Being accused of a crime is a serious situation, regardless of the crime. Even though misdemeanors are considered a lesser crime in New York, these allegations should be addressed in the same manner as if it were a harsher crime. Defendants could face serious penalties, and it is important to understand the details of the allegations, so they can take appropriate action, such as developing a defense strategy.
Recent reports indicate that there has been an influx in these types of crimes all over the state of New York. This increased occurred shortly after a dip in all other crimes. Recent arrest records indicate that many were arrested for jumping turnstiles, minor drug possession and assault.
According the crime experts, the increase in minor offense arrests occurred when the policing strategies changed. In order to prevent major crimes from occurring, police officers aggressively pursued minor offenses. Furthermore, an increase of complaints about minor crimes also occurred. A recent report indicates that nearly half of misdemeanor arrests were a result of officers responding to complaints.
Despite half of these arrests being attributed to responses to complaints, there are still concerns about officers misusing their discretion, such as stop and frisk. If a defendant believes that they were improperly searched or the search and seizure process was not properly carried out, they could use that in their defense. This could lead to evidence being dismissed and ultimately resulting in reduced or dropped charges.
No matter the criminal charge a defendant faces, it is important that they know their rights. Making a defense against criminal allegations could significantly help the defendant avoid penalties and even prevent or reduce damage to their personal and professional reputation.
Source: The New York Times, “Crime Dips in New York as Misdemeanor Arrests Rise, Report Says,” J. David Goodman, Oct. 28, 2014