If you are accused of committing murder in New York, you face very serious charges. Murder is one of the most heinous crimes, and 31 states can impose the death penalty on convicted murderers. New York, along with 18 other states, abolished capital punishment, and four other states have a gubernatorial moratorium on it.

As Diffen.com explains, New York statutes specify two classifications of murder: first degree murder and second degree murder. Your charge depends on your intent for committing the alleged murder and the way in which you allegedly committed it.

Murder 1

If your charge is first degree murder, the state is alleging that you committed a premeditated killing with special circumstances such as the following:

  • You killed a law enforcement officer, firefighter, judge or crime witness.
  • You killed multiple people at the same time.
  • You killed someone while committing a felony such as a robbery, kidnapping or hijacking.
  • You committed a particularly heinous killing, such as by torturing your victim.

If convicted of this A-1 felony, you will serve a minimum of 20 years in prison. However, you could serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, especially in you were convicted of one or more previous murders.

Murder 2

If your charge is second degree murder, the state is alleging that you committed a premeditated killing without any special circumstances. If convicted of this A-1 felony, you will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. As with a first degree murder conviction, you also could serve life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of second degree murder.

This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

By : First Page Attorney | February 27, 2018 | Uncategorized



If you’ve been charged with a crime, the prosecution may give you the chance to make a deal—known as a plea bargain. Typically, a plea bargain works like this: You get charged with a crime. The prosecution tells you that if you plead guilty to a specific lesser crime, you can skip the trial—thereby avoiding the more severe penalties you would have received if you were found guilty of the crime from your original charge.

For many defendants, the question of whether it’s a good idea to accept a plea bargain is extremely nerve-wracking. On the one hand, by accepting the deal, you’re guaranteed to face some penalties—probably including some jail time. On the other hand, facing those penalties is a better outcome than the worst case scenario.

For example, let’s say you were driving while intoxicated and crashed into another car—killing the other driver. The police found your blood alcohol concentration to be .19. In this case, you would be charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter. You could be looking at up to 15 years in prison plus $5,000 in fines.

However, if the prosecution offers you a deal to plead guilty to the lesser crime of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, your prison sentence would drop to a maximum of seven years. Under such circumstances, you need to decide whether there is sufficient evidence stacked against you to convict you of the original crime. If there is, you might decide that saving yourself from an extra eight years in prison is a worthwhile trade.

While the decision to accept or reject a plea bargain is always personal—and many deciding factors depend on the specifics of your case—an experienced criminal defense attorney can offer you valuable guidance in the process.

By : First Page Attorney | February 16, 2018 | Vehicular Assault Or Homicide


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in violent crimes on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

When parents in New York begin to see the changes in their children as they become teenagers, they often face intense emotions and decisions about how to protect and teach their kids without smothering them. Developing a balance and feeling confident in their children’s ability to make responsible decisions can be supported a great deal by early intervention and consistent education throughout their child’s younger years.

Youth violence affects a lot more people than many realize. Unfortunately, once a teenager engages in violent behavior once, it is not unlikely that it may happen again. In many cases, their involvement in continual violent crime may increase until they are in dangerous situations where their life is compromised. Parents that know the risks of teen violence and understand the warning signs of potentially violent behavior, can take initiative to help their children to discover alternate ways of coping with problems before the issue intensifies and becomes a dangerous threat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boldly proclaims that youth violence of any kind is entirely preventable. They say that early intervention and the efforts of parents to educate their children can help to put a stop to juvenile violence before it ever has the chance to begin.

Verywellfamily.com suggests that once parents voice their concerns to their teenager about violent behavior, to consider enlisting professional help for their child if they do not notice a change in his or her behavior. Therapy may be an excellent resource to help belligerent children to recognize improved ways of expressing their emotions without resorting to violence and anger.

By : First Page Attorney | February 9, 2018 | Violent Crimes


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in violent crimes on Monday, February 4, 2019.

Many people believe that all prisoners are guilty of committing a crime and deserve to be locked behind bars. They may be surprised to learn that not all people serving time are guilty, and that a number of prisoners are instead innocent of committing a crime at all. Flaws in the United States judicial system have led to the wrongful conviction and incarceration of hundreds of people, and there may be hundreds more that remain behind bars waiting to be set free.

Just recently, a Bronx man was exonerated of his sentence after serving 19 years in prison as an innocent person. His wrongful conviction was based off several factors, including false statements made to the courts, as well as psychological coercion used during the confession process. The man was just 16-years-old when he was charged with the crime and grieving after losing his mother. The detectives who questioned the young boy used techniques, such as sleep deprivation and isolation and threatened him that they would add further charges if he did not confess to the crime.

In addition to the coerced confession, a renter in the downstairs apartment of the home made false claims regarding the crime. After reviewing all of the evidence, attorneys believe that it is highly likely the renter was the actual perpetrator and attempted to distract officers by placing the blame on the young boy.

When questionable practices are used in a criminal investigation and trial, innocent people may be put in jail for a crime they did not commit. A criminal attorney may be helpful in exploring the options of your case and helping to determine the best course of action.

Source: The Innocence Project, “Bronx Man’s 1991 Murder Conviction Vacated,” Jan. 24, 2019.

By : First Page Attorney | February 4, 2018 | Violent Crimes



A new study from California has widespread implications that can reach all the way to New York. The study looked at racial disparities between blacks and whites in the criminal justice system. The study found that black defendants are less likely to have their cases dropped or dismissed, less likely to be successfully diverted, more likely to be released to another agency, and when convicted, receive the longest incarceration sentences and are the most likely to receive a prison sentence.

The December 2017 study showed that California’s Proposition 47, which reduced certain drug-possession felonies to misdemeanors and raised the threshold for felony theft and check forging from $450 to $950 in 2014 has helped narrow the disparity between races. The gap in sentence lengths between black and whites has dropped by half in San Francisco. The felony drug arrest percentage for blacks fell from 23 percent to 9 percent as well. It also decreased the average number of days suspects were held in pre-trial detention. Blacks went from 33 days down to 18 days, while whites went from 17 to 12 days.

New York stats

In 2016, 18,136 people were arrested for marijuana possession in New York City. Blacks made up 46 percent of those arrested for marijuana, 39 percent were Hispanic, while just 10 percent were white. These arrest percentages don’t match up to the percentage of people using the drug. A national study of drug use found that over 33 percent of whites and nearly 28 percent of blacks reported using marijuana over the past year. For non-white New Yorkers, marijuana arrests more often lead to conviction.

Case characteristics that impact outcomes

All of these differences in case characteristics help determine whether to pursue a case, what charges to file and sentencing outcomes:

  • The length of pre-trial detention
  • Having an open case at the time of arrest
  • Having a more extensive criminal history

What the study means

When California reduced the penalties for drug possession, it reduced the racial disparities in the criminal justice system. With people of color getting less criminal justice activity due to decreased penalties, it lowers the relative contribution of case characteristics that tend to worsen racial disparities. The study shows that we as a nation can do more to protect the rights of all its citizens, regardless of race.

If you are arrested, you have rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney will stand at your side through your toughest times. Your attorney can protect your civil rights and help give you the best outcome possible.

By : First Page Attorney | February 2, 2018 | blog

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I am attorney Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., and my firm is located in downtown Brooklyn near the Borough Hall and Jay Street stops. The Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC, offers free initial consultations to individuals living within all five New York City boroughs. You can reach me at any hour of the day or night, regardless of the complexity of your issue.

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