Criminal defendants in New York and around the country are guaranteed a number of very important rights by the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment gives suspects the right to remain silent and the Fourth Amendment limits the search and seizure power of the authorities, but perhaps the most important protections enjoyed by criminal defendants are provided by the Sixth Amendment. The Sixth Amendments guarantees the right to a fair trial and states that even indigent defendants have the right to adequate legal representation.
New York residents may be following a story involving a Florida congresswoman who has been indicted for her role in a fraud scheme. The woman allegedly solicited $800,000 between 2012 and early 2016 for a charity called One Door for Education Foundation that claimed it would use the funds for college scholarships.
Courts and prosecutors' offices in New York face a constant flow of criminal defendants. Because judges want to process cases as quickly as possible and avoid burdensome backlogs and long waits for trial dates, they generally approve of plea deals. Prosecutors desire to focus time and resources on serious crimes instead of cases that involve relatively minor offenses.
Three men were taken into custody on June 28 on charges that they misled and defrauded investors of $12 million. The funds were supposedly going to be used to finance movie projects that included the likes of Willie Nelson and Harry Connick Jr. According to authorities, the money was solicited between 2012 and 2016. Investors would be repaid through profit sharing and other methods.
Assistant District Attorneys in New York City spend their days prosecuting thousands of individuals every year. Most will spend a few years of anonymity at the beginning of their law careers gaining experience and looking for their big opportunity to make a name for themselves. When a high-profile name comes under investigation, the pressure is on to seek a conviction.