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July 2015 Archives

Police arrest 2 men on felony charges on last day of festival

In New York and all other states, robbery is the taking and converting of another's property by means of physical force. Armed robbery is the same offense but with a gun, knife or other deadly weapon displayed by the robber. Robbery and armed robbery are almost always felony charges, but the degree of felony depends on the state statute that classifies crimes.

Former state senate leader gets 7 years on felony charges

It may be said that a politician who uses corruption to get elected to an office will be well qualified to corrupt the office itself once elected. That was part of the general message conveyed to former state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith by a federal judge who sentenced Smith to seven years of incarceration recently in a federal district court. The unusual aspect of the felony charges against the defendant was that he tried to use bribery and promises of funding to get support from other politicians for his campaign for mayor of New York City in 2013.

Bail reform pushed for arrest on non-violent criminal offense

The bail system in New York is unfair and relatively arcane in comparison to most other systems around the country, according to critics. Even where low bail is set for  a misdemeanor or even for an alleged criminal offense that is a nonviolent felony, the accused may languish in the outdated prison facilities at Riker's Island for months or years awaiting a trial. That unacceptable fate may be avoided by pleading guilty, but such a move impinges the future life of the accused, who must be tagged permanently with a criminal record.