Mental Health Courts Offer Alternatives For Some Defendants

Mental health courts (also called MHCs) have been a part of the New York criminal justice system for years, but they are an often underutilized alternative. While not appropriate for all defendants, they can help people who have come into contact with the police due to mental health issues. It can also help people suffering from mental health problems from being placed into the prison system, avoiding some of the worst consequences of a criminal prosecution. Continue reading “Mental Health Courts Offer Alternatives For Some Defendants”

What is an ACD, and Why Should You Care?

In most people’s minds, there are only really four ways a case can end: taking a plea deal, being convicted at trial, winning at trial, or having your case dismissed. However, in New York State, there is at least one other way your case might end: an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, also known as an ACD or ACOD. But what exactly does it mean to get an ACD, and how might it be beneficial to you? Continue reading “What is an ACD, and Why Should You Care?”

Landlords Prepare For End of New York Eviction Moratorium

Since almost the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, landlords in New York have been prohibited from evicting tenants who have been unable to pay that rent. With the end of the state’s eviction moratorium on May 1, however, landlords will once again be able to remove non-paying tenants from their apartments. This has led to fears that thousands of New Yorkers will face homelessness this summer, which may lead to a spike in COVID-19 infections. Continue reading “Landlords Prepare For End of New York Eviction Moratorium”

Five Ways Police Convince You Not to Exercise Your Rights

As a citizen of the United States, you have certain constitutionally guaranteed rights that are meant to protect you against police coercion. Just because you have those rights, though, does not mean police will respect them, and they have tricks to convince people to not exercise those rights, even when it would be in their best interest. As a result, even completely innocent people can be manipulated into giving unwitting confessions to crimes they did not commit. If you ever speak to the police, look out for these five tricks they use to get around your constitutional rights: Continue reading “Five Ways Police Convince You Not to Exercise Your Rights”

Five Things You May Want to Know About Visitation Rights

Visitation rights are often a contentious issue in any divorce where minor children are involved. Often, they cause just as many issues as arguments over child custody, and some people conflate the two issues, even though they are not one in the same. Here are five things you should know about visitation rights if you find yourself in this sort of dispute: Continue reading “Five Things You May Want to Know About Visitation Rights”

Crime Down Overall, but Homicides Up in 2020

The past year has been difficult for just about everyone, with the coronavirus pandemic contributing to many kinds of hardship. For the most part, however, crime was down across the board, with many people choosing to stay inside during the quarantine rather than go out and engage in criminal activity. Unfortunately, homicides were among the few exceptions to this rule, with the rate of homicide skyrocketing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “Crime Down Overall, but Homicides Up in 2020”

Five Things to Know About Plea Deals

An estimated 90 to 95% of all criminal cases end in plea deals. This reality is a stark contrast to the fantastic world of courtroom dramas, where criminal cases are often dragged out through a full trial. But what happens if you get arrested and get offered a plea deal? What should you do? Well, here are five things you should know about a plea deal, preferably before you are in a position to take one yourself: Continue reading “Five Things to Know About Plea Deals”

Seven Signs of a Constructive Eviction

Many landlords have been struggling to figure out how to deal with tenants who cannot, or will not, pay their rent. While most landlords remain firmly on the side of the law, some will resort to illegal acts to force out their tenants, in what is known as a constructive eviction. Here are seven signs that you may have become a victim of a constructive eviction: Continue reading “Seven Signs of a Constructive Eviction”

Five Reasons to Retain Private Criminal Counsel

By law, every person charged with a crime in the United States is guaranteed legal representation in court. If they cannot pay for their lawyer, the court will even pay for their lawyer so they can get that representation. While public defenders are generally competent at their jobs, there are still substantial reasons to consider getting a private lawyer instead of sticking with your court-appointed one. Here are five reasons you should consider getting a private lawyer in your criminal case: Continue reading “Five Reasons to Retain Private Criminal Counsel”

More Than One Third of Americans Face Homelessness

A new report by the United States Census Bureau has said that more than a third of all Americans are facing homelessness in the next two months. This is based on the number of American households that have missed mortgage or rent payments and who are unlikely to meet the necessary requirements to avoid foreclosure or eviction. This comes along with the expiration of federal and state eviction moratoriums that are set to end with the New Year. Continue reading “More Than One Third of Americans Face Homelessness”