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Mahopac Criminal Defense Law Blog

Drug charges lodged against 13 who attended Last Daze concert

Whenever there is a music festival in upstate New York, one can expect to see some arrests for generally minor legal violations. The latest such festival, the Last Daze of Summer, took place recently in Oswego County. State troopers reportedly flooded the area around the festival, waiting for trouble, and they ultimately satisfied their expectations by arresting 13 people on a variety of drug charges.

Their reason for entering the concert grounds was that a 37-year-old man had died on the grounds. Authorities report finding paraphernalia on the man's body. Toxicology tests are pending and a cause of death is currently unknown.

State employee accused of illegal credit card felony charges

In New York and other states, some arrests are based on substantial evidence that is clearly strong enough to convict the defendant. In those cases, the defendant is often candid with defense counsel about his or her guilt with respect to the felony charges. Together, they can agree on a strategy for plea negotiations. Counsel will have a greater reservoir of influence in the sentencing process if the clearly guilty client cooperates in expediting an early guilty plea.

Sometimes, the defendant may be asked to cooperate with authorities in providing vital information on the criminal events and the players. A plea bargain can also be based on the defendant providing in-court testimony against a co-conspirator. In that case, the agreement will be executed in writing, and the consideration of leniency to the defendant will generally be substantial.

Felony charges improperly pursued by Queens District Attorney

In a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v Maryland, the Court held that a defendant is denied due process if the prosecutor does not turn over exculpatory evidence to defendant's counsel. Some 50 years later, the essential mandate of Brady remains intact. Recently, a New York case emerged to show the tragic results that can occur when the prosecution pursues serious felony charges against someone while hiding the existence of exculpatory evidence.  

The case pertains to an arrest made in Queens about 11 years ago. The defendant was accused of a road-rage incident in which a motorist shot a man in the leg and drove off. Police found a warm hood on defendant's car, which was parked just a block or so down the street.

Man held in New York on out-of-state felony charges

After committing a crime, some perpetrators become fugitives and end up hiding in another state. Of course, it is a defense attorney's duty to assure that the police have the right person and have not made a mistake. If the suspect is arrested in New York on alleged felony charges filed in another state, certain protocol will kick in that will attempt to pay some deference to the state where the suspect was apprehended.

In the final analysis, however, the main motivating force in such cases is the pressure applied by the state where the crime occurred to expedite the extradition of the suspect back to the originating state. That process was initiated recently in the Bronx when a man was picked up on shooting charges emanating from a neighboring state. Such interstate fugitive matters are usually handled by the United States Marshal's Service.

Cops accuse 2 of criminal offense of possessing stolen plaque

The respect for tradition and local history took another hit recently when a worker in a Syracuse recycling center found the broken pieces of a historic plaque honoring a Civil War era figure. The plaque had been reported stolen from a monument located in Onondaga County, and the recycling employee reported his find to the authorities. After investigating, the New York State Police then arrested two men for the criminal offense of falsifying criminal records and for criminal possession of stolen property.

It unclear how the police came to have evidence on the two men, but it seems that authorities are accusing them of selling the pieces as scrap to the recycling center. That may also explain the charge of falsifying business records, which the authorities may be claiming had to do with paperwork the defendants submitted in the sales transaction. The plaque honored a man who served as a New York volunteer in the Civil War.

Drunk driving arrest follows traffic stop for multiple tickets

Traffic stops are a leading source of DUI arrests in New York. A drunk driver may tip off the authorities by weaving between lanes or being unable to stay within one's lane. Other suspicious drunk driving moves can be made by a drunk driver. If the driving is consistent with a loss of driving reflexes or control, the police will make a traffic stop to issue a ticket.

Generally, these matters escalate into an investigation of drunk driving when the officer smells alcohol emanating from the car and breath of the driver. Along with slurred speech, these are the most prevalent factors justifying performing a field sobriety test. Recently, the police made a traffic stop on I-90 in Guilderland that resulted in a felony DWI arrest.

Traffic stop results in passenger being arrested on drug charges

Drug charges and traffic stops in New York are always a situation that criminal defense counsel must investigate thoroughly. Despite a great amount of experience, some police departments persist in violating constitutional protections of individuals when they make so-called traffic violation stops that result in drug charges. There must be ample due cause, for example, for the police to search the person of a passenger in a vehicle stopped on a traffic violation.

The persistence in searching drivers and passengers without reasonable cause is sometimes attributed to racial profiling. Statistics show a far greater percentage of African Americans and Hispanics being stopped, searched and arrested for drug violations. Of course, it must be kept in perspective that the alleged practice of racial profiling is likely performed by a small minority of the local police.

Man gets drug charges after police chase ends on empty gas tank

If one could find a list of rules that is followed by criminal perpetrators, it would likely contain the admonition not to speed or engage in reckless driving when transporting drugs in one's vehicle. It would probably warn against engaging the police in a car chase while having a suspended driver's license and/or while one's gas tank is empty. One New York man appears to have violated all of those precepts recently while speeding on State Route 66. He was apprehended on drug charges and related offenses when his car ran out of gas in Nassau.

The New York State Police say that they found the man with a controlled opioid substance and two hypodermic needles. They reported that he was also driving without a license. They charged him with possession of controlled drugs, fleeing a police officer and aggravated unlicensed operation.

Felony charges of negligent homicide lodged against mother

When parents are accused of abuse or serious neglect of their children, the criminal justice system does not generally react with pity or forgiveness. When serious injury or death results from that neglect, the penalties imposed will be severe. In one New York case recently a mother residing in the Hudson Valley has been charged with the felony charges of criminally negligent homicide in the death of her 10-month-old baby.

Authorities say that the woman left the baby alone in the bathtub for an unacceptable amount of time. The child was taken to a hospital after the baby's father came home from work and unsuccessfully administered CPR on the child. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. A case like this raises special concerns for the accused person's defense attorney.

Police charge woman with criminal offense of making false report

When a young person goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the police and the community may mobilize to put many hours of hard work into finding the person. That happened recently with respect to the reported disappearance of a 24-year-old woman from her campsite residence in Wells, New York. The woman disappeared on June 23 and resurfaced at her family's home on July 6. Although their investigation is not yet complete, the police have charged the woman with the criminal offense of making a false report to the authorities.

The State Police say that nothing about the woman's story is true, and that none of it makes sense. She had returned with the claim that she was held in a small shed and repeatedly assaulted by a large, full-bearded white man. Her disappearance had resulted in a massive police search that has cost at least $100,000. There were also community vigils held by her family.