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New City Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are New York's drunk driving laws for people under the age?

The legal drinking age is 21, but that does not stop many younger people from consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel. Generally, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher are considered legally intoxicated and may be arrested for driving under the influence. But, according to New York's "Zero Tolerance" law, minors and adults under the age of 21 who drive with a BAC of .02% to .07% may be stopped for drunk driving.

Because anyone under the age of 21 is not legally allowed to consume alcohol, some people think that the legal BAC limit for people under 21 is 0. Yet, state legislators determined that having a .02% limit gives some leeway to young people who may have consumed alcoholic cough syrup or mouthwash, or drank a small amount of alcohol at a religious or family function.

Governor Cuomo works to change New York's criminal justice system

When someone is charged with a crime in New York, there are many things working against them. While a solid criminal defense strategy can help the accused significantly, there are still many things that can be done to protect them from injustice. Governor Andrew Cuomo is working to reform the criminal justice system in New York with a number of proposed changes.

One of Cuomo's goals is to change New York's "blindfold law." This law allows prosecutors to withhold evidence against the accused, as well as witness names and statements, grand-jury testimony and other discovery until just before the trial. Because most felony convictions in New York occur through a guilty plea, defendants often plead guilty without knowing the evidence against them.

Alleged drunk driver crashes into DUI patrol officer

With the increase in drunk driving over the holiday season, New York police officers often patrol the streets to catch as many drunk drivers as possible. Over New Year's weekend, Nassau police made 21 more DUI arrests than last year. If you are arrested and convicted for drunk driving, the severity of your consequences may increase if you injure another person.

A Nassau County DUI patrol officer was struck by an alleged drunk driver over New Year's weekend. The officer was in an unmarked vehicle, traveling in Roslyn in the early morning hours of New Year's Day, when he was apparently struck head-on by a pickup truck that crossed over a double yellow line. Emergency Services' personnel and an off-duty officer worked for 45 minutes to free the patrol officer from his vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital for serious, life-threating injuries, including broken vertebrae in his neck, a broken arm and leg, and a cracked rib.

How can our attorneys help fight against drug charges?

If one faces drug charges, like possession or distribution of an illegal substance in New York, one could face years in prison, if convicted. The severity of the consequences will often depend on the quantity, the type of drugs and what one intended to do with those drugs. Prosecutors will do everything in their power to get the harshest sentence possible, even if the accused did not do the crime. Fortunately, the attorneys at Braunfotel & Frendel, LLC, are on the side of the accused and can help defend against charges.

We are focused on making sure that our clients receive the lightest sentence possible. We will thoroughly evaluate the case and collect as much evidence as possible before deciding the next steps. In some cases, we will see that the police officer that made the arrested failed to follow proper procedures and obtained illegal evidence from the scene. For example, if an officer searched one's home without probable cause to do so, they may have violated the Fourth Amendment. As a result, any evidence of drug crimes obtained during their search may be thrown out in court. Without that evidence, charges may be dropped.

What can one expect if they were charged with identity theft?

Identity theft is a growing problem, with many people taking advantage of how easy it is to access someone's personal information. In many cases, a person will be charged with identity theft, if they are accused of using someone else's name, credit card number or Social Security number to make purchases or obtain employment.

If one has been charged with identity theft, it will be the prosecution's job to prove that they committed the crimes. Typically, they will have to prove that one obtained someone else's personal information with the intent to defraud someone or fraudulently use the information for their own gain. Even if one has yet to buy anything or use the information in any way, just obtaining it with the intent to use it may be enough to get a conviction.

Teen driver charged with DWI after accident

Most law enforcement officers will tell you that one of the worst things you can do after an accident is flee the scene, particularly if there is an injury. A New York teen was recently arrested for a felony DWI after an accident that left a 14-year-old girl unconscious.

The 18-year-old teen reportedly lost control of his car and crashed his vehicle into a tree near a highway exit, before leaving the scene of the crash. The passenger was left seriously injured and unconscious, and was later taken to the hospital for treatment.

New York man settles false arrest claim after DUI arrest

Even an innocent person can end up facing serious legal consequences. And, even New York City residents may be arrested when they did not commit the crime they are accused of committing.

For example, recently, one New Yorker spent five months in jail for a DUI. He filed a claim alleging that the police falsely arrested and detained him.

Non-consensual pornography will soon be a crime in New York City

Internet sex crimes are becoming common as social media continues to increase in popularity. According to a study by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, over 12 percent of United States internet users have been a victim of non-consensual pornography, or "revenge porn."

Revenge porn often involves someone disclosing or distributing sexually graphic images or videos of a person without their consent. For those accused of these crimes, a strong criminal defense strategy will be required to avoid serious penalties.

New study shows an increase in organized retail crime

As we gear up for the holiday season, retailers are paying close attention to preventing theft. According to an annual study by the National Retail Federation, organized retail crime (ORC) is on the rise. Any New York resident who is caught taking items from a store without paying for them or engaging in fraudulent returns may be arrested and charged with theft. The specific charges and potential conviction penalties will depend on the value of the items stolen and the circumstances of the incident.

Researchers at the National Retail Federation surveyed loss prevention from various types of stores (e.g. department, discount, grocery) and determined that 67 percent of them reported seeing an increase in organized retail crime over the past year. The survey also revealed that 96 percent of the companies had sustained monetary losses as a result of ORC, losing an average of $726,351 per $1 billion in sales.

How do courts determine sentencing for theft convictions?

Facing theft charges is intimidating, especially if one does not know the potential penalties. Courts will consider many different factors when determining the sentence.

For theft criminal charges, the first thing courts will consider is the type and value of the stolen property. If the property is less than $1,000 in New York, the crime qualifies as a petty theft and classified as a misdemeanor. For more valuable property, the accused may be charged with grand theft, which is a felony. Misdemeanors generally carry lesser fines and prison sentences of less than a year, whereas felonies may lead to hefty fines and longer prison sentences.

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