The Benefits and Risks of Facial Recognition Technology

Police departments around the country, including in New York, have increasingly embraced new technology to identify suspects and solve previously unsolvable crimes. Foremost among these new technologies is facial recognition, which can take an image from a photograph or video and use it to identify a person with startling accuracy. However, the technology is not without its detractors, and many people criticize the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement for both moral and practical reasons. Continue reading “The Benefits and Risks of Facial Recognition Technology”

Accused Bank Robber on the Run After Being Improperly Assigned Bail

An accused bank robber from Nassau County is on the run after being released from jail when it was determined he was improperly assigned bail. The defendant was initially held on $10,000 bail, but it was overturned on appeal, resulting in him being released to the public. The incident is a test case of New York’s new controversial bail reforms, which made it illegal to assign bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Continue reading “Accused Bank Robber on the Run After Being Improperly Assigned Bail”

The Hidden Cost of Asset Forfeiture in Criminal Cases

The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” While it is most commonly brought up in the context of the death penalty and the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, the Eighth Amendment is also hotly debated in criminal law, particularly when it comes to defining what constitutes “excessive” bail or fines. And nowhere is this more contested than in the area of asset forfeiture. Continue reading “The Hidden Cost of Asset Forfeiture in Criminal Cases”

NY AG Investigating NYPD for Discrimination in Fare Evasion Cases

New York Attorney General Letitia Jones has announced an investigation into the New York Police Department (NYPD) for alleged discrimination against people of color, targeting them for subway fare evasion. The investigation comes after several videos spread on social media showing NYPD officers engaging in aggressive tactics to arrest turnstile jumpers, sparking public outrage. The NYPD, for its part, denies any wrongdoing, stating it is merely attempting to protect New Yorkers, regardless of their race. Continue reading “NY AG Investigating NYPD for Discrimination in Fare Evasion Cases”

What is a Constructive Eviction and How Could it Impact You?

One of the most basic assumptions a person has when they rent an apartment or a workspace is that it will be safe to live in, and free from hazards or pests that will allow them to live or work in peace. However, sometimes, a rented space can, through negligence or malfeasance on the part of the landlord, become effectively uninhabitable. If things become bad enough that you can no longer safely or comfortably inhabit the space, you may be dealing with a constructive eviction. Continue reading “What is a Constructive Eviction and How Could it Impact You?”

DWI Convictions and their Potential Consequences

Being arrested on a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge can be a life-changing event, even before you face the possibility of a plea or conviction at trial. Aside from facing the risk of imprisonment or fines, there are numerous possible consequences that can arise as a result of a DWI conviction. And if you’re facing down a DWI charge, it’s important to know what will happen if you plead guilty or get convicted at trial. Continue reading “DWI Convictions and their Potential Consequences”

The Perils of a Slip and Fall

One of the most common kinds of personal injury cases are known as “slip and fall” cases, which are exactly what they sound like: someone walks on a slippery or otherwise treacherous surface, falls, and hurts themselves. The simple nature of a slip and fall makes them sound unimportant, but in truth, they can cause a lot of problems for victims. Here are just some of the issues that can arise from a slip and fall accident. Continue reading “The Perils of a Slip and Fall”

NY Criminal Justice Reforms See Pushback from Prosecutors, Police

This summer, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a package of reforms into law that are set to radically alter how the criminal justice system functions throughout the state. While criminal justice advocates were pleased with the reforms that were passed, some, including several politicians and law enforcement representatives, are more critical of the reforms. Some even hope to have the reforms stopped from going into effect, which is scheduled to happen on January 1, 2020. Continue reading “NY Criminal Justice Reforms See Pushback from Prosecutors, Police”

Five Things to Remember if You’re Pulled Over by Police

Being pulled over by the police is always a stressful event, even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong. You know, at the very least, that you’re likely going to have an intimidating conversation, may wind up with a ticket, and are very likely to be late to wherever you’re trying to go. However, if you keep these five things in mind, you can minimize the harm a police stop can do.

Try to stay calm.

Remaining calm at a police stop isn’t just a good idea from a mental health perspective. It will also help you to maintain perspective and stop from acting rashly. Moreover, the more nervous you act, the more it may incentivize a police officer to escalate the stop to a search or seizure, so the less jittery you can seem, the better your odds of walking away with minimal consequences.

Don’t feel obligated to answer police questions.

While the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination (the “right to remain silent”) doesn’t apply if you’re not in police custody, you’re still not legally obligated to answer a police officer’s questions. Thus, if you believe an answer to a police officer’s question is more likely to cause harm than good, you can simply say you don’t want to answer their question. At that point, the officer may need to choose between escalating or letting you go, but at the very least you’re not providing additional evidence that may be used against you.

You may not be able to stop a police search.

Under normal circumstances, the police cannot search a person’s property without a warrant backed by probable cause. However, under the so-called “automobile exception” to the 4th Amendment, a police officer can conduct a search of a motor vehicle without a warrant, so long as they have probable cause to believe the vehicle contains evidence of a crime. This means that stopping a search of your car may be nearly impossible, so don’t get too upset if the police decide to start rooting through your car at a traffic stop.

You can refuse a breathalyzer, at a price.

Technically speaking, you don’t need to submit to a breathalyzer test at a traffic stop if you don’t want to. However, by law, anyone who refuses a breathalyzer test at a traffic stop automatically forfeits their driver’s license. So, if you don’t want to take the breathalyzer, you can refuse, but you may not be able to legally drive again for at least a year.

You can ask to call a lawyer.

Just like in any other situation where you find yourself confronted by the police and at risk of arrest, you can call your lawyer to help you at a traffic stop, if you can get in contact with a lawyer in a reasonable time period. That said, the police aren’t obligated to wait around for your attorney to show up, nor do they have an obligation to wait while you search for a lawyer to call. Thus, if you can’t get your attorney on the line right away, the next place you’ll likely have a chance to talk to them is at the police station.

If you are placed under arrest, remember to exercise your right to an attorney and get legal representation as soon as possible. A Suffolk County criminal defense lawyer, who is experienced in handling criminal cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you or your loved one has been arrested, contact the Central Islip criminal defense attorneys at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702.

A Confession is Not the End of Your Case

It’s one thing to know that you have a right to an attorney and the right to remain silent when questioned by police. It’s another thing entirely to exercise those rights when you’re in police custody and facing interrogation by professional officers or detectives. People don’t make the best decisions when they’re under that kind of stress, and it’s surprisingly easy for police to elicit a confession under such circumstances, even from people who are innocent. Fortunately, however, a confession alone isn’t necessarily the end of your case. Continue reading “A Confession is Not the End of Your Case”