Keep The Fun Legal This Summer

Summertime. In New York, it’s the season when everyone wants to enjoy the water, whether they’re swimming, sailing, or pursuing some other water-related recreation. It’s all great fun until there’s an accident and someone gets hurt, or worse. Boating while intoxicated isn’t only against the law – it’s also frequently fatal. Impaired boaters are extremely dangerous, but if you’re arrested and charged with boating while intoxicated, it doesn’t mean that you’re guilty, and you shouldn’t plead guilty. If you’re charged with Boating While Ability Impaired (BWAI) or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) in New York this summer, obtain legal help and contact an experienced Long Island DWI defense lawyer immediately.

New York Boating While Intoxicated Law

If you didn’t know, drinking while boating is against the law in New York just like drinking and driving. The law states:

  • No person shall operate a vessel upon the waters of the state while his ability to operate such vessel is impaired by the consumption of alcohol.
  • No such person shall operate a vessel other than a public vessel while he has .08 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in his blood, breath, urine, or saliva, as determined by the chemical test made pursuant to the provisions of subdivision seven of this section.
  • No such person shall operate a public vessel while he has .04 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in his blood, breath, urine, or saliva, as determined by the chemical test made pursuant to the provisions of subdivision seven of this section.
  • No person shall operate a vessel while he is in an intoxicated condition.

If you are suspected of boating while intoxicated, you may be subject to taking a blood alcohol content test. There are three main tests that are used:

  • Blood— Considered the most accurate, as it takes a direct measure of the alcohol level in the blood.
  • Breath— Gives an indirect BAC level, then uses a calculation to determine the alcohol content of the blood.  The police may have you take the test 2-3 times for a consistent reading.  While the test can be inaccurate, it is considered acceptably accurate by the courts for the purpose of gathering evidence.
  • Saliva—Test strips are used to determine the amount of alcohol in the saliva, then compared with a color chart for the reading.

It’s not recommended to refuse a blood alcohol content test. If a boater refuses to take the test to prove their sobriety, they will face penalties for their refusal. These penalties may include a loss of their boating privileges for a specific period of time and a monetary fine.

If a boat operator’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level registers at 0.08 percent or higher, the charge is Boating While Intoxicated (BWI). If convicted, a first-time offender can be fined up to $1,000 and go to jail for up to a year. A lesser charge, Boating While Ability Impaired (BWAI), can be filed if a boat operator’s BAC level registers from 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent. If convicted, a first-time BWAI offender can be fined up to $500 and go to jail for up to 15 days.

Boating while intoxicated or BWI doesn’t become a felony if you have a prior conviction, a child on your boat, or if other drugs are involved or combined with alcohol. Nevertheless, you do not want to be convicted of BWI in New York. If you’re charged with boating while intoxicated in the waters around Long Island or New York City, immediately retain the counsel of an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer.

Exercise Your Rights

One of your key rights is the right to remain silent. Sure, if you are a charming speaker, you might be able to talk your way around a traffic ticket, but a criminal investigation is another matter entirely. When you’re being investigated for a crime, talking with the police is almost always a mistake. You have the right to have an attorney present during any and all questioning. Don’t be concerned about your “Miranda” rights. As long as you are not under arrest, the police do not have to tell you your Miranda rights, but you always have a right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during any questioning.

In most cases, it is a person’s own statements that end up hurting them the most.  Even though the statements may seem simple and innocent enough, police are not trained to dissect facts and apply rules of law, they are trained to follow a checklist, of sorts, basing their decision to make an arrest based on certain words (in many cases, not even full sentences), which are reported to them. If you are being questioned by police, stay silent and contact a Long Island BWI attorney as soon as possible.

Staying Safe on the Water

Whenever you enjoy the water in and around Long Island, or New York City, always get a weather forecast before departing, always wear a life jacket, and always have a marine radio, flares, flashlights, and a fire extinguisher. Most importantly, don’t drink before operating a boat or any other kind of watercraft. Be proactive about safe boating, and if you’re charged with boating while intoxicated because you made a bad decision – or if you’re innocent and wrongly accused – speak as quickly as possible to an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer.

If you are facing charges for boating while intoxicated, don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable Long Island DWI attorney. An experienced Long Island DWI attorney can review the particulars of your BWI or BWAI case and recommend what’s best for you; if the evidence against you is overwhelming, that could mean accepting a plea bargain, but it other cases, it might mean going before a jury and fighting for your acquittal. Enjoy the waterways around New York and Long Island this summer, but please stay safe. If you need legal counsel now or in the future in the New York City or Long Island area regarding a BWI, BWAI, or DWI charge, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Long Island DWI defense lawyer.

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If You Are Stopped For Suspicion of DWI

If you are pulled over by the police for suspicion of DWI while driving on Long Island or anywhere in New York, cooperate with the officer, but politely refuse to answer any questions. Remain calm, try to smile, and if the officer asks to see your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, go ahead and produce them. Do not, however, answer any other questions. The officer’s questions are intended to generate answers that can be used as evidence against you, and you have a constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. If you’re arrested for DWI, you have another right – the right to have an attorney present during any interrogation. After a DWI arrest, politely insist on that right, and call an experienced Long Island DWI defense lawyer as soon as you are able.

In New York, when you receive a driver’s license – or when you drive on New York streets if your license is out-of-state – you are implying your consent to take a breath test if a police officer requests it. You can be asked to take a blood test if:

  • an officer sees you violate a traffic law
  • an officer reasonably believes that you are driving while intoxicated
  • you have been involved in a traffic accident

Contrary to popular belief, field sobriety tests are not mandatory and can be refused – for several reasons.  First of all, the tests are not 100% accurate.  They are based on calculations for how average people will react depending on the amount of drugs or alcohol in their system.  Since not everyone is average, the results can’t be depended on as concrete evidence of a wrongdoing.  Second, the tests are conducted often on the sides of busy highways, with the test taker exposed to the elements, under the glare of often bright, flashing lights.  There are simply too many environmental factors in play to depend on the accuracy of a field sobriety test.

However, chemical testing, which uses a sample of a suspect’s blood, breath, or urine to determine whether or not he or she has consumed drugs or alcohol – is not optional.  In New York, the penalty for a chemical test refusal is the loss of driving privileges and a fine, whether or not the results of the test would have come back positive or negative.

Except at a DWI checkpoint, the police must have probable cause to stop you in traffic. The officer must have a plausible reason to believe that you have committed or are committing a crime or a traffic violation. If you can avoid being pulled over in traffic, you can probably avoid a lot of additional legal problems on Long Island and in New York City. If you are stopped in traffic and arrested for DWI, contact an experienced Long Island DWI attorney immediately. When a driver is pulled over by the police on Long Island or in New York City, the officer has probably observed a violation, and it can be something quite trivial. Listed here are some of the leading reasons why you might attract the attention of the police:

  • Your license plate is outdated or not affixed properly to your vehicle.
  • A taillight, headlight, turn signal, or brake light isn’t working.
  • You tossed out a gum or candy wrapper or a cigarette butt.
  • Something is blocking your windshield or hanging from your rearview mirror.
  • You have after-market window tint film on your windows. In New York, only rear windows may be tinted and only if a vehicle has outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

You’ll need to keep any documents you receive from the police – they’re important. And you’ll also want to create some paperwork of your own. Try to piece together precisely what happened in the several hours before you were arrested, and write it all down in your own words. Use your cell phone, social media accounts, and receipts or records of purchases to help you remember where you were, whom you spoke with, and where and why you were stopped and arrested. Return to what you’ve written after a day or two, and you’ll probably remember more. Then share this information with your attorney.

If you are convicted of DWI in the state of New York, the penalties for a first-offense can include fines from $500 to $1,000, up to a year in jail and three years of probation, a yearly $250 “driver responsibility assessment” fee for three years, and attendance at a victim-impact panel. Your driver’s license may also be revoked for six months. If you are convicted of a second or subsequent DWI charge, expect even harsher penalties. The best strategy is simple. Don’t drink and drive. If you plan on driving, avoid drinking entirely, and if you plan on drinking, arrange for a taxi, a limo, a ride-sharing service, or a designated driver. Nevertheless, if you’re charged with DWI in New York City or on Long Island, obtain legal help and call an experienced Long Island DWI attorney as quickly as you can.

Should You Flee?

Running from the law never helps, and running makes it tough for a lawyer to help you. If you are arrested for DWI on Long Island or in any of the five boroughs – now or in the future – don’t try to run. The smarter strategy is fighting the charge with the help of an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer. An arrest does not mean that you will be convicted, and a good DWI attorney can help. After an arrest for DWI, put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Long Island DWI attorney, don’t run from the law, and follow your attorney’s recommendations.

If you are arrested for DWI on Long Island or anywhere in the five boroughs, remember that an arrest does not necessarily mean a conviction. A good New York DWI attorney has a number of ways to defend you. If you are charged with DWI – now or in the future – speak with an experienced Long Island DWI defense lawyer, and make the call immediately.

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DWI Is Different For Teens

Handing over the car keys to your teenager can produce a lot of anxiety for any parent, and there are good reasons why. For example, according to a study published online in the journal Pediatrics, many teens are so vulnerable to peer pressure that they may even choose to drink and drive solely because their friends have done so in the past. Moreover, the earlier and more often a young person is exposed to drunk driving – as a passenger – the more likely that teen is to practice the same behavior in the future. If your teenager is arrested for DWI on Long Island or anywhere in the New York City area, get the legal help you need right away and consult an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney.

Approximately 2,500 teens participated in the Pediatrics study. Researchers continued to follow the young people until they completed high school. They discovered that riding as a passenger with an impaired driver tends to “normalize” the experience for teens; it suggests to teens that impaired driving is “really” common and acceptable.

What Can Parents Do?

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, traffic accidents are the number one cause of death in the U.S. for young people between the ages of 15 to 25; alcohol is a factor in 50 percent of those fatal crashes.

If you are a parent of teens or pre-teens, it’s absolutely imperative to set the best possible example regarding driving. You should never allow your teen to think that underage drinking and driving is acceptable. If you have had a drink, never get behind the wheel. Remember, teens will follow your lead, so be careful of the example that you are setting.

It’s equally important to maintain a continuing dialogue about driving safely at all times. Keep an open and honest line of communication open with your teens. Let them know that if they do make the bad decision to drink, then they can always call you for a ride. They should never feel like the only option they have is to get into a car and drive home, or get into a car with someone else who has been drinking. Although there should be consequences if they choose to drink underage, they should still know that you’ll be there when you need them.

You should also openly discuss the consequences of underage drinking and driving. Many teens feel invincible, so it’s important for parents to help them understand that the consequences are very real, and sometimes even fatal.

Underage DWI Consequences

A minor charged with DWI in the state of New York can lose his or her driving privilege and encounter some real barriers to employment and higher education. If your teen is arrested in New York City or anywhere on Long Island for underage DWI, you can do something about it. Arrange at once to speak with an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney. New York has a “zero tolerance” approach to underage drinking, so a minor does not have to be “over the limit” to be charged with DWI. Any underage driver who tests at 0.02 percent – a barely measurable trace of alcohol – can be charged with underage DWI.

Upon a conviction, the penalties for underage DWI can include jail time, a fine as high as $1,000, and the use of an ignition interlock device once the driving privilege has been restored.

A conviction can also stay on your juvenile’s record indefinitely. Although minors are eligible to have their records sealed after all conditions of the sentencing have been met, the judge looks at each petition on a case-by-case basis. What does that mean? There are no guarantees that your teen will be able to seal his or her DWI record. If it cannot be sealed, future employers, schools and landlords can easily access it and let it affect their hiring or admission decisions. Not to mention that even the public can view these records, leading to embarrassment and shame for years to come.

Hire A Long Island DWI Attorney

If you are the parent, it’s imperative to put an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney on your child’s case as early as possible. After a full consideration of the facts, a defense strategy can be developed. However, if a teen’s intoxicated driving caused property damage, injuries, or fatalities, the case is going to be far more serious and complicated, and the need for experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel becomes even greater.

Make sure that your teen exercises his or her right to remain silent. There is no reason to answer law enforcement’s questions without the presence of an attorney.

The primary job of police officers, aside from maintaining order, is to gather facts and collect statements when alleged crimes are reported – no more, no less.  In the performance of a police investigation to gather facts and statements, police officers may have to decide whether or not to take a person to jail for processing and arraignment (a formal reading of charges to be pursued), but they make this decision based on the facts and statements provided, not on their own legal analysis. Anything that your teen says can be misconstrued and held against them in court, so it’s always recommended to stay silent until you have a lawyer present.

Teens should know that they should never admit to having a few drinks, even if they have failed the sobriety test. There are plenty of reasons why someone can fail a test besides that person being drunk, so this should not be considered an automatic conviction.

Drivers under age 21 account for fewer than ten percent New York’s licensed drivers, but underage drivers are involved in 14 percent of the DWI-related fatalities in the state. Underage drinkers who drive are also responsible for approximately 2,000 non-fatal accidents every year in New York. If your teenager is charged with DWI in New York, understand that an arrest is not automatically a conviction. Let an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney fight for the best possible resolution to your teenager’s DWI case, and make the call immediately.

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To Testify Or Not To Testify?

If you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor in New York City or anywhere on Long Island, get the legal help you need at once by contacting an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney. Every criminal case is different, so don’t make any decisions without first having advice from a good defense lawyer. In fact, when you’re arrested, politely exercise your right to remain silent and insist on your right to have an attorney present during questioning.

Most criminal cases are never tried by a jury because they are settled by plea bargaining, but if your case makes it to trial, your right to remain silent extends right into the trial court. You are never required to testify if you are a defendant, and you have the right to avoid self-incrimination. One of the general instructions jurors receive is that they are not to interpret a suspect’s silence as a sign of guilt. Still, most jurors are curious; they’d like to hear the defendant tell his or her side of the story. When you’re on trial, if you can render a calm, articulate, and comprehensive account of what happened, you can genuinely help yourself with a jury. However, if you are perceived as tense, edgy, or defensive, your testimony could hurt you.

A cross-examination can be devastating, especially in serious felony cases such as homicide or sex crime trials. Prosecutors are trained to be clever, aggressive, and relentless; their pointed questions can defeat even a thoroughly prepared suspect. If you have a prior conviction, it may also prejudice jurors against you, no matter what you say or how you say it.

So, if you’re on trial, should you testify? Again, every case is different, so you’ll need to discuss it with your attorney and seriously consider your attorney’s advice. If you’re facing criminal charges in New York City or on Long Island – now or in the future – put your case immediately in the hands of a trustworthy Long Island criminal defense attorney.

If They Had A Case, They Wouldn’t Need Your Testimony

Many people think that when the police start asking questions, that somebody is going to jail. In New York, as in every other legal jurisdiction, people are not required to answer questions from police or investigators. In many cases, the police start asking questions in order to gather evidence of a crime, often relying on the suspect to incriminate him or herself by making a statement or answering a question. Under our system of law, individuals have a right not to incriminate themselves, and also have the right to have an attorney present during questioning by police to ensure that any answers or comments are not self incriminating. 

A big part of an investigator’s job is to fish for information. Many times, individuals answering questions may not even realize that they are offering information that can later be used against them. This is why it is important for people to understand why they should not answer any questions from investigators regarding lawsuits. Attorney Jeffrey Nadrich, who specializes in hernia repair mesh complications recalls the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit where one of the company’s baby powders was accused of causing cancer in it’s users. Many Johnson & Johnson employees were asked to comment however company policy did not allow employees to speak to the media about the ongoing lawsuit. This by default worked in favor of Johnson & Johnson because it prevented any leaking of information or opinions on the topic that were not first approved by the company. Thus, Johnson & Johnson prevented self-incrimination by it’s employees.

If the police actually had any evidence of a crime, then they could move forward with a prosecution without the suspect / defendant saying a single word. In other words, if the police and state want to prosecute, suspects of criminal offenses in New York should not be afraid to make the police and the state do their jobs and prove the suspect’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Role of Attorneys in Criminal Cases

New York criminal defense attorneys are trial advocates whose only job is to ensure that a person’s rights are maintained through the legal process and to make sure that the state proves its case against a suspect beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state fails to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defense attorney will argue for the suspect’s freedom on the grounds that the state has failed to present the evidence necessary for a conviction.

Before going up against a New York prosecutor, suspects of crimes are encouraged to contact a New York criminal defense attorney for guidance and representation. Getting an attorney early on will ensure that the suspect’s rights are not infringed and that the suspect is treated as fairly by the system as possible.

Before Contact with an Attorney is Made

Generally, attorneys are hired after a person has been accused of and arrested for a crime. During the period between an arrest and getting legal counsel, suspects of crimes in New York are advised to never speak to police regarding the charges or accusations. In most cases, it is a person’s own statements that end up hurting them the most.  Even though the statements may seem simple and innocent enough, police are not trained to dissect facts and apply rules of law, they are trained to follow a checklist, of sorts, basing their decision to make an arrest based on certain words (in many cases, not even full sentences), which are reported to them. To avoid any confusion as to the role that a suspect played in a crime, the suspect should instead only answer questions or make comments through experienced and competent legal counsel.

In fact, talking about a criminal case to anyone other than your attorney is never a good idea. A friend or family member could be interrogated by a prosecutor about your statements, so it’s better to refrain entirely from talking about your case. Don’t make your friends choose between loyalty and perjury.

When you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, the choices you make during your first contact with the police can often mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. If you are charged with any crime in the New York City area, protect yourself and your rights and speak at once to an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney.

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In Real Life, Entrapment Rarely Happens

According to the New York Times, the federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least forty agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters, and even doctors or ministers. At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse to look for suspicious activity. At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of agents chase alleged tax evaders by posing as tax preparers, accountants, drug dealers, or even as yacht buyers. And at the Agriculture Department, more than 100 undercover agents pose as food stamp recipients in thousands of neighborhood stores to spot suspicious activity and fraud. If you’re charged with a crime in the New York City area on the basis of an undercover investigation, get legal representation immediately and consult an experienced Queens criminal defense lawyer.

Everyone has heard of entrapment, and we know that the police aren’t allowed to “entrap” suspects. The popular conception is that entrapment happens if a police officer sells you illegal drugs and then busts you for possessing them, or if a police officer poises as a prostitute, suggests a transaction, and then arrests you for agreeing to the transaction. The truth is, these examples may or may not be entrapment – we would have to know more details. If you are charged with a crime in Queens or in New York City, and if you believe that you’ve been a target of entrapment, contact an experienced Queens criminal defense attorney at once.

Entrapment legally depends on a number of complicated factors. If you offer entrapment as your defense, unlike with most other defenses, you’ll have to prove that you were entrapped. This means admitting that you committed the crime you are charged with but explaining that the only reason you did it is because you were tricked by the police. Entrapment is not easy to prove, and if you’re charged with a crime in New York, your attorney may suggest a different defense strategy. If entrapment is your defense, New York requires you to prove that:

  • you were “induced or encouraged” to commit the crime by a public servant (or someone working with a public servant) who was seeking to obtain evidence against you for a criminal prosecution
  • the methods used to obtain that evidence caused you to commit a crime that you were not otherwise disposed to commit

The key phrase in the law is “a crime that you were not otherwise disposed to commit.” This is why it is so difficult to win an acquittal by using the entrapment defense. The people targeted by the police are the people who are probably going to break the law anyway. The police understand the rules of entrapment and are trained not to cross the line. You may “feel” that you’ve been entrapped, but to use entrapment as a defense, you must prove that you were entrapped according to the precise legal definition of entrapment in New York. If you’re charged with a crime in the five boroughs or anywhere on Long Island, you should obtain legal help immediately by contacting an experienced Queens criminal defense attorney.

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When Self-Defense Is Your Legal Defense

You have the right to defend yourself when you are attacked. It’s not a right that the government gives you. In the legal systems of Western civilization, from the beginning, self-defense has been considered an inalienable right given us by God and/or Nature, and the government’s duty is simply to protect the self-defense right that you were born with. When can you legally defend yourself if you are attacked in New York? Like everything else in the law, the answer is at once simple and complicated – “It depends.” If you are charged with a crime in the state of New York – particularly an assault, battery, or homicide – and you believe that you were acting in self-defense, arrange at once to consult an experienced Queens criminal defense lawyer.

When you offer self-defense as your defense against a criminal charge, you are admitting that you committed the act, but you’re claiming that in your case, your action was legally justifiable. New York law precisely defines “justification” (in New York Penal Code Article 35). You may only defend yourself in a way that is “proportionate” and “reasonable.” In other words, if someone walks up and punches you in the nose, you are probably justified if you punch that person in the nose, but you are not justified if you take out a pistol and shoot the person. But if you punch the person in the nose and the person pulls out a switchblade, shooting that person may or may not be at that point justifiable. Every case is different, and every case is considered individually. Justification works as a defense in New York courts only if two conditions are met:

  • You genuinely believed that you had to use force to defend yourself.
  • A neutral and average person looking at the situation would reach the same conclusion.

Although much less common than self defense, sleepwalking is another defense that can be used to justify a crime. Sleepwalking has been used as a successful criminal defense for everything from arson to murder. A report from the Sleep Epidemiology Research Center at Stanford University estimates that 29 percent of adults have sleepwalked at least once. Sleep researchers – who can measure the brain’s electrical patterns to determine if a person is awake or asleep – have seen people sleep-talk, sleepwalk, and even eat in their sleep, right in the laboratory. Experts do not classify sleepwalking as a mental illness but rather as a sleep disorder. Sometimes while sleepwalking, people have committed serious crimes.

Sleepwalking is only successful as a criminal defense if several elements are in place. An acknowledged record of sleepwalking by the defendant, established by eyewitnesses, is almost essential. It’s also vital that there’s no motive for the crime.  If both of these elements are in place, a jury may be willing to consider a sleepwalking defense.

Justification and self-defense are quite complicated in New York law. If you’re charged with any crime on Long Island or in any of the five boroughs, get legal help at once, and contact an experienced Queens criminal defense lawyer immediately.

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If You Are Accused Of Rape

It goes without saying that rape is a heinous crime. Many states, including New York, take rape charges very seriously. The state of New York categorizes and prosecutes rape in three degrees depending on the circumstances of the crime. If you are charged with rape in Suffolk County, Nassau County, or in any of the five boroughs, get legal representation immediately and contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer. In the state of New York:

  • First-degree rape is rape by “forcible compulsion,” the rape of someone who is physically helpless, the rape of someone less than 11 years old, or the violation of someone less than 13 years old by a person age 18 or older. First-degree rape is a class B felony in New York, and if convicted, you could be sent to prison for as much as 25 years and fined up to $5,000.
  • Second-degree rape is the violation of someone less than 15 years old by someone 18 or older, or the rape of someone who is mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated. Second-degree rape is a class D felony in New York, and if convicted, you could end up in prison for up to 7 years and be fined up to $5,000.
  • Third-degree rape is the rape of someone who is incapable of consent for a reason other than being less than 17 years old or the violation of someone less than 17 by someone 21 or older. Rape in the third degree is a class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in a New York state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Anyone less than 17 is considered “incapable of consent” under New York law (unless that person is married). While no guarantee can ever be made regarding the outcome of any specific criminal case, your best hope for justice if you’re charged with first, second, or third-degree violation is to contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Statutory Rape

The news media love these stories. An attractive female teacher is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a much-younger male student. The news stories are titillating, and the late-night TV comedians always have a smart-alecky comment. But if you’re a teacher – male or female – or in another professional position where you work with children, and you are accused of a sex crime with a minor, you have a lot to lose, beginning with your freedom. Anyone in the New York City area who is charged with a sex crime involving a minor will need to retain top-notch legal help immediately. Even if you’re only suspected or under investigation for a sex crime, call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney at once. Prosecutors are zealous to convict sex crime suspects; you’ll need an equally zealous advocate acting on your behalf. 

In some of these cases, when the cell phone and computer records are scrutinized, the evidence of a crime can be overwhelming. In those cases, a good criminal defense lawyer can usually introduce extenuating circumstances and help clients reach the best possible plea arrangement. But in other cases, teachers and other professionals are falsely accused of sex crimes, and it takes a skilled, aggressive defense advocate to challenge the evidence and discredit the accusation.

You would think the law against statutory rape would be simple and straightforward, but in the state of New York, it isn’t. If you’ve been accused of statutory rape, or even if you’re only suspected of the crime, it’s important to understand the law and to understand your rights.

The law looks simple enough at first. For adults, it’s against the law to have sexual intercourse in New York with a minor under seventeen. Even if the minor “consents,” the law states that those under seventeen cannot actually legally consent, so the crime in such instances is called “statutory” rape. If a person twenty-one or older has intercourse with a minor under seventeen, in New York it’s usually a Class E felony, and the charge is usually statutory violation in the third degree. A conviction can lead to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Beyond this basic standard, the law gets complicated. Anyone eighteen or older who has sexual intercourse with anyone under fifteen can be charged with statutory violation in the second degree, a class D felony that can lead to seven years in prison and a fine of $5,000. And anyone – anyone – having intercourse with a minor under the age of eleven, or anyone eighteen or over having intercourse with a minor under the age of thirteen, may be charged with statutory rape in the first degree, a class B felony. Statutory rape in the first degree can be punished in New York by up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $30,000.

The state of New York takes statutory violation seriously, and leniency is seldom offered to those convicted of the crime. Without regard to the degree, you could be facing mandatory, long-term incarceration if you are convicted of statutory rape in New York. If you are charged or even suspected of this crime, it’s absolutely imperative that you speak at once with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Anyone – anyone – facing this charge simply must have the help of a good criminal defense lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney will evaluate your case, give you the legal advice you need, and diligently defend you in court.

Hire A Long Island Sex Crimes Attorney

Sex crimes really are considered heinous and really are prosecuted aggressively in New York. If you are accused of any sex crime in or near New York City, don’t rely on a public defender to handle your case. There is too much at risk to put your future in the hands of someone who does not have experience successfully defending sex crimes defendants. Get the aggressive defense representation you’re going to need and call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner that you hire a criminal defense attorney, the more favorable the outcome may be for your case.

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Commercial Drivers Must Use Extra Caution

 

Think about the number of commercial vehicles on the streets in and around New York City. Buses, 18-wheelers, delivery vans, taxis, limos, and all other kinds of commercial vehicles roll on New York’s streets and highways 24 hours a day. Most commercial drivers in the state of New York must possess a Commercial Driver’s License, and those who hold that license are held to a higher standard when it comes to drunk driving. If you are a commercial driver and you are charged with DUI on Long Island or anywhere in or near New York City, speak at once with an experienced, Long Island-based New York DWI lawyer.

For commercial drivers, the “legal” blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.04 percent rather than the usual 0.08 percent. The punishments are also more severe. A commercial driver’s first DWI (or DWAI, driving while ability-impaired) conviction in New York results in a license revocation of at least a year. If the vehicle carried hazardous materials, the license revocation period is three years. A commercial driver’s second DUI or DWAI conviction means a permanent license revocation, although a waiver can be applied for after ten years; a third conviction means a permanent, lifetime revocation with no waiver.

Another reason why all drivers–including commercial drivers–should be more careful? A number of law enforcement agencies across the country will soon begin using body-mounted cameras – “body-cams” – and some police departments are already using the miniature cameras. How might these body cameras affect DWI cases? Body cameras would offer immediate, first-hand evidence in DUI cases. If a police officer claims that a suspect’s speech was slurred or that a suspect’s eyes were bloodshot, a body camera can confirm that those charges are true or prove that they’re not. Many law enforcement agencies in the state of New York already use dash-cameras, but when officers administer field sobriety tests to DWI suspects, it’s usually out of the dash-cam’s range. Body cameras will literally show us how well or poorly defendants have performed on the field sobriety examinations. If you’re charged with DUI on Long Island or in the city, you’ll need to get legal help at once from an experienced Long Island DWI defense attorney.

Of course, if you are a commercial driver accused of DWI now or in the future, your concerns are more immediate because your job is at stake. Commercial drivers, more than anyone else in New York, must avoid drinking before or while they’re driving. Nevertheless, if you face a DWI or DWAI charge, and if there’s a way to have your charge reduced or dismissed, a good DWI lawyer will find it. If your case goes to a trial, the right attorney attorney will present the strongest possible defense and bring your case to its best possible conclusion. In the Long Island or New York City area, if you’re a commercial driver charged with DWI, call an experienced, Long Island-based New York DWI lawyer immediately for the legal help you will very much need.

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On Probation? Adhere To The Terms

Probation is just one of several penalties – one part of the overall sentence – frequently imposed for criminal convictions in the state of New York. Every case is different, but a full sentence may additionally include community service, fines, classes, or jail time. If you’re charged with any crime on Long Island or in the New York City area, contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer at once.

To qualify for trial, a defendant must sign a “Conditions of Probation” document prior to sentencing. Don’t try to act as your own attorney in New York; obtain counsel from an experienced criminal defense lawyer before signing any document or agreeing to any deal. The conditions of trial usually make the offender subject to warrantless searches and unscheduled drug tests. Probation also normally requires finding and retaining employment, avoiding criminal acquaintances, and reporting routinely to a probation officer. In New York, felony probations normally run for five years and misdemeanor probations for three years if there are no violations.

When you are serving probation, adhere to the terms. You do not want to be charged with a violation of trial (VOP). When a probation officer discovers a violation, the court is informed and a VOP hearing is conducted. At this hearing, the Probation Department may ask the court to end the probation and take the offender into custody. Because you’ve already been convicted, a VOP hearing is not like a regular criminal hearing; if you’re charged with VOP, you’ll need help from an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer. The court may determine that there was no violation. If it determines that there was a VOP, the court:

  • may continue probation
  • may add additional conditions to the trial
  • or may order incarceration

Don’t wait to speak to an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer if you are being charged with VOP – or if you anticipate that you will be. Put your VOP case in the hands of a trustworthy and experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer as early as possible, and don’t hesitate to make the call.

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Teens, Drinking, And Graduation Night

Spring is always welcome in New York, and warmer weather is only one reason why. Young people welcome spring because it’s time to begin planning for graduation parties and prom night. Graduation may be a “rite of passage” into adulthood, but prom nights and graduation parties nevertheless need plenty of adult supervision. Without that supervision, a special night dedicated to fun could be costly, injurious, or even fatal if someone decides to drive while intoxicated. If your teen is charged with DWI on Long Island or anywhere in New York City, get legal help immediately and contact an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer. Parents should also take some proactive measures to ensure a safe graduation night.

According to the New York Times, every year since 2001, Suffolk County has recorded more alcohol-related traffic accidents than any other county in New York, and more people have died in those crashes during that time than anywhere else in the state. In some years, Nassau County has been second in both categories.

To avoid tragedy on graduation night, be a proactive parent and get involved. Be absolutely certain – whether the gathering is at your residence or elsewhere – that any party your teen attends is an alcohol-free party. As a host, you could be held legally responsible if a teen leaves your party while intoxicated and causes injuries or property damage. Ask some other parents to help you; if you have more than a dozen or so teens, they’ll be difficult for only one or two adults to supervise. If your teen is charged on Long Island or anywhere in the greater New York City area with driving while intoxicated – DWI – fight the charge and contact an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer as quickly as possible. An experienced DWI attorney can review your case, suggest your best defense strategy, and fight aggressively for justice on your behalf.

Your aim on graduation night is to keep everyone safe by stopping any intoxicated driving before it happens. If the graduation party is at your home – or if you’re helping other parents – be on the alert for alcohol. In any group of teens, one or two will probably try to break the rules. Inspect backpacks, big purses, and any other package that could conceal alcohol. Don’t hesitate to call someone’s parents if you believe a teen is high on drugs or alcohol. Teens hate having their parents called, but what they hate even more is jail, the hospital, and the morgue. Teach kids that they if they do make the bad decision to drink, they should not get behind the wheel, no matter how inconvenient it may be to find alternative transportation. The risks of driving while intoxicated are simply far too high. Hopefully, safety and fun will predominate at your teen’s graduation party. If you need legal help for your teen – or for yourself – regarding a DWI charge on graduation night or any other time, speak with an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer as quickly as possible.

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