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Nassau County Criminal Defense Law Blog

Innocent people can be convinced they have committed crimes

People who live in New York might find a recent study involving false memories interesting. The research involved individuals who were wrongly convicted of a crime and states that it is possible for some questioning practices to to falsely convince a person that they have committed a crime, even if they have not. The research indicates that the lab-based confirmation shows proof that innocent parties are able to be persuaded to believe that they are responsible for committing a crime within only a few hours.

The 60 participants who took part in the study were students from the University of British Columbia who had never previously been involved in any of the crimes they were convinced by researchers they had committed. The two individuals who conducted the study first contacted each student's primary caregivers and asked them to fill out a questionnaire about the student concerning certain events that took place from the ages of 11 to 14.

Teenager accused of threatening police on Facebook

A 17-year-old New York teenager was taken into custody by the authorities on Jan. 18 after he was accused of posting threatening statuses on his Facebook account. The authorities alleged that statuses included death threats against police officers and posts of self-taken pictures that included firearms and marijuana. The posts were reportedly found during routine monitoring of social media sites.

On Jan. 15, for example, the teenager allegedly updated his status with a picture that showed him with a revolver and ammunition in his possession. Later the same day, the teenager allegedly posted a status that included a police officer emoji with several gun emojis. On Jan. 17, a second picture was posted that showed the teenager in possession of a gun. Additionally, the teen had what was thought to be marijuana stuck in the waistband in his pants.

New York official bringing fraud cases against banks

A New York attorney general announced on Jan. 15 that he planned to bring fraud cases against large banks that were accused of selling securities that were mortgage-backed prior to the United States' 2008 financial crisis. Some of the targeted banks include Bank of America Corporation, Citigroup Inc. and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

In December, a justice for the Supreme Court rejected a bid from Credit Suisse Group AG, a Swiss bank, to have their securities fraud case dismissed. The bank was reportedly responsible for causing $11.2 billion in losses after deceiving investors regarding the safety of their mortgage-backed securities. According to the attorney general, this dismissal affirmed the ability of the official to pursue fraud accusations against major banks under the Martin Act. It was noted that the next bank facing a case was Morgan Stanley, though it was unknown if the attorney general was working towards a settlement with this bank.

Search results in major drug find

Law enforcement authorities announced the detainment of a 38-year-old man in Endicott on Jan. 9 for multiple alleged drug charges. The man's arrest reportedly came after a search warrant was obtained and executed on his home.

Reportedly, multiple law enforcement agencies became involved in the joint investigation into the man's alleged activities. Agencies involved included the U.S. Postal Service, the New York State Police, the DEA, the Vestal Police and the Endicott Police Department's K-9 unit. The search warrant was obtained on Jan. 9 following a lengthy investigation that started based on information provided by the U.S. Postal Service.

New York woman arrested after ingesting vanilla extract

According to Macedon Police, a woman has been arrested and charged after they found her driving recklessly in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She appeared disoriented and informed police that she had gotten lost in the parking lot and was struggling to find her way out. The driver from Seneca Falls had a blood alcohol concentration of .26 percent. She was charged with felony DWI charge.

The 46-year-old had a 41 percent alcohol level after ingesting a common baking necessity; police said she swallowed two hand-sized bottles of pure vanilla extract. According to a local newspaper, alcohol levels of that amount are comparable to hard liquors like gin and vodka, and extracts like peppermint and orange contain up to 89 percent alcohol, making them in excess of 160 proof.

2 arrested for drugs in I-95 traffic stop

According to reports, two people were arrested, one on allegations of felony drug offenses, following a traffic stop on I-95. Sources indicate that the two were stopped on I-95 by officers with the New York state police. The stop and subsequent arrests allegedly occurred on Jan. 1 around 3:10 p.m.

The two accused, both 24-years-old, are residents of Connecticut. The driver, a woman, was initially stopped by law enforcement for an alleged speeding violation. Following the stop, officers indicated they suspected the driver was under the influence of drugs at the time. In a subsequent search of the vehicle and the male passenger, officers purportedly found the passenger to be in possession of ecstasy, LSD, drug paraphernalia and marijuana.

Man drives car into Niagara River, faces DWI charges

A New York man has been accused of DWI after a single-car accident that left his car partially submerged in the Niagara River, according to reports. The accident took place on Dec. 29 at about 5:30 p.m. Only one person was involved in the crash.

According to the Erie County Sheriff's Office, their deputies took a 44-year-old man from Orchard Park into custody after responding to a call about a car in the river near East River Road and Ransom Road. Upon arriving at the scene, they discovered the car about a hundred feet from shore, with the man alleged to have been driving still in the vehicle. The Grand Island Fire Company was already at the location and were attempting to guide the man to shore. They apparently helped the man navigate the 3-foot deep river back to the bank and towed his car in with a boat.

Study shows genes may contribute to antisocial behavior

New York residents may have heard that scientists have found a link between genes and the likelihood that people will exhibit delinquent tenancies, but a new study suggests that the same genes may contribute to improved outcomes as well. The study involved nearly 1,400 high school aged students in a county in Sweden and was recently published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Participants in the study filled out a survey that asked them about their relationship with their parents, sexual abuse and delinquency. A saliva sample was taken to obtain DNA. Researchers looked at the variants of three different genes. It was discovered that in addition to poorer outcomes, less common variants seemed to also producer better than average results.

Woman charged with felony DWI following accident

According to authorities with the North Greenbush Police Department, a woman was taken into custody on Dec. 23 for felony DWI and other charges following an accident. Reportedly, the accident occurred around 4:50 p.m. on West Sand Lake Road.

Officers responded to a report of a property-damage-causing one-car accident. Upon arrival, they allegedly found that the 47-year-old woman had run off of the road, striking a ditch before damaging property in a driveway and crashing into a telephone pole. The woman was not reported to be injured in the crash.

New York man detained for drug and weapons offenses

Law enforcement officers with the Trenton Police Department took a 19-year-old man into custody for alleged weapons and drugs offenses on Dec. 19. Reportedly, officers from the Violent Crimes Unit were in the area to investigate tips concerning open-air drug sales.

While investigating, officers reportedly received a tip about guns in a house on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Officers then went to the home, reportedly to follow up on the tip they had received. Police indicate they knocked on the door, and the 19-year-old man answered it while allegedly holding a blunt. According to police, they could smell the strong odor of marijuana and asked the man to step outside.