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New York Criminal Defense Blog

Defense strategies to consider for drug trafficking charges

Any type of drug charge can be life-changing upon conviction, but many law enforcement and government agencies take a particularly aggressive stance against drug trafficking. In New York, those convicted of drug trafficking will likely face harsh consequences. Possible sentences include the following.

  • Major drug traffickers typically receive a sentence of 15 years to life in a prison
  • Second-time offenders will receive a sentence of 12 to 20 years of imprisonment
  • Nonmajor drug traffickers could face eight to 20 years of imprisonment as well as a post-release supervision period of five years
  • Along with imprisonment, those convicted of drug trafficking must also pay a fee from $5,000 to $100,000

As you can see, drug trafficking is an extremely serious offense in the eyes of the state's lawmakers as well as on the federal level. Serious charges call for a serious response from defendants. Ignoring the charges or merely hoping for a good outcome is insufficient.

What's so wrong about insider trading?

Many of us have come to hear about the crime of insider trading through news stories about individuals like the home design guru Martha Stewart. While many individuals may have a general idea as to what insider trading is from hearing stories about people like her, most people only understand one aspect of what this crime is. The list of actions that may be considered insider trading is far more expansive than you may expect it to be.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) refers to insider trading as buying or selling a security. If someone breaches their fiduciary duty to another after coming to know nonpublic information about it, then they may have committed a crime. This offense essentially amounts to one person with insider knowledge about security tipping another individual off about needing to trade it.

Be careful! Police are looking for violent offenders in Manhattan

Police have begun upping their patrol in various parts of Manhattan over the past few days. They've done so to put an end to a recent uptick in robberies that have occurred in the city in the past few weeks. Many of these crimes remain unsolved at this time.

The stepped-up patrol began soon after the Dec. 12 murder of a Barnard College freshman in Morningside Park. It wasn't long after that victim's stabbing death that police announced that they were seeking to find out if anyone in the public had witnessed two other robberies that happened in the same park 10 days prior.

What are the elements of a major drug trafficker in New York?

New York is known for being especially hard on people who are convicted of drug crimes. One such crime is being charged with operating as a major drug trafficker.

In order for someone to be found guilty of this crime, there must be certain elements proven beyond a reasonable doubt. These are:

  • The person must act as the head of an organization dealing at least one controlled substance where the total aggregate value of a single sale or multiple sales within 12 months or less are $75,000 or more.
  • A person who unlawfully and knowingly sells a narcotic once or more than once that has a total aggregate value of $75,000 or more within six months or less.
  • A person unlawfully and knowingly possesses at least once or more than once a narcotic with the intent to sell it with a total aggregate value of $75,000 or more within six months or less.

Leaving the scene of a deadly accident

You get into a car accident. You panic. It happens so fast. Maybe there is another complication, like the fact that your license got suspended and you should never have been driving anyway. You decide to flee the scene of the crash.

This is illegal under New York law. In fact, leaving the scene of a deadly crash is a Class D felony. Leaving the scene of a crash with a serious injury is a Class E felony. You need to stay at the scene, exchange information with the other driver and talk to the authorities.

The differences between the degrees of vehicle homicide

Intoxicated motorists who cause the death of another stand the potential of being charged with vehicular manslaughter in New York. This crime may be classified as either a first-degree or second-degree felony depending on the nature of the offense.

A second-degree vehicular manslaughter charge is considered a Class D felony in New York.

New York man faces federal financial fraud charges

A Nanuet, New York, man is facing federal charges for his alleged role in a pair of financial schemes.

The indictment, obtained by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, charges him with securities fraud, wire fraud and structuring charges.

Weapon focus can impact what a witness remembers

Despite how often their testimonies are used in court, we do know that witnesses' memories are often inaccurate. This sometimes means that those memories change over time or that people just were not able to form accurate memories as the event occurred, even if they think that they did so.

One reason that they may have an inaccurate memory of the event is a phenomenon known as the "weapon focus effect." Researchers have known about this for a while, and it continues to have an impact on these cases. Essentially, it just means that witnesses to a crime that involves a weapon will often spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at the weapon itself. This can lead to problems with actually identifying the person holding that weapon.

Misuse of forensic science can lead to wrongful convictions

For years, legal professionals have used forensic science to prosecute criminals who have committed violent crimes. Sadly, the science used to prove suspects’ guilt has also been used to incriminate innocent people. Many cases are built around the results obtained from certain forensic testing methods of evidence found at the crime scene. The problem lies in the fact that some testing methods have not been scientifically validated to yield accurate or reliable results. These tests include the following:

  • Shoe print comparison

Determining the legality of kratom in New York

When is a drug not really a drug? That question arises when agencies convene to criminalize possession of substances like kratom around the nation.

Many people may have no idea what kratom is. But for many more others, kratom is the substance that allows them to live their lives without an addiction to illegal opioid-based drugs. Read on to learn how New York classifies kratom use.

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