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”

Explaining the NY Marijuana Decriminalization Law

When a New York State law decriminalizing marijuana went into effect in August, many people wondered what it would mean for ordinary people. There was also concern as to what decriminalization would mean for people arrested for marijuana violations previously. Well, here’s a basic rundown of what you need to know about this new law, and its implications for the general public. Continue reading “Explaining the NY Marijuana Decriminalization Law”

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions

It doesn’t take a genius to know that if you are convicted of a crime, or plead to having committed a crime, you’ll be punished with jail or prison time, probation, fines, or some combination of the above. However, there’s more to crime and punishment than just that, and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself suffering from the collateral consequences of your punishment without realizing it. Continue reading “Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions”

Tragic New York Boating Accident Case Comes to a Close

As the weather heats up, more New Yorkers are taking their boats out onto the open seas. Although boating is a fun activity to engage in, it is important to recognize that it can also be extremely dangerous if certain precautions are not taken. Boat accidents may occur for various reasons, including boating under the influence, negligent speeding, or a manufacturers defect, among others. Recently, a New York man was convicted of manslaughter in a horrific boating accident that occurred on Lake George and resulted in the death of an 8-year-old girl and other serious injuries.

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Suffolk County Judge Reopens Juvenile Drug Treatment Court in Central Islip

On January 26, 2017, a Suffolk County judge announced the reopening of the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court in Central Islip. Several years ago, many had deemed the drug treatment courts for juveniles to be a success. However, due to lack of state funding, these drug treatment courts became obsolete in Suffolk County, while drug treatment courts for adults remained. The goal of the juvenile drug treatment court is to reduce substance abuse and non-violent behaviors among the youth who have become involved in the family court system.

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