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Rochester Criminal Defense Blog

Drug charges and drug diversion programs

Although many states are relaxing their laws as they pertain to marijuana possession, the war on drugs wages on. Both state and federal prosecutors still aggressively pursue those who they believe have broken the law, which can leave innocent individuals facing the potential for serious penalties, including extensive prison sentences and financially ruinous fines. However, depending on the facts of the case, certain criminal defense options may be available. Sometimes an individual may be able to suppress evidence and obtain an acquittal, but this isn't always a possibility.

When the evidence against an individual is too damaging to seek a full acquittal, plea bargaining may be necessary to consider. There are many tactics that a defendant can use in this situation, but perhaps one of the best is to try to enter into a drug diversion program.

Criminal charges dismissed after body cam video shown

It may sound surprising, but there are a number of seemingly minor situations that can lead to criminal charges. A traffic stop for a broken taillight, for example, could result in the driver being charged with drunk driving or possession of an illegal substance. Many individuals who find themselves facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Although the prosecution often relies on the testimony of arresting officers, the truth of the matter is that even these individuals may not be as reliable as many think.

To see an example, one need only look at a recent Rochester case where an individual was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The man, who was one of many individuals arrested during a massive outside fight, was taken into custody in a local parking lot after he allegedly fought with police and refused to put his hands behind his back. However, after an additional investigation into the incident, a judge dismissed the charges for lack of a factual basis for the charges.

What are certificates of relief from civil disabilities?

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You should not take criminal charges lightly. Even if you are only charged with a misdemeanor, a conviction could seriously derail your life and goals. If your case has already been closed and you are dealing with the consequences of a conviction, though, there are several options you may consider for restoring your life. Applying for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities is one such opportunity.

The certificate serves some of the same purposes achievable through expungement, but it is much easier to attain. There are several other things you should know about this option if you are hoping to put your crimes behind you and move on with your life.

DWI charges in New York require a strong defense

Drunk driving charges carry serious potential penalties and consequences, including criminal penalties and administrative consequences such as license suspension, that it is important to be aware of. The potential penalties and consequences can increase if the accused individual has more than DWI offense and is on their second DWI offense for example. Drunk driving laws are commonly strictly enforced and accused individuals with repeat DWIs may be treated harshly.

Penalties for even the first DWI charge in New York may be harsh. If the accused individual has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level under the legal limit of .08, they may face only traffic infraction charges for their first and second DWI offense. Penalties and fines, however, including a potential jail sentence and 90-day license suspension for their first offense can have a significant impact on the life of the accused individual. An accused individual's license may be suspended for at least six months for a second offense.

What does the term prostitution cover?

Prostitution is known by many as the oldest profession on earth. Prostitution is illegal throughout most of the United States, including New York state. So what exactly does prostitution cover?

There are several stages of a "transaction" of prostitution, and depending upon each state's laws, each stage could be considered a crime. A person looking to hire a prostitute could be guilty of solicitation of prostitution. This could include any agreement between a customer and a prostitute for sex. It is not uncommon for solicitation that involves a minor to be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony. Someone who panders or pimps out a prostitute could also be guilty of a crime. This could also include a brothel or the housing of a prostitution ring.

Shoplifting in the United States

Throughout the United States, there are dozens of mental conditions that could lead a person to face criminal charges. Kleptomania is the inability to resist the urge to steal items. Often these items are small and relatively minor in value. It is considered a serious mental condition that affects thousands of Americans each year.

The act of stealing from a store is called shoplifting, and it can lead to various penalties depending upon the circumstances, ranging from a low-level infraction to perhaps a misdemeanor all the way up to a felony charge. Another area that can get complicated involves whether a store can detain someone accused of shoplifting. From a legal perspective, private citizens do not have the right to hold anyone against their will; that is called false imprisonment. However, the courts can make exceptions if a store's employees have evidence that a customer committed shoplifting.

How are field sobriety tests conducted?

Getting caught up in a drunk driving situation is not something anyone desires. Unfortunately, mistakes are sometimes made that result in law enforcement conducting various tests to determine if an individual is indeed inebriated.

In an effort for law officers to determine whether an accused driver is driving while impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied and formed a three-part Standard Field Sobriety Test. The first part of the test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. A sober person's eyes typically will involuntarily jerk when gazing from side to side. But under the influence of alcohol, one's jerking may become noticeably exaggerated.

Fourth of July holiday means barbecues, beer and DWI

Summer's at its peak, the days are nice and warm, the sun's out almost the longest we see all year, and many of us are off work for the day or maybe even a long weekend. The Fourth of July weekend for many Americans is a time to celebrate our freedoms as a nation. Whether we are honoring veterans and watching bands and floats go by at a local parade, or sitting on the lawn in town gazing up at the sky exploding in lights and color of fireworks, or just chilling in a back yard with family and friends enjoying some burgers, brats and beers, the holiday means many things to many people.

Unfortunately, during this time, it is not uncommon for some people to lose track of how many drinks they have consumed. If they have a designated driver, this is less of a problem, but if they decide to get behind the wheel after a few drinks too many, they jeopardize the safety of not only themselves and others in the car with them, but anyone else sharing the roads, whether they are others in cars, motorcyclists or even pedestrians on or near the road.

Man arrested on DWI charges with toddler in car

In New York State, there are different levels of DWI charges that a driver can face when arrested. If convicted and depending on the circumstances, a driver will deal with fines, be sent to jail, lose driving privileges and more.

Some circumstances are taken more seriously than others. For example, if the driver is arrested for DWI offenses and has a child in the vehicle, the penalties will be more severe. With any allegations related to drunk driving, it is imperative to have legal help from the start.

A man was placed under arrest based on Leandra's Law for driving with a child in his car and having more than two times the legal limit for alcohol in the system. Law enforcement received a tip that there was a speeding vehicle that was moving recklessly. The driver was also said to have thrown a beer can from the window. Officers descended on the scene and stopped the vehicle. The driver, a 55-year-old man, was arrested on DWI charges. Officers also found the driver's 3-year-old son in the vehicle. The man's blood-alcohol content was .18 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent. He faces multiple charges.

Law Office of James L. Riotto | 30 West Broad Street, Suite 306 | Rochester, NY 14614 | Phone: 585-371-5633 | Map & Directions
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