Whether you enjoy online gaming or debating, or you have a teenager who likes to play jokes with friends, you understand that the temptation to play a prank is sometimes too great to resist. Some pranks are not only illegal, but can be deadly as well, which could land you or your child in legal hot water. You and other New Yorkers need to understand the serious ramifications of the prank called swatting.

Swatting is named for the prank’s intent of drawing SWAT teams or armed law enforcement to a person’s house after a prankster makes a false call to authorities. You may remember an incident last December that resulted in the death of a Kansas man. As the Huffington Post recaps, the man was shot by police when they mistakenly thought he was reaching for a weapon. He had been the unintended target of a swatting prank after an online gaming dispute.

The FBI reports that there are roughly 400 swatting pranks a year across the country. Often, law enforcement quickly determines that the call was false, but sometimes the target’s home is searched, with the frightened residents put in handcuffs until the misunderstanding is sorted out. As in the above example, in rare cases the prank can take a tragic turn. The man who made the call, as well as two others involved in the gaming dispute, are facing criminal charges.

Recently, a New York representative introduced a bill to more accurately define the circumstances of swatting, instead of lumping the prank in with false police reports or making false threats. The bill also sought to recover the significant costs of investigating a swatting attack. As you can imagine, facing swatting charges can have lifelong consequences. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

By : First Page Attorney | July 23, 2018 | Federal Crimes



People who drive in New York are expected to be fully sober and able to make the decisions necessary to operate a motor vehicle. When they aren’t, there is a chance that they will be pulled over by a police officer and arrested for drunk driving. Another possibility is that the driver will be involved in an accident, which can start a difficult criminal justice process.

There are several important things to remember about drunk driving in this state. Whether you are currently facing criminal charges for impaired driving or just trying to increase your knowledge, here are some points that you might find interesting:

Reason for the stop

Police officers don’t need to have probable cause to stop a driver who is showing signs of impaired driving. Instead, they merely need to have reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is intoxicated. This is usually met when they observe the driver speeding or driving too slowly, swerving through lanes or driving in a generally unsafe manner. An accident can also lead to a police officer taking steps to determine if a driver is impaired.

Determining impairment

When police officers encounter a person they feel might be intoxicated, they can take steps to determine the person’s impairment. This is done through a field sobriety test, a breath test or other tests to check for the blood alcohol concentration percentage. In some cases, such as wrecks, the police officer might be required to get the tests done. Implied consent laws do allow drivers to refuse taking BAC tests, but there are penalties for doing this that must be considered.

Legal limits

New York has established BAC limits for what constitutes driver impairment. For most non-commercial drivers, this is .08 percent. Enhanced penalties are possible for drivers with a BAC over .18 percent. Drivers who can’t legally consume alcohol have a much lower limit — .02 percent, which makes New York a no tolerance state for underage drunk driving.

Criminal charges

At a minimum, a drunk driver will face criminal charges for driving while intoxicated. This comes with the possibility of time in jail, fines and the loss of your driver’s license. When there is an accident, other charges are possible. Sometimes, drivers might face vehicular manslaughter charges if the wreck was fatal. There are two degrees of this charge, first and second. Which one a person is charged with is determined by the circumstances of the incident.

No matter what kind of charge you are facing in your drunk driving case, you need to explore your options. Once you know what is possible, you can work on getting your defense strategy set.

By : First Page Attorney | July 16, 2018 | Uncategorized



If you face drug trafficking charges in New York, this is a highly serious crime, and you face substantial prison time and fines if the prosecutor convicts you. As FindLaw explains, New York has some of the toughest drug laws in the country, including five separate categories of selling a controlled substance, all of which are felonies.

It may shock you to learn that the prosecutor need not prove that you actually possessed the drugs you allegedly sold. Nor must (s)he prove that you knew the exact quantity of drugs you allegedly sold or even that you actually consummated the sale. All (s)he must prove to convict you of drug trafficking are the following four things:

  1. You sold a controlled substance
  2. You knew it was a controlled substance
  3. You intended to sell it
  4. You had the ability to sell it

Consequently, if the prosecutor can prove that you merely offered to sell the drugs or entered into an agreement to sell them, the jury likely will convict you of drug trafficking since your offer or agreement proves both that you intended to sell the drugs and had the ability to deliver them.

Penalties upon conviction

As stated, New York law sets forth five categories of felony drug trafficking. Fifth-degree trafficking is the least serious and carries a penalty of between one and two and a half years in prison if this is your first conviction. In addition, conviction subjects you to a minimum $5,000 fine or double the amount you received from your drug sale.

As your alleged crime becomes more serious, so do the penalties you face upon conviction. A first-degree drug trafficking conviction carries the following penalties:

  • Eight to 20 years in prison plus five years of supervision after your release
  • A minimum of 12 years and up to 20 years in prison for a second conviction
  • A minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison if you are deemed to be a major drug trafficker

A conviction for first-degree drug trafficking also subjects you to a fine of $100,000.

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

By : First Page Attorney | July 7, 2018 | Drug Trafficking

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