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New City Criminal Defense Law Blog

What constitutes a robbery?

When you think of the term robbery, you probably think of guys in ski masks with guns holding up a bank and demanding suitcases full of cash. But, imagine a scenario where a young kid approaches a man in a subway station and, with a hand in his pocket that appears to have a weapon, the kid demands that the man turn over his wallet and cellphone; fearful that the kid has a weapon, the man complies, and the kid runs off with his belongings. Although slightly different than the team of masked men storming the bank and making off with thousands of dollars, this scenario would also be considered a robbery under the law of most states.

So, what exactly qualifies as a robbery? The short answer is that it varies state to state, and each state's penal code may define robbery in different ways. However, there are some common elements that generally make up the crime of robbery. Robbery involves the use of physical force or fear against an identifiable victim. The general elements of a robbery include: (1) taking, with an intent to steal, (2) the personal property of another, (3) from their person or presence, (4) against their will, (5) by violence, intimidation or threat of force. Thus, robbery is a theft accomplished through violence.

DUI preliminary hearings: what one needs to know

If one has been arrested and charged with a DUI in New York, one will have to decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against during arraignment. If one pleads guilty, the judge will likely sentence at the arraignment, as it is the last time in court. But, many people accused of DUI's decide to plead not guilty to the charges against them and work with their defense attorneys to come up with evidence to show why they should not be convicted. Generally, once one pleads not guilty, they will be required to attend a preliminary hearing.

Many attorneys will say that the preliminary hearing following a DUI arrest is one of the most critical parts of the DUI court process. During a preliminary hearing, the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial. The judge will allow the prosecutor to present physical evidence, such as police reports, Breathalyzer results and other indicators that establish that one was driving under the influence. The prosecutor will also likely ask witnesses, such as the police officer to testify.

New York man arrested on drug charges

Drug charges in New York can lead to long prison sentences and many unwanted personal consequences. After being pulled over for speeding, a New York man was recently arrested for driving under the influence and drug possession. The 27-year-old man is facing criminal charges for DUI, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and other related traffic offenses. According to authorities, after being stopped for a speeding violation, authorities discovered the man was operating his vehicle while under the influence of drugs and claimed that marijuana was found in his vehicle.

Drug charges can have harsh consequences for those who are facing them. Accused individuals face lengthy prison sentences, fines and other potential penalties and consequences associated with drug charges. When an accused individual is taken into the criminal justice system, it is important for them to be familiar with their criminal justice rights.

UFC's McGregor faces criminal charges after alleged bus attack

Conor McGregor, one of the UFC's biggest stars, was recently arrested in New York following a chaotic incident involving other fighters. McGregor was arraigned on criminal charges, including one count of criminal mischief and three counts of assault. The judge set his bond at $50,000 and ordered McGregor not to contact a list of MMA members.

McGregor could face both criminal and UFC consequences. However, McGregor and his attorneys will likely be working on a criminal defense strategy to protect McGregor's life and career.

New York police arrest driver for drug possession after stop

In this blog, we previously discussed how police officers must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed to stop a vehicle. In many cases, drug arrests stem from routine traffic stops that result in a search of the driver's vehicle. Generally, an officer is allowed to search a vehicle if the driver gave consent to do so, the officer has a valid search warrant or the officer has probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime in a vehicle. However, if an officer unlawfully searches a vehicle, any evidence they find relating to potential drug crimes may be thrown out of the case.

New York State Police recently pulled over a 23-year-old driver for a traffic violation and ended up arresting him for drug possession. Once the officers stopped the driver, they allegedly discovered that he was driving on a suspended license and searched his vehicle.

Understanding New York drunk driving laws and penalties

The penalties and consequences for drunk driving in New York are serious and those who have been accused of it should be familiar with them. The legal limit for one's blood alcohol content level in New York is 0.08 percent. In addition, New York has a zero-tolerance policy concerning underage drinking, meaning that anyone under the age of 21 will be charged with drunk driving if their BAC is above 0.02 percent.

Drunk driving charges carry both administrative and criminal penalties. For a first offense of driving while intoxicated in New York, the accused faces a minimum driver's license suspension or revocation of six months; for a second DWI offense in New York, the accused individual faces a one-year minimum driver's license suspension or revocation; and, for a third DWI offense in New York, the accused individual faces a six-year minimum driver's license suspension or revocation.

Officers must have reasonable suspicion before a DUI arrest

With the exception of DUI checkpoints, New York police officers are typically only allowed to stop motorists on the road if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. For example, an officer may observe that a driver is breaking traffic laws or engaging in reckless behaviors on the road. These behaviors may include making an illegal turn, weaving in and out of traffic, driving at an excessive speed or constantly braking. Another possibility is that the driver is stopped, but asleep or unconscious at the wheel. If an officer observes these behaviors or any other signs of potentially impaired driving, they have reasonable suspicion of drunk driving and are permitted to stop the vehicle.

Once the officer has stopped the motorist, he or she can ask questions and conduct a limited investigation. If the officer still believes that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, they can then administer breathalyzer and field sobriety tests.

Criminal defense protections for drug charges are important

Drug possession is a serious criminal charge, which is why it is important for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights. Accused individuals who have been charged with drug crimes face serious possible penalties and consequences.

It is important to protect the rights, future and freedom of an accused individual. It is important to look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal charge and it can be useful to determine if the police followed required procedures for the protection of the accused individual, such as properly obtaining a search warrant and having enough evidence to make a valid drug arrest.

Navigating serious and complex domestic violence charges

Offenses alleging domestic violence are often more complex and carry more substantial penalties then simple assault and battery offenses. The law has reacted to society's increased awareness and advocacy in areas of domestic violence over the years. As a result, we have continuously seen heightened penalties for these types of offenses.

Domestic violence laws vary from state to state. In New York, criminal courts and family courts have concurrent jurisdiction over domestic violence offenses, such as assault, sexual abuse, stalking, and strangulation. Victims of these offenses may bring civil charges in family court, criminal charges, or both civil and criminal charges simultaneously.

How are larceny, robbery and burglary different?

Many people use larceny, burglary and robbery interchangeably when describing crimes of theft. However, in the world of criminal justice, there are significant differences between each of these terms. Each theft crime has its own set of elements that prosecutors must prove to get a conviction.

Additionally, a person convicted of burglary may face very different consequences than someone who committed petty theft. Experienced New York criminal defense attorneys generally know the specific defenses that can be raised for each of these crimes.

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