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January 2015 Archives

Ages 16 and 17 and convicted of criminal offense as adults

New York is one of two states that treats 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for all crimes. That policy creates harsh results, such as where minors are tagged with a criminal record for committing a misdemeanor that consists of conduct that is sometimes seemingly harmless. In those cases, the state is marring the life of the teen by tagging him or her with a conviction of a criminal offense on conduct that may be directly tied into the youth's lower economic standing and paucity of supportive resources.

Felony charges against driver who killed boy crossing the street

In some cases, an accident where a driver hits a pedestrian seems to encourage the driver to leave the scene and not stop as legally required. A driver who hit two teens who were crossing a street in the Bronx was charged with reckless driving and with leaving the scene of an accident causing death, according to New York police. Although the 26-year-old male driver of a Honda Accord decided to return to the scene after he fled, police nonetheless filed leaving the scene felony charges against him.

Sex offenses charged against man for online communications

In the traditional way of framing criminal offenses, a crime like attempted  rape would be based on at least some physical contact between the suspect and the victim. Typically, the attempt to rape would have failed for some reason and penetration would have been prevented or aborted, thus justifying a charge of attempt. In New York and elsewhere, the modern way of looking at such sex offenses appears to have taken on an added dimension: the authorities have extended the scope of attempt so that there is no need to have physical contact at all.

Male volunteer held on malicious mischief felony charges

Criminal mischief in New York is a crime that is charged when a suspect has allegedly vandalized personal property of another. It can be a misdemeanor under certain circumstances,  but when the damage is over $1,500, it is charged as a felony.  In a recent incident, a volunteer fireman was charged by New York State Police with felony charges of criminal mischief for allegedly vandalizing the Clarksville Fire Department where he volunteers.

Bill tries to help domestic violence victims unfairly imprisoned

The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act is a bill that was introduced in 2011 and is still being debated in the New York legislature. The Act recognizes that a major path to incarceration for many women is through the violence cycles of domestic abuse. Many women have ended up in prison after saying no to continuing acts of domestic violence by a spouse or domestic partner.

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