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Syracuse Criminal Law Blog

How to avoid police body camera mistakes

People across the nation debate the use of police body cameras. A body camera is a relatively new device in law enforcement's arsenal of tools. A police officer wears the small camera clipped to his or her uniform, helmet or safety glasses to record video and sound when necessary.

You may never meet an officer with a body camera, but you might want to read the body camera policies of the New York Police Department to understand your rights. A body camera need not be a threat to you unless you panic or give the officer any reason to detain you. To avoid mistakes, keep your actions neutral and adjust your behavior according to your surroundings.

Must I answer questions when I have pending criminal charges?

Many young adults in Syracuse are not aware of how important it is for them to know their rights and how they apply to various situations they may end up in. When criminal charges are on the table, it is important to use every available resource available, including a good defense attorney. The police are not on your side. Though you may feel you can talk things over with law enforcement to get them to drop the charges against you, that is very unlikely to happen. 

Sometimes it is best to say nothing to police officers. Their job is to gather evidence to support your criminal charge, and one common tactic police and investigators use to perform their duties is interrogation and conversation. If you do not know your rights, you could end up incriminating yourself without realizing it. You do not have to answer questions about the alleged crime. Take some time to learn what the police can do during an arrest.

Remember your rights when the police pull you over

A police traffic stop is often a stressful and intimidating situation because you may not know exactly how to conduct yourself when a cop pulls you over. For example, you may know that you have certain constitutional rights, but you also want to be respectful and cooperative.

It is crucial to remember your rights whenever you have an encounter with law enforcement. Here are a few protections you should always keep in mind:

Signs an employee may be embezzling

Embezzlement is a specific category of larceny that consists of taking and keeping funds that belong to someone else but that the employee has authorized access to. Such a theft can occur in a variety of settings. Whether the funds in question consist of millions of dollars at a New York investment bank or a few hundred at a local grocery store, employees in a position of trust may, unfortunately, succumb to temptation and cause substantial damage to a business's bottom line and reputation.

Early warning

Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

If you have recently sent or are gearing up to send your son or daughter away to college at a school in or around Syracuse, you are probably doing everything you can to guide them through the transition before you let them spread their wings and fly. While many college students experiment with alcohol or drugs after leaving the nest, few understand just how severe the consequences associated with substance abuse can prove to be.

More specifically, many college students do not realize that receiving a drug conviction of virtually any sort can prevent them from receiving federal financial aid.

Important drunk driving stats from the National Safety Council

You are likely well aware that drunk driving is dangerous–practically everyone does. However, you may not realize the severity of the issue or the history of DUI laws. Learning about the statistics and details of impaired driving can open your eyes to the problem even more.

The National Safety Council collects data about driving under the influence of alcohol, raises awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and supports preventative measures. Here is some of the most compelling information from the NSC about impairment:

Collateral consequences of a New York DWI conviction

Most people know that a DWI conviction means receiving criminal penalties such as fines or imprisonment. The major consequence of having your license potentially suspended or revoked also presents an important concern.

However, many do not realize that there can also be other, less immediate but no less serious consequences. These are often called collateral consequences because the DWI statutes do not list them as a penalty.

Dealing with license suspension or revocation

A New York DWI conviction typically results in a period of license suspension or even permanent revocation. The specific restrictions depend on the level of the DWI, the number of previous offenses and whether aggravating factors were present.

Not having your license, even for a relatively short period of time, can affect your studies, work and daily life. Depending on the circumstances, you may have options to help you restore your license.

What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud is a charge that frequently appears in many types of federal fraud cases, on its own or in addition to other charges. The wire fraud statute forbids the use of interstate or international wire or electronic communications in the course of a fraudulent scheme.

In many cases, federal prosecutors use wire fraud charges as a catch-all in cases where they suspect but cannot prove other, more specific types of fraud. Like other federal fraud offenses, a wire fraud conviction can result in substantial penalties.

Could drug court help keep you out of jail?

Many people make an error in judgment that results in a drug-related criminal charge. They may have valid concerns about the potential repercussions they may face, and particularly if jail time is on the line. Depending on certain factors, such as whether they have an existing criminal history and the specifics and severity of the drug charge, they may be able to participate in a drug court program as opposed to serving time behind bars.

Drug courts, per the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, are closely supervised programs available to some drug offenders that typically involve regular drug tests and appearances before a judge. While not everyone is an appropriate candidate for drug court, statistics show that these programs offer very real benefits, and that they are far superior to many other programs in terms of forcing accountability and helping addicts free themselves from their habits for good.

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