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New York Criminal Law Blog

Gun laws vary by state, know yours in New York

New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States. To possess a pistol, you have to obtain a pistol license and have a background check performed. You won't need a license to get a rifle or shotgun outside New York City, but if you intend to buy one there, make sure you have a license ready.

What's interesting about New York is that it is one of few states that allows local legislation to vary from that of state law. That means that the laws in your local area could differ from other parts of the state, making it hard to know exactly what is or isn't allowed in terms of weapon ownership.

Defend yourself against criminal trespassing

Criminal trespassing doesn't sound like the most serious crime, but a conviction can result in a variety of impactful penalties and consequences. If you're charged with criminal trespassing, which typically results from entering someone's property or land without authorization, it's important to learn more about your legal rights.

If you receive a formal charge of criminal trespassing, don't automatically assume that it will result in a conviction. There are several defense strategies you can use to avoid punishment, including the following:

  • Consent: Simply put, you need to prove that you had permission to enter the property. Consent comes in many forms, including written or verbal permission. Keep in mind that you can't receive consent from a minor, someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who is not legally competent. Also, you can't obtain consent through fraud.
  • To reclaim personal property: If someone has property that belongs to you, there are times when you're permitted to trespass to recover it. Whether or not you use this defense strategy depends on the circumstances surrounding the deprivation of your property.
  • Public necessity: Protecting public safety is a big deal, so this is a reasonable criminal trespassing defense strategy to consider. However, you must be able to prove that you trespassed in order to protect the public.
  • Private necessity: This is similar to public necessity in many ways, as it allows you to trespass if doing so will help protect you or another person from injury or death. An example of this is entering private property because you heard someone yelling for help.

Burglary charges require a strong defense strategy

Burglary charges require a strong defense strategy, as a conviction can result in a serious punishment that alters your life for many years to come.

While there are many challenges associated with implementing a sound burglary defense strategy, there are options you can use to counter the accusation and escape the consequences.

Man in New York faces drug possession charges

A man from out of state has been arrested in Jamestown and charged with a variety of drug-related offenses, according to local sources. New York State Police confirmed the arrest of the 33-year-old on Dec. 30 for drug possession, following what has been described as a routine traffic stop. The man is currently being held in a county jail in advance of a trial date. It is unknown whether he has retained criminal defense counsel. 

According to state troopers, the 33-year-old man was pulled over in Jamestown and approached by officers. Police on the scene said they smelled what they believed to be marijuana emanating from the vehicle, prompting them to search the car. They say they turned up two doses of what they believe is LSD, one pill suspected to be the stimulant Adderall, a cigarette believed to contain marijuana and a bag containing an unknown quantity of the same substance. 

Doctor in New York faces drug crime charge

A doctor best known for working to combat drug addiction has been surprisingly charged with importing drugs to the United States. The western New York doctor was arrested on Dec. 18 after an investigation into his alleged activities. The man now faces a drug crime charge of importing a controlled substance and, if he is found guilty, could face a million-dollar fine and up to 20 years in a federal prison. 

According to the report, back on Nov. 21, a package addressed to the man was intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. K-9 units alerted to the package, which was sent from Germany, and allegedly contained 3 grams of what the authorities believe to be cocaine. A further package sent to the man was interrupted on Dec. 10, and after securing a warrant, the package was opened on Dec. 12. The contents reportedly tested positive for heroin. 

2 New York residents face drug crime charges

Two people were arrested following a "no-knock" search warrant in Chenango County the morning of Dec. 17, according to police reports. The New York State Police coordinated with Norwich City Police to stage the sting, which was predicated by a long and involved investigation into local drug crime. Both individuals have been arraigned and are being held by authorities pending a trial. 

According to the police report, the investigation originated from a desire by local authorities to stem the tide of methamphetamine distribution in the area. Police entered the residence and took two people into custody, a 34-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman. The man apparently attempted to flee officers by jumping through a window pane. He was caught and treated by EMS personnel on the scene before being transported to a local hospital. Both he and the woman with him have since been remanded to a county jail. 

Gun storage: Are you breaking the law?

Although most people have the legal right to purchase and own a gun, it doesn't mean they can do whatever they want with it. For example, there are many gun storage laws in place. These are necessary in order to improve the safety of those who may come within close proximity of the gun.

According to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, New York law requires all gun owners to lock their gun in a safe storage depository that is incapable of unlocking without the use of a combination or key.

15 charged with drug crime in New York, warrants for 7 more

Some 22 people have been arrested and charged with drug crimes following a nearly year-long investigation in Yonkers, according to local sources. New York police targeted a number of suspected drug dealers in the sting operation, many of whom were arrested on the morning of Dec. 6. The drug crime charges filed against these individuals are varied, and could result in jail time if convictions are secured. 

According to the report issued by New York authorities, suspects targeted in this sting were believed to have been selling heroin, crack and powder cocaine. This information reportedly comes from a 10-month investigation into drug trafficking enterprises in the Yonkers area, according to the police commissioner. The operation was conducted under the name "Clean Slate" and targeted the west side of the city specifically. 

2 arrested for alleged drug crime in New York

Two people are in custody following the execution of a search warrant on Long Island the afternoon of Nov. 30. New York law enforcement from across several teams and units raided a home in East Patchogue. A 30-year-old man and a 27-year-old man are now facing drug crime charges for their involvement in the alleged activities taking place at the residence.

According to the report filed by Suffolk police, an investigation of indeterminate duration led authorities to believe drug activity was taking place in the East Patchogue residence. As a result, elements of the Emergency Service Section, Special Operations from the Seventh and Fifth Precincts, as well as gang and crime units, descended upon the residence around 4:27 p.m. Officers on site said they discovered what they believe to be marijuana, cocaine and heroin, as well as drug paraphernalia, phones, a car and almost $2,000 in cash.

Drug crime charges filed against 3 in New York

Three people are facing a large list of charges after being busted by police on Long Island in and around the weekend of Nov. 25. Multiple drug crime charges have been filed against all three individuals, who were apprehended by New York authorities after an alleged drug deal. It is unclear whether any of these individuals have yet retained criminal defense counsel.

According to authorities, the arrests took place in Westbury where two offers on patrol noticed a vehicle parked in a dark, secluded section of a parking lot. Upon investigating what they claim was a suspicious vehicle, they found a man and a woman believed to be related as well as a third man in the vehicle. They were believed to be in possession of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, though police have not explained how they came to this determination.

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Robert D. DiDio
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