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criminal defense Archives

Report reveals that black offenders receive harsher sentences

A recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission indicates that black men serve longer sentences than white men convicted of the same crimes. The commission is an independent and bipartisan agency of the judicial branch of the federal government. It is tasked with issuing sentencing guidelines and monitoring how closely these guidelines are followed by federal judges in New York and across the country.

Study finds race to be an issue in plea deals

Criminal case defendants in New York may be more likely to be offered favorable plea deals if they are white. A study of over 30,000 misdemeanors in Wisconsin found that white defendants had more than a 70 percent higher chance of being offered a dismissal, reduction or dropping of charges than black defendants.

Understanding a tampering with evidence charge

If a New York resident tries to conceal or alter evidence, that may constitute tampering. Evidence is roughly defined as anything that may be useful to a criminal investigation such as a document or a physical object. To provide tampering, it is first necessary to show that an individual intended to do so. Accidentally destroying or losing evidence is not necessarily tampering.

When authorities have probable cause to arrest a person

When a New York resident is being questioned by police, he or she is free to walk away as a formal arrest has not been made. However, once a police officer prevents a resident from walking away, he or she has been detained and is now under arrest. In order for an arrest to be legal, the officer must have had "probable cause".

Report on law enforcement hacking released

New York residents may be aware that federal agencies including the National Security Agency have been accused of monitoring the electronic communications of millions of Americans, but they may not know about a new technique being used by law enforcement that places malware on the computers of people who have been suspected of being involved in illegal activity. Civil rights groups are especially concerned about this development because it allows federal agents to monitor the online activates of large numbers of internet users after obtaining a single search warrant.

Prosecutors must reveal favorable evidence

A New York prosecutor in the high-profile murder trial of an 11-year-old boy has revealed that a witness saw someone who was not the accused entering the boy's home minutes before he was murdered. On trial for the murder is the boyfriend of the boy's mother despite no forensic evidence tying him to the case. The man allegedly seen entering the house was an ex-boyfriend of the mother.

Passenger carjacks livery cab with BBQ fork and knife

In New York, a BBQ fork- and knife-wielding man is facing harassment, robbery and grand larceny charges after allegedly robbing a livery driver in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood on Aug. 31. According to prosecutors, the 19-year-old passenger relieved the cabbie of his debit card, cell phone and keys before allegedly carjacking the 41-year-old man's 2006 Lincoln Town Car. Sources indicate that the incident took place in the vicinity of an apartment building on Stagg Walk shortly after 5:30 a.m.

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