A Criminal Record Can Block You From Living Your Life.
A conviction for even a minor criminal offense (like marijuana possession) can mean a life sentence of sorts. Your criminal record can block you from getting a job, attending school, voting, borrowing money, obtaining certain licenses, and qualifying for certain services for your family.
It is a real problem, affecting many people. In 2018 alone, 663,367 people were arrested for cannabis-related offenses (40% of all U.S. drug arrests). But relief is on the way for some under New York’s new Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. A somewhat overlooked provision of the MRTA provides for automatic expungement (erasing) of records for individuals with previous convictions that are no longer crimes. Additionally, the MRTA provides the ability to reduce certain sentences, meaning an individual’s felony conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor.
Supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State lawmakers approved progressive bail reform on Monday, April 1, 2019. The new pretrial detention laws compose one of ten (10) bills that make up the $175 billion state budget and are intended to balance what many perceive to be an unfair criminal system for those charged by state prosecutors.
In 2018, New York State put forth several proposals with the goal of reforming New York’s criminal justice system, including reshaping New York’s current bail and pretrial detention systems. New York’s laws governing bail date back to the 1970s, at which time they were considered among the best and most progressive in the nation, requiring judges to consider a defendant’s reputation, employment and financial resources, family ties and length of residence in the community, and previous criminal record.
Recently, both the House and the Senate have held multiple Congressional Hearings focused on solving the opioid crisis in the United States.
If you're interested in true crime podcasts or series such as Serial, Undisclosed and Making a Murderer, then you absolutely have to listen and learn about Lynn DeJac and the horrible circumstances surrounding the murder of her daughter, Crystallynn Girard, and how one HoganWillig attorney fought to bring her justice.
On April 10, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed into law "Raise the Age" legislation that was included as part of the State Budget. Keep reading to learn more...
Diane Tiveron talks with Civil Litigation Chair Steven Cohen about what your rights are when stopped by the police. Listen here.
If you have driven on Buffalo’s I-190 in recent weeks, you probably are familiar with the Department of Health’s new billboard campaign to promote New York’s “Good Samaritan Law.”
As social media becomes an increasingly widespread method of communicating with friends and family, conducting business, and sharing news, it also appears more frequently within the context of the law. For quite some time now, material from social media has been used as evidence in investigations and lawsuits alike.
A divided Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the government can strictly enforce a ban on purchasing a firearm for someone else, even if the other individual is lawfully allowed to own a gun. Regardless of whether or not the other person is entitled to have a gun, this type of transaction is known as a “straw purchase” and conflicts with the lawfulness of a gun sale. Because a gun purchase requires personal information, photo identification, and a background check, buying a gun with the intention of selling it to another person is a misrepresentation of the identity of the actual gun owner.