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New City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Current discovery rules make criminal defense more challenging

If you have been charged with a crime, you and your attorney will work together to come up with the best strategy to present your case in court during trial. A strong criminal defense can result in the lessening of your penalties or the dismissal of your charges. However, New York prosecutors may make things more difficult for defendants to defend themselves.

In New York, as well as in nine other states, discovery rules allow prosecutors to wait until immediately before the trial to turn in key evidence, such as witness names, witness statements and video surveillance footage. This evidence is generally supposed to be turned over to the defense upon request, but many New York defense attorneys argue that prosecutors often delay handing it over or ignore the request altogether.

What are the consequences of a drunk driving conviction?

If you have been arrested on a drunk driving charge in New York, you may be concerned about your future. A drunk driving conviction comes with a number of consequences, depending on the facts of your case.

Generally, under New York law, it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Some drivers have different BAC limits. For example, drivers who are under 21 may violate the Zero Tolerance Law if their BAC is between .02 and .07. Commercial truck drivers have a lower limit of .04.

The right criminal defense approach might get charges dismissed

In New York, possession or distribution of an illegal substance is a crime and can result in years in prison and significant fines. If you have been arrested on drug charges for possession or sale of an illegal substance, you may be facing serious consequences that can affect the rest of your life. If you have a past criminal history, your punishment can be even more serious.

If you were arrested for drug possession or distribution, you could face a number of misdemeanor and felony charges. Generally, possession with intent to distribute may result in more severe penalties than simple possession for personal use. Selling drugs such as cocaine and heroin will often result in harsher penalties than marijuana possession.

Presenting a defense to assault and battery charges

Assault and battery charges can result in severe consequences, including substantial jail time and fines. However, many people who are charged with a violent crime are not guilty or have a legally valid argument to justify their actions. If you can plan a solid criminal defense strategy to defend yourself from these charges, the charges against you may be partially or fully dropped.

If you have been accused of assault or battery in New York, you may have acted in self-defense. In order to prove self-defense, you must show that you acted in response to a threat of unlawful force or harm and that you had a reasonable and real fear of harm at the time. You must also show that you did not provoke the person you attacked and that there was no reasonable way for you to escape. If you plan to use self-defense as your criminal defense strategy, it is important to show that you used reasonable force against the person you attacked. For example, if you shot a person for lightly hitting you on the arm, the court may consider your behavior to be too extreme to constitute as self-defense.

New York woman arrested for identity theft

With the technological advancements of recent years, identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in society. A Brooklyn woman was recently arrested and charged with identity theft, forgery, receiving stolen property and theft, among other felony criminal counts. The woman was arrested after the alleged victim contacted the authorities. The alleged victim claimed that thieves had gotten her information and drained over $20,000 from her account through numerous bank transactions.

After a thorough investigation, the police identified the woman as the alleged perpetrator and obtained a felony warrant for her arrest. She was then located and arrested earlier this summer. She is currently being held on $10,000 bail and will be in jail until her preliminary hearing.

New York ambulette driver faces DWI charges

An ambulette driver in New York is facing criminal charges after allegedly driving while intoxicated on the job. The 45-year-old driver was transporting a dialysis patient to a treatment center in Nassau County when he crashed the vehicle into two utility poles. The driver struck one of the poles, left the scene and proceeded to strike another pole a mile away. Witnesses say that the van was almost pushed into oncoming traffic, which would have caused further damage.

Officers arrived on the scene and found the driver on the ground next to the vehicle. The driver was taken to the hospital, where he was charged with a DWI, as well as leaving the scene of an accident, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and driving while ability impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Penalties increase with subsequent DWI/DWAI violations

New York state police recently arrested a man in Hampton Bays because he failed to keep in the right lane. The driver appeared to be intoxicated, and he was taken to the state police barracks at Riverside. His blood alcohol content was measured at .12%, and he was charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI.) At this point, the case was unremarkable, but further investigation revealed that the driver had a prior conviction for DWI. Thus, the new violation became a felony. The case demonstrates how a driver's past record for drunk driving can follow him or her for many years.

New York law increases penalties for DWI or Driving While Ability Impaired by a drug (DWAI) if the driver has one or more prior DWI or DWAI violations within a previous time span. A second DWI within ten years becomes a class E felony, and the potential maximum fine increases from $2,500 to $5,000. The maximum jail term increases from one year to four years. A third violation in ten years increases the maximum fine to $10,000 and the maximum jail term to seven years.

Drugs allegedly cause accident that kills elderly couple

Drunk driving is a familiar cause of horrific traffic accidents in New York City and its suburbs, but the connection between drug usage and car accidents is not as well-known. A recent two-car accident in Rockland County that police have blamed on the alleged abuse of prescription drugs may help people realize that being charged with driving while under the influence of drugs, even prescription drugs, can have equivalent consequences to being accused of drunk driving.

A couple in their late 60s who had been married 47 years were returning home from Sunday brunch when their Toyota Camry was struck by a Lincoln MKV SUV at the intersection of Goebel Road and Route 304 in New City. The driver of the Camry was declared dead at the scene. His wife was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital but died before the ambulance reached the hospital. The driver of the Lincoln was apparently uninjured.

Prep school staff member runs up $400,000 on school credit card

Credit cards, especially cards issued to businesses for use by their employees, are frequent targets for theft or larceny. An administrative assistant at an exclusive prep school in New York City has been arrested and is facing criminal charges for using a school-issued credit card to purchase luxury goods and $150,000 in gold bullion.

The employee was an administrative assistant at the school who reported to the director of fund raising. Ironically, her job was monitoring the school's credit card accounts. She is charged with using the school's credit card to purchase gold bullion and several hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of clothing and jewelry. Among the allegedly illegal expenditures was a trip to Los Angeles. The district attorney's office is still investigating an additional $50,000 in alleged thefts.

Alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in New York

Driving an automobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New York. The severity of the crime and its punishment in the criminal law system depends upon the amount of alcohol (or drugs) in the driver's blood at the time of the arrest.

The most common crime involving drunk driving is Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). A blood alcohol content of 0.08% is the minimum threshold for conviction. Aggravated DWI is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.18 or higher. A BAC level of 0.5 to 0.7% is the threshold for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). Driving while a person is impaired by either a single drug or a combination of drugs and alcohol is a crime, but the law does not prescribe any blood content measurement to establish guilt.

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