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New York City Criminal Defense Blog

Accusations against producer extend beyond Hollywood

New York residents who hear reports of people being charged with offenses involving sexual acts or harassment in some form may often not know which side of a story to believe. The reality is that sometimes it is hard to tell what really has happened in a situation, especially if there was a long delay between when some form of sexual offense is said to have transpired and when it is finally revealed. An example of this can be seen in a recent case involving a famous motion picture producer.

In what may feel to many like a whirlwind, accusation after accusation of sexual coercement, harassment and unwanted overtures have been made by multiple now-famous actresses. These woman are alleging that one of the most powerful men in Hollywood made advances to them or attempted to have them participate in sexual acts at different points in their careers. Some of these allegations go back many years if not decades.

New technology monitoring drunk drivers

In New York, drunk driving charges can be serious. Preventing drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated has now become a cause that some have decided to take on with new technology. 

According to Geektime, a developer in Israel is working on an app that can track a user's movements to tell whether or not they are drunk without even needing a breathalyzer. Although the app is still in production, he has reached 93 percent accuracy in detecting intoxication in testing. The app, which runs constantly in the background of a user's smartphone or wearable device collecting data on how the user moves, can tell differences in the way a user walks as an indication of inebriation. The developer is hoping that as cars become more connected, this app will be able to tell a vehicle not to turn on when it detects the driver is drunk.

Fighting federal bribery charges

Sometimes, the nature of a person's relationship to a public official becomes complicated, and could lead others to question if that relationship is entirely legal. In some cases, dealings between public officials and others may get the attention of law enforcement, and could even lead to bribery charges if the agency investigating the matter believes that it has evidence to support federal bribery charges.

Federal bribery charges are not something to be taken lightly in any circumstances. If you recently received these bribery charges, or if you suspect some agency or another is investigating you about a potential bribery charge, you must take great care in how you move forward.

Basics of Ponzi scheme allegations

Investors, entrepreneurs and others in New York who are interested in finding new ways to grow their wealth and pursue new business interests know that sometimes they need to be careful about which ventures they participate in. With fraud being a concern in today's world, accurate records and other documentation is important. So too is an understanding of what types of things may raise a flag to outside persons unnecessarily.

Not everyone accused of embezzlement or other forms of fraud is guilty but when you know what situations may put you more at risk of being accused of these things, the more you may be able to protect yourself. A Ponzi scheme is a form of embezzlement. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ponzi schemes are named after a man who is said to have illegally defrauded people in the 1920s.

No consensus on Uber preventing drunk driving

Across many New York communities, taking an Uber or Lyft is common practice, despite the fact that these services did not exist even ten years ago. While the ride-sharing services claim to have helped reduce drunk driving rates in the communities they serve, studies disagree on whether or not this is accurate.

As the New York Times explains, a 2015 study commissioned by Uber is the most emphatic that the service rates peaked at the same times that drunk driving accidents were most likely to occur, and that introduction of their services led to decreases in drunk driving. An independent study of New York City, excluding Staten Island, had similar findings. When compared to communities without ride-sharing services available, there were approximately 40 fewer crashes each month after the introduction of these apps in 2011. That is a decrease of between 25 to 35 percent of alcohol-related accidents. Other studies have found similar results, although few have conclusively attributed the decrease in drunk driving accidents to ride-sharing services as the Uber study did.

Should I speak during a DUI traffic stop?

When the blue lights begin flashing in your rear view mirror, you know that you must choose your actions and words very carefully — especially if you have any alcohol in your system. How you conduct yourself and the things you do or do not say during the stop may mean the difference between a warning and DUI charges.

Facing DUI charges is never fun, but these charges are not bulletproof. You may have more ways to fight the charges than you realize.

Robberies in new york: is poverty to blame?

Sometimes, living situations become so dire that any path to resolution can seem logical. Families across the United States suffer from poverty, which negatively affects individuals on physical, mental and emotional levels. When a robbery of any type takes place, New York law enforcement address the situation seriously. However, there are various causes for such a crime, and the factors involved in robbery can be complex when viewed through a legal lens.

While controlling and penalizing robbery in various institutions is complex, an article in American Banker gives possible reasons for the increase of this crime in recent years. Bank crime rates dropped in 2007, but have risen in the last two years; some studies blame the opioid crisis for this resurgence in robbery. While this analysis may be accurate, it does not pinpoint the underlying cause for the increase in bank robberies. As eastern regions of the United States have recieved the hardest hit from the opioid epidemic, many of these states also suffer from unemployment and poverty. Those with opioid addictions may be desperate for money -- not only for drugs, but for other necessities. 

Some lawmakers push for marijuana legalization

Although many people consider the use of marijuana harmless, the fact of the matter is that recreational use is still against the law in New York. However, some lawmakers are attempting to change this.

As WHEC reports, two Democrats in the state legislature, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo and Senator Liz Krueger from Manhattan, have introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The lawmakers have a plan to regulate and tax recreational pot, and they believe this could people from entering the criminal justice system unnecessarily. According to a study from the ACLU, there is not much difference in the rate of marijuana use between black and white people, but black people are more than three times as likely to be arrested for their use than white people. However, as citizens of New York are not able to vote marijuana legalization into law with a ballot measure, as the eight states who chose to legalize did, so any change to the law must be made the legislature and the governor. The bill will not have a vote until the session begins again in January, if that, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has not been vocally in favor of legalizing pot.  

Defending against assault and battery charges

Nearly every person is capable of some significant act of violence, but many of us never confront the opportunity to act on this ability. It is difficult for most people to claim that they would never, under any circumstances, commit an act of violence. Still, acts of violence are a particularly divisive issue for our entire society. Talking heads romanticize or villainize those who commit violence, or television and movies that depict it.

In the legal world, acts of violence generally warrant harsher punishments than other nonviolent crimes, so it is never wise to face such charges without a proper defense. Assault accusations may seem like small time charges that get thrown around after a bar fight, but they may still come with a ruling that could include hefty fines and even jail time.

Pair accused of making, selling drugs

New York residents who hear or read reports about people being arrested for and charged with drug crimes should be aware that these reports only tell a portion of the story. In fact, they very well may only tell an extremely small portion of the story. This can often make situations look very grim for defendants and all but promote the sense that the person is guilty when all that has happened is that they have been arrested and accused of a crime.

The recent arrest of two people in Long Island City is an example of what this can be like. According to reports, an investigation has been underway since the spring of 2016 after another person died of an alleged drug overdose. Evidence in that death is said to have indicated that the two people arrested in Queens were potentially involved in providing drugs to the deceased person. State and federal officials were involved in the investigation.

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