...

read more

There are exceptions to hearsay, but what are they?

If your criminal case goes to trial, your attorney and the opposing counsel will have to gather evidence to support their respective cases. The law has strict rules regarding what types of information the courts can allow as evidence. One type of information that constantly toes the line between admissible and inadmissible is hearsay. Hearsay refers to out-of-court, second-hand statements that either party tries to use as evidence in court to prove the truth of the matter. Though hearsay commonly takes the form of verbal statements, it can also manifest as body language or written documents....

read more

What is insurance fraud and when does it become a felony?

New York Penal Code Section 176 deals with insurance fraud. For example, health insurance fraud is significant and a headache to the government. However, people run afoul of all kinds of laws, sometimes inadvertently, and in terms of insurance fraud, a felony is more prevalent than a misdemeanor. About insurance fraud According to New York Penal Code Section 176, someone can commit a fraudulent insurance act if he or she knowingly presents to an insurer—or presents by an insurer—a written statement pertaining to a commercial or health insurance policy that contains materially false...

read more

Rochester lawsuit seeks to stop community victimization by police

Police misconduct and brutality are grim encounters where the law oversteps its authority, but the problem might go deeper. Efforts to reduce these encounters or reform police culture represent a constant battle between communities and their law enforcement. According to ABC7 NY, a potentially class-wide suit accuses officials and law enforcement of a deliberate indifference towards a culture of police brutality. Protecting property — policing people The plaintiffs of the lawsuit believe a recent reform plan lacks substance and ignores past proposals from the Police Accountability Board....

read more

Archives