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How To Use This Section Of Our Website

In this section of our website, we have answered hundreds and hundreds of questions our clients have asked us over the years. Instead of looking all over the Internet for an answer to a question you have about an arrest or investigation in New York City, spend 10 seconds and see if we have answered it here. Here’s how to find your answer….

One, just down and to the right, you will see a SEARCH BOX that says “Have A Question?”. Just type your question in the box and press your enter key. Every answer on this site that is related to your question will fill your screen.

Or two, just below the search box, are the criminal Categories we’ve answered questions on. Just go the specific topic you have a question on and click the topic. Every question related to that topic will appear on your screen.

And remember, if you or a family member needs assistance with a criminal matter, or is under investigation by NY or Federal Authorities, call us at 212-577-6677.

Now that two states have legalized marijuana and many more allow various approaches to Medical Marijuana, you may feel like it’s pretty safe to ask a friend in Denver or Seattle to mail you some pot.

This is a big mistake. Whether you opt for the US Postal Service or a private mailer like UPS or FedEx, you are violating federal law if you send injurious or poisonous material – which the USPS considers marijuana and other illegal drugs to be – through the mail anywhere in the United States.

And you won’t be safe from prosecution if you simply receive the package. Causing such material to be mailed is the same as mailing it yourself, so unless your friend in the other state is certain to insist that you had no idea it was coming, you should be prepared for a very bad experience.

If you’re caught receiving marijuana through the mail in New York, state laws aren’t your biggest concern.

Federal laws are. You may find yourself charged with drug trafficking, mail fraud, and possession of a controlled substance.

Depending on the quantity of marijuana received, the penalties can be extremely serious, both in terms of lengthy federal prison sentences and huge fines.

If you’ve been arrested for receiving illegal drugs through the mail, you need to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as quickly as you can.

Call our NYC criminal defense team at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.

New York’s Office of the Medicaid Inspector General is one of the country’s most successful Medicaid fraud investigation agencies, and has recovered well over $1B in fraudulent billings over the last few years.

Medicaid fraud is spotted using an array of investigatory techniques. For instance, an investigator may bring a prescription into a pharmacy and have it filled, posing as a Medicaid recipient. Then the agency examines the bill submitted for the transaction. If anything is out of the ordinary, additional resources will be applied to investigate further.

The agency also uses advanced software tools to analyze patterns in provider billings. The agency has a database of statewide and community-level “normal” service and billing routines, including how many patients a particular type of doctor or dentist commonly sees in a day, how many procedures are generally performed on patients, and what types of procedures are common. When the software spots billing patterns that deviate from the baseline in the area, an investigation may ensue.

In our era of expanded Medicaid and increasing pressure on providers to rein in costs, it’s not feasible for most providers to simply exit the Medicaid system and lose out on a huge population of customers. But the same pressure to show results applies to the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, and the result can be dangerous for your business.

Call our experienced NYC Medicaid fraud defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 to schedule a consultation any time you suspect your practice may be under investigation.

After the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012, New York’s lawmakers took steps designed to minimize the risk of similar incidents here.

One of the changes that followed that tragic incident was to boost the penalty of carrying an unlicensed or unregistered firearm from a misdemeanor to a Class E Felony.

Criminal Possession of a Firearm in New York carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three and a half years, even if you’ve never been in trouble with the law before. It is considered a violent felony, and is applied in an extremely broad way.

Prosecutors can charge you under this statute even if you’re not technically in possession of your firearm at the time.

Under “strict liability” theories, a weapon that is deemed to be in your dominion or in your control – as in a lock box or the trunk of your car – can still result in a charge under this statute.

Suffice it to say, New York legislators and prosecutors are not kidding around when it comes to gun control in the state.

If you’ve been charged with Criminal Possession of a Firearm in New York, call our experienced team of weapons charges defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 and schedule an immediate consultation today.

Laws related to domestic violence crimes have evolved in unexpected ways over the last two decades or so. At the state level, New York has adopted strict policies related to automatic arrests and the issuance of orders of protection in cases where domestic violence is suspected.

Federally, the United States Congress passed a ban on gun ownership for people convicted of some misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. According to federal law, a person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime that includes the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, can be barred for life from owning, using, possessing, or selling handguns, some long guns, and ammunition.

In New York, that means that a number of misdemeanor crimes can have a permanent impact on your fundamental rights as a citizen, and may prevent or end certain career paths. For instance, individuals who wish to go into law enforcement, either as local police, state troopers, or federal law enforcement agents, are barred from jobs in those fields because it is illegal for them to possess firearms.

Similarly, military careers end when members of the armed services are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes. It’s an unusual situation, as law enforcement and military personnel otherwise enjoy an exemption from the gun ban for felony crimes. So a New York police officer, or a soldier stationed in the state, could be permitted to continue to possess a service weapon if convicted of a felony, including murder, but would be forced out if convicted of some misdemeanors.

If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor in New York, protect your rights with our experienced criminal defense attorneys. Call us at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.

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What Is Honest Services Fraud In Public Corruption Cases?

The Department of Justice has wide latitude in charging public officials it believes have betrayed the public trust or otherwise abused their offices.

One particular charge that public officials are especially prone to draw in a corruption investigation is known as Honest Services Fraud.

The federal mail and wire fraud statute outlaws not only fraud that deprives a person of a tangible item like money or property, but it also bars fraud that deprives another of “the intangible right of honest services.”

In the context of public corruption prosecutions, honest services fraud is typically charged when prosecutors allege that bribery was used to obtain material gain, or where a conflict of interest was not disclosed in order to obtain material gain.

Public officials who abuse or betray the office they have been entrusted with are widely viewed to have deprived constituents of the honest services of their offices.

Notable prosecutions for honest services fraud include two recent Illinois governors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, as well as former New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who was convicted on two counts of honest services fraud.

Honest services fraud can also be charged in private transactions, usually financial.

The standards for conviction are higher in the private sector, where several “tests” are applied to determine whether the acts fall under the scope of the statute.

If you’re being investigated for public corruption or honest services fraud, call our experienced NYC criminal defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677.

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What’s The Penalty For Domestic Violence In New York?

Rather than being a specific crime that prosecutors charge, Domestic Violence is a category of offenses that can include charges like stalking, menacing, assault, harassment, and more.

Penalties vary widely, from a single count charge on a misdemeanor that may lead to no jail time, to multiple-count felony charges that can put you away for years.

One consistent part of the process in so-called “family crimes” is that police, prosecutors, and judges will take immediate steps on the presumption that the alleged victim is in danger.

For instance, if you and your spouse have a fight and one of you calls 911, the aggressor in the incident will almost certainly be taken into custody, especially if police observe evidence of a physical altercation.

As one of the terms of your release from custody, you will be served with a temporary restraining order designed to protect your alleged victim from you.

The order of protection may require that you stay away from your spouse, i.e., that you may not go home until a hearing can be scheduled, which may take weeks.

These two things happen before you are prosecuted or convicted, and the prosecutor’s ability to separate families makes Domestic Violence crimes particularly dangerous for both the alleged victim and the alleged attacker.

When they are a family with shared income, expenses, and parenting roles to attend to, an order of protection can be emotionally and financially costly.

If you’ve been charged in connection with a Domestic Violence crime, in family court or criminal court, call our experienced criminal defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677.

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What’s The Penalty For IRS Tax Refund Fraud?

Tax Refund Fraud is a crime that has seen tremendous growth in the last few years.

It is usually committed when a person allegedly files taxes to receive refunds using stolen Social Security numbers, and is typically investigated and charged under Title 18 U.S.C. 1028, the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The IRS considers Title 18 U.S.C. 1028 to be a “companion” charge and commonly seeks to add tax and tax-related charges to Identity Fraud prosecutions.

Individuals charged in refund fraud schemes are likely to face additional counts including mail fraud, wire fraud, filing false claims, theft of government funds, conspiracy, bank fraud, and more.

In recent years, investigations and convictions have grown dramatically. Sentences depend in part on the extent of the fraud and the value of the funds stolen, with sanction varying from a few months (plus fines, restitution, and more) to decades of prison time and millions of dollars in fines and restitution.

If you’ve been charged in connection with tax fraud or tax refund fraud, call our experienced New York tax fraud defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.

If you meet the terms of an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, then the charges against you will be dismissed after the adjournment period and the case will be sealed.

Records of the charges should not be visible to most employers, colleges, and others who may run a background check.

Exceptions may include applying to become a police officer, joining the military, or seeking professional licensing in a field like law or medicine in New York.

For most charges, the term of the ACD is six months, but for family crimes and marijuana, the term of the ACD usually lasts for one year.

If you are not arrested in that time, and you meet any other terms the court orders, then you stand a good chance of getting through the experience with no lasting impact on your future.

If you have questions about an ACD offer in a current case, or how a past ACD may impact you professionally, call our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.

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Is Cyber Stalking A Federal Crime?

At the Federal level, there are a variety of statutes that are used to prosecute such activities as sending threats using the Internet (18 U.S.C. 875(c)); transmitting personal information such as names, social security numbers, email or physical addresses, or telephone numbers of individuals under 16 years of age (18 U.S.C. 2425); and using a telephone or telecommunications device to anonymously harass, abuse, or threaten a person (47 U.S.C. 223).

In addition, the federal anti-stalking statute was expanded in 2006 to make it a crime to use computer services to engage in a course of conduct that causes significant emotional distress or that puts a person in reasonable fear of death or of serious bodily injury (18 U.S.C. 2261A).

When the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized in 2013, these statutes were broadened again, and the scope of some online speech appears to have been curtailed a way that raises constitutional questions, especially for anonymous online speech.

While Federal statutes generally specify interstate or foreign-transit elements to define the crime, the dispersed nature of the Internet means that communication sent even short physical distances may involve servers in another state or even another country. Cyberstalking and cyberharassment are serious Federal charges.

Call our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 to schedule a consultation.

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Is Cyber Stalking Illegal In New York?

Under New York law, so-called cyberstalking is usually prosecuted under the statute Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, which is a class A misdemeanor carrying a potential sentence of up to a year in jail and three years of probation.

“Cyberstalking,” as commonly understood, means to use the Internet, social media, email, or other communication technologies or platforms to stalk or harass a person. It reflects an ongoing, methodical, and deliberate effort to create fear in the victim.

Interestingly, stalking and harassment cases can be prosecuted even when the defendant genuinely intended no harm.

The standard applied by courts is whether a reasonable person should expect this behavior to make a person fearful, and whether the target of the behaviors would reasonably experience fear as a result of them.

While cyberstalking may be something of a vernacular term instead of a legal one, it is against the law in New York to harass someone through written means, electronic means, telephones, chat rooms, Instant Messaging, on social media, and so on.

If convicted, the penalties can be serious. Terms of probation can include limited or even no access to a computer or the Internet.

If you’re charged with using a computer to stalk or harass in New York, you should consult an experienced defense attorney right away.

Our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys are available at (212) 577-6677 to schedule a consultation right away.