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?”

The Complications of a Co-Defendant

If you have been arrested for allegedly committing a crime, you are already dealing with a complex and stressful situation. Even relatively simple cases with low-level charges can take months to resolve, especially if you choose to go to trial. However, just about any case can become substantially more complicated if you are also trying to defend yourself alongside a co-defendant. Here are just a few ways in which your legal defense could be made more difficult by the presence of a co-defendant: Continue reading “The Complications of a Co-Defendant”

What is the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy?

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that no citizen shall be subject to an unreasonable search or seizure of their person or property without a warrant backed by probable cause. A key word in that statement, however, is what constitutes an “unreasonable” search or seizure. According to the Supreme Court, the answer has to do with whether someone had a reasonable expectation of privacy. But what exactly is the reasonable expectation of privacy, and when does it protect you from a search or seizure by law enforcement? Continue reading “What is the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy?”

Five Ways to Protect Your Rights During a Police Interrogation

There are few things more potentially stressful than being interrogated by the police. Even if they tell you that you are not being suspected of a crime, there is the fear that you will say something that the police will eventually use against you. That is why you should remember these things that you can do to protect your rights if you ever find yourself in a police interrogation: Continue reading “Five Ways to Protect Your Rights During a Police Interrogation”

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?”

Third-Party Doctrine Applies in Cryptocurrency Searches

               In a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the court has ruled that cryptocurrency transactions are subject to the third-party doctrine. This means that cryptocurrency records are not protected by the Fourth Amendment and may be searched by law enforcement at any time, even without a warrant. This will make it significantly harder for criminal defendants to protect their identity in cryptocurrency transactions, whether made in New York or elsewhere, as they will effectively be unable to contest a law enforcement search of that data. Continue reading “Third-Party Doctrine Applies in Cryptocurrency Searches”

Five Potential Consequences of a Drunk Driving Arrest

It should go without saying that no one should ever drive drunk, or while under the influence of any intoxicating substances. However, some people do wind up driving drunk regardless, and if they are arrested for it, they can face many potential consequences, even without being convicted. Here are five potential consequences for drunk driving: Continue reading “Five Potential Consequences of a Drunk Driving Arrest”

Crime Rate Drops Significantly During COVID Quarantine

Overall, the coronavirus pandemic has been a nightmare for most of the country. It has significantly taxed resources at the local, state, and federal level, and has caused a substantial strain on the American medical system. However, there has been a silver lining to it all: crime has dropped significantly across the country, with the drop in crime being particularly noticeable in large cities like New York City. Continue reading “Crime Rate Drops Significantly During COVID Quarantine”

How Criminal Rights Have Been Affected by the Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in most legal proceedings being suspended for its duration, and this is as true for the criminal courts as it is for everything else. Due to the coronavirus, most criminal court proceedings have been suspended, while others are now being conducted remotely through video conferencing and other telecommunications methods. This has had a dramatic impact on how criminal defendants can protect their rights during the pandemic. Continue reading “How Criminal Rights Have Been Affected by the Coronavirus”

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”