When authorities in New York note that certain issues are plaguing the cities, they might take action to catch suspects and deter certain acts. Whether it is increasing fines, implementing harsher penalties or conducting sting operations, these actions are usually done in response to a high rate of arrests or criminal charges for a specific offense. Although this strategy could help lower the crime rate, it also poses serious consequences for those facing criminal charges.
In a response to the increased rate of underage residents purchasing alcohol, the New York State Police recently conducted a new initiative. In the Underage Drinking Initiative, individuals under the age of 21 attempted to solicit store employees for the purposes of purchasing alcohol. This initiative resulted in the arrest of seven individuals for selling an alcoholic beverage to an underage person. They were all charged with a misdemeanor in the first degree.
Although this is a lesser charge compared to a felony, this criminal charge still carries serious penalties that could significantly affect the accused’s personal and professional life. This is especially true if a person was arrested in the course of his or her employment during the initiative. In these matters, it is important that the defendant understands his or her defense options. When a suspect is arrested in an initiative or an operation, it is crucial to establish the legality of the arrest. Moreover, individuals should determine whether there was a lawful arrest and a properly conducted search and seizure process.
Establishing a defense strategy is crucial, but cannot be done without understanding one’s rights and available options. Defendants are entitled to a defense, no matter what type of charges they are facing. Whether they decide to make a plea bargain or fight the charges, they should make these decisions with all of the facts in mind. If the accused is struggling with a defense plan, he or she could seek assistance in navigating the criminal procedures.
Source: Saugerties Post Star, “State Police in Catskill Conduct Underage Drinking Initiative,” Aug. 11, 2014