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Common criminal law questions in New York State

What happens if I have been arrested in New York?

If you have been arrested in New York, the following events typically occur:

Arrest: The arresting officer will take you into custody and inform you of the charges against you. They will read you your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

Booking: After your arrest, you will be taken to a local police station or a central booking facility. During the booking process, your personal information will be recorded, such as your name, address, and fingerprints. You may also undergo a search, and your personal belongings will be taken from you temporarily.

Detention: Depending on the severity of the offense and other factors, you may be held in police custody for a brief period, typically up to 24 hours, or longer if necessary. During this time, you may be placed in a holding cell or a local jail.

Arraignment: Following your arrest and detention, you will have an arraignment hearing. This is where you appear before a judge, who informs you of the charges formally and asks for your plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you.

Bail: If the offense is bailable, the judge will set bail during the arraignment. Bail is a sum of money that you must pay to secure your release from custody until your trial. Alternatively, the judge may release you on your own recognizance, meaning you promise to appear in court without paying bail.

Pretrial Proceedings: If you are unable to post bail or the judge denies your release, you will remain in custody until your trial. Otherwise, you will be released, and the case will proceed to the next stage, which involves various pretrial proceedings such as discovery, where both the prosecution and defense exchange evidence and information.

Trial: If your case goes to trial, the prosecution will present its evidence and witnesses, and your defense attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine them. You and your attorney will also have a chance to present your own evidence and witnesses. A jury or judge (in some cases) will then determine your guilt or innocence.

Sentencing: If you are found guilty or if you plead guilty, the judge will impose a sentence which can include fines, probation, community service, or imprisonment. The severity of the sentence depends on numerous factors, such as the nature of the crime and your criminal history.

Appeals: If you are convicted and believe there were errors or issues during your trial, you have the right to appeal the verdict or the sentence. Appeals involve higher courts reviewing the lower court’s proceedings for legal errors.

It’s important to note that the exact process can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your arrest, the nature of the charges, and other factors. Consulting with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with New York laws would be advisable to understand your rights and legal options accurately.

criminal law

Can I have a gun in my house in New York?

New York State has strict firearm laws, and obtaining a gun for personal ownership requires following certain procedures and meeting specific criteria. In New York, the possession of firearms is regulated under the New York Penal Law. To legally possess a handgun in your home, you need to apply for a New York State Pistol License, also known as a handgun permit.

The process typically involves applying to your local licensing authority, which is usually the police department or county sheriff’s office. The requirements for obtaining a pistol license in New York may include background checks, fingerprinting, character references, completion of a firearms safety course, and an interview. The specific requirements and procedures can vary depending on the county or city within New York State. Some areas, such as New York City, have additional restrictions and regulations beyond the state requirements. It’s important to keep in mind that laws can change, so it’s always best to consult the latest information from local authorities or seek legal advice to ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information regarding firearms ownership in New York.

criminal law

What happens if drugs are found on me in New York?

In New York, drug possession laws are governed by both state and federal statutes. The penalties for drug possession can vary depending on factors such as the type and quantity of drugs involved, prior criminal history, and the intent to distribute.

If you are found with a small amount of drugs for personal use, it is possible that you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanor drug possession in New York can result in penalties such as fines, probation, community service, or a brief period of incarceration. However, if you are found with larger quantities of drugs, or if there is evidence to suggest that you intended to sell or distribute them, the charges could be more severe. Possession with intent to distribute can result in felony charges, which carry harsher penalties, including longer prison sentences and larger fines.

It’s important to note that the laws regarding drug possession and their associated penalties are subject to change, and the specific circumstances of each case can also influence the outcome. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is crucial to seek legal representation from a qualified attorney who can provide guidance based on the most current laws and help protect your rights throughout the legal process.

criminal law

Is it legal to possess marijuana in New York?

Possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use was decriminalized in New York State, including New York City. In March 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalized recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older in the state of New York.

Is it legal to sell marijuana in New York?

Yes, it is legal to sell recreational marijuana in New York City as of 2023. In March 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalized recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older in the state of New York. This includes the ability to sell marijuana products. Under the MRTA, the state of New York established a regulatory framework for the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis. It allows for the establishment of licensed dispensaries and delivery services where individuals can purchase marijuana products legally.

However, it is important to note that while recreational marijuana is legal at the state level, there may still be restrictions and regulations regarding its sale and distribution imposed by local municipalities or counties within New York City. It is advisable for individuals interested in selling marijuana to familiarize themselves with the specific laws and regulations in their area to ensure compliance.

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Scott Grauman, Attorney at Law, is the founder of Grauman Law P.C. and has a distinguished reputation for his fierce advocacy on behalf of his clients. Scott is an experienced litigator who regularly handles cases involving complex legal issues, providing a sophisticated and common-sense legal approach to clients facing real-life problems.

Scott is admitted to the State Bar of New York, New Jersey and Florida. He is also admitted to the Federal District Court of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Scott is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), New York City Bar Association, Queens County Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

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