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?”

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”

Collateral Consequences for Legal Immigrants

Being arrested for a crime is never a good thing. Aside from the obvious risks of fines or incarceration, a criminal conviction can cost you your job, your home, and more. But few populations have a harder time with these “collateral consequences” than legal immigrants, whose entire life in the United States can be endangered by a criminal conviction. Continue reading “Collateral Consequences for Legal Immigrants”

What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

In criminal law, most crimes are divided into one of two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. There are some major differences between the two types of crimes, both in terms of time served and the impact they could have on a convict’s life. So what is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor, and why does it matter? Continue reading “What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?”

What are NY’s Collateral Consequences and How Might They Affect Me?

Just about anyone who knows about criminal law knows that if you are convicted of a crime or plead to a crime, you will generally be punished in one of three ways: incarceration in a jail or prison, probation, or payment of a fine. Sometimes, you may be assigned community service, forced to attend a rehabilitation clinic, or you may be given another, more peculiar punishment. However, there are other potential consequences to a criminal conviction, known as collateral consequences, that you should be aware of before you take a plea deal. Continue reading “What are NY’s Collateral Consequences and How Might They Affect Me?”

Prevalence of Face Masks Confounds Facial Recognition Technology

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, wearing a face covering in public was limited to a handful of circumstances, such as protecting against cold weather or wearing a mask on Halloween. At most other times, wearing a face mask would raise suspicion, often associated with criminals attempting to conceal their identity from cameras. However, the coronavirus has made face masks a common sight, confounding facial recognition technology intended to catch criminals from camera footage. Continue reading “Prevalence of Face Masks Confounds Facial Recognition Technology”

NYC to Release 300 Nonviolent Offenders Due to Coronavirus Fears

Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City has said he will release approximately 300 inmates currently incarcerated at Rikers Island for nonviolent misdemeanor offenses, in response to the coronavirus. The coronavirus is at the forefront of everyone’s minds now, and this is particularly true of the prison system, where inmates and staff alike are at high risk of exposure to the contagion. However, it isn’t entirely clear how many of these inmates can legally be released, due to complications with state and federal law. Continue reading “NYC to Release 300 Nonviolent Offenders Due to Coronavirus Fears”

Criminal Penalties for Breaking Quarantine

In late March, President Trump publicly floated the idea of quarantining New York, as well as parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. While the quarantine was ultimately not implemented, with the White House instead issuing a travel advisory for those three states, it made some people fear what might happen if one or more states were, in fact, quarantined. For example, what happens to people who break an officially imposed quarantine? Continue reading “Criminal Penalties for Breaking Quarantine”

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”

What is the Miranda Warning?

If you have ever watched a law enforcement-based program on TV, like Law and Order or NCIS, chances are you’ve heard of the Miranda warning, and Miranda rights. You may even be able to recite them from memory. But why is it so important for police officers to tell suspects their Miranda rights, and what happens if an arresting officer fails to do so? Continue reading “What is the Miranda Warning?”