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Nassau County Criminal Defense Law Blog

What is the exclusionary rule?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is written to protect New Yorkers and other Americans from the unreasonable searches and seizures of law enforcement officials. However, when it was initially added to the Constitution the rule did not stop those officers and agents of the government from using illegally collected evidence to secure convictions of the individuals they arrested. In 1914 the United States Supreme Court provided clarity in the law regarding this deficiency.

In the case of Weeks v. United States, the high court mandated that evidence seized by a federal agent without cause could not be used against the accused. The Supreme Court later extended what became known as the exclusionary rule to the states in the case of Mapps v. Ohio.

Juvenile convictions can have long-term consequences

When a youth is charged with a crime their legal matter may be handled in the juvenile justice system of New York or, if the alleged crime is very serious, the matter may be transferred to the adult criminal court system. In either case, a child may suffer long-term consequences if their arrest turns into a conviction. These consequences are sometimes called collateral consequences and this post will address some of the possible collateral consequences that juveniles may suffer if they are convicted before adulthood.

One of the most significant collateral consequences that a child may face as they age is the unsealing of their juvenile record. It was once the practice to seal any and all juvenile records that a child may have accrued but now it is more common for those criminal records to be opened. This can affect a child's later chances of employment and other opportunities if they acquired a criminal record during their early years.

Drug arrests based on evidence collected during traffic stops

Readers who have been pulled over by law enforcement officials while out driving their cars know that a lot can happen when an officer approaches their window. They may be asked to provide proof of their eligibility to drive as well as a valid registration for their vehicle. If they were stopped for violating a New York traffic law such as maintaining the legal speed limit then they may be asked questions regarding their allegedly illegal conduct.

All of the time that a law enforcement official is engaging with a person during a traffic stop, though, they are assessing the situation for further potential threat or illegal actions. For example, if a police officer sees drugs on the passenger seat of a driver's car during a traffic stop then they may arrest the individual on drug charges since evidence in plain sight of an officer may be used against an individual.

The charge of assault and its possible defenses

New York recognizes different levels of assault and provides different legal requirements that prosecutors must prove in order to secure convictions on them. From simple assault to assault with the intent to cause serious injury, this post will discuss what must be demonstrated for a person to be convicted on their charges and what defenses they may exercise to mitigate the claims made against them.

Generally assault charges must be based on the presence of two elements: an intention and an action. A person must intend to cause injury to another person in order to be convicted of assault, and in the case of simple assault the accused's actions may be used to demonstrate their intent to harm another person. In the case of a more serious assault charge a prosecutor must prove that the accused not only wanted to cause the other person harm but that they wanted to cause them serious injury.

DWI penalties can be life-altering

At the end of last year this New York criminal defense legal blog discussed some of the charges that individuals could face if they were stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Those charges ranged from a straightforward DWI charge based on the accused individual's blood alcohol concentration exceeding .08 percent to more serious charges involving greater suspected intoxication or alleged harm caused by the stopped individuals. Even when a person is arrested for a normal DWI stop the consequences that they could face for conviction are significant.

A DWI conviction can lead to a person having their driving privileges suspended. They may be required to attend drug and alcohol treatment classes to learn about the dangers of their alleged behaviors and they may have their vehicle taken from them. In some cases a driver may retain some rights to operate their motor vehicle but they may have to have an ignition interlock device placed therein in order to have the vehicle operate.

Best Ways To Face Up To A Bench Warrant

It’s been a nagging reality for you for some time. The bench warrant you received years ago that you’ve been trying to forget. You may be tired of worrying if you’ll be included in the next warrant sweep, or very frightened that the recent court date you missed will land you in jail again.

Surrender Early

A discussion of New York's drug courts

Drug crimes have been a perceived problem in the United States for decades. While some lawmakers believe that tough penalties and serious consequences are the best way to deal with alleged offenders, others take a less stringent approach to addressing drug offenses in individuals who may suffer from addiction. From this latter form of assessment the drug courts of the country were born.

The state of New York operates over 140 drug courts. Some are criminal, some are family law and some are solely dedicated to supporting juveniles. Criminal drug courts can guide their participants to drug diversion programs and treatment options. When the participants finish their programs they may seek to have their drug charges eliminated or reduced.

Deceit during interrogations: when can police lie to you?

When defendants are facing an interrogation by law enforcement, the expectation is that any confession given will be voluntary. However, in order to elicit a confession, police officers can use deceitful tactics.

The forms of deception include lying and trickery, but law enforcement and government agencies must not coerce confessions. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from self-incrimination and prohibits law enforcement from psychologically overbearing a person’s will by coercive methods. Additionally, confessions elicited without due process are not admissible in court.

What is plea bargaining?

If a Carle Place resident is unfortunate enough to begin 2018 facing a criminal charge then they may feel as though there is no changing the course their legal dilemma is on. They may expect that, if they are convicted, they will face the penalties assigned to their charge and experience the life-altering consequences of carrying into the future a criminal record.

However, even in criminal legal matters individuals often have room for negotiations. Plea bargaining is a form of negotiation that happens between prosecutors and the individuals they seek to convict of crimes. A plea bargain is essentially an agreement between the parties that in some way benefits each.

Possible drunk driving charges in New York

During the busy holiday season New York law enforcement officials often patrol local communities in search of drivers who may be operating their vehicles while influenced by alcohol. Driving while impaired is a charge that the courts of New York recognize and that can penalize a person with criminal sanctions if sufficient evidence is offered to prove that they were in violation of the drunk driving law.

The state recognizes a host of drunk driving charges and this informational post will discuss just a few of them. Readers are reminded, though, that this post is not offered as legal advice and is only an introduction to a detailed and complex topic codified in the laws of New York.