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Mahopac Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Traffic stop leads to woman's arrest on drug charges

When a drug arrest in New York starts out as a traffic stop, defense counsel will always want to know about the details of the stop, the police interrogation, the search and the seizure. That is because a law enforcement officer may not stop a car on the highway unless there is a valid reason to make the stop, such as for a speeding violation. If the initial stop is invalid, drug charges may be subject to a motion to dismiss or for suppression of evidence.  

Furthermore, even if the initial stop is justified, that does not mean that the authorities can search the driver's person or the vehicle. There must be additional reasonable suspicion to make a cursory search of the person of the driver or a passenger and there must be full probable cause to make a complete search of the person and/or the vehicle. Thus, if a car is stopped for speeding, the officer cannot escalate the inquiry unless there is a reasonable suspicion that some other crime is being committed.

Routine inspection leads to arrest of 2 on drug charges

When a New York governmental agency is properly inspecting a business premises as part of a routine government function, anything it observes in plain site may become the subject of further criminal investigation. It may be more accurate to say that anything that the agency observes in the proper course of its inspection may be reported to law enforcement authorities for further investigation. A New York Department of Taxation and Finance inspection was being randomly conducted recently when officials spotted drugs, and the discovery eventually resulted in the arrest of two persons on drug charges.  

The agency informed the NYPD, and the law enforcement agency obtained a search warrant. The police went there and observed the drugs where cigarettes would normally be stored. They obtained a search warrant and closed the building down.

Felony charges for gambling ring implicates draconian sentences

In New York, most gambling is illegal with some exceptions. According to Brooklyn's district attorney, illegal gambling is not a victimless crime. He says that is why he led the arrest on felony charges of several men for allegedly running an internet-based sports gambling ring. However, there are many persons and even government authorities who would challenge that assessment.

In those states that have forms of legal gambling similar to Atlantic City and Las Vegas, people can make bets just like the ones that are illegal in New York. Why is it that a person can be doing something perfectly legal in one state and be pursued on felony charges for the same activity in another state? Furthermore, how do gambling activities create victims in one state but by virtue of its legal status in an adjoining state no victims are created there?

Domestic violence charge may taint Reyes' return to New York

Many couples keep their affairs private, working out their troubles--and especially their legal issues--outside the public eye. However, that is not always possible for celebrities, and Jose Reyes is one example. After being accused of domestic violence, the former New York Mets player may have a difficult time returning to his old team.

Now that the Rockies have waived the shortstop, he says he wants desperately to return to the team that raised him to stardom from the age of 16. Mets fans, however, may be the sticking point. If the team's general manager senses that the fans will reject the former superstar because of last year's domestic violence incident, Reyes may not get his wish.