Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood producer who recently fell from grace amid allegations of sexual impropriety, has been indicted by a grand jury sitting in New York City. Weinstein has been accused of rape and of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. Dozens of women have alleged that he sexually assaulted them. The allegations span decades.
Whether you entered into a plea bargain or New York prosecutors secured a conviction against you, you may think that this is the end of your case. Nevertheless, you may suspect that something was amiss and that mistakes were made that may have affected the outcome. It may be beneficial to find out if filing a criminal appeal would be the appropriate course of action.
Having a criminal conviction in your past can have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life (even after you have served your debt to society). It can deter you from getting a job and even housing, not to mention the damage it may do to your reputation. Often, people in your situation may seek to have their records expunged. Is that an option for you?
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.
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.
When you’re stopped by the police in New York City, it is common knowledge that law enforcement can ask you for your license and proof of insurance. Drivers are required to have them and show them to a police officer when asked to do so. But what are your responsibilities in producing identification when you are a passenger?
The way that crimes are charged and prosecuted is often determined by public sentiment. The more reprehensible a crime is considered to be by the general public, the more likely it is to carry severe criminal consequences (compare child sex crimes with non-violent drug offenses, for instance).
We have previously written about wrongful convictions that occur as the result of a false confession. Exoneration statistics have shown that in a surprising percentage of false convictions, suspects confess to a crime they didn't commit. This is usually because they have been coerced, lied to or threatened by police officers. Many suspects were unaware of their rights, including the right to an attorney.
America would like to think of itself as a post-racial society. But countless incidents over the last decade have reminded us that America still has a significant problem with race. Many believe that the election of our first African-American president had the unforeseen effect of highlighting racist beliefs and attitudes that persist more than a half-century after the civil rights movement.
You may need no reminder that today is St. Patrick's Day. According to one set of statistics, just over 56 percent of Americans said that they expect to celebrate the holiday this year. In most cases, the celebration will revolve around (or at least include) the consumption of alcohol.