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New York Criminal Defense Blog

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.

How are drug trafficking charges treated in New York?

New York residents who are accused of drug trafficking will have to take measures to keep themselves safe. Unfortunately, New York has stringent laws that apply to drug trafficking and they can make your life difficult if convicted.

FindLaw states that New York has some of the toughest drug laws in the country. Even first-time offenders who only purchase illicit substances can face huge fines and possibly even time in jail. Many first-time offenses are classified as felonies even if you were simply in possession of an illicit substance. Of course, drug distributors and sellers are subject to even harsher penalties if convicted.

What are vehicular assault offenses in New York?

In New York, there are different penalties for different levels of vehicular assault. Today, we at the Law Office of Scott G. Cerbin, ESQ., PLLC, will take a look at how vehicular assault is categorized in the state and how a conviction may impact a driver.

There are three categories of vehicular assault as defined by the New York Penal Code. This includes aggravated vehicular assault, as well as vehicular assault in the first and second degree. Despite the fact that vehicular assault in the second degree is the least severe of all of these charges, it is still classified as a felony in the state. As a Class E felony, a conviction carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 4 years.

What is the statute of limitations for crimes in New York?

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution entitles you to a speedy and public trial for any criminal charges you face. New York statutes of limitations are partly inspired by this idea.

The statutes of limitations are laws that limit the amount of time that a prosecutor has to file charges against you. However, certain situations might extend this time limit.

What crimes fall under federal law

You may have committed and were accused of a crime. With some accusations, it's hard to know whether you'll be charged with a state or federal crime. What constitutes a federal crime?

A crime will be considered federal if it violates United States federal legal codes or if the one accused carried or performed their criminal activity across multiple states. Commercial fraud, wire fraud and drug trafficking are a few examples of federal crimes.

Are there different kinds of controlled substances?

You may know that it is illegal to sell a controlled substance in New York. However, you may not always know just what a controlled substance is. It is important to know how medications and other substances are classified so you can stay out of trouble. 

Most substances fall into a tier system. GoodRX.com says substances are usually classified as either non-controlled or controlled, and the controlled materials usually have several sub-categories. Controlled substances are controlled because you can become mentally and physically dependent on them if you ingest these drugs for too long. The tier system lays out how addictive a drug is. It is usually harder to access the most addictive substances, and doctor's offices generally have strict requirements for accessing the lower-level substances.

See how the New York marijuana law changes affect you

On July 29, Gov. Andrew Cuomo decriminalized statewide simple possession for pot to a mere violation punishable by only fines. The law is set to take effect 30 days from the day the governor signed the bill into law.

Once in effect, charges of criminal possession of marijuana of less than an ounce will result in a $50 fine. For amounts less than two ounces, the fine is capped at $200.

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