George F. Hildebrandt
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September 2015 Archives

New York State Versus Federal Penalties for Possession of Marijuana

The legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use has been on the rise nationwide for several years. Although many states have acknowledged the value in medicinal marijuana, only two have taken steps to allow the legal use of marijuana recreationally. In New York State there have been attempts to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana as is done with alcohol through legislation such as the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).  Additional proposed legislation has aimed at decriminalizing or reducing the penalties associated with the possession of smaller amounts of marijuana. The laws aimed at possession have focused on the disparate way in which current laws are applied, resulting in more racial minorities arrested for possession of relatively small amounts of marijuana.

Cooperating With the Prosecution

The use of confidential informants in law enforcement can sometimes be a grey area that can be exploited by both the informant and the law enforcement agents involved. Becoming a confidential informant can be a way to avoid going to prison, although it may also mean accepting the informant role for a quite some time. Becoming an informant can also be dangerous when it exposes the informant to threats of bodily harm or threats from those he is reporting on to the authorities. While there are obvious advantages in becoming a confidential informant in order to get criminal charges against you reduced or dismissed, the downside should be well thought out when deciding whether or not to inform.

Federal Requirements for Campus Assault Investigations

When a sexual assault on a college campus is reported and an accused named, it can have far-reaching effects for both the victim and the accused. Unfortunately, the investigations surrounding campus sexual assaults have been criticized as being both unfair to the accused and sometimes inadequate for the victim.

New York State Police Wind Down Drunk Driving Campaign

Labor Day weekend can mean more than a welcome break from work with a three day weekend of relaxing with friends and family; it can also mean an increased chance of being arrested for driving while intoxicated. New York State police and local police departments across the state have collaborated in a national campaign, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," which ran from August 19, 2015 to September 7, 2015.

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