How Does Alternative Sentencing Work in Brooklyn, NY?

You might be eligible for alternative sentencing if you’ve been charged with a non-violent crime. These programs are known as “Alternative to Incarceration” or ATI programs. You may also be eligible for a drug and alcohol treatment program, Treatment and Accountability for Safer Communities, or TASC, programs.  The courts work closely with various non-profits to…
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4 Mistakes to Avoid When You Get Arrested in Brooklyn

Most people don’t have a lot of experience with getting arrested. They freeze up, panic, or start running their mouths.  Any mistake can eventually cost you your freedom, so if at all possible you want to avoid these four actions. #1) Resisting Arrest Resisting arrest is covered under NY Penal Law Section 205.30. You are…
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What to Do If You Missed Your Brooklyn Court Date

Missing a court date is a serious issue, especially for criminal cases. The judge immediately issues a bench warrant for your arrest, and you will likely face additional criminal charges.  Even if you leave the state, the bench warrant will follow you. If the police pull you over and find the warrant, they would generally…
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What Happens When You Confess to a Crime in Brooklyn, NY? 

When police sit you in an interrogation room, they hope you’ll confess, a formal admission that you committed the crime they are charging you with. They know that confessions convince juries to convict.  Many of the confessions police obtain are false. Yet the view that nobody would confess unless they were truly guilty persists. That’s…
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Is Marijuana Legal in Brooklyn?

As of 2023, it is now legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis for recreational use.  Yet there are still some ways that marijuana use can get you into trouble in Brooklyn.  Giving Marijuana to an Underage Person You may…
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Are Brooklyn Plea Deals Ever a Good Thing?

Most criminal cases end in plea bargains. While other outcomes are often better, it’s impossible to deny that plea bargaining is woven into the fabric of our criminal justice system. Sometimes, they’re even a good thing.  You should never take a plea bargain without first speaking to a qualified criminal defense attorney. Nevertheless, we can…
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Can You Just Take a Polygraph Test to Clear Your Name in NYC? 

When you’re under arrest and innocent, you may be desperate to prove it. This desperation can lead you to make mistakes. For example, a police officer may offer you the chance to take a polygraph test to prove your innocence. You may leap at the opportunity to do just that. Yet your answer should be…
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What is the Crime of Menacing in Brooklyn, NY?

New York Penal Code § 120.14, New York Penal Code § 120.15, and New York Penal Code § 120.13 define the crime known as menacing. The crime describes several threatening or stalker-like behaviors which indicate you might be a threat to the victim. Menacing in the first degree is a felony. Menacing in the second…
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Understanding the Classes of New York Felony Charges

New York has five classes of felony. It is important to understand each class so you can understand the full severity of whatever crime you’re being charged with. The felonies are lettered: E through A. E is the least serious class of felony, and A is the most serious class.  Here’s what you need to…
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What to Consider When Contemplating a Plea Bargain in New York

While a plea bargain should not necessarily be your front line strategy when accused of a criminal case, there are times when it’s going to be your best option.  Here are some times when it might be a good idea to take a plea bargain from a New York criminal prosecutor. Deferred Prosecution Agreement A…
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Neil S. Ruskin
16 Court Street, Suite 2000
Brooklyn, NY 11241

Local: (718) 237-1547
Fax: 718-875-4011