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Rochester Criminal Defense Blog

How a traffic violation can lead to a DWI arrest

You may not think driving a little buzzed is a big deal. However, if law enforcement stops you for another traffic violation, it can become one. You do not even need to drink enough alcohol to show visible signs of intoxication. Any indication that you've been drinking can lead to an arrest for a DWI.

Looking for evidence

The use of children in the commission of a drug sale

Drug crimes make up a significant portion of the criminal offenses alleged in New York. Many of our readers may think of drug possession as the main culprit of such criminal charges and, for the most part, they may be right. But the types of drug crimes that a New York prosecutor can pursue are much more varied than possession of one or more drugs. Drug trafficking, of course, can carry much more significant penalties, and possession of drug paraphernalia laws can turn the mere possession of an item into an illegal endeavor.

Another drug crime that doesn't receive much attention is that which involves a child. New York law makes it a Class E felony to use a child to conduct or attempt to complete a drug sale. The law also defines what it means to "use a child." According to statute, this crime may be broken if drugs are concealed on a child, or if an individual forces or otherwise directs a child to conduct a drug transaction. A Class E felony, although the weakest of the felony classes, can still be punishable by up to five years of incarceration.

Rochester man facing charges or possessing stolen property

A conviction for any criminal offense can leave you facing serious penalties, regardless of the crime's severity. You might wind up facing jail time, a fine and damage to your reputation and your record that makes living a normal life difficult. These penalties can be even more severe, though, if you are considered a habitual offender, or if you are currently on probation or parole for a previous conviction. In these instances, you may need to think hard about how best to defend yourself and escape not only probation or parole revocation, but also additional penalties upon a new conviction.

One Rochester man may be in this position now after being accused of theft. Local police have been investigating multiple burglaries and car larcenies, one of which they say is tied to a 45-year-old parolee. According to police, the man had stolen items in his possession, which were linked to one of the burglaries. The man was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.

Representing New Yorkers facing drunk driving charges

The holiday season is here, and along with it comes social gatherings and happiness. New Yorkers need to be aware, though, that police patrols often increase this time of year as the authorities try to crack down on drunk driving. As we discussed in a previous post, the penalties handed out upon a drunk driving conviction can be burdensome. You might wind up facing jail time, license suspension, license revocation and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. These penalties, when taken together, can wreak havoc on your personal and professional lives, which is why it may be imperative for you to seek a strong criminal defense attorney when facing these types of allegations.

Regardless of the facts of your case, there are likely criminal defense options available to you. Sometimes your options might be limited to negotiating a plea deal to minimize the penalties you will face, while other circumstances may lend themselves to litigation. An experienced law firm like the Law Office of James L Riotto will know how to advise you so that you can choose a legal path that is right for you.

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.

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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