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New York civil service employee defense lawyerAs a civil service or public sector employee, your job security may be under serious threat if you are the subject of an employer investigation related to possible disciplinary action. If you are not careful, the way that you respond to an investigation can negatively affect your ability to contest disciplinary charges that your employer issues, and it may even put you at risk of a criminal conviction. It is important to know that you have rights when you are under investigation, and a civil service defense attorney can help you protect them.

Garrity and Weingarten Rights

The rights of public sector employees when under investigation have been secured in large part by two cases argued before the United States Supreme Court. One case, Garrity v. New Jersey, confirmed that public employees are protected from forced self-incrimination. This means that if an employee is under investigation for a potential work violation that could also be considered a criminal offense, the employer cannot threaten the employee with disciplinary action or termination to compel the employee to respond in a way that could be used against him or her in criminal proceedings. As an employee, it is important for you to assert your Garrity rights verbally when under questioning to ensure that your responses can only be used in disciplinary proceedings regarding your employment.

Another case, NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc., confirmed that civil service employees have the right to representation during an investigative interview, when asked for a written statement as part of a disciplinary investigation, or in any situation in which the employee believes that responding to the employer’s questions could have disciplinary implications. This means that you can request the presence of a union representative before answering any questions, and you can also consult privately with that representative before continuing the conversation with your employer.

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NYC domestic violence defense lawyerSince March 2020, stay-at-home orders in New York and throughout the United States and the rest of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic have meant that many families are spending more time in close proximity to each other than ever before. Unfortunately, many experts report that along with this increased togetherness has come an increase in reported cases of domestic violence. If you have been accused of domestic abuse during this difficult time, you need an attorney who can help you understand and protect your rights.

Why Are COVID-19 and Domestic Violence Connected?

Domestic violence is a widespread problem even under normal circumstances, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting that 1 in 4 women, 1 in 10 men, and 1 in 7 children have been victims at some point in their lives. Stay-at-home orders and other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated many of the factors that often lead to domestic violence, including economic anxiety related to unemployment, as well as stress, depression, and other mental health challenges. Those who experience abuse may also have fewer safe places to escape to during the pandemic, and some experts suggest that domestic violence is even more widespread than we know, as victims may struggle to find a way to seek help without their abusers interfering.

Defense Against Domestic Abuse Charges in New York

Domestic violence is certainly a problem during this time, but even as reports increase, it is important to note that not all alleged abusers are guilty of the accusations they face. If you have been charged with harassment, assault, or other crimes related to domestic violence, an experienced criminal defense attorney can work to ensure your fair treatment in court and the New York criminal justice system. Depending on the situation, we can help you build a defense based on an argument that the allegations against you lack sufficient evidence, or that you were acting in self-defense.

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New York City employee defense attorneyAccording to the New York Human Rights Law, an employee cannot be discriminated against for a physical or mental disability, and employers have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities whenever possible. That said, what is considered a reasonable accommodation can vary depending on the situation. If you believe you are entitled to an accommodation that your employer is not providing, or if you are facing a medical separation because of a disability, an employment attorney can help you understand your rights and take legal action to secure them.

Who Can Request Reasonable Accommodations in New York?

As long as you are qualified for the position you hold or hope to obtain, and you are capable of performing the essential job responsibilities, you have the right to request reasonable accommodations for a disability so that you can complete your work tasks.

In this context, New York law defines a disability as any physical, mental, or medical impairment that affects bodily functions or can be demonstrated by accepted medical techniques. This can include both temporary and permanent conditions, and it may include alcohol or drug addiction if you are in recovery and not currently using illegal drugs. Since 2016, pregnancy-related conditions can also be a justification for reasonable accommodations.

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New York City DWI defense attorneyWhile the term “driving while intoxicated” seems to imply that offenders can only be arrested when they are driving, the definition of the offense under New York law is actually slightly broader. State statutes specifically declare that “no person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition,” which means there is a possibility of facing charges in certain situations other than when you are actively driving. With this technicality in mind, it is especially important that you understand your rights if you are arrested and the possible penalties you may face if you are convicted.

What Does it Mean to Operate a Motor Vehicle?

As you might expect, operating a vehicle includes any situation in which you are behind the wheel while the vehicle is moving. An intoxicated driver in motion poses a clear threat to other drivers on the road, and a law enforcement officer can pull over and arrest a driver with probable cause to believe that he or she is intoxicated. The officer may also ask the driver to submit to a chemical test to measure blood alcohol concentration, and a result of 0.08 or higher can be used as evidence to prosecute DWI charges.

However, you may also be arrested for DWI while sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car while the engine is running. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may see this as a sign of your intent to drive while intoxicated, or possibly as evidence that you have driven while intoxicated if you are found at a location that is a significant distance from your home or the place where you were drinking.

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New York City criminal defense attorney weapons charges

New York has many laws that influence who and how someone may possess a firearm. If you plan on owning a gun, you should familiarize yourself with the State’s regulations and restrictions to avoid the charges associated with unlawful use or possession of a weapon. Whether or not the firearm is loaded can impact the criminal charges you can face as a gun owner. If you have questions regarding gun possession or you face charges for violating New York State’s gun laws, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who has a thorough understanding of New York’s weapons laws and how to defend against these serious charges.

New York Gun Law Definitions

According to the New York State Penal Law, Section 265, a “loaded firearm means any firearm loaded with ammunition or any firearm which is possessed by one who, at the same time, possesses a quantity of ammunition which may be used to discharge such firearm.” For example, if an individual has an unloaded firearm in one of their pants pockets and also has possession of the ammunition in the other pocket, under New York Law, the firearm may be considered loaded. 

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New York County criminal defense attorney assault

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, unique cases of assault have escalated, such as assault against someone who is enforcing mask and distancing policies. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has admitted that even though a mask order has been in place since April, the police will not fine or arrest anyone for not complying. However, New York assault laws apply when someone assaults an employee for trying to enforce mask policies. If you are charged with assault, it is important to understand how the law will apply to you and what options you have when presenting a defense with the help of a skilled criminal law attorney.

Assaults Related to Mask Wearing

Since the police cannot enforce mask policies, retail workers have been the ones to require that customers wear a mask or be denied service. Some of the cases where customers fight back have been striking. A target employee wound up with a broken left arm after denying two customers who refused to wear masks. A man in San Antonio who was barred from boarding a public bus for not wearing a mask shot another passenger. Cases have ranged from verbal outbreaks to physical altercations to gunfire, all of which can have different ramifications under New York assault laws. 

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Bronx County civic service job defense attorney

The New York Civil Service offers its employees plenty of benefits. However, that does not mean that the Civil Service code is without its restrictions. New York Civil Service law penalizes employees for striking. If you are subject to penalties or disciplinary proceedings as a civil service employee in New York, it is imperative that you seek the advice of an experienced civil service job defense attorney in your area.

The Taylor Law

New York Civil Service Law dictates the treatment of strikes as follows: “Strikes by public employees against the State or any public authority or local governmental jurisdiction, including a school district, are prohibited by Article 14 of the Civil Service Law, also known as the Taylor Law.”

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New York City criminal defense attorney domestic violence

In New York State, “domestic violence” is an umbrella term used to define a wide range of crimes between members of the same family or household. Although the term domestic violence is used broadly, there is no mention of it in New York State law. Domestic violence, being a broad subject, applies to any of a person’s actions intended to control or harm a family member or someone with whom he or she is in an intimate relationship. New York courts refer to these crimes as “family offenses,” which all have corresponding definitions according to the Penal Law. These crimes include but are not limited to:

  • Assault

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New York City civil service job defense attorney

New York Civil Service laws give those in public positions additional job securities that workers in the private sector do not have. Still, it is essential to understand those limits to understand your rights as a public employee. Knowing how the Civil Service Laws can protect you in the event of a severe physical or mental injury can help you retain your job while you take the time that you need to recover. If you ever run into legal trouble regarding your public position, save yourself the stress by working with an experienced civil service job defense lawyer who will help protect your best interests.

New York Civil Service Law and Medical Separation

Medical Separation/Termination for medical reasons is different from being fired for misconduct. If an employee cannot perform his or her full duties for a year or more because of a temporary disability that occurred on or off the job, the employer can remove the employee or medically separate the employee from his or her position. Sections 71, 72, and 73 of the New York Civil Service Law explain when and how a civil service employee may be medically separated.

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New York City criminal defense attorney order of protection

If you are accused of domestic violence, your accuser may decide to file for an order of protection against you. Should this happen, it is important to understand what the criminal consequences of the various protective orders are, what you can and cannot do because of them, and under what circumstances you can contest them. Domestic abuse is difficult, emotionally turbulent terrain, and if you are ever accused of such, you should contact an experienced domestic abuse lawyer immediately. With professional legal help, you may be able to protect your rights, lessen any charges, and receive or retain fair custody or visitation rights of any children you may have.

Orders of Protection in New York

Orders of protection can be issued by a Judge in a Family Court matter or a Judge in a Criminal prosecution. In a criminal prosecution, the court issues the order of protection against the defendant charged with committing a criminal offense. The parties may or may not be known to each other. In a Family Court matter, the parties must be known to each other and the order of protection can be filed from one person to another if their relationship is spousal, if they share a child, if they are related or married, or if their relationship can be qualified as “intimate.” In this case, intimate does not relate to sex, and can simply include a longstanding history.

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Bronx County civil service job defense attorney

Over the last few years, marijuana laws have been changing drastically around the country. In most states, marijuana laws apply to specific situations, and it is not entirely legalized. However, new rules regarding drug tests took effect this year in New York City. When applying for a new job, it is important to know your rights so that you are not wrongfully banned from positions for which you are qualified. If you think that a potential employer has violated the new marijuana testing laws, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced civil service job defense attorney to protect your rights.

NYC Marijuana Tests

As of May 10, 2020, most New York City employers are not allowed to test job applicants for marijuana or THC. However, this rule only applies to prospective employees. If an employer suspects an employee of using marijuana while at work, they are still able to conduct a drug test. Although this new law does not legalize marijuana, it prevents job applicants from being unfairly discriminated against.

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New York, NY DWI defense attorney

The legal implications of a car crash caused by drunk driving become significantly more complicated if there is a child in the vehicle. The New York Child Protection Act, also known as Leandra’s Law, took effect in 2009. Leandra Rosado was an 11-year-old girl who was killed in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver who lost control of her vehicle after allegedly drinking for hours before she got behind the wheel. Leandra’s father fought for these stricter laws to be put in place. Because of this, it is essential to understand the consequences of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Regardless of the details surrounding a car accident, you must work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend yourself against criminal charges related to drunk driving. 

Child Protection Act/Leandra’s Law

Leandra’s law is designed to protect children from intoxicated drivers. The law’s initial form only punished drivers for being intoxicated while they had a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle. However, the final form of the bill goes one step further and requires that all drivers convicted of misdemeanor or felony drunk driving charges (even if they are a first-time offender) must equip an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle they own for at least six months. At the time, New York was one of only 10 states to have a first offender ignition interlock law.

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Bronx theft defense attorney

If you are accused of theft in New York, this charge can encompass a variety of criminal offenses. Therefore, it is worth understanding the extensive rules that define what these crimes can be and how they might be punished. This will play a large role in how you and your defense attorney will proceed. In some cases, the penalties may include fines and prison time. There is no better way to develop a solid defense than to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. With that said, it is important to understand how New York laws might affect your case.

New York Larceny Laws

Larceny is an old English word that equates to theft. There are two main categories of theft in New York: petit larceny and grand larceny. Both involve a person intentionally depriving another of his or her property. Theft by wrongful taking of another person's property, tricking, embezzling, false pretenses, false promises, and extortion are all considered larceny under New York law. It is important to note that if a person is aware that he or she has acquired lost property but does not put forth an effort to return it, he or she can face similar theft charges as those of someone who purposefully takes someone else's property. Extortion is a broad category that includes obtaining someone else's property through threats to physically harm someone in the future, to damage property, to engage in other criminal activity, and other willful acts.

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New York, NY drug charges defense attorney

Many states have updated their drug laws related to cannabis, making the drug legal for recreational use in some places. The punishments for possessing and using marijuana in New York have relaxed somewhat in the last couple of years, but they can vary depending on the circumstances. It is important to understand how these revised rules may affect you. However, if you are facing charges for any drug crime, it is imperative that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine how to best present your case and build a strong legal defense. 

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in New York?

Recreational marijuana usage is not legal in New York, but the laws pertaining to its usage have relaxed. For instance, if you get caught possessing under two ounces of marijuana, you will not be arrested, but you can be fined $50 to $200. If you are found with more than two ounces, you face stronger fines and jail time. Possession of an amount less than eight ounces is classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

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