George F. Hildebrandt
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June 2015 Archives

Illegal Re-Entry: Am I Automatically Deported?

New York shares a border with Canada over four hundred miles long. Syracuse is conveniently located a little more than an hour's drive on Interstate 81 from the US-Canada border, which makes it a prime target for both legal and illegal immigration. The United States Sentencing Commission recently evaluated the crime of illegal re-entry and found that in 2013, most offenders convicted of this crime were apprehended by immigration officials at or near the U.S. border. While illegal re-entry is categorized as a border crime, whether or not you are guilty of that offense is entirely separate from immigration removal proceedings.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines: A Primer

All crimes charged in federal court are governed by the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("guidelines"). These guidelines are created by the United States Sentencing Commission, which was created by Congress in the 1980's. The Guidelines were created in an attempt to equalize the wide disparity of sentences of similarly situated offenders.

Bitcoin: Online Currency and the Black Market

In May of 2015, Dylan Soeffing, a senior in college, was arrested at his apartment with over eight-hundred Xanax pills, a small amount of marijuana, and more than $170,000 in cash. Mr. Soeffing allegedly told police that he had coordinated his year and a half old drug business almost entirely through the Darknet - part of the Internet not accessible through ordinary search engines - utilizing Bitcoins. Mr. Soeffing was charged with fifth- and seventh-degree criminal drug possession and police advised that other charges could be forthcoming.

Implied Consent Law: Can I Refuse to Submit to a Breathalyzer?

As much as we take driving car for granted, driving in the State of New York is considered a privilege,not a right. The state can thus choose to place certain conditions on your privileges. For example, the Implied Consent Law states that any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state shall be deemed to have given consent to chemical tests that determine that individual's blood alcohol content (BAC) if an officer suspects he or she is driving under the influence (DWI/DUI).

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