New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense

Your rights when police arrest you

Your rights may never be more valuable to you than when you are under arrest. Suddenly, every word you say sparks suspicion. Police may even record your conversation with them.   Civil rights advocates agree that the best thing to do when police question you is to keep silent. In fact, for more than 50 years, the law has required police to advise you how risky it is to speak when you are under arrest. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling called Miranda v. Arizona established that police must warn you your rights are at risk during your arrest.   When should police read me my Miranda rights?  The...

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Is bail fair?

Going through an arrest can be a scary thing, as the thought of spending even one night in jail is frightening for many people. Sometimes after being arrested you may be released on your own recognizance. However, most defendants are required to post bail.   New York’s bail reform, which implemented some changes in 2019, underwent more changes in 2020. There is some worry that the bail reform may be unfair and land more people behind bars.  Overburdened jails are a problem  On any day in the United States, approximately two-thirds of the people in jail are waiting to have their day in court....

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What is an Indictment?

The word “indictment” appears very frequently in crime dramas and television shows. However, many people do not know exactly what indictment involves. In reality, the concept of an indictment is rather simple. Essentially, it is a formal accusation against an individual who may have committed a very serious federal (and sometimes state, but this is rare) crime. According to FindLaw, indictments always come after the finalization of a grand jury investigation. What is a grand jury? A grand jury is not the same thing as the jury that decides whether or not an individual is guilty of committing...

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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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