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New York City Criminal Defense Blog

Is it possible to reduce DUI charges?

Facing drunk driving charges is never something to take lightly, especially if you suspect that the evidence against you is strong. However, you must do everything you can to fight back against such charges, or else you may find yourself facing stiff punishment that far outpaces any crime you allegedly committed.

For many people facing significant DUI charges, it is not realistic to attempt to get the charges dismissed entirely, although it is always wise to examine the circumstances closely to determine if dismissal is possible. Even if you cannot dismiss the charges outright, you may have ways to reduce the charges for lesser punishment and fewer lasting effects in your everyday life.

Discretion in white collar sentencing

People in New York might often wonder how a particular criminal sentence is determined when a person is convicted of a crime. The reality of the matter is that there may be multiple factors taken into consideration. Some crimes may even have mandatory minimum sentences as well as maximum sentences. When it comes to sentencing a person convicted of a white collar crime, judges may have more discretion than they would when sentencing a person for a street crime.

This potential for judge discretion is something that is highly relevant today as it can be seen in action across a range of current or recent cases. As reported by The New York Times, a former advisor to the U.S. President will spend 14 days in prison despite prosecutors attempting to receive a sentence closer to six months. Some may feel this is appropriate in part so the man can resume his life and contribute positively to society. Others point out the price he has already paid and the long-term implications he will experience from having a felony conviction.

Foreign boxer sentenced in New York

Many people in New York might not always know who could become the target of white collar crime charges in the United States. Some might believe that a person must be a U.S. citizen to face such charges. The reality of the matter is that a person does not have to be a citizen of the U.S. to be charged with offenses like conspiracy, fraud and more in this country.

One example can be seen in the case of a well-known boxer who heralds from the Republic of Georgia, part of the former Soviet Union. The man is 39 years old and has reportedly won several events in his sport. However, his athletic career may well be on hold for a while if a criminal sentence he recently received is upheld.

Retailers may sue you for shoplifting, even if you didn’t

Here in America, large companies often offset their inventory losses by accusing individuals of shoplifting and demanding compensation before the legal system convicts them of any crime. While shrewd legal and business maneuvers may help keep prices low, throwing members of the public under the bus on shaky legal grounds is something far different.

Recent reports by the New York Times shined a light on this practice, which aims to collect millions of dollars a year from former customers who may or may not have done anything wrong. According to the Times, One of the biggest retailers in the country retains a private firm to send out thousands of letters each year to accused shoplifters, asking for compensation for some alleged theft.

New marijuana law in New York City

Residents in New York are not currently able to legally use marijuana for recreational purposes like people who live in nearby Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and the District of Columbia. Therefore, this debate continues as many want to see this changed. In the meantime, people who find themselves accused of simple pot possession may no longer be forced into handcuffs and taken into jail.

As reported by PIX11, the Mayor of New York City has enacted a new law that will find some people accused of marijuana possession required to attend a court hearing instead of being arrested. The law took effect at the beginning of September 2018 and applies to those persons found with less than 26 grams of marijuana. A summons will be given to them requiring them to be present when stated in court.

Controversial pot breath test device developed

While more and more people in many states around the nation are able to enjoy the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, New York residents are not able to do so. However, many people in the state can use pot legally for medicinal purposes. Even while legal, this may lead people to being accused of driving while impaired. While field sobriety tests and breath test devices are used for determining a driver's level of impairment by alcohol, it has remained a challenge for law enforcement to find a way to identify impairment among drivers due to the use of pot.

The Drive recently reported that a company in California called Hound Labs has developed what it says is a device that is accurately able to determine impairment due to marijuana by taking a breath sample. The product measures the level of THC in a person's system. THC is said to be the active ingredient in marijuana.

Pharmacies’ pain creams raise fraud concerns

A recent report from the Office of the Inspector General indicates that roughly a quarter of pharmacies that produce topical pain relief creams in-house may receive increased scrutiny due to some "red flags" that suggest these locations are defrauding customers. While the report has yet to lead to legal charges, many of the pharmacies in question operate in and around New York City, so these locations certainly have cause for concern.

The report indicates that the pharmacies in question all used practices or generated certain figures that gave cause for concern in Medicaid officials, who saw potential evidence of fraud in a number of locations. These officials looked at five different categories of potential abuse, with over 500 pharmacies allegedly using at least one method and 10 allegedly using all five methods.

State out for suspected impaired drivers

People in New York know that driving safely is important and that includes not driving when they are unable to do so safely. To some, the efforts to combat drunk driving can at times feel like society has forgotten that it is not illegal to have a drink or two before driving a vehicle. What is illegal is consuming a sufficient amount of alcohol that leads a person to be legally intoxicated. 

The Labor Day holiday is one of the many times every year that extra emphasis is put on potential drunk driving. As reported by CNY Central, this is the case yet again this year. Several agencies have teamed up to launch a concerted effort to crackdown on both drunk driving and drugged driving in the latter portion of August all the way through Labor Day Monday.

Defendants' right to speedy trial noted in decision

People in New York who find themselves arrested and facing criminal charges know they are in a tough position. They should also be able to know and trust that their rights will be respected through the entire criminal justice process. One of the rights that every defendant is supposed to be entitled to is the right to a speedy trial

As reported by The New York Times, it was discovered that in the Bronx a few years ago, trials were anything but speedy. This left many defendants facing hard choices about how and when to make court appearances when trying to balance the demands of their jobs and family life. It also interfered with their ability to move forward in their lives as decisions about the charges remained undecided for extremely long periods of time.

Have you been accused of domestic violence or assault?

In New York City, crimes of domestic violence and assault are taken very seriously. If convicted, you could end up facing heavy penalties like lengthy periods of jail time, large fines, and the stigma that comes with having a felony on your record. Neil S. Ruskin, attorney at law, is here to help you through this difficult period in your life.

When looking at a case involving violent assault, the prosecutor will usually aim to dehumanize you and tell only the story of the person they're working for. However, there are two sides to every story. Even in cases involving accusations of traumatic injury, there are underlying reasons for the situation that took place. Some cases may involve self-defense or the response to a perceived threat. Others may involve someone being trapped in an altered state, either through the habitual use of drugs or through mental illness that has not been properly treated.

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