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New system for handling gun cases in New York City

The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, unveiled a new system for handling cases dealing with possession of a firearm. There are now two courts in Brooklyn that will deal specifically with these cases.

In addition, the New York City Police Department has created a police division of 200 officers that will deal with gun crime. Most of the officers are detectives and are going to handle all of the investigations dealing with illegal firearms. One officer will see each case from start to finish. The deputy chief in charge of the gun suppression division said that the detectives will use witness statements, video and more to build the "best case possible."

There will be additional spending of $2 million, but it will be for the city medical examiner's office to process DNA evidence faster in gun cases.

The project is called Project Fast Track and the goal is to continue the decline in shootings that was seen last year, as well as addressing the public's concerns over street crime.

This isn't the first time that New York City has had a court dedicated to gun cases. Ten years ago, another gun court was established. The court started hearing cases in 2003, but it ended by 2009. The number of cases had grown due to arrests made during stop-and-frisks. There were fewer plea bargains because the state law had changed and increased the minimum penalties for possessing a loaded weapon.

Gun possession cases do have significant penalties and can damage your reputation. It can make it difficult to get a job, find a place to live or even attend school. Fighting against such a charge is important and an attorney can explain how a strong defense can be built in your case.

Source: The New York Times, "De Blasio to Announce New System Dedicated to Addressing Gun Crime in New York City," J. David Goodman, Jan. 12, 2016

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