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New York Criminal Law Blog

Inheriting a gun could end up in criminal charges

Maybe a loved one worked in law enforcement or served in the military. Perhaps your grandfather just liked to collect unusual or rare firearms. It is not uncommon for firearms to be part of an estate, especially when those firearms are old, rare, or hold sentimental value to the original owner, heir or the family as a whole. Unfortunately for some people, those treasured family heirlooms could cause a host of legal issues. Just because your dad, uncle, grandfather or friend owned a certain firearm doesn't mean it was legal for that person, or for you, to possess that weapon.

Even if all you ever do is display the firearm in a locked case, you could end up facing serious criminal charges for owning it. Law enforcement could come to your home for a completely unrelated incident, such as an attempted burglary or a noise complaint. Then, suddenly, you're under arrest and facing a serious weapons charge.

What is larceny?

Have you been accused of larceny in New York or know someone who has? Do you know what this really means? It is not a term that many people use on a regular basis so it is understandable for defendants to be unclear about what they are being charged with when arrested for some type of larceny.

As explained by the New York Courts, larceny is essentially a form of theft that may involve the taking of anything of value such as cash, other financial assets or personal belongings. As with other types of criminal charges in New York, there are varying degrees of larceny charges. The degree or nature of the charge a person may face may be impacted by the current market value of the item or items allegedly stolen.

NYC reduces some low-level misdemeanors to civil infractions

The City of New York has reduced the severity of a number of lower-level crimes from misdemeanors, which are criminal matters, to infractions, which are civil cases punishable by fines and community service. The crimes in question include public urination and public drinking, for example.

The changes were negotiated over the past year between the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice and the police department. They come as the result of the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which Mayor de Blasio signed into law a year ago.

Understanding what qualifies as a lack of consent

One of the more difficult aspects of dating in Kew Gardens may be interpreting the signs that your partner may be giving off indicating his or her interest in escalating the level of intimacy between to the two of you. Several of those that we here at Robert D. DiDio and Associates have worked with in the past have allowed such indicators to prompt them to initiate sexual relations with partners, yet later were told they were never given consent to do so. According to Section 130.20.3 of the New York Penal Code, such an action meets the definition of third degree rape.

Information shared by the U.S. Department of Justice shows that 57 percent of alleged rapes occur on dates. Yet what a dating partner may be claiming as rape, you may rightfully believe to have been a consensual encounter. The determining factor in such a case will typically come down to the application of the definition of lack of consent.

Cuomo: Cops watching for fake IDs, underage drinking at concerts

Governor Cuomo recently announced that law enforcement across the state of New York will be cracking down on underage drinking and possession of fake IDs at summer festivals and concerts. Investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state police have already been performing fake identification sweeps and making arrests.

According to the Associated Press, law enforcement arrested 12 people at the May 18 Brad Paisley concert, which took place at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. They arrested 55 at the May 24 Future concert at Darien Lake, a venue in western New York.

Was that search and seizure legal?

Imagine heading out of town to go hit the beach with some of your friends. You were looking forward to a nice weekend getaway, soaking up the sun and enjoying a good party. However, before you even made it out of the city, a police officer pulled you over and your weekend was interrupted by an arrest for drug possession. The law enforcement officers searched your vehicle and found marijuana, but was the search and seizure legal?

Drug possession charges can have lasting consequences that can affect employment opportunities and even your ability to get an apartment. If you are facing drug charges, it's important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney in the Kew Gardens area can help you fight against drug possession charges. Read further to find out more about search and seizure laws.

Should you consider filing an appeal to your conviction?

In the United States, everyone should receive fair treatment by law enforcement and a swift trial by a impartial jury of their peers. Sadly, the reality of the criminal justice system often falls quite short of this ideal. It's all too common for people to end up in prison because law enforcement profiled them during a stop, only to get convicted of a minor infraction.

It's also possible for an over-zealous prosecutor to bias a jury against you by making inflammatory statements or introducing evidence that has little or nothing to do with the charges that you're facing.

Audit: NYC's bail system is expensive and discriminatory

Almost two years ago, Kalief Browder killed himself after having spent three years in solitary confinement awaiting trial for a misdemeanor. His suicide drew attention to the problem of young offenders -- usually Black or Hispanic -- being held in jail for indeterminate periods even though their charges are minor. Mayor Bill de Blasio was inspired by the story to call for reform.

A new audit of New York City's bail system by the Independent Budget Office highlights the need for that reform. Here is some telling data:

Were you accused of growing marijuana in your basement?

Marijuana laws are changing rapidly throughout the United States. In some states, certain individuals are permitted to grow their own personal supply of marijuana plants, but not in New York. Unless you're one of the 10,000-plus patients approved to use medical marijuana in our state, the drug is off-limits.

This means, if you are convicted of setting up a marijuana grow operation in your basement, you could find yourself sent to prison for a prolonged period of time.

NY high court upholds permanent license suspension for repeat DWI

In 2012, the Cuomo Administration issued regulations allowing the DMV commissioner to permanently deny driver's licenses for those convicted of repeat drunk driving. Several people who had run afoul of those regulations filed suit, and the New York Court of Appeals has just upheld the regulations.

The three petitioners argued that the rules were invalid because they hadn't been passed properly. According to their complaint, the regulations are inconsistent with the statute they are allegedly meant to implement. Moreover, the petitioners argued, the rules go so far afield that they are more akin to the policymaking done by the legislature than to the rulemaking performed by administrative agencies.

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Robert D. DiDio
& Associates

8002 Kew Gardens Road
Suite 307
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Phone: 917-300-0984
Fax: 718-793-0165
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