New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense

Facing federal charges in New York

Facing federal charges can be intimidating, but it is a myth that they are always more serious than state or local charges. Federal charges and sentences can be much more severe than those at the state or local level, but the opposite can also be true. Both New York and New York City differ from US law in the way they classify, treat and prosecute crimes. How is the process different for federal charges? As the Offices of the United States Attorneys explain, federal law enforcement officials may arrest someone if they have a warrant or criminal complaint for an alleged federal offense. State...

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Criminal record sealing in New York

Many individuals are unaware that they may qualify for criminal record sealing. With this process, New York prevents access to records about eligible convictions, allowing former offenders to pass background checks and qualify for school and work opportunities.  Review the eligibility requirements and other details about record sealing in New York to determine whether it is an option.  Qualification for record sealing When the state seals a conviction, it removes those records from public view. Individuals can apply if they have no more than two past criminal convictions and no more than one...

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3 mistakes to avoid when talking to the police

Most criminal suspects have no general legal obligation to cooperate with police officers. Still, for a variety of reasons, individuals regularly incriminate themselves by talking with police. That is, they say something prosecutors use against them to secure a conviction or plea deal. If you think officers may question you in connection with possible criminal conduct, you should have a strategy for interacting with them. At a minimum, you do not want to make matters worse. Here are three mistakes to avoid when talking to the police. 1. Saying anything Arguably, the biggest mistake you can...

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What are the penalties for mail fraud?

In New York, white collar crimes often result in hefty penalties that can have a severe impact on your future and quality of life. This is especially true when these crimes involve United States institutions. Mail fraud is one white collar crime that involves a U.S. service. In accordance, the potential penalties you face are of utmost severity. Defining mail fraud The Congressional Research Service defines mail fraud and its related penalties. First, mail fraud by its definition is the act of furthering fraud via the postal system. This applies to public and private carriers. It can involve...

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Reviewing the right to act in self-defense

It may be easy for many people in New York to greet claims of self-defense as a justification for supposed criminal action with skepticism. Yet such skepticism overlooks the fact that there may indeed be scenarios where onen feels as though they have no choice to respond to the threat posed by another with force. The question then becomes to what extent does the law tolerate such a reaction. Can a person justifiably act against another any time that they feel threatened, or is that right limited? To know that answer, one must understand a unique legal principle known as "the Castle Doctine."...

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Wire fraud and its possible penalties

A federal wire fraud charge generally alleges use of a telephone, email or other electronic communication to defraud an individual located in another state. A conviction, however, requires a prosecutor to prove that an individual used interstate communications with the intent to deceive. After reviewing evidence, a court determines whether a defendant meets the requirements for a wire fraud conviction. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, deception with false pretenses, promises and misrepresentations may result in a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment. Wire fraud may...

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What is white collar crime?

White collar crime is a term that generally applies to a crime that is of a financial nature. The FBI explains that it is generally fraud committed against the government or businesses. It typically will involve money.  The term comes from the fact that these crimes usually have offenders who are quite different from your typical criminal offender.  About white collar offenders Many people who commit white collar crimes have no former criminal history. They are often financially well off. Many hold important positions in the organization or business against which they commit the crime.  The...

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Intoxication loophole in rape cases may close soon

Women are often extremely cautious with their drinks at bars and parties. One primary concern is that someone might spike the drink with drugs. Women in New York also have to keep the intoxication loophole in mind. This states that if a woman becomes intoxicated of her own free will, prosecutors may have no obligation to pursue rape charges. In late 2019, U.S. News reported that the New York governor had proposed changes to close this loophole. The governor believes that rapists might abuse this loophole to take advantage of intoxicated women on purpose. Expanding state definitions One way...

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Recognizing and responding to opioid overdose

The leading cause of accidental death in New York City is drug overdose. Most often, opioid drugs are responsible for overdoses.  Death due to opioid overdose is tragic. Fortunately, it is also preventable if one recognizes the signs of overdose and responds appropriately.  Recognizing the signs of opioid overdose The most dangerous symptoms of opioid overdose are slowed breathing and extreme drowsiness. Breathing can slow down to the point that it stops altogether. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a person who has overdosed may exhibit confusion and pupils that have...

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How manslaughter differs from murder

If you or someone you know has been arrested for and charged with murder or manslaughter in New York State, you may find it helpful to learn how the state defines these two crimes and what differentiates them from each other. While both murder and manslaughter involve the death of another person, some very specific details about a case may determine which offense a person is charged with. Different felony classifications As explained by the New York Senate, murder in the first degree is determined to be a Class A-I felony while manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B felony. These...

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