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Rochester Criminal Defense Blog

When can the police conduct a search?

Being convicted of a drug crime is no small thing. The resulting penalties can leave you facing jail or prison, serious fines, a damaged reputation and a mar on your record that can haunt you for years, if not decades. In hopes of obtaining these convictions, prosecutors often rely on evidence gathered by law enforcement officials during a search. Although this evidence may seem damning, if it is not gathered in accordance with the law, then it may be suppressed at trial, meaning that the prosecution may be disallowed from using it against you.

Although most people are aware that the police can obtain a search warrant, this is not the only way that they can conduct a search in accordance with the law. Another common way that searches are conducted is via consent of an individual. Whether the police want to search your car, your house or your person, they can do so if you tell them they can. However, you don't have to consent to any search. A lawful search can also be conducted if it is conducted incident to arrest. If you are arrested, then the police can search you and your surroundings to ensure there are no items that pose a danger to the officers.

The elements of larceny in New York

Property crimes are treated quite seriously in New York. Those who have had their property stolen or damaged are often quick to point the finger, and aggressive law enforcement officers and prosecutors are ready to press the matter. Although this thirst for justice is admirable, it can also be dangerous, as innocent individuals are often left standing in the way of their steamroller justice. Yet, those who know the law and how to utilize it to their advantage can protect themselves and ensure that they will only be punished if they are found guilty of an alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Perhaps the most important thing to know when facing criminal charges is what, exactly, the statutory language says about the offense being alleged. Theft, for example, like many other crimes, contains certain legal elements, each of which must be proven by the prosecution. In the case of theft, or larceny, a conviction can only be obtained, essentially, if two elements are proven.

Raise the Age is good news for New York teenagers

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Part of New York's Raise the Age legislation will raise the age of criminal responsibility for some teenagers. It takes effect in October 2018 for 16-year-olds and October 2019 for 17-year-olds. It also puts the state in line with the huge majority of other states.

New York currently is one of just two states that automatically prosecutes 16-year-olds as adults. One reason for this law is that the state has recognized that the brains of 16- and 17-year-olds are still developing. These teens may not fully grasp the consequences of any criminal acts, and prosecuting them as if they do is unfair.

The penalties faced for NY drunk driving offenses

Being accused of drunk driving is no small thing. A criminal conviction on one of the many criminal offenses related to drunk driving can negatively affect an individual's life for years to come. Jail, prison and fines may all be real potential penalties, and a conviction can cause severe damage to one's reputation. Fortunately, there may be criminal defense options available to those who are accused of these crimes, but the first step to crafting a compelling legal strategy is to be aware of the law. We hope this post proves informative in that regard.

New York has a number of drunk driving-related laws. These laws are divided up based on a number of factors. For example, the level of intoxication may increase or decrease the severity of a charged offense, as, too, will the accused individual's criminal history. For example, a first time DWI conviction could result in up to a year in jail with a fine of up to $1,000 and a license revocation for at least six months, a third DWI can leave a convicted individual facing up to seven years in jail, $10,000 in fines and license revocation for at least a year.

Aggressive advocacy needed when facing drug charges

Although many states are relaxing their drug laws, there is no doubt that the war on drugs wages on. As a result, many individuals have found themselves facing serious drug charges in the wake of aggressive investigations that seek to stem the distribution, possession and use of illegal narcotics. For these accused individuals, a criminal conviction can all but ruin their lives. They may face jail, prison, large fines and a marred record that renders living a normal life extremely difficult. If convicted of a drug crime, these individuals may even struggle to secure housing and employment.

With so much on the line, those who have been accused of drug crimes need to do everything in their power to ensure that they protect themselves as fully as is possible under the circumstances. Although this is obvious, many people lack the knowledge and skills to go toe-to-toe with prosecutors who have dedicated their lives to trying criminal cases, many of which deal with drug laws.

Criminal defense needed after two-year-old shot

Mistakes happen. Most of the time when they do, we learn, we live and we move on. Sometimes, though, these mistakes can leave others harmed, whether physically, emotionally or financially. If severe enough, one of these incidences could lead to criminal charges. However, in an attempt to protect individuals from the long reach of the law's arms, the legislature has been extremely careful when drafting statutory language. Therefore, when accused of a crime, the first thing an accused individual should do is look to that language to see if they may be able to use it to their advantage.

One Rochester man may need to do this now after being taken into custody on first-degree assault and second-degree weapons charges. The arrest stems from a shooting that left the man's two-year-old son needing immediate medical attention. Although the authorities have indicated that no other adults or children were in the home at the time of the incident, it is still unclear what exactly happened.

New York's drug paraphernalia laws

When New Yorkers think of drug crimes, they probably think of drug possession and drug distribution. Although these are perhaps amongst the most common and most serious of drug offenses, there are a whole host of other drug=related laws that can leave an individual facing the potentiality of serious penalties should he or she be convicted.

Amongst these laws are those that pertain to drug paraphernalia. For example, under New York law it is illegal to possess a hypodermic needle when the possessor knowingly controls it for the purposes of committing a criminal offense. Therefore, if a syringe is possessed for the purpose of injecting illegal narcotics, then an individual can be convicted of this offense, which is a Class A misdemeanor. It is not illegal, of course, to possess a syringe so long as its use is legal, such as for the injection of diabetes medication.

Traffic tickets can affect your insurance rates

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Many drivers do not realize the effect traffic tickets can have on their lives. Often, they are more complicated than just pleading guilty, paying a fine and being done with it. Aside from the risk of losing your driver's license, your insurance rates could increase quite a bit.

The effect on your insurance is not immediate

Rochester-area group charged with grand larceny

It only takes one compelling piece of evidence to make the prosecution's case when seeking a conviction for criminal charges. This is why accused individuals need to ensure that they do everything they can to protect themselves. Those who fail to do so may wind up being taken advantage of, as aggressive prosecutors know how to use the law to their advantage. Three Rochester-area individuals will need to carefully consider their criminal defense options after being arrested on allegations of grand larceny.

According to police, the three individuals read obituaries to figure out where funerals were going to occur, then showed up to break into cars while their owners were inside mourning. The authorities further claim that the accused individuals have broken into cars at shopping malls and sporting events. It appears that the police initiated a three-month long investigation into the suspects. The arrests came after one of the individuals was followed to a Best Buy where he or she allegedly used a credit card stolen from an individual whose car had recently been broken into.

We stand up for those accused of drunk driving

If you're facing drunk driving charges, then you were probably subjected to field sobriety tests which the police claim you failed. Prosecutors will use this evidence in an attempt to obtain a conviction, whether through plea negotiations or trial. However, simply because the police say you failed a field sobriety test does not mean that you will automatically be convicted of the crime for which you have been charged. Oftentimes, strong criminal defense options are available to those who are in this position, which may allow them to avoid the harshest penalties, or even all of them.

One way to do this is to challenge the procedures the police utilized when conducting your field sobriety tests. These tests require strict compliance with certain procedural safeguards to ensure that false positives are not received. Yet, police officers commonly skip steps, fail to appropriately analyze a test or even provide legally inadequate field sobriety tests. If any of these is the case, then you may be able to get the results of the test suppressed, which could devastate the prosecution's case.

Law Office of James L. Riotto | 30 West Broad Street, Suite 306 | Rochester, NY 14614 | Phone: 585-371-5633 | Map & Directions
120 Broadway, 2nd Floor | Albany, NY 12204  | Phone: 585-371-5633 | Map & Directions