"Wow! You mean I can do life for this?" You certainly can. It happens more often than one would think. Hello, I am a CRIMINAL LAWYER who practices CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW in QUEENS COUNTY, NEW YORK.
In the recent case of a young man who grew up in Sag Harbor, Suffolk County, a ritzy part of the Hamptons Justin T. Bennet. , who was arrested last month after an investigation into dozens of burglaries in East Hampton and Southhampton towns, could be sentenced to life in prison due to the fact he is being charged with 25 counts of Burglary in the Second Degree, New York State Penal Law Section 140.25, which is a violent felony. At the time of his arrest, he was also charged with UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA and CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A HYPERDERMIC INSTRUMENT.
First let's remember, a person is innocent until proven guilty. That is the law of our country. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office has indicted Bennett, who is 35 years old, on 27 counts of criminal charges, with the highest charge being the burglary charges.
When an accused is charged with a serious crime, the Judge can, and most of the times will, set a high bail to ensure the accused's return to court. The reasoning is that it is more likely that a person facing a great amount of time in jail may obscond from the state or country to avoid facing trial and going to jail for a very long time. At the time of the arraignment, a well experienced advocate for the accused will make an effective and strong argument for release of the accused on his or her own recognizance, or, in the alternative for a reasonable bail to be set.
It is my experience that many of the crimes committed by individuals may be due to the fact that that individual has a drug addiction. A good person can go bad very quickly in a scenario like this. Most of the time these persons are not really out there to hurt anyone, but are looking for a quick score so they can go out and buy the drug of their choice. Unfortunately today, it seems more and more that young adults are becoming addicted to prescription medication, or heroin. If a person can no longer get prescription medication from their doctor, he or she will resort to crime in order to afford their habit, which can become quite expensive. Prescription medication can be extremely expensive when purchased on the street. Many of these young people would never have resorted to a life of crime but for that fact.
Going back to the Bennett case, the Judge in his case, after his indictment, set bail the amount of either $400,000 bond or $200,000 cash. Bennett who has been in jail since October 24 has pleaded not guilty through his Criminal Lawyer, and still remains in jail, unable to make his bail as of the date of this blog. It is alleged that Bennett gave the police confessions to the burglaries. The authorities allege that he stole over $126,000 in jewelry, cash, and prescription medication between January and October 2013. He is alleged to have pawned the jewelry to support his "severe heroin addiction."
At this time, Bennett does not have a criminal record. That is a good thing for him. There are many things that a well experienced Criminal Attorney may be able to do to help Bennett, who is not alleged to have hurt anyone during these alleged burglaries, avoid spending the rest of his life, or a good portion of it, in prison.