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Rochester Criminal Defense Blog

Postal worker facing theft charges after mail goes missing

Just about everyone has had a bad day at work. Usually, this simply means that things didn't go according to plan or an interaction with a coworker or customer became confrontational. In most instances, those who experience one of these days can simply sleep it off and put it behind them. For some New Yorkers, though, a bad day at the office means being accused of criminal wrongdoing, something that can't, and shouldn't, be slept on. When this happens, an individual needs to take legal action to ensure he or she is protecting himself or herself as fully as possible.

One New York resident is in this position now after being taken into custody for alleged theft. According to reports, the man became the subject of an investigation after multiple reports of missing mail were received. Investigators claim the 45-year-old man intentionally took mail containing gift cards for his own personal use. The authorities claim that they have surveillance footage of the man removing items from undelivered mail after deviating from his postal route.

Collateral consequences of New York criminal convictions

If you are facing a criminal charge in New York, you likely have concerns about the potential punishments you are going to face, and whether you will have to spend time behind bars or pay considerable fines. In addition to any penalties you may receive for a criminal conviction, however, you may also face what are known as collateral consequences.

What are collateral consequences?

Under state law, what counts as arson?

There are a number of serious criminal offenses in New York. Amongst these are crimes against property. Although vandalism and theft can be treated aggressively by prosecutors, these offenses can also be minor in comparison to some other property crimes, like arson. With a wide spectrum of severity when it comes to these offenses and their corresponding penalties, accused individuals need to ensure that they know the laws they are up against and how to use it to their advantage.

In New York, arson is defined as the intentional act of causing damage to a building or vehicle with the use of fire. Just with other crimes, arson also has a spectrum of severity. For example, arson in the first degree occurs when the above-mentioned act causes harm to an individual, is perpetrated by an incendiary device or is made with the expectation of financial gain. Arson in the third degree, on the other hand, occurs when mere damage is caused by one's intentional setting of a fire.

Traffic violations and New York's point system

Most New Yorkers have found themselves pulled over by the police, whether it be for speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign or failing to use a turn signal. Although these traffic violations may seem relatively minor, their cumulative effect can significantly affect an individual's life. This is intentional, too, as the state of New York hopes that by imposing serious penalties, individuals will avoid committing additional traffic infractions.

One way the state does this is by imposing a point system. Under New York law, an individual who accumulates 11 points within a year-and-a-half timeframe can have his or her license suspended. Each traffic violation is assigned a number of points, so even those violations that are minor can quickly rack up points, thereby putting one's license at stake.

Competent DUI defense may be able to exploit prosecutorial errors

To the untrained eye, many drunk driving cases can seem pretty open and shut. The police can make claims of seeing a driver acting intoxicated, which may be corroborated by witnesses and field sobriety, breath and blood tests can all point to a blood alcohol content that is beyond the legal limit. Yet, the truth of the matter can be quite different. Prosecutors often run into evidentiary issues that, when properly exploited, can lead to decreased or dismissed charges, or even an acquittal at trial.

Determining where a prosecution's weaknesses lay requires legal skill and experience, particularly when it comes to evidentiary matters. Chain of custody, for example, is usually only identified after close questioning of pertinent witnesses and careful examination of testing and chain of custody documentation. Field sobriety test errors may also be identified once police officer testimony is cross-referenced with standardized testing practices. Even eyewitness accounts can be full of inconsistencies and biases that may only be extrapolated upon skilled questioning during depositions and trial. Therefore, those who want to maximize their chances of beating back claims made by an aggressive prosecutor need to ensure that they have the criminal defense skills that are oftentimes necessary to do so.

Criminal defense may be needed for probation violation hearing

A lot of New Yorkers think that a criminal matter ends once a defendant is found guilty or innocent. While this may be true to a certain extent in that penalties will be imposed or not, there may be ongoing issues that can leave an individual in need of a criminal defense advocate.

One example arises when an individual is accused of a probation violation. Generally speaking, those who negotiate a plea deal may be able to have their sentence suspended pending the successful completion of probation. Others may be sentenced to prison, but then released on probation following a certain amount of time served. Regardless, probation always comes with certain terms that must be adhered to lest one wants to face the imposition of additional penalties. This may include an executed sentence that was once suspended. The consequences, of course, are dependent upon a finding of guilt and the severity of the violation.

3 reasons to hire an attorney to fight your traffic ticket

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Receiving a traffic ticket is never fun, but it will probably happen to you at some point. If you do get one, do not assume you should immediately pay it and move on. Instead, you should think about hiring a traffic ticket lawyer to help you.

Having a traffic violation on your record can affect your driving record, result in costly fines and cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. Here are some ways a traffic ticket attorney can assist you in avoiding traffic ticket penalties:

Ignition interlock device can accompany DWI conviction

Being accused of drunk driving is no small thing. Merely being accused of such a crime can cause damage to an individual's reputation. A conviction, though, can wreak havoc on a person's life. Depending on the severity of the offense, a conviction could land an individual in jail or prison for a long period of time, sometimes even years. Fines, too, can cause damage, throwing one's financial stability into a tailspin. This can be exacerbated by license suspension or even license revocation, making it difficult for an individual to get to work or school. Felony DWI convictions, while imposing stricter penalties, can also leave one's record marred for the long-term, which can cause a ripple-effect of damage. For example, it can limit one's employment opportunities.

Even the seemingly minor penalties can be more painful than they seem. For example, those who are convicted of DWI offenses may face the mandatory installment of an ignition interlock device. These machines require a driver to provide a breath test before the vehicle can start. This can be problematic for a number of reasons. First, the installation and maintenance of these devices can be costly. Second, these devices make it obvious that one has been convicted of drunk driving. Third, errors in the machines may lead to additional penalties and a lack of transportation.

Search results in manufacturing of meth charges

State prosecutors are more likely to aggressively pursue certain types of crimes more so than others. Murder, rape and assault, for example, are likely to be treated much more seriously than petty theft crimes. The same holds true for drug crimes. Simple marijuana possession, for example, may be given a slap on the wrist when compared to high volume trafficking of a serious drug like heroin and methamphetamine. This means that those who are facing more serious charges need to make sure they are putting forth a more aggressive criminal defense.

Six New Yorkers may need to secure competent defense representation after being taken into custody on numerous drug charges. According to authorities, the arrests came after a search of two locations which allegedly contained products used for methamphetamine production. Amongst these products, according to reports, were specific methamphetamine-related oils and approximately three grams of completed methamphetamine. The police also claim that they found a number of stolen guns at the locations searched.

Rochester firm challenging every aspect of a criminal charge

A few weeks ago on the blog we discussed an incident that left a Rochester man facing criminal charges for possessing stolen property. This case is a perfect example of how defense options can be discovered simply by looking at the legal elements that must be proven before prosecutors can obtain a conviction. Intent is often one of these elements. Here, prosecutors must establish that a defendant knowingly and/or willfully committed a certain act. Therefore, in these instances, a prosecutor must establish not only that the act occurred, but also that it was done intentionally.

Elements like these can be difficult to prove. In an attempt to do so, though, prosecutors will often turn to key witnesses, such as bystanders and law enforcement officials. These individuals may not only place a defendant at the scene of the crime, but they might also put forth testimony that seeks to establish intent. Without pushing back against these key testimonies, defendants may leave themselves vulnerable to criminal conviction.

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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