The last time anyone associated with the Washington Redskins opened a can of good old fashion whoop-ass was likely the bludgeoning of John Elway’s Denver Broncos by both Doug Williams and Timmy Smith in Super Bowl XXII. While Jacqueline Kent Cooke may or may not have been a glimmer in her parents’ eyes back in 1988, if the allegations are true as reported by the New York Post and New York Daily News, the heiress now faces criminal charges for at least the second time in her short, but financially enhanced, life. Possibly unfamiliar with the current state of concussions plaguing professional football players, Ms. Kent Cooke is alleged to have made some rather insensitive anti-Semitic statements toward a Jewish lawyer (presumably not former US Senate candidate Roy’s Moore’s Jewish lawyer) followed by a unsportsmanlike slam to the noggin of the fifty plus year old man with her hard sided purse. It is further alleged that Ms. Kent Cooke may have consumed a few too many cocktails

So, with at least three, if not four, full quarters left to play, what is in store for Ms. Kent Cooke as she enjoys the next “few” hours hanging out in Manhattan’s Tombs? What are the potential crimes she may face as she temporarily takes up residence in a dirty jail cell awaiting arraignment in New York County Criminal Court?

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A routine and common sentiment heard by New York City Desk Appearance lawyers is that an appearance ticket, aka, DAT, is not a big deal. After all, a DAT is not an arrest and misdemeanor crimes don’t stay on the record, right (wrong!)? So, why worry? Why would you retain or hire a lawyer in New York City for a Desk Appearance Ticket? Better asked, should you get an attorney for an appearance ticket in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx? In one word, “yes.”

While a New York Desk Appearance Ticket may charge a lesser crime, each and every misdemeanor or felony upon a conviction will result in a lifelong public criminal record searchable and reviewable by Homeland Security, any and all immigration authorities, potential creditors, future employers, and just about anyone who does a background check for co-op apartment, medical and professional licensure or merely because they want to dig into your history.

Because criminal convictions in New York are never expunged (they can be sealed pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 depending on the crime and whether it is ten years old or more), it behooves you to take your DAT seriously. Are you a legal resident or a foreign national with a visa? An attorney admitted to a state’s bar? A college student set to graduate and seek employment? Regardless of who you are or what your background is, taking the steps today to challenge or mitigate your criminal allegations and arrest can save you a lifetime of “I should haves” and “Why didn’t Is.”

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In the State of New York, if you commit a crime the police can arrest you and a local District Attorney can prosecute you for your alleged illegal conduct. For example, if you ball up your fists and intentionally take a swing at another person’s face, it is likely you would find yourself in front of a judge charged with Third Degree Assault if you gave that person a “shiner.” While not available to all complainants or victims, if you were the recipient of that drubbing and you have an intimate or domestic relationship with your attacker, you may pursue another means to hold your attacker accountable while providing yourself with security and safety going forward. In lieu of or in addition to the criminal justice system, New York’s Family Court Act may be your answer and enable you to obtain an order of protection or restraining order.

As a preliminary matter, and one you should consult with your New York order of protection lawyer or Family Court attorney, you must have a domestic relationship (“member of the same family or household”) ranging from current or former boyfriend or girlfriend to sibling or spouse. Assuming the New York Family Court has jurisdiction over your matter, as a petitioner (similar to a complainant), you can file a petition for an order of protection by setting forth violations of Section 812 of the New York Family Court Act. This section sets forth the offenses, aka, crimes, your lawyer will use as the foundation of your petition. With this in mind, what are the offenses listed in Family Court Act 812 and how to they compare to their brethren offenses in the New York Penal Law?

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I was given a Pink Summons for Disorderly Conduct, is that considered an arrest? A police officer gave me a white Desk Appearance Ticket after being held at Century 21 for shoplifting, was I arrested? Reasonable questions associated with what may be a once in a lifetime mistake, “white tickets” and “pink tickets” are distinct mechanisms to land you, an accused offender, before the criminal courts of New York City. While a pink summons is returnable to 1 Centre Street or 314 West 54th Street for Manhattan infractions, 1 Centre Street for Brooklyn violations and 120-55 Queens Blvd. for Queens offenses, they are quite different than their white Desk Appearance Ticket counterpart. Yes, you might find yourself at Midtown Community Court at 314 West 54th Street along with someone issued a pink summons, but Desk Appearance Tickets, a/k/a, DATs, are generally prosecuted in the criminal courts of 100 Centre Street for Manhattan, 120 Schermerhorn for Brooklyn and 125-01 Queens Blvd. for Queens cases. Although the location you appear is telling, the question remains. Is being issued a New York City summons or DAT considered an arrest?

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Although some New York DWI and DUI lawyers might argue the “fix is in” when it comes to defending a client in a DWI Chemical Test Refusal Hearing at the NY DMV with an Administrative Law Judge, simply that is not the case. While the standard in these hearings are lower than the parallel proceedings in criminal court where a VTL 1192.3 arrest is prosecuted, the lower burden of proof is not the equivalent to an insurmountable challenge. Case (or cases) in point, both Elizabeth Crotty and Jeremy Saland secured dismissals after the NYPD Officers did not provide sufficient evidence at the respective DWI Refusal Hearings. Because of Crotty Saland PC’s efforts, cross-examination of the police officers and convincing of the judges, these clients avoided a year long revocation of their license to drive in the State of New York. Obviously, the alternative resolution would have been horrific for our clients.

Before briefly discussing these specific Refusal Hearings, any time a person is arrested for and charged with a Common Law DWI pursuant to New York VTL 1192.3, the arresting police officer or member of the police department must first ask that accused to provide a breath sample. If he or she refuses, the officer in clear and unequivocal language must also advise the driver that failure to submit to a chemical test would result in an immediate suspension and ultimate revocation of his or her license to drive. Not only can this refusal be used against the driver at a later criminal hearing or trial, but even if a criminal case is later beaten, dismissed or the accused is exonerated, the finding and punishment by the Administrative Law Judge would stand. In addition to the issues addressed above, the Administrative Law Judge must also find that the defendant was arrested with probable cause and he or she was in fact operating the motor vehicle.

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I need a restraining order. How do I get an order of protection? A simple question deserves a straightforward answer, but unfortunately, as your lawyer likely can attest to, the law is not always cooperative on that front. Certainly, if you are a victim of a crime and an order of protection is warranted, upon arrest and prosecution in New York, most judges will issue an order of protection. However, not all cases require the full force of the criminal justice system nor do complainants (you, the victim) want to pursue criminal charges. Enter the New York Family Court Act. The vehicle to secure an order of protection for those who are members of the same household or family, New York’s Family Court is where you would go to get a non-criminal order of protection.

Now that you know where you can go to get a restraining order in New York, the follow up question gets more complicated. Who can avail themselves of Family Court restraining order? The answer, if you noted above, are those petitioners (victims or complainants) who the court statutorily classifies as “members of the same household or family.”

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I was arrested for a felony in Westchester County. The Westchester County police charged me with Second Degree Assault. Detectives from the Yonkers Police Department arrested my sister for felony drug possession. Whether you are arrested in Yorktown Heights, Mount Pleasant, Ossining, Scarsdale, North Castle or Pelham, any felony crime in Westchester County follows the same potential trajectory from arrest and arraignment through indictment or Superior Court Information (SCI).

Although the crimes may vary – Second Degree Criminal Mischief, Third Degree Grand Larceny, Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon – Westchester County felony arrests are either disposed of in a local Justice Court as a misdemeanor, violation or dismissal, or are removed to the County Court in White Plains for prosecution as a felony. This blog entry will briefly address the process followed by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. Should you require further information about Westchester County felony crimes and the criminal process, consult with your criminal defense attorney.

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My former girlfriend won’t stop calling and harassing me. Can I get a Family Court order of protection? My ex-husband comes to my office and house without my permission. He is scaring me and I am afraid I will lose my job. Can I get a restraining order in Family Court or is my only choice to have him arrested? The short answer to these questions is if you live in Westchester County or the person harassing, threatening or stalking you resides or commits these or other violations of the New York Family Court act in White Plains, Yonkers, Somers, Bedford, Scarsdale, New Castle, Armonk, Yorktown, Bronxville or Irvington, to merely name a few Westchester towns and cities, you can file a petition in Family Court for an order of protection. While the process for the most part is the same whether you are requesting a restraining order in Rockland Family Court, Putnam County Family Court, NYC Family Court or Westchester County Family Court, any request for an order of protection starts in the Westchester County Family Court located in White Plains.

Whether you are a petitioner (complainant) or a respondent (defendant), you should understand the law and how it is applied in Family Court. Remember, while the criminal courts are obviously criminal, Family Court is a civil forum and pursuing your rights in court does not preclude you from doing the same in the other. Merely a brief explanation regarding process and procedure, this blog nonetheless is valuable to both petitioners and respondents with pending actions for restraining orders in Westchester County.

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During summer 2017, a New York man, David Hedeen, was arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief when he vandalized four statues outside of a church in SoHo. The case highlights how seriously New York State and her prosecutors deal with crimes of vandalism. Simply, no statue, or any property of another person, should ever be tampered with or destroyed.

Criminal Mischief charges in New York are separated into four different classifications. Reverend Mario Julian, who is the priest at the church, stated that the damage done equaled close to $10,000. If that turns out to be true, and as now reflected in the indictment, Hedeen faces charges of Second Degree Criminal Mischief. This charge, New York Penal Law 145.10, includes intent to, and actually causing damage that is greater than $1,500. If convicted, Hedeen could face up to seven years in prison on a class “D” felony.

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Whether you are at the Electric Zoo Festival on New York’s Randall Island, rolling with Phish at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, or you are merely out and about in New York City, Westchester County, Rockland County, or anywhere in the State, if you possess or sell MDMA, Molly or Ecstasy you potentially face an arrest for either a misdemeanor or felony crime. As your criminal lawyer will explain, mere possession of Ecstasy, even one pill, violates New York Penal Law 220.03, Seventh Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. Depending on the quantity in your possession and whether you have the subjective intent to sell the Ecstasy, you could also face felony crimes including Third Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, New York Penal Law 220.16. Complicating matters, when you actually sell Molly, MDMA or Ecstasy in New York, the crime you face is by default a felony. Assuming the weight of the controlled substance is less than one gram, meaning just one pill, then you would be charged with New York Penal Law 220.31, Fifth Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance. If the weight of the Ecstasy, MDMA or Molly exceeds one gram, then the applicable arrest charge is New York Penal Law 220.39 assuming this sale did not occur on school grounds. This crime is Third Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance. When the weights exceed those here and as outlined in the New York Penal Law, the criminal offenses for criminal possession or sale are significantly more serious.

Because of the above exposure, any arrest, whether by Desk Appearance Ticket or felony complaint, requires immediate and professional attention. Sometimes, investigation and advocacy from the onset of an arrest can provide tremendous benefits as the matter makes its way through the criminal justice system. Fortunately for three recent clients of Crotty Saland PC, despite their arrests for selling Molly to undercover police officers at the Electric Zoo, they took immediate action to retain a criminal lawyer and fight their respective arrests for PL 220.31 head on as they worked their way towards an ultimate dismissal on the merits.

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