Being pulled over or investigated by a police officer is always a nerve-wracking situation. Luckily, the law protects you in many ways but you still need to understand what an officer can and cannot do.

In most cases, police officers need a warrant to search your home or car. However, a few exceptions exist.

The “plain view” doctrine

Police can legally search and seize evidence from you if the object was considered “in plain view.” For example, if an open can of beer is in your cup holder when you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, the officer may take the beverage from your car as evidence because it was clearly visible without performing a full search of the car.

New York’s automobile exception rule

In New York, police officers can also search a vehicle without a warrant if they have reason to believe the vehicle contains evidence of a crime. For example, if an officer stops you for a valid reason, such as speeding, but can smell the scent of marijuana in or around your car, he or she may search the car because there is reason to believe the car contains other criminal evidence or items.

What if an officer searches me illegally?

Despite these laws, some officers attempt to search people illegally. If an officer is going to conduct a search, ask if they have a warrant. Ask to see the warrant if they claim to have one.

If they do not have a warrant or probable reason to search you, you can protect yourself legally by stating that you do not consent to being searched. It is possible they may search you anyway, but they are legally accountable for searching without a warrant when you have not given them consent to do so.

By : First Page Attorney | March 29, 2018 | blog



At the Law Office of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq. PLLC in New York, we know that facing a domestic violence charge is a devastating experience for you. Possibly you and your spouse or partner were arguing and (s)he called law enforcement officials saying (s)he was afraid of you and what you might do. Whether this fear was valid, and whether or not (s)he wants to pursue charges against you, it is already too late.

When officers come to your home in response to a domestic violence call, they must, under New York law, arrest you. Since a criminal prosecution does not necessarily depend on the cooperation of your alleged victim, you face serious criminal penalties if convicted, regardless of the fact that your alleged victim wants the charges dropped.

Qualifying domestic violence victims

As FindLaw explains, domestic violence is a family crime in New York. This means that your alleged victim must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Your current or former spouse or partner
  • Someone related to you by blood or marriage
  • Someone with whom you are currently living, or have lived
  • Someone with whom you share parentage of a child
  • Someone with whom you are having, or have had, an intimate relationship

Types of domestic violence crimes

New York has no specific domestic violence laws per se. Rather, the charges you may face include a variety of crimes you allegedly committed against your alleged victim, including the following:

  • Assault and/or battery
  • Sexual misconduct and/or abuse
  • Stalking
  • Menacing
  • Strangulation
  • Kidnapping

Domestic violence penalties

Depending on which crime(s) the prosecutor alleges you committed, you face serious penalties if convicted. For instance, conviction of a crime such as second-degree menacing or third-degree assault is a class A misdemeanor for which you could spend up to one year in jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000. Conviction of a more serious violent crime such as first-degree assault or first-degree strangulation is a felony for which you could spend from three to 25 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $5,000.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.

By : First Page Attorney | March 13, 2018 | Violent Crimes

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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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