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Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo has issued many executive orders that touch on everything from evictions, to criminal rules such as speedy trial rights, to restrictions on bars and restaurants. One of the more recent executive orders issued on June 18, 2020 allows for liquor licenses to be immediately revoked if a bar or restaurant violated any of the reopening guidelines such as social distances of employees wearing masks. Another executive order issued the same day makes these same establishments responsible for the outdoor areas immediately outside their places of business. While criminal lawyers and liquor license attorneys understand that Cuomo is far from bluffing – the New York State Police, NYPD, and State Liquor Authority (SLA) have issued dozens of summonses to many people and businesses for violating these orders and laws – the Governor went as far as creating a multi-agency task force to address infractions and offenses.

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What can I be arrested for if I violate curfew in NYC? What can the NYPD charge me with if I am caught unlawfully entering a store through a broken window? Is it a felony or misdemeanor to burn a vehicle or damage a building? By no means covering all applicable arrest charges in New York City or elsewhere, the following are some potential offenses you can face if law enforcement determines your conduct violates the law and goes beyond the right to legally protest.

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While being selfish is not criminal, is potentially exposing others to the coronavirus, knowing that you may be infected with COVID-19, a violation of the New York Penal Law? What if you were concerned enough to be tested for the coronavirus and were awaiting the results? What if before you confirmed one way or another whether you were sick and infected, you boarded a JetBlue flight from New York’s JFK Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida? What if that plane carried 114 passengers and crew? What if there were countless news reports about voluntary quarantines, the concerns over air travel, how the disease spreads, and, most importantly, the potential for illness or even death? Sadly, this is not a “what if” hypothetical. The real questions should be whether this passenger committed a crime, and more specifically, Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 120.20.

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What’s next for disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein after a Manhattan jury convicted him of First Degree Sexual Act, Penal Law 130.50? Is jail mandatory and, if so, how much prison time is Weinstein facing at his sentencing? Additionally, will the former producer have to register as a sex offender pursuant to New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA)? What happens now with Weinstein’s potential prosecution in Los Angeles? Setting these issues and questions aside, what is in store for the former silver screen tycoon as he awaits Judge James “Jim” Burke’s last gavel strike on March 11th and beyond?

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While a Domestic Violence arrest is far more troubling than being served with a non-criminal Order of Protection issued by a New York Family Court Judge, when the foundation of either claim is fraudulent, fictitious, exaggerated or intentionally misleading, it is both debilitating and demoralizing.  Simply, whether at the legal sufficiency stage or at a fact-finding hearing or trial, fighting back and taking it to your accuser within the four corners of the law is your best recourse for full exoneration. Fortunately, for a client subject to a complete Stay Away Order after a sibling filed an Article 8 Family Offense Petition, Crotty Saland PC’s Family Court attorneys and Order of Protection lawyers secured a complete dismissal of the action in its entirety upon the filing of a motion to dismiss.

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At his State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo formally rolled out his proposal to codify the Hate Crime Anti-Terrorism Act and combat anti Semitic and other discriminatory attacks. Encompassing more stringent elements than his late summer consideration of the law, the Governor views this future offense as a class “A1” violent felony. The statute, if passed by the legislature and ultimately incorporated into the Penal Law, would be punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

While by no means an examination of the law since none has yet been codified, the following is a brief review of the potential crime as addressed in a recent New York Law Journal article.

When someone is charged with a DWI in New York City, or elsewhere in the state such as Westchester County or Rockland County, there are numerous complex issues that routinely arise. In every such DUI case, it is critical that your DWI lawyer examine and potentially challenge everything from the initial basis for the police pulling over the vehicle and the breathalyzer test or tests to the blood-alcohol content (BAC reading) and more. While car stops are routine in daily life even if not for a VTL 1192 drunk driving crime – it’s hard to imagine driving for an hour on a busy road and not seeing a car pulled over by a police officer for one reason or another. No matter the offense charged, NY vehicular crimes can be surprisingly complex from a legal point of view. One of the issues in this area of the criminal justice system that often arises is when you, an accused, have a right to counsel before submitting to a “chemical test” and what type of test falls under this umbrella.

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Orders of Protection are issued in the criminal courts of every county throughout the State of New York every day, from Brooklyn to Westchester, Manhattan to Rockland. They are issued primarily by Family Courts in the context of Family Offense Petitions and Criminal Court or County/Supreme Court in the context of criminal cases. Orders of Protection are often misunderstood or not fully understood, not only by those they are meant to restrict and protect, but by law enforcement officers, child protective services, probation officers, and other people in the field. Add to this to the unfortunate reality that Restraining Orders are sometimes misused by those they are mean to protect. Even if not anywhere near the majority of cases, claimed victims sometimes proactively use these Stay Away Orders to illegitimately get the restricted party arrested or otherwise benefit themselves beyond the intent of the issuance.

With the above in mind, this blog entry briefly addresses the bare bones pleading requirement for misdemeanor Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law 215.50.

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Whether advocating for a complainant in a criminal prosecution or a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, Child Victims Act attorneys know that sex abuse cases involving children are some of the most disturbing and difficult legal matters they can handle even if the victim of these acts are now adults. Fortunately, however, with the passage and enactment of New York’s Child Victims Act and its year-long “look back” period and expansion of time frames allowing for the commencement of either a civil or criminal action, victims of sexual abuse and molestation can move one step closer to holding their abusers accountable up and down the state from New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley to Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo. While prosecutors can pursue felony charges against an alleged offender years after victimization and until a complainant is 28 years old, those who seek their victimizer’s accountability and financial liability, have a different set of rules to follow. Some of these rules and frequently asked questions about the statute are addressed below.

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Commencing at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2020, New York Bail Reform, as it is commonly referred, takes discretion and authority from both judges and prosecutors and shifts power to far more strict and specifically outlined statutory guidelines. Codified throughout New York Criminal Procedure Law 500, a judge’s ability to set bail in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars at the request of the District Attorney is limited and replaced with legislated standards. In fact, the language of CPL 510.10(1) is quite clear. “The court shall release the principal pending trial on the principal’s own recognizance, unless it is demonstrated and the court makes an individualized determination that the principal poses a risk of flight to avoid prosecution. If such a finding is made, the court must select the least restrictive alternative and condition or conditions that will reasonably assure the principal’s return to court.”

Although this blog entry is no substitute for understanding bail or the advocacy of your criminal lawyer at your arraignment, the following provides some basic principles and provisions that now govern the criminal justice system.

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