George F. Hildebrandt
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Syracuse Criminal Law Blog

Determining intent to distribute

Though some states have legalized the use of marijuana, not all have. When people are caught with marijuana and other illegal drugs, they may face serious drug charges

The penalties for such charges are quite strict and can have a major impact on the lives of those facing them, especially if they face charges for distribution. A few important elements help to determine possession with intent to distribute.

4 common white collar crimes

The term "white collar crime" generally refers to various nonviolent, commercial crimes that people commit for financial gain. Individuals usually commit these crimes to receive or avoid losing property, money or services. Most white collar crimes involve sophistication and deception. 

But with so many examples of white collar crimes out there, which ones are the most common? Here is a look at some of the most frequent white collar crimes. 

What should I say if police ask to search my car?

Many people in the Syracuse area believe they must allow law enforcement to search their cars when asked. You, however, might believe they only need a warrant to legally search your vehicle. You should think carefully about what you say to the police. Giving them permission to search your vehicle during a traffic stop when it is not necessary could lead to criminal charges

It is important for you to understand your rights and how they pertain to legal and illegal searches. Law enforcement officials have a lot of authority, but it is unlawful for them to violate your rights. It is not uncommon for some police officers to overstep their bounds and ignore your rights. Here are some things for you to consider when law enforcement asks to search your vehicle. 

DWI and the driver's license points system in New York

DWI comes with many penalties, such as high fees, jail time and the loss of your driver's license, which is one many people overlook, not realizing the long-term effects of a drunk driving conviction. Without a license, you may have trouble getting to work, school and other such places, or spend a lot of time and money on public transportation and car sharing services.

Understanding the consequences of a DWI on your driving privileges in New York may be the motivation you need to avoid getting into such a situation.

Are you under investigation for health care fraud?

As with many other types of white-collar crimes, health care fraud cases often begin long before official charges enter the picture. Understanding what can lead to investigation and knowing the warning signs can help you take timely action to protect yourself.

Generally, health care fraud consists of purposeful misrepresentation, such as using the wrong codes for procedures, double-billing and other types of activities designed to get higher reimbursement than the provider deserves, whether from a private insurer or from the government.

Know your rights and what to expect at DWI checkpoints

If you tend to have a few drinks with some friends and drive a short while afterward in New York, it is important for you to know your rights at DWI checkpoints. If you do not learn them, you could find yourself with a DWI charge and the significant consequences that result.

DWI checkpoints are usually placed where there is a high suspicion of intoxicated driving. Officers can question motorists at sobriety checkpoints to determine if there is a legal basis for further detention and more formal testing. Your actions can lead to further scrutiny, and if arrested, a request that you submit to a chemical test of your breath or blood to determine your blood alcohol content. Take some time to learn what to expect at a DWI checkpoint so you can protect your rights.

New York’s drug offenders need treatment, not incarceration

If you are like many of New York’s drug offenders facing criminal charges, the charges may have arisen because of your addiction itself, not because you are prone to engaging in illicit or criminal activity. Recognizing that many drug offenders commit crimes in an effort to feed their addictions, many states have enacted drug court programs, which aim not only to hold criminal offenders accountable but to also treat the underlying problem of the addiction.

If you have the opportunity to take part in drug court as opposed to serving a sentence behind bars, know that these programs offer ample proven benefits.

How a lawyer can help you with your DWI case

If you have been arrested for a DWI in New York, you probably have some idea of what you can expect. With today's widespread access to information, many people even assume they can handle a minor case on their own just fine. Why pay a lawyer to do something you can do yourself?

What to Do if There is a Warrant Out for Your Arrest

Being arrested on a warrant can be an unsettling event. Moreover, having the police knock urgently on your door and demand entry, often in the early morning hours, can not only be disturbing, but dangerous, to you and your family. The police are wary about who they may encounter and what danger they may face, and often come in force and heavily armed. People who wake up to yelling and commotion and the presence of heavily armed intruders may assume they are facing home invaders, not the police.

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