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sex crime

Senator Wants Tougher Penalties For Sex Crimes on Subways

One state senator in New York wants more arrests in New York City’s subways and tougher punishments for those convicted of what are called “subway crimes,” predominantly crimes like groping, sexual assault, and public lewdness.

The penalty for “forcible touching” – currently a jail term of up to one year – would be increased to as much as seven years in prison under the senator’s proposal.

State Senator Diane Savino of Staten Island has released a document titled “Perverted Justice: How Subway Grinders Continue To Victimize New Yorkers,” and she’s using it to gather support for new legislation that would “crack down” on subway crimes.

The senator’s crime report, based on statistics provided by the NYPD, shows that while New York City crimes rates may be dropping on the streets, subway crimes – or at least the number of reported subway crimes – have been increasing.

At the same time, according to Senator Savino’s report, arrest numbers for subway crimes have declined.

That, however, depends on how you look at the figures.

But whether or not the senator succeeds and passes new legislation, the police in New York are almost certain to feel political pressure and respond with their own crackdown on subway crime.

It’s a situation where even innocent people are more likely to be arrested.

If you are charged with any type of a crime on a New York City subway – or anywhere else in New York City or on Long Island – you will need to speak as quickly as possible with a skilled Long Island criminal defense lawyer.

If you are arrested, do not admit any guilt or even answer any questions until you can speak with a criminal defense attorney.

Just tell the police, “I prefer to exercise my right to remain silent.” Especially in a criminal case that involves an alleged offense of a sexual nature, your defense attorney’s training and experience can make all the difference.


What do the numbers say about subway crimes? In 2016, reported sex crimes on New York City subways increased 52 percent over the 2014 figure and 28 percent over the 2015 figure. In 2014, 620 sex crimes on New York City subways were reported.

In 2015, the total was 738. In 2016, the total was 941. Reports of forcible touching on New York City subways rose from 340 in 2015 to 454 in 2016.

Public lewdness reports increased from 227 in 2015 to 286 reports in 2016. Sexual abuse reports remained almost unchanged with 130 reports in 2015 and 126 reports in 2016.

Dermot Shea, who is the Chief of Crime Control Strategies for the NYPD, believes that the crime rate in the subways is not actually increasing.

Instead, Shea believes that the only thing increasing in the subways is the number of crimes that are being reported.

“If I was going to say one thing and broad-stroke it, it’s the increased reporting, really, of what we’re seeing – not necessarily increased acts.”


Over the past few years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has made it easier for New Yorkers to report subway crime allegations.

In 2014, the MTA established an online web page to receive anonymous subway crime complaints.

And although the percentage of arrests versus reported crimes has slightly dipped since the web page went up, the actual number of arrests for reported sex crimes on New York City subways, in fact, increased from 403 in 2015 to 491 arrests in 2016. Many of those arrests were the result of complaints received online.

Just over a third of those who were arrested for subway crimes in New York City in 2016 – and through May 28th of this year – have at least one prior arrest for a similar subway crime.

Senator Savino believes updated statistics are sufficient justification for the harsher criminal penalties she is proposing.

Her report unequivocally states: “This data demonstrates that elevated penalties are needed for first time arrested offenders.”


What kind of “elevated penalties” is Senator Savino proposing?

She’s hoping to gather support for a legislative proposal currently moving through the New York State Legislature that would make “forcible touching” – that is, groping, which is overwhelmingly the most frequently reported New York City subway sex crime – a Class D felony instead of a misdemeanor, thus making the maximum sentence for a conviction seven years plus a $5,000 fine.

The current maximum sentence for a forcible touching conviction is a year behind bars and a $1,000 fine.

The proposal, New York Senate Bill S3861, would also expand the definition of sexual abuse in the first degree so that someone would be guilty of the offense if he or she intentionally subjects another person to sexual contact without that other person’s consent while being a passenger of public transportation, for the sole purpose of the sexual gratification of the offender.

The proposal was passed by the New York State Senate in the first week of June and is currently headed to the New York State Assembly for consideration.

If the Senate vote – 57 to 5 – is an indication, the proposal may actually be law by the time you are reading this.

The efforts of the New York Police Department to protect the public are to be applauded.

The only problem is when you are charged with a sex crime – or any other type of crime – on a New York City subway, and you are not guilty.

There are a number of reasons why this could happen – a misidentification, a casual friendly comment misinterpreted, or in some cases, even a completely fabricated story about a sex crime could lead to a wrongful arrest.

If and when Senate Bill S3861 becomes the law in New York, it will be aggressively enforced at first, and that’s also a time when a wrongful arrest is likely to happen.

Anyone who is charged with forcible touching, public lewdness, or any other crime of a sexual nature on Long Island or in New York City will need to speak as quickly as possible about your case with an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer who can fight for justice on your behalf.

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Sex Crime Accusations And You

It happens all the time now. A school teacher is charged with molesting – having sex with – an underage student. One hardly knows what to make of these news stories. Undoubtedly, some of the accusations are true: teachers have confessed to these crimes and in many cases the cell phone, audio, and video evidence are conclusive. Still, not all of the accused teachers can be guilty, and one suspects that receiving a bad grade may be as likely to generate a sexual assault accusation as an actual molestation incident. Sex crimes are viewed as heinous, and the stigma that accompanies a conviction can negatively impact the rest of your life. If you’re charged with a sexual assault anywhere in the New York City area, you’ll need skilled and effective legal help; consult an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney at once.

False Accusations

One person’s accusation is almost never sufficient to persuade a jury, except when a defendant is charged with a sex crime. No one wants to think that such an accusation might be false, but an experienced criminal defense attorney knows that false accusations of this nature are made in courtrooms across the nation. These cases can be tough to defend; typically, jurors are inclined to convict unless they can be shown why an alleged victim would make a false accusation.

What could motivate the false accusation of a sex crime? Among other things, jealousy, money, revenge, or saving face. An experienced criminal defense attorney should clearly comprehend an accuser’s possible motivations. When a defense attorney claims the defendant did not commit the crime, jurors will expect an explanation as to why someone would make such a destructive, false allegation. Should the defense attorney fail to satisfy a jury on this count, a conviction is the most likely consequence.

Circumstantial evidence may help in some cases, but in many sex crime cases, it doesn’t. Jurors usually have to draw conclusions from circumstantial evidence; it doesn’t always speak for itself. When an alleged victim claims rape and a defendant denies the charge, DNA, hair follicles, and blood evidence may be introduced to prove physical contact, but such evidence says nothing regarding consent or lack of consent. It doesn’t tip the scale either way.

Most jurors are willing to give defense attorneys some space in their efforts to discredit accusers, provided the defense attorney is not launching an unwarranted verbal assault attack against an alleged victim. However, where the thin line lies between a gratuitous attack and a legitimate series of questions can be difficult to discern. It can take years for an attorney to learn how to question witnesses and where to draw lines in sex crime cases. You do not want an inexperienced or incompetent attorney representing you if you’re charged with a sex crime.

What to Do If You’re Accused or Arrested

First and foremost, you should contact an experienced New York sex crimes attorney to defend your rights and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Besides this, the best piece of advice that an attorney can give to someone in this situation is to remain silent. Many defendants believe they have to wait for the police to instruct them that they have the right to remain silent, but that is not the case. Your right to remain silent is constant–and you should always exercise it, especially if you are being arrested for a sex crime in New York.

Talking to a police officer without a lawyer present will not do you any good. Sometimes, defendants try to talk to the police officer to assert their innocence, but you should never do this without a lawyer present. Police officers are recording every statement that you make and they will use these against you in a court of law. Your statements can easily be taken out of context and misunderstood by the judge and jury.

Remember, the consequences of a sex crime are very serious and can affect you for the rest of your life. This is not a time to take chances and try to talk your way out of the charges. Instead, rely on an experienced Long Island sex crimes attorney to do the talking for you. If they are concerned that invoking the right to remain silent will somehow make them look guilty, those accused of criminal offenses in New York should consider how much more guilty they will look if they are sent to jail or prison because of their own statements to investigators.

If you find yourself accused of this kind of crime, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to fight for your rights and your freedom. It might be the most significant decision you ever make. Don’t gamble with your freedom. If you are charged with a sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Sex Crime Consequences

If you’re convicted of a sexual assault, you face fines and prison and you’ll be forced to register as a sex offender. You’ll face restrictions on where you can live and work, and your neighbors can learn all about your conviction simply by going online and googling your name. Your friends and family may turn their back on you after a conviction. An angry ex-­spouse or girlfriend, a resentful student, or a jealous neighbor or coworker can make the charge for any reason whatsoever, and it’s your word against theirs. Still, to convict you, a prosecutor must offer proof of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s where a good Long Island criminal defense lawyer can help.

If you’re charged with sexual assault, get aggressive legal representation. Prosecutors take sex crimes seriously; you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Your best hope for staying out of jail, winning a dismissal of charges or an acquittal, and clearing your name is to contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney as early as possible. If you’re accused of a sexual assault, don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself and to get the help you really need.

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Soliciting: Embarrassing And Also Criminal

For the typical New Yorker, simply being accused of a serious crime can be a nearly traumatic experience. Even after being acquitted or cleared of all suspicion of a crime, people can often be hurt or humiliated by the lasting sting of a criminal accusation. Besides the legal penalties, you could also face other serious consequences. Once your friends, family members and significant other find out about the charges, they may turn their back on you, disgraced or disappointed with your behavior. If your employer finds out about the charges, you may be ostracized in the workplace or looked down upon, and it may even impact your chances at finding another place to work, since the charge will be on your record if convicted.

Anyone accused of any serious crime will need the counsel of a first-class criminal defense attorney.

While it’s not as serious as a charge of murder or child abuse, the charge of soliciting a prostitute is typically one of the most humiliating of criminal charges anyone can face. State law in New York defines soliciting a prostitute as paying someone to engage in sexual conduct, or agreeing to pay someone or a 3rd party to engage in sexual conduct (or to provide someone who will), or merely soliciting or asking someone to engage in sexual conduct for financial compensation, whether offered immediately or merely promised. Historically in our state, a number of other serious crimes have many times been linked to escort services and prostitution operations. Soliciting is never, ever a smart thing to do.

While soliciting a prostitute is by law “only” a Class A misdemeanor in the state of New York, it can nevertheless carry a jail sentence of up to a full year. Of course, whenever a person is charged with a serious crime, his or her first move always should be to seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Particularly when someone is charged with a crime as potentially serious and embarrassing as soliciting a prostitute, a criminal defense lawyer’s guidance and expertise will be invaluable. A good criminal defense attorney will work hard – and knows how – to get your charges reduced or dropped, and he or she will also strive to limit other damages you may suffer as a result of being charged or tried for solicitation.

Other Charges

It’s supposed to be the oldest profession, but in the State of New York, it’s an illegal profession.

The New York Penal Code says that you are guilty of prostitution if you agree or offer “to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.” The basic prostitution charge is a class B misdemeanor (regardless of your orientation or gender). Those convicted face up to three months in jail and a fine up to $500. That’s only the beginning. A number of other prostitution-related laws apply in New York. If you are charged with prostitution or with patronizing a prostitute on Long Island or anywhere in the New York City area, get legal help and representation immediately. Call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney. Other prostitution-related offenses in New York include:

  • Patronizing a prostitute in a school zone, a class A misdemeanor
  • Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree (when the person being patronized is under 17 years of age), a class A misdemeanor
  • Patronizing a prostitute in second degree (when the person being patronized is under 14 years of age), a class E felony
  • Patronizing a prostitute in the first degree when the person being patronized is under 11 years of age), a class D felony
  • Anyone convicted of patronizing prostituted children under the age of 17 is required to register as a sex offender in New York. If you are a teacher, your teaching certificate will be revoked if you are required to register as a sex offender.

Innocent people are often accused of prostitution because they’ve been “entrapped” by police officers or some other misunderstanding has occurred. If you’re accused of prostitution or patronizing, the police still must adhere to legal investigation and arrest procedures, and a prosecutor still must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are arrested for prostitution or for patronizing in or around New York City, retain the services of an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney immediately.

Why You Need An Attorney

It’s something everyone should know if they don’t already know. Anyone accused of a serious crime in the state of New York will need the counsel of a first-class criminal defense attorney. Of course, “serious” is a relative term. If you’ve committed a non-violent crime that hasn’t injured or robbed anyone, compared to murder or rape, it may not be so “serious,” but any crime that’s punishable by fines or time in jail is “serious” in most people’s estimation. 

Especially when anyone is accused of an offense as serious and, for many, as embarrassing as solicitation or prostitution, a criminal defense attorney’s advice and representation is imperative. It’s possible that you had no criminal intent whatever; there may have been a complete misunderstanding, you may have been misidentified, or the story may be a complete fabrication. An experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney can work diligently on your behalf to bring your solicitation case to its best possible conclusion. If you’re charged with solicitation anywhere in New York, make the call immediately.

If you are charged with solicitation or any other prostitution charges in New York, politely tell the police that you are exercising your right to remain silent and that you insist on your right to have an attorney present during any questioning. A good defense lawyer will assess your case, gather evidence, speak to witnesses, ensure that your rights are protected, and fight vigorously for justice on your behalf. Don’t try to act as your own attorney, and do not plead guilty to solicitation. Too much is at stake. Instead, fight the charge with the help of an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney, and make the call promptly.

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