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Nassau County Criminal Defense Law Blog

How to handle a DUI checkpoint

Few offenses can derail your life faster than a DUI. By the time a judge or jury convicts you of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may spend thousands in legal fees. You could also lose your driving privileges and spend some time in jail. As such, you must be careful never to drink and drive. 

Suppose, though, that you do wind up behind the wheel after consuming a few too many beers. Then, on your way home, you see a sobriety checkpoint. Whether you are above the legal limit or perfectly sober, DUI checkpoints can be nerve-wracking. Here are some tips for handling a sobriety checkpoint. 

When is the police's questioning of minors improper?

When any person is questioned by the police in the United States, they have the right to be informed of their Miranda rights. Miranda rights are the assertion of your rights under the Fifth Amendment. These rights include having the option to remain silent during questioning, and the right to have an attorney, even if you cannot afford to pay for one yourself.

A person in police custody also has the right to be informed of the consequences of making any self-incriminating statements. This essentially means that they should be explicitly told that anything they say in questioning can be used against them in court.

What are categories for the least dangerous illegal drugs?

Federal law has established five different categories of illicit drugs. These "drug schedules" organize illegal substances into Schedules I through V based on the risk level of addiction and the severity of potential health problems that can result from taking the drugs. The least serious categories of illicit drugs are Schedule IV and Schedule V.

Schedule IV substances:

Alleged gang leader arrested in New York

An alleged gang leader has been arrested in Brooklyn. According to police, authorities believe that the arrested man -- who goes by the name of "Papa Don" -- was the leader of the Mad Stone Bloods prison and street gang. In unsealed court records, Papa Don has been accused of interstate drug trafficking and racketeering.

In addition to Papa Don, seven other alleged gang members were arrested approximately a week before Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents helped track down Papa Don. Authorities believe that the alleged gang members were involved in a massive drug trafficking conspiracy.

Delaware County man arrested on DWI charges

Most people have a difficult time resisting a drink of alcohol when they go to a party. Sometimes, they go overboard and drink too much. Other times, they toe the line and stay sober enough to drive. Still, regardless of whether they were drinking or not, every driver is at risk of getting arrested and accused of drunk driving in the State of New York. In some cases, these arrests are inappropriate and the driver is innocent.

In a recent drunk driving case, police in Delaware County say that they pulled over a man who was driving his car at a speed of 101 miles per hour. After pulling the man over, officers claim that they tested him to have a blood alcohol content of .2 percent, which is more than double the legal limit.

I was not read my Miranda Rights. Will my case be dismissed?

When officers arrest individuals for allegedly committing various crimes, the officer must read the individual their Miranda Rights. Stemming from an incident that occurred in the 1960s, the Miranda Rights ensure that arrested men and women understand how their actions will affect their subsequent court proceedings.

It is against the law for an alleged criminal to face incarceration if they do not hear these rights. Especially in stressful situations involving high-speed chases, robberies or drug offenses, some officers forget to honor the Miranda Rights commitment.

What is a Schedule II drug?

The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) classifies all drugs -- including pharmaceutical drugs -- via a specific series of "schedules." These schedules start with Schedule I, which the federal government believes to be the most addictive, dangerous and without medical use, and ends in Schedule V, which are the mildest and least harmful of the drugs. Here, we will focus specifically on Schedule II drugs and the substances found in this category.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Schedule II drugs come with the high potential for abuse, but not as high as Schedule I. While many of these drugs may have a medical purpose, they also have the possibility of causing a severe physical or psychological dependency. The federal government considers these drugs to be "dangerous." They include both illicit and pharmaceutical substances:

  • Drugs that contain under 15 milligrams of hydrocodone in each dose
  • Cocaine and cocaine-derived substances
  • Meth
  • Methadone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall
  • Ritalin

Police say they found 2 suitcases of drugs after shots fired

Federal agents discharged their firearms while trying to apprehend a suspect along West Side Highway on a recent Thursday afternoon. Authorities say that it was part of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) heroin crimes operation.

When the shots were fired, DEA agents were pursuing a Jeep Cherokee in the direction of Manhattan when they stopped the driver at 47th and 12th, near the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum. After the suspect made some sudden movements, the agents decided to open fire, allegedly to protect themselves and the public.

Manhattan judge vacates 3,042 drug-related arrest warrants

A Manhattan judge decided to throw out over 3,000 marijuana crime cases after a top prosecutor moved to vacate them last Wednesday. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., submitted the motion to vacate 3,042 arrest warrants related to marijuana possession and marijuana smoking. Some of these warrants are so old that they were issued in 1978.

According to the DA who moved to vacate the warrants, the judge's agreement to toss out the cases will alleviate an unnecessary burden on prosecutors so that they can refocus on more important legal matters. It will also allow 3,042 individuals to rest easier at night, knowing that there isn't a current warrant out for their arrests.

What are the penalties for petit larceny shoplifting in New York?

It is important to not underestimate the seriousness of being accused of shoplifting. Shoplifting is a crime and accusations of it can lead to a person facing charges.

A common type of charge that can come out of allegations of shoplifting here in New York is petit larceny. Under New York law, most thefts of $1,000 or less fall under the category of petit larceny. Unlike grand larceny, petit larceny is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

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Lerner & Lerner, P.C.

Former prosecutors with more than 50 years of combined experience

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