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Recent Blog Posts

When Can a New York Civil Service Employee Appeal Disciplinary Action?

 Posted on February 11, 2021 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

NYC civil sevice employee discipline defense attorneyIf you are facing disciplinary action for alleged misconduct related to your civil service job, the question of your guilt and any appropriate penalties will be determined at a hearing where you and your attorney have the opportunity to present evidence in your defense. However, the outcome of this hearing does not always signify the end of the process. If you believe that the hearing or the decision was handled incorrectly or unfairly, you have the option to request an appeal.

Grounds for an Appeal

In order for an appeal to have merit, you must be able to demonstrate some manner of impropriety in the initial hearing. For example, you may make the case that the hearing did not follow the appropriate procedure under New York Civil Service Law, that the decision was issued based on insufficient or unreliable evidence, or that the penalties assessed were more severe than your actions merited. Your attorney can advise you as to whether you have a substantial case for an appeal.

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Should I Agree to a BAC Test if an Officer Pulls Me Over in New York?

 Posted on January 26, 2021 in Criminal Defense

NYC DWI defense attorneyIf you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or any other traffic violation, you are protected by certain constitutional rights. For example, you are not required to consent to a search of your vehicle if the officer does not have a warrant, and you are not required to answer an officer's questions in a way that could implicate you or be used against you in a legal proceeding. However, under New York’s implied consent law, you are required to submit to an officer’s request for you to undergo a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, or else face consequences related to your driver’s license.

Understanding Implied Consent in New York

In the State of New York, drivers are considered to have given “implied consent” to a chemical test in the event that they are arrested for DWI. Often, this testing consists of an initial breath test in the field, and it may be followed by an additional test of the driver’s blood, urine, or saliva once the driver is brought to a police station. Under New York law, the legal BAC limit is 0.08 in most circumstances, and a test result above this number can be used as evidence in support of a DWI conviction.

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Can My Employer Discipline Me For Personal Social Media Use?

 Posted on December 22, 2020 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

New York City employment defense lawyerIn 2020, social media is a regular part of life for most Americans, and some even use it to perform work-related activities. However, social media activity can also often be a source of conflict between employers and employees, and in some cases it can lead to employee discipline or even termination. If you are facing discipline from your employer due to your social media use, an employment defense attorney can help you understand your rights.

Policies and Laws Regarding Employee Social Media Use

Due to the increased prevalence of social media, many employers now have social media and electronic communication policies that address issues including social media use during work hours, content that employees may or may not share on social media, and the monitoring of work email and other activities on work-issued electronic devices. If your employer has such a policy, you may have been asked to agree to it at the time you were hired or when the policy was created. This consent is a crucial component in justifying an employer’s discipline of an employee for any social media activity that may violate the policy.

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What Does it Mean to Have Transitory Possession of a Weapon?

 Posted on December 10, 2020 in Criminal Defense

NYC weapons possession defense attorneyIn the State of New York, the illegal possession of firearms and many other types of weapons can result in serious criminal charges. If a law enforcement officer finds an illegal weapon on your person or your property, you could face fines, imprisonment, and other consequences that could affect you for the rest of your life, especially if you have a prior criminal record. A criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges you are facing, and one possible defense depending on the circumstances is a demonstration of transitory possession of the weapon.

Criminal Weapons Offenses in New York

Some of the types of weapons that can result in criminal charges in New York if possessed illegally include:

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What Are My Rights When Under Investigation By My Employer?

 Posted on November 18, 2020 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

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.

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Has Domestic Violence Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

 Posted on November 03, 2020 in Criminal Defense

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.

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Am I Entitled to Reasonable Accommodation for a Disability?

 Posted on October 29, 2020 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

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.

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Can I Be Arrested For DWI In New York If I Am Not Actually Driving?

 Posted on October 13, 2020 in Criminal Defense

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.

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What Is Considered a Loaded Weapon in New York State?

 Posted on September 15, 2020 in Criminal Defense

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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How Do Coronavirus Mask Policies Affect Assault Charges in New York?

 Posted on August 28, 2020 in Criminal Defense

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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