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Mineola Criminal Defense Law Blog

Domestic violence and extended penalties


Similar to other states, the New York legal system handles domestic violence cases seriously. Although some charges for violence in the home prove to be wrongful accusations, most do not end on a light note. Penalties for domestic violence charges can range from prison time of one year to 25 or more years, and typically come with costly fees, as well.

Shoplifting electronics and expensive items can cost you

Shoplifting is made to look like a minor issue on television and in movies. Security guards often call spouses or parents, simply seeking payment for the items involved. In the real world, those accused of shoplifting could face very serious criminal charges. Perhaps a display item fell into a pocket or something costly was underneath your cart during checkout. It only takes a second to end up in legal trouble because of an honest mistake.

The seriousness of the penalties and criminal charges you may face for shoplifting depend on the value of the items involved. Whether someone alleges that you tried to take items from a store, or you successfully removed them, it's possible to end up facing a felony larceny charge. Don't assume you can pay your way out of the situation. You need to understand New York larceny laws and the potential consequences.

A family court order of protection requires certain relationship

A family court order of protection in New York is different from a criminal court order of protection. However, their purpose is similar and its intention is also to protect against violence.

Two different courts may be making the different orders. The relationship between alleged victim and defendant may be the controlling factor.

Violating a criminal court order of protection means more charges

There are times when a person charged in New York with a crime such as assault becomes the subject of a criminal court order of protection. This order may be necessary before the defendant secures bail or other release from custody pending his trial.

As noted by the New York State Unified Court System, like a family court order of protection, with a criminal court order of protection the complaining witness or victim of the alleged crime need not have any particular relationship with the defendant. To have an order of protection issue from a family court, the family or intimate relationship must have existed, unlike in criminal court.

Boating while intoxicated and legal changes

The summer season may have come to a close last week, but sunny, warm weather has certainly prevailed in New York. With this warm weather naturally comes the desire to set off on one of the state's many beautiful lakes. Boating is a popular sport in New York and in most parts of the country, but what happens when the fun turns to more serious matters? Operating a boat while intoxicated comes with dire consequences, but knowing the legal details and the state's say on the issue can help one better understand the topic as a whole. 

Democrat and Chronicle released an article last year stating that alcohol-related boating accidents in certain areas of New York have been on the rise. Yet according to an update in state law, prior drunken driving arrests could potentially make matters worse for those caught operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol. A bill that took effect in November 2016 allowed judges to look more closely into the background of those arrested for driving while under the influence; many lawmakers considered this update a long-awaited closing of a loophole in the law. The law itself was inspired by the death of a young woman who was killed by a drunk driver of a boat. For further clarification, the Democrat and Chronicle adds that if one should face a boat-related drunk driving conviction, judges may also consider his or her convictions of the last 5 years.

The importance of the arraignment

If a person has been arrested for a crime such as assault in New York state, the arraignment will typically arrive quickly, perhaps in less than 24 hours. However, the short time between arrest and arraignment is important because a defendant may otherwise be waiting in a jail cell for the opportunity meet the judge.

The arraignment is very significant because it allows the defendant certain rights, including the following:

  • Learning of the precise charges against him or her
  • Learning of the right to an attorney
  • Making an initial decision on the plea

New york turns an open ear to broken children

No area of the United States is exempt from domestic violence. Unfortunately, families report thousands of cases each year, and often the members most affected by this violence are children. Many children who experience violent, traumatic experiences often carry the negative repercussions from those experiences into adulthood. New York is one state that has recognized the need for additional resources for children who have gone through troubling incidents.


Will New York change the definition of gravity knives?

For years now, law enforcement in New York has had authority to arrest law-abiding citizens for carrying common knives used for work. With the wording of the current weapons law, almost any folding knife could be considered a gravity knife. As gravity knives are illegal, those accused of possessing one could face criminal weapons charges.

The New York Assembly understands that the law, as written and currently enforced, is unjust and leading to the arrest of otherwise excellent, hardworking citizens. For four years in a row, lawmakers have passed bills that would amend the definition of gravity knives and help protect those in trades that require the use of blades, like construction. Unfortunately, all previous attempts have gotten blocked, most recently by a gubernatorial veto.

Consequences of leaving the scene of an accident

Drivers in New York who leave the scene of an accident can expect some major consequences if they end up getting caught. Drivers who are involved in a crash, whether it is with another vehicle, a pedestrian or physical property, are required to stop and exchange information with the other parties involved. Although it may seem easier to flee in a chaotic situation, doing so is not a good idea.

According to YPD Crime, the punishment involved with hit-and-run accidents varies depending on the situation. In circumstances in which the accident causes injury to another person, the fine can range from $250 to $500 and is considered a class B misdemeanor for the first offense, and $500 to $1,000 and a class A misdemeanor for subsequent violations. These fines are in addition to other penalties such as jail time. Serious injury constitutes a class E felony, and death is considered to be a Class D felony, and these fines can be thousands of dollars.

Nat'l Motorists Assn urges feds to end push for ticket quotas

"The federal and state governments treat motorists like disciplinarian 'spare the rod, spoil the child' parents," says the head of the National Motorists Association, "except that motorists aren't children and there is scant evidence that the penalties inflicted by forced ticketing campaigns improve highway traffic safety,"

The group recently sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, urging her to appoint someone to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who will oppose federal policies that pressure law enforcement into using traffic ticket quotas. The position of NHTSA chief has been empty since the beginning of the Trump administration.

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