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Queens Criminal Law Blog

You could face these penalties if convicted of a DWI

New York is hard on those who are accused of a DWI. For that reason, it's important for you to work with your attorney to defend yourself. How can you do so?

There are many ways to forge a defense, from showing that you have a medical condition that made you drive dangerously to proving that the breathalyzer was not working properly. If you can't defend yourself, then you could face a litany of penalties.

Some are calling for stricter animal cruelty laws

Stricter laws are needed to crack down on cruelty to animals, say animal-rights advocates in New York. The issue was recently brought to the forefront when a Staten Island man was charged with aggravated cruelty to a cat after posting a video on Facebook Live. The story elicited ire and heartbreak among animal-lovers.

Animal cruelty charges bring emotional responses

New police "overt camera" method of crime deterrence

In Suffolk County, police are implementing an “overt camera” program in an attempt to stop crime before it starts. The program involves the placement of obvious police cameras in public areas in which residents have requested them, or in which police data has shown there is a high rate of crime.

Why was the overt camera program implemented?

An overview of petit larceny in New York

It should come as no surprise that a financial, tourism and retail center of the world has its share of shoplifting. From food to fine jewelry, stores across New York City take measures to guard against theft.

New York law treats shoplifting seriously, as well. There is no such thing as a minor criminal charge. While shoplifting, which is called petit larceny, may result in fewer consequences than a DWI or assault, make no mistake: a conviction for theft can have large ramifications.

Can you defend yourself against trespassing charges?

Criminal trespassing is the legal term for trespassing onto someone else's land or using that person's chattel without permission. On the whole, law enforcement agents such as sheriffs, park rangers and police officers enforce the laws for trespassing. In cases where charges are brought against you for crossing onto another person's land, you do have the right to defend yourself.

There are several defenses to trespassing. One is that you have consent to be there. Here's an example of how this may come up. Perhaps the homeowner is not at home, but you have gained permission to enter the property. If a neighbor sees you and believes you're trespassing, he or she may call the police or local sheriff. While you may be arrested initially if the homeowner is not able to be contacted, it's likely the charges would be dropped as soon as the homeowner cleared up the confusion.

Public intoxication is no longer a crime in NYC

Neither is public urination. But . . . don't do either.

On Tuesday, June 13, New York City lessened some of the penalties associated with public drinking and public urination. The measures are intended to reduce the backlog of criminal cases that are crowding NYC courtrooms.

It may also help immigrants in the U.S. without documentation or who are here on DACA status to avoid being targeted for removal. 

Domestic violence charges can impact your freedom and family

Things might have gone too far with your spouse during an argument and now you are looking at domestic violence charges. These charges can have a big impact on your life because they involve a violent crime. A conviction can impact your life in a host of ways. One thing that you have to remember if you find yourself in the unbelievable position of facing these charges is that you have the right to defend yourself against the charges.

We know that you are probably very concerned right now. You might be wondering exactly how it came to this. One mistake might cost you your freedom and your family. These are the factors that you can use to help you stay motivated to fight the charges.

Interpreter rules to aid domestic violence defendants

Can a language barrier in criminal cases prevent defendants from exercising their legal rights? That question is arising more often in New York domestic violence cases, as more victims are being considered as perpetrators because police cannot understand their stories. Imagine calling the police for help to protect you from an abuser - only to find yourself being hauled off, facing arrest and domestic assault charges because you sought assistance. It is not unfathomable - and it has happened to people in our city.

Consider the case of a woman who called Staten Island police for help after finding her niece lying at the bottom of the stairs. The woman attempted to tell officers that the younger woman had been pushed by her husband. Instead, the reporting party found herself under arrest. She was then charged with additional crimes including obstruction of governmental administration - all because she could not tell her story in English. After she was threatened with having her child removed by authorities, the woman pleaded guilty to a crime that she did not commit.

Failing to install an ignition interlock after a DWI is a crime

Under New York state law (“Leandra’s Law”), all people convicted of a driving while intoxicated charge must install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles they own or operate. It is a crime to drive without an ignition interlock device when your license is restricted in such a way. Doing so is a misdemeanor.

There has been a recent rise of prosecutable cases in this area, with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles reporting an increase from only 817 in 2011 to 3,726 in 2016. In some cases, the devices were removed. In others, the individual charged never installed them.

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Law Office Of Luke Scardigno
123-60 83rd Avenue Suite 1T
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Phone: 718-414-6186
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