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New York street gangs branch out

New York street gangs branch out

Nowadays, the gangs of New York are more likely to carry worthless checks or stolen credit cards than knives or hatchets.

In 2012, NYPD investigators first noticed an uptick in gang-related financial crime. So far this year, grand larceny, mostly due to credit card skimmers and bad checks, is up 5 percent. As a result, prosecutors in Brooklyn and elsewhere, who once ignored such activity, now aggressively prosecute gang-related financial crimes. The FBI says that white-collar crimes are quite lucrative, are not as dangerous as selling drugs, and offenders face lighter penalties if they are caught. Brooklyn DA Chief Investigator William Schaeffer put it this way: “You can make $25,000 selling drugs, and at any moment you’re in physical damage from rivals,” or “you can make $25,000 from [white-collar crime], and it’s tough to catch you, and if you do get caught the penalties are much less.”

The Manhattan DA has asked the state legislature to increase the penalties for some white-collar crimes, including possession of a credit card skimmer.

Dealing with white-collar criminal prosecutions

Most non-violent financial crimes are in Article 170 and Article 190 of the New York Penal Law, and nearly all of them can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. Additionally, many of these offenses require non-police witnesses. Prosecutors have almost no control over these witnesses and only limited subpoena power, so it is not always easy to secure their testimony in court. Moreover, as time goes by, many civilian witnesses lose interest in these cases, especially if the defendant makes restitution.

That combination is ideal for a favorable result during plea negotiations. Given the inherent difficulties in bringing these cases to trial, with the extra paperwork and uncertainty, many prosecutors are willing to go the extra mile to avoid the risk. Furthermore, the groundwork is already laid for a reduced charge and a reduced sentence, and these items are the ultimate goals of almost any plea negotiations.

For a free consultation with an aggressive criminal defense attorney in New York, contact Merchant Law Group, LLP. Call us today at 212-658-1455.

Latina women in NYC reporting fewer domestic violence incidents

Latina women in NYC reporting fewer domestic violence incidents

Advocates say that more immigrant women are keeping quiet about domestic violence incidents because of the current political climate, although the decline is not as dramatic here as it is elsewhere. Local advocates say that, largely because of immigration fears, reports of domestic violence among Hispanic women were down 5 percent in the first three… Continue Reading

Challenging the stop an a DUI case

Challenging the stop an a DUI case

A police officer’s first interaction with a defendant is also a defense lawyer’s first opportunity to secure a positive result in the case. If the stop was improper in any way, then any subsequent item is fruit from a poisonous tree and therefore inadmissible. That would include evidence like a Breathalyzer test result or a… Continue Reading

Defending a sexual assault case

Defending a sexual assault case

Experience and tenacity are very important qualities in a criminal defense lawyer, but when it comes to sexual assault cases, vision (“the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be”) may trump them both. Essentially, your attorney should have a good idea of what to expect and how the case… Continue Reading

How to choose a criminal defense attorney

How to choose a criminal defense attorney

Whether you are charged with a relatively low-level misdemeanor property crime, like theft or graffiti, or one of the most serious felonies in the book, like murder or rape, choosing a criminal defense attorney may well be the most significant decision you make in your life, so it’s important not to choose poorly. Fortunately, by… Continue Reading

Prank news: Netflix shutdown

Prank news: Netflix shutdown

Millions of subscribers can breathe a little easier since the demise of the popular video streaming service turned out to be a hoax. But the episode raises some interesting questions about the nature and extent of computer fraud. One Internet source claimed that Netflix would go dark in June 2017 due to password sharing. The… Continue Reading

What you need to know about harassment and stalking

What you need to know about harassment and stalking

Each year, about 1.7 million people—most of them women—are harassed or stalked; the average length of this behavior is 1.8 years. Stalking is one of the most disruptive crimes, especially in terms of third party losses, like missed work. Moreover, in a number of cases, stalking is a precursor to more serious violent crimes, including… Continue Reading

Lawmakers to consider concealed weapons reciprocity

Lawmakers to consider concealed weapons reciprocity

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) recently introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 which would replace various state laws with a single standard and also allow licensees to transport their firearms across state lines. In a statement, Mr. Hudson called the measure a “common sense solution” that gives “law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry… Continue Reading

Low-tech bank fraud cases

Low-tech bank fraud cases

While multi million-dollar fraud schemes get most of the media attention, authorities are also on the lookout for people with laser color copiers and fraudulent intent. Recently, two men pleaded guilty to depositing altered money orders into several banks in New York and New Jersey, to the tune of about $20,000. According to investigators, Fabrice… Continue Reading