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Nassau County Criminal Defense Law Blog

New York Senate passes Alix's law for 4th consecutive year

The New York State Senate has once again passed Alix's Law. The upper chamber voted unanimously in favor of the law, which makes leaving the scene of any accident illegal for drunk drivers, but approval by the Assembly is far from certain. This marks the fourth time that the bill has been passed by the Senate, but the measure has yet to reach the governor's desk.

The bill is named after Alix Rice, who was struck and killed in a 2011 drunk driving accident in the Town of Amherst. The 18-year-old was riding home on her skateboard when she was struck by motorist who was under the influence of alcohol at the time. The man left the scene of the accident, and he later told police that he was not aware that he had hit anybody. Prosecutors were unable to prove otherwise, and the man was subsequently acquitted of a felony leaving the scene charge.

Potential defenses for assault or battery charges

A New York resident can be charged with assault or battery if they cause harm to another person. However, these incidents sometimes occur during an altercation that was started by the other individual. There are four main defenses for assault and battery that may be utilized: self-defense, the defense of others. consent and the defense of property.

In order to claim self-defense, the accused person must prove that they were in fear of the other person or that they perceived that another person meant to harm them. Additionally, there must be evidence that the accused person was unable to remove themselves from the incident. While not as common a defense, the accused person may also potentially claim that they perceived fear of harm to others who may have been involved in the incident. For both of these defenses, it is imperative that the accused person establish that there was a perceivable threat of harm.

DOJ objects to white collar crime sentencing reform

New York residents may have seen media reports concerning a number of proposals made by a federal panel that would change the way penalties are calculated for white collar crimes such as fraud and embezzlement. While defense attorneys have criticized the proposed reforms for not going far enough, the U.S. Department of Justice has come out against the measures. The department made its views known by releasing a letter during a March 12 U.S. Sentencing Commission hearing.

One of the key proposals would change the way that the losses of fraud and other white collar crime victims are calculated. The panel suggested adjusting losses for inflation, which has not been done since 1987. The losses incurred by victims influence sentence recommendations, and observers say that this step would reduce the average fraud sentence by 26 percent. Another proposal the DOJ is unhappy with would reduce stock fraud penalties by basing sentences on financial gains reaped by the defendant rather than investor losses.

New York teen charged with DWI after traffic stop

Police in upstate New York have reported that a 17-year-old boy was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving after a traffic stop in Niagara County on March 7. The Pendleton resident was charged with driving while intoxicated and cited for a number of traffic violations, including speeding and making unsafe lane changes.

According to a New York State Police report, the teenager's vehicle was pulled over after troopers observed it being driven erratically on South Transit Road in Lockport. Troopers claim that the vehicle was tailgating and moving between traffic lanes at a high rate of speed. Troopers say that they suspected that they were dealing with a drunk driving situation after reportedly detecting the odor of alcohol on the teenager's breath.

Penalties for drug possession in New York

Drug possession charges can result in harsh penalties that can impact the rest of your life. However, not all drugs are treated the same by prosecutors. The possession of marijuana is treated very differently compared to the possession of a controlled substance, such as heroin or cocaine. 

In New York, individuals can be convicted of the possession of marijuana or possession of a controlled substance. The penalties for both of these charges can vary depending on the amount of marijuana or illegal substance found by the police. 

Woman charged with DWI in New York

After driving the wrong way on an exit ramp, a 37-year-old woman crashed into another vehicle. Her own car caught fire and both drivers were taken to a local hospital in New York as a precaution. Fortunately, neither driver was injured. Once at the hospital, the wrong-way driver was reportedly uncooperative with authorities. A blood test was taken to determine if she was intoxicated.

This accident closed down the exit ramp for a short time. Once the fire was put out and the wreck was cleared, the ramp re-opened for traffic.

2 men receive drug charges after raid

On Feb. 27, police in New York charged two men for drug crimes following a raid at their home. The raid took place in Riverhead after authorities gathered information about drug sales that were taking place at a residence on Wilson Avenue. Two occupants of the home, a 24-year-old man and a 26-year-old man, were taken into police custody at the scene.

The search and seizure that led to the men receiving drug charges was executed by the East End Drug Task Force and the Riverhead Town Police. They were assisted by members of the Riverhead Town Police Department C.O.P.E., Suffolk County Emergency Services Unit and K-9 units. As a result of the investigation, authorities allegedly discovered marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin and suboxone at the residence. Some cash was also seized.

Woman charged with aggravated DWI and leaving the scene

According to New York State troopers from the Village of Lake Success, a 45-year-old woman was detained after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident. The incident occurred on Feb. 24 on the Northern State Parkway close to Meadowbrook Parkway.

Troopers were called out on an accident report involving a white van. When they arrived, the driver of the white van reportedly told them his van had been struck by a grey car which then subsequently fled. Upon searching the area, troopers then reportedly located the 45-year-old East Northport woman driving in her grey Honda sedan. The woman was reportedly driving with her son, a 10-year-old, in the car with her.

Protective orders in New york

The extent of the domestic violence problem in New York and the serious long-term risk to people caught in such situations is is now more commonly understood. In addition, domestic violence does not happen only between married couples. There are many people inside a family or any close living situation who may have to endure incidents of violence and coercion, and they are typically offered the protection of the law.

Protective orders are one of the legal tools that have been used to address problems with violence between parties. In those cases, an injunction that prevents the person who has been accused of violence from approaching the person who has made the complaint is handed down by the court. They may be prevented from contacting them through telephones or social media, and they may be required to maintain a specific distance from the complainant at all times. The order may also include directives for the target to pay child support, spousal support or funding that covers the emergency housing for a displaced individual.

Woman accused of cashing bad checks

On Feb. 17, a woman in New York was arrested for her alleged involvement in a fraudulent check scheme. The next day, police announced that she had been charged with misdemeanor petit larceny, felony possession of a forged instrument and that more arrests were pending. The 51-year-old woman is accused of executing a check-cashing scam in Ulster, Kingston and Saugerties. The arrest resulted from a local grocer's complaint on Nov. 17 regarding several payroll checks from various businesses that proved to be fraudulent.

This recent arrest is actually the fourth woman to be charged in relation to the complaint. On Jan. 25, a 24-year-old woman was arrested and charged with felony possession of a forged instrument. She was arrested for allegedly cashing a bad check in a Route 212 store on Oct. 16. At the time, she had warrants for felony possession of a forged instrument in two different counties.