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New York City Criminal Defense Blog

What is conspiracy?

Essentially, a conspiracy consists of two different aspects: a plan among two or more people to commit an unlawful act and an action taken toward the completion of that act. According to FindLaw, if you involve yourself in a conspiracy to commit a crime in New York, and you and your co-conspirators successfully complete the crime, you may not only face charges for the crime itself but for the conspiracy as well. Even if you and your alleged co-conspirators did not complete the crime, you may still face conviction on conspiracy charges. Therefore, involvement in a conspiracy can carry some pretty serious legal consequences.

Merely having knowledge of a crime does not automatically involve you in a conspiracy, however. For authorities to charge you with a conspiracy, you must actively take part in the planning of a crime or offer some kind of assistance to those making the plans.

How do Americans view drinking into the new year?

For a lot of Americans, the plan is essentially to drink their way into the new year. It's not just about staying up until the ball drops on January 1. It's about already feeling buzzed after hours of drinking at the tail end of the previous year. And then, for many, the party doesn't stop until the early hours of the next morning.

What does this mentality mean in the United States? For one thing, it does mean there is a greater chance of getting pulled over for drunk driving. After the clock hits midnight, people start heading home from bars and house parties in droves. Some use designated drivers or cabs, but many do not. Both DUI arrests and accidents are common.

Business owner accused of grand larceny

Residents in New York may have heard news reports about other people being accused of robbery or larceny and might be confused about what these terms mean and how they may be different. Both robbery and larceny are forms of stealing or theft but robbery charges are used when some amount of force is said to have been involved in the incident. Larceny refers to the theft of some personal property that does not involve any force. 

One example of a case in which a charge of larceny is entered can be seen in a story reported recently by The Ithaca Voice. A man who owned a company that auctioned off property for individuals is accused of selling some items but not paying the estate for them. Presumably, the items that were sold were willingly given to the auctioneer so that he could sell them meaning that no force would have been involved in the incident.

The complex charge of larceny

Larceny is a criminal violation of New York state laws. It is a crime that entails unlawfully withholding property or taking it from its rightful owner without their consent. If you took property entrusted to you by a client or employer, you might face legal action. Neil S. Ruskin represents clients who need a defense for serious criminal charges.

According to FindLaw, embezzlement is a component of the state’s larceny statutes. In these circumstances, the definition of property is expansive, from real and personal property to money, contracts and anything of value. It can also include substances typically provided for a fee, such as water, gas and electric.

Don't let a drunk driving charge ruin your holidays

The colder weather and impending arrival of the holiday season bring with them many opportunities. You will have the chance to exchange gifts with coworkers, friends and family. There will likely be many parties you can attend as well.

Most families get together around the holidays, and many companies throw holiday parties for their staff. Even your personal social circle may have a party.

Can drug court participation help keep you out of jail?

As a New York resident who is currently facing a drug charge, you may have justifiable concerns about potentially having to serve time behind bars. Depending on the details surrounding your drug crime and whether you have an existing criminal history, however, you may be able to enter a drug court program instead of serving time in jail. Available to some offenders, drug courts seek to reduce crime and the number of people housed in the state’s prison system by addressing what is so often the root cause of criminal behavior: drug addiction.

According to the National Institute of Justice, while drug courts can help you curb your addiction for good, giving you an opportunity to potentially rebuild your life, they can also have positive effects on your entire community. For example, placing an offender such as yourself in a drug court program typically costs about $1,400 less than putting you through the traditional criminal justice system once you factor in costs associated with system processing, treatment and so on.

What are the defenses for larceny?

If you have been arrested in New York and charged with larceny, then it is imperative that you mount a good defense. While there are many ways that you can fight the charges, there are two defenses recognized by the law, according to the New York State Senate. Understanding these defenses can help you to mount the best case to avoid conviction.

The first defense is that you were in a situation where you believed committing the crime was necessary to avoid serious repercussions. Typically, this involves someone coercing you or manipulating you. A person could have lied about being an officer of the law, for example, and told you if you did not commit the crime, you would go to jail. You have to really have feared for your own well-being and show that the situation you were in was believable that you would legitimately feel that way. The bottom line is that your purpose in committing the theft must be to make good on whatever wrong you believed occurred to remedy the situation.

What are different types of DUI charges?

New York residents who face DUI related charges could find themselves dealing with a number of repercussions if they're convicted. However, the consequences can differ from case to case, and the DUI charges themselves can differ, too.

According to FindLaw, you could face several different types of DUI charges depending on the actions you're being accused of. For example, there are both felony DUI charges and aggravated DUI charges. A felony DUI will typically happen when you get convicted of DUI along with a severe aggravating factor. Examples can include driving intoxicated with children in the car, or driving intoxicated on a revoked or suspended license.

Does testing drugs in a laboratory help build a defense?

While New York's City's cultural attitude toward recreational drug use is more accepting than other parts of the country or even the state, the drug laws on the books are still fairly strict. This is certainly true once the charges move outside of marijuana possession and into harder drugs like cocaine or heroin, or other powders and pill-form substances.

If you face drug possession charges for something harder than marijuana, then you should do everything you can to build a strong defense. These charges are nothing to take lightly. If you fail to properly defend yourself, you may receive much more than a slap on the wrist, legally speaking.

What happens if I get pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint?

‘Tis the season for family, friends, merriment and – sobriety checkpoints? You and other New York residents may not be surprised to see the familiar checkpoints popping up during the holiday season, but you might not know exactly what they entail.

According to FindLaw, sobriety checkpoints are popular in many states during key holidays when people are likely to consume large amounts of alcohol, such as the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. The fall and winter holiday season is another prime time of year for checkpoints, since it is well known that many people attempt to drive home after having a little too much to drink at the office Christmas party or on New Year’s Eve.

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