New York State Criminal Defense
The majority of criminal cases involved in the New York court system are prosecuted by local county District Attorneys. State criminal courts have jurisdiction over cases that generally fall into the following categories:
Typically, violent offenses involve force and/or physical injury against another person. These crimes are often legally referred to as “offenses against the person.” Examples include: homicide, assault, sex offenses, arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, sale and use of a firearm, and child pornography. In New York, most violent crimes are charged as felonies.
As the name implies, non-violent offenses do not involve force or physical injury, but are nevertheless, harmful to society. Examples of non-violent crimes include: drug possession and distribution, criminal mischief, larceny, trespass, forgery, computer crimes, criminal solicitation, fraud and prostitution. Depending on the nature of the crime charged under the New York Penal Code, a non-violent crime may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony.
White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are non-violent offenses committed through business dealings, transactions or commerce for the purpose of financial gain. Examples include various types of fraud, such as Medicaid, mail, insurance, wire, mortgage, securities and welfare fraud. Authorities also investigate alleged white collar crime activities such as embezzlement, bribery, racketeering, conspiracy, illegal gambling, official misconduct and filing a false instrument. Political corruption cases involving elected or appointed officials and state, county or town employees are also considered white collar crimes.
Drug offenses range from misdemeanors to felonies. Misdemeanor charges typically involve possession of small quantities of a controlled substance. Authorities typically pursue felony drug charges for possession of substantial quantities of drugs. Other felony drug crimes include sale and distribution of narcotics, trafficking, manufacturing and prescription drug fraud. If an accused is suffering from a drug dependency, court supervised treatment diversion programs are available and often result in favorable court dispositions.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
Defendants facing DWI charges, if convicted, are subject to considerable fines, drivers license suspension or revocation, installation of the ignition interlock device and possible incarceration. A driver who refuses to consent to a chemical drug or alcohol test must appear for a DMV refusal hearing and is subject to fines and a drivers license revocation of one year. Authorities may charge DWI as a felony if a defendant was previously convicted of DWI within the past ten years or if a minor under the age of sixteen was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
A great number of offenses charged in the New York courts are the non-crime violations of Disorderly Conduct and Harassment. An accused charged with a violation should be cautious because such convictions could impact on employment, licensing and have negative consequences on related civil litigation. Many violation charges involve the issuance of Orders of Protections which could have serious consequences.
Orders of Protections
Courts can issue orders of protections against an accused if an allegation involves physical injury or the threat of violence to a victim. Orders of Protections can cause devastating consequences regarding employment, housing, child visitation and the ability to lawfully possess a firearm. The law allows for two types of restraining orders: a stay away order and a refrain from order. The mere allegation of violating an order will result in an arrest and detention by the police until the accused is brought before a court, typically the following day.
Properly defending a state criminal case requires experience, skill and a thorough understanding of New York law.