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Author Archives: Joseph Tacopina

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Despite Drop in Arrests for Lower-Level Offenses, Threat of Prosecution Remains

Since New York City’s adoption of the Criminal Justice Reform Act, there has been a significant fall off in criminal summonses issued by the NYPD. This landmark piece of legislation was aimed at creating a fairer and more just criminal justice system. It allows police to treat as civil, rather than criminal, certain low-level offenses… Read More »

New York Bail Reform: What if You Get an Appearance Ticket but Don’t Show Up?

New York’s bail reform law went into effect at the beginning of 2020, the start of a new regime in which cash bail is no longer required for most misdemeanors and many felonies. Instead of being forced to post a bail bond to secure their release, defendants are now issued appearance tickets, requiring them to… Read More »

Five New York Criminal Justice Reforms to Watch for in 2020

New York state legislators expect to debate dozens of criminal justice-related measures throughout the remainder of 2020. Democrats, who own the majority in the state Senate and Assembly, were able to push through the Bail Reform Act in 2019 and would like to build on that momentum by enacting several other reforms. Here is a… Read More »

How Will Harvey Weinstein’s Conviction Affect Future Sexual Assault Prosecutions?

On the morning of February 25, one day after former Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape, actress Caitlin Dulany stood with a dozen other women on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall to speak to the press. “You will have a different world because of what happened today,” she said. “It… Read More »

What Happens to Your Court Date During COVID-19?

The entire New York State court system has ordered that only “essential” courts and court services will remain available during the coronavirus crisis. Chief Judge Janet DiFiore posted a notice on the state court’s website stating that: No new trials will be started until further notice, though jury trials in progress in civil and criminal… Read More »

New York Courts Grapple with COVID-19

Like every organization in New York, the judicial system is doing its best to find ways to adapt amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While state and federal courts remain open for now, the operation of the courts has slowed to a crawl. Criminal court officials have been struggling with how to balance the need… Read More »

NY Prosecutor Escapes Jail Time after Brutal Assault

The crime of assault has serious legal consequences — unless, of course, you’re a prosecutor. After an assistant district attorney (ADA) out of Brooklyn was stumbling, disoriented and intoxicated on the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge, emergency medical services came to his aid. But once inside the ambulance, the ADA attacked the emergency medical technician…. Read More »

Gun Owners are a New Target in Home Burglaries

Gun owners often purchase weapons with the specific intent of home protection. Ironically, however, these home security instruments may be linked to an increase in burglaries. With the recent changes in New York State’s gun legislation making it difficult to access firearms, robbers may be targeting homes listed with gun permits. In New York, gun… Read More »

Tax Refund Identity Theft – Could it Happen to You?

We are all familiar with identity theft. A person gets access to your Social Security number and uses it to open credit card accounts in your name. He charges thousands of dollars, and you have no idea what has happened until you receive the bill. However, as people have become aware of this type of… Read More »

Securities Fraud: When Pennies Count

Most securities fraud cases involve significant thefts from individual victims, like the alleged $64 billion Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff. However, some cases show that fraudulent conduct involving small amounts of money can add up to millions of dollars of illicit profit if the conduct is allowed to continue over a long period. The… Read More »