I represented a client charged with a major felony. Rather than accept a plea bargain, which would have required substantial jail time, my client chose to have a trial. There I sat at the defense table waiting for the trial to begin. Moments before the District Attorney began presenting his case, I was handed a thick package of “discovery” material which included Grand Jury testimony, Police Reports, Police Logs and Arrest Reports. I actually was given only a few minutes to determine if any of the “discovery items” contained information which would prove helpful to my client. This was not only prejudicial against my client but also affected his ability to decide whether or not to accept a “plea bargain”. It was reported by the New York Times that the Discovery Rules in New York State “have long been some of the most restrictive in the nation.” New York State’s Discovery law remained behind the times for over 40 years. Every time legislation was introduced to change the rules, the District Attorneys’ in New York argued that providing defense counsel with witness information would put those witnesses in danger of harassment or violence. However, when Democrats gained control of both chambers in the State Legislature, the road was open for new Discovery rules to be enacted.
The new rules which went into effect in January of 2020 eliminate the need for defense attorneys to file requests for Discovery and require that a wide range of information including Grand Jury testimony and Police reports, be turned over automatically 15 days after an indictment. The new rules also require the defense counsel to turn over some evidence to the prosecution. The new rules “level the playing field” and allow defendants and their attorneys to make wiser decisions about whether or not to proceed to trial or accept a plea deal.
“Fair is Fair” under the new rules.
Additionally, in April, 2019 New York State passed sweeping criminal justice reform that eliminates money bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanor and nonviolent felony defendants. Many groups and individuals voiced grave concern about “bail reform” expressing fear that early release posed a threat to the community. As of January 22, 2020 Governor Cuomo announced that these provisions will be once again be reviewed. Stay tuned.
Driving while intoxicated denotes driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Even if there are plenty of people avoiding drinking and driving by taking other options such as calling a taxi, riding the bus or relying on another driver, there are still plenty who are charged with a DWI. Once caught, you will need a good legal representative.
Looking for a Nassau DWI attorney could be like picking a piece of chocolate from a candy store. Look at the yellow pages of your telephone book, make an internet search or read community papers and you can find a lot of DWI lawyers. But most people don’t worry about how to look for a lawyer but it is how to choose one.
Except for the rich and famous people who can just easily call up a DWI lawyer from anywhere, a common person should find a lawyer within the location where the DWI happened. How to look and where to look for a Nassau DWI attorney will also vary according to the severity of the charge that was given when a person is caught. For instance, if somebody was killed or injured because of a drunken driver, a manslaughter attorney specializing in DWI may be needed.
Alternatively, if you were not caught up in an accident and were simply charged at a random spot check, then although the charge is grave, you haven’t caused an accident or have someone injured, you don’t really need a DWI specialist.
Obviously, the first method for looking for a Nassau DWI attorney is to ask someone who was already charged with such and had positive results with the lawyer. Another method is by reading articles at a local newspaper about cases of DWI where the results of the trial were given.
In case you are charged outside the state you are living in, it would be a good choice to hire a lawyer from such area since every state has a different sets of laws and strategies in defending you. It is also important to look for a competent lawyer who is specializing with DWI.
If you were not able to look for a DWI attorney from public information or from asking for referrals, you can now start looking at your telephone book. Plenty of DWI experts have full-page ads so it’s easy not to miss any of them. When you see an ad, take note of their website address and find as much background info about the firm. Be sure to have a list of probable lawyers and call each office regarding professional fees, free consultations and how quickly you can meet them for the first consultation.
Get a personal consultation with Jeffrey Bettan, an experienced criminal defense attorney who is willing to provide you a careful and insistent representation. His office is located at Garden City, New York. He currently serves Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the five NY Burroughs and nearby areas. He has more than 30 years of experience with criminal defense for cases including DWI, sex crimes, divorce and more.
If you are charged with embezzlement or wire fraud, your first phone is probably to a New York criminal lawyer. Just after arraignment, you’ll meet with this criminal lawyer to discuss the facts and circumstances leading to your arrest. In this conversation, the lawyer will also answer questions about the crime and charges against you. Then what?
How can a New York criminal lawyer help in the event of charges for white-collar crime? What defenses exist to these crimes and how can your legal team win an acquittal? In this post, we’ll cover a significant amount of information on white-collar crimes, such as what is white-collar crime, the defenses to these charges, and what you can expect from a New York criminal lawyer like Jeffrey Bettan.
What Is White-Collar Crime?
There are several definitions out there for the term “white-collar crime.” Supposedly, the first use of the phrase was back in 1939, when a sociologist used it to encompass the crimes committed by an otherwise respected person in the course of his employment. Since 1939, there have been significant changes to technology and business, and these changes necessitated an expansion of the term white-collar crime.Today, a New York criminal lawyer, prosecutor, judge, or criminologist would use the words white-collar crime to describe a financial crime that is non-violent in nature and committed by a business or government professional. The motivation for committing the offense must be to gain or avoid losing wealth, property, possessions, or services or to achieve a particular advantage, whether personally or in business. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which regularly investigates instances of white-collar crime further clarifies that these crimes are, “characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust.”
Some examples of white-collar crimes are cybercrime, embezzlement, insider trading, money laundering, and public corruption. As well, most of the crimes involving fraud will fall within the definition of white-collar crime, for example, wire fraud, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, and health care fraud. These crimes can be under state or federal law.
How to Defend Charges of White-Collar Crime
Many of the defenses to white-collar crime are similar and applicable to other types of criminal offense. For example, it is possible to build a defense proving that the defendant is insane or that the crime was committed under duress.
In both of these instances, the defendant and his or her New York criminal lawyer must admit that the criminal activity took place, but the defendant shouldn’t be prosecuted for these extenuating circumstances. Similarly, a New York criminal lawyer can argue that the defendant was incapacitated or intoxicated at the time of the offense, and therefore should be acquitted.
All crimes, whether under state or federal law and irrespective of the type of crime, require a prosecutor to prove the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, defense to many white-collar crimes focuses on putting doubt into the minds of jurors and showing that there are alternatives or the defendant’s guilt is uncertain. For example, a criminal lawyer can introduce evidence of actual innocence.A defense of actual innocence may include facts or information that make it impossible or doubtful that the defendant committed the crime. This can include showing a lack of motive or need to commit the offense, evidence the defendant didn’t have the information or control to commit the crime, or introducing other individuals as possible suspects. While effective, actual innocence isn’t the most common defense to white-collar crime – entrapment is.
Entrapment is the argument that the defendant only committed the white-collar crime because of coercion or pressure from a government official or law enforcement officer. A criminal lawyer must show that the coercion or harassment directly influenced and persuaded committing the crime, beyond simply providing the opportunity for it.
What Is the Role of a Criminal Lawyer?
Just as a criminal lawyer would handle your defense to murder charges or a theft offense, a New York criminal lawyer handles the collection of evidence, strategy, and execution of your defense to white-collar crimes. These criminal defense services begin with a confidential, free consultation between you and a New York lawyer. In this conversation, the criminal lawyer learns about your situation and starts looking for holes in the prosecutor’s case.
Then, a criminal lawyer begins building a strategy. The sooner a lawyer is involved in your defense, the better. More time allows a New York criminal lawyer to learn more about your business or financial situation, investigate the circumstances leading to your arrest, and build a robust response through evidence. As well, a criminal lawyer will handle communication with the court and prosecutor, ensuring only the necessary facts and evidence are handed over to these parties, including during due diligence and when filing court documents.
If your charges for white-collar crime go before a New York court, a criminal lawyer will also represent you before the jurors and judge. Delivery of your defense is crucial, and an experienced criminal lawyer can provide the best and strongest argument before a court.If you are facing charges of a white-collar crime, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey Bettan today. We will quickly arrange a free, initial consultation at our Long Island offices and start developing a strong defense. You can reach the Law Offices of Jeffrey Bettan at 516-642-6636.
By Jeffrey Bettan | Published April 13, 2018 | | |
You’ll frequently hear a traffic court lawyer say that it isn’t your first traffic violation that causes major problems, but the second, third, fourth, and fifth violations. When you have multiple traffic violations on your driving record, the ramifications start to become more serious and far-reaching. It steadily becomes more important to fight a traffic ticket or moving violation in the traffic court.
Yet, few Nassau County residents think to contact a traffic court lawyer to help with these successive violations. As we downplay the complications of a single ticket, it’s possible to forget that a third ticket could mean suspension of your license or inability to operate a commercial vehicle – plus other indirect effects! If you are facing multiple traffic violations, you should understand the likely penalties in Nassau County.
Points on Your License from a Single Violation
All states have devised a system for recording and tracking the traffic violations of drives on the road. New York’s system works by assigning each traffic violation a number of points. These points are applied against a driver’s license, and if/when the driver accumulates too many points, there are harsh repercussions.
For example, a ticket for speeding results in three points against your license, but a ticket for speeding more 11 or more miles per hour above the posted limit is four points against your license. Similarly, reckless driving is five points, improper cell phone use is five points, and failure to obey a traffic signal is three points. The traffic violation with the most points is speeding more than 40 miles per hour over the posted limited, which is 11 points against the driver’s license. For a list of common traffic violations and the number of points in New York, visit this site.
Accumulation of Points from Multiple Violations
A single speeding ticket or ticket for failure to yield at a right-of-way isn’t going to land you in serious trouble, and it isn’t likely to require the attention or advice of a traffic ticket lawyer. You’ll be required to pay a fine to the traffic court and move on.
However, when you cross the threshold of six points on your New York driver’s license, there are other negative consequences.
A driver with six points or more in any 18-month period is required to pay an additional fee. The Driver Responsibility Assessment fee is $100 annual fee that you must pay for three straight years. That means the total Assessment is $300 – a large amount to pay on top of the fine directly related to your traffic ticket. The ramifications become bigger when a driver has 11 points or more against his or her license.
Suspension or Loss of Your License
In New York, if you have 11 or more point against your license in any 18-month period, then the traffic court can suspend your driver’s license. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in New York with a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Further, the traffic court has some direction to set the suspension for a definite period of time or indefinite; typically, the timeframe is based on the severity of the traffic violations.
If a recent ticket or moving violation would put you at or over this 11-point milestone, a traffic court lawyer can help you fight the offense. Not only can a lawyer argue to have the ticket thrown out or the number of points on your license reduced, legal assistance can include enrollment in a Point and Insurance Reduction Program. Participation in these programs can result in lowering the number of points against your New York license.
Other Effects of Multiple Violations
Points against your license aren’t the only concern when you face a second, third, or even fourth traffic violation. You are going to pay the price for these violations in other ways. First and foremost, you will see a negative impact on your insurance premiums and coverage.
Your motor vehicle insurance company will also track any traffic tickets and violations. These companies impose a similar, but entirely separate, points system designed to penalize drivers for multiple traffic violations. While the system for each insurance company is different, the impact is the same – an increase in your premiums.
Second, a bad track record of traffic violations can impact your ability to procure motor vehicle insurance in the future. A company may be unwilling to insure a notoriously reckless driver or charge a very high premium for a high-risk driver. As it is illegal to drive in New York without car insurance, this predicament has other legal implications.
Finally, a looming suspension of your license can impact everything from employment to dating. If you can’t drive, you can’t commute to work in your car, run errands for employment purposes, or drive the company car. If your job depends on visiting customers or multiple locations, you are facing significant difficulty.
As well, a suspended license in Long Island or other parts of Nassau County can make it complicated to attend social events, go to the beach, take a vacation, or go on a date. Suddenly, the implications of your multiple traffic tickets are huge. A Nassau County traffic court lawyer can help. Contact an experienced Nassau lawyer at Jeffrey Bettan Attorney at Law. Our office is always available when you call (516)-642-6636.
By Jeffrey Bettan | Published March 30, 2018 | | |
Historically, the State of New York has enacted some of the United States’ harshest drug laws. Back in the early 1970’s rising drug use in the state, particularly in and around New York City, led the state legislature to enact a set of punitive laws, which created a mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession and other drug charges. Known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws, named after the governor at the time, these very strict drug charges were in place until 2004.
In 2004, New York started a process of drug reform. First, the state reduced the mandatory minimum for drug charges, and then in 2009, eliminated it altogether. This allowed a defendant and his or her criminal lawyer to make a better case for reducing the drug charges, punishment by probation, or dropping the charges altogether.
However, beating drug charges in New York is still incredibly difficult. The state remains extremely tough on drug-related offenders. To fight drug charges, you need the assistance of a criminal lawyer in your area. Uncertain a criminal lawyer can help your case? Here are five ways an experienced lawyer can bolster your defense and fight drug charges.
#1: Explain the Possible Outcomes of Your Case
If you are facing drug charges on Long Island or elsewhere in Nassau County you probably have a lot of questions about the process and outcome of your case. A Long Island criminal lawyer can answer these questions. However, explanation of your case will proceed and the potential outcomes are incredibly fact specific. It is impossible for a criminal lawyer to determine possible outcomes and answer questions without understanding the circumstances of your situation.
In addition, a criminal lawyer assists with the strategy and approach to your case. Given the potential outcomes and likelihood of each outcome, your lawyer in Nassau County can determine whether to negotiate with the prosecutor, what motions to file, and what defenses to raise before the court.
#2: Question the Evidence
For all criminal cases, the New York prosecutor must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard applies in cases of all severity and type; from murder charge to possession of marijuana, if there is reasonable doubt the jury must find the defendant not guilty. A criminal lawyer has experience finding the reasonable doubt and weak evidence behind drug charges.
The defenses utilized by a criminal lawyer will depend on the facts of your case but can include contradicting evidence that the drugs belonged to the defendant, questioning the identification and laboratory processing of the drugs, or even bringing evidence that the drugs were falsified or planted. In the eyes and minds of jurors, certain arguments by a skills criminal lawyer can go a long way towards developing reasonable doubt.
While attacking the facts is one way to fight drug charges, the more used approach is to argue due process and Constitutional rights were violated. Law enforcement must follow due process when stopping the defendant and when searching a car, home, office, or person. First, there must be probable cause to stop and question the defendant. Second, there must be probable cause for the search.
An illegal and unconstitutional stop, search, or seizure invalidates any evidence arising from such a violation of due process. In many drug cases, violation of due process leads to all evidence of the drugs, including testing and identification, being inadmissible in court. The extensive ramifications of a successful due process defense make it a frequent tool for criminal lawyers.
#4: Discuss a Diversion Program and Probation
Plea bargains with the prosecutor aren’t always in a defendant’s best interest. In fact, in many situations, negotiations for a shorter sentence or lesser charges are offered to serve the interest of the prosecutor’s office only. Yet, there is one person in a good position to determine if the offer of a diversion program or probation is accepted. That person is a Nassau County criminal lawyer.
#5: Ensuring Efficiency in Your Case
Criminal cases aren’t always adjudicated quickly. It can take weeks or months for your case to land on a judge’s docket and before a jury. Without a lawyer, the process is likely to take longer. During this time, the possible outcomes of your case hang over your head and cause a distraction in other parts of your life. if you want your case handled quickly, hire a Nassau County criminal lawyer.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey Bettan provide experienced criminal defense in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We handle the defense of crimes of all seriousness and also fight traffic tickets and moving violations before the traffic court. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Long Island office at 516-642-6636.
By Jeffrey Bettan | Published March 15, 2018 | |
The State of New York averages 300 pedestrian fatalities a year. Many of these unfortunate encounters occur in New York City, with approximately 15,000 pedestrians injured in NYC each year, but accidents occur across the state. A New York traffic lawyer will handle cases involving pedestrians injured everywhere from rural roads to suburban streets.
The number of pedestrian accidents makes improving pedestrian safety a top priority for New York law enforcement. Police patrols in New York are cracking down on drivers that violate traffic laws and put pedestrians in danger. To avoid legal complications and prevent serious injury to a pedestrian, drivers must be aware of these traffic laws. However, a New York traffic lawyer quickly learns that drivers are rarely aware of the exact rules of the road. To start, few people recall the specifics of New York’s right of way laws.
Traffic Violations Used to Determine Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
Often, drivers are held accountable for pedestrian accidents because the driver failed to observe a traffic law put in place by the local municipality, New York legislature, or rules by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. Even when a pedestrian isn’t injured, law enforcement can still issue a ticket for failing to obey the rules of pedestrian crosswalks and right of way. As moving violations, these traffic tickets count against your license.
Generally, local governments police traffic laws, such as the pedestrian right of ways, crosswalks, and turning right on a red light. For this reason, a New York traffic lawyer in Long Island and Nassau County must be aware of the specific laws in several municipal jurisdictions. But across each of these municipalities, the laws are substantially similar.
For example, in each municipality on Long Island, pedestrians are granted the right of way in a crosswalk. Across Long Island, a driver can be issued a moving violation for failing to yield at a crosswalk or blocking a crosswalk during the pedestrian crossing signal.
What Does New York Law Say About Right of Way?
New York State does implement some statewide laws regarding pedestrians and right of way that a New York traffic lawyer and any driver should know. Section 1151 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws clarifies that in the absence of a traffic signal, pedestrians are afforded the right of way over motor vehicles. Second, any driver that must cross a sidewalk or other pedestrian walkway to access a driveway or parking lot must yield to pedestrians on such sidewalk.
In contrast, to the traffic laws that favor pedestrians, Section 1152 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws gives motor vehicles the right of way where there isn’t a crosswalk. This traffic law is broad, stating that pedestrians must yield to motor vehicles when crossing any roadway, at any time, other than in a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. A New York lawyer often uses this traffic law to establish comparative fault on the part of the pedestrian.
Impact of Vision Zero In and Around New York City
The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio is striving to eliminate traffic deaths in New York City by 2024. Called Vision Zero, the mayor’s plan calls for changes to local traffic rules, driver behavior, and some logistics on city streets.
One change already taking place at several NYC intersections is a change in the order and timing of traffic signals. Whereas walk signals and traffic lights used to change in tandem, the walk signal is now illuminated several seconds before the green light. This gives pedestrians a head start on entering the crosswalk before turning traffic begins to move. This and other changes in the plan for Vision Zero are being discussed for other parts of the state.
Talk to a New York Traffic Lawyer
Whether you were cited for an accident involving a pedestrian or simply ticketed for failure to yield at a crosswalk or intersection, a New York traffic lawyer can handle your case. In some instances, these traffic tickets or moving violations lead to a substantial and serious civil case involving the pedestrian. To discuss the specifics of your traffic case with a New York traffic lawyer on Long Island contact Jeffrey Bettan at 516-642-6636.
By Jeffrey Bettan | Published February 23, 2018 | | |
Whether you work for a trucking company, moving operation, or delivery service, your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is necessary for your job. Earning your CDL in New York isn’t easy. You must pass a written test to receive your commercial learner permit and pay an application fee. Then you need to complete practice hours with a CDL supervisor, and finally, pass a road test. Yet, after all these requirements you could lose your CDL in a flash following a Long Island traffic ticket.
As a Long Island traffic lawyer, I regularly speak with CDL holders that are surprised by the impact their traffic ticket or moving violation could have on their license and employment. Will you Long Island traffic ticket hinder or impede your CDL? These are five instances that should raise concern.
#1: Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Whether you are driving a commercial vehicle or your personal car when an accident occurs the worst thing you can do is flee the scene. In New York, leaving the scene of an accident, even if you aren’t at fault for the original accident is a moving violation. More specifically, leaving the scene is a moving violation punishable by suspension of your CDL.
Plus, it becomes far more difficult for a Long Island traffic lawyer to build your defense to a separate moving violation or traffic ticket, if you didn’t stay at the scene and speak to the police.
#2: Excessive Speeding in Any State
What happens if you hold a CDL in New York, but receive a speeding ticket in another state? Typically, a single speeding ticket doesn’t result in a suspended license, whether issued in New York or elsewhere. You do want to pay careful attention to the number of points this ticket will add to your license, but a Long Island traffic lawyer encounters few, if any, drivers facing suspension for one or two speeding tickets.
However, there is a big exception. Excessive speed, usually going 15 miles per hour above the speed limit or more, is considered a serious traffic violation. The CDL rules in New York say a commercial driver can lose his or her CDL for 60 days if convicted of two or more serious traffic violations in any three-year period. Excessive speeding tickets are a serious traffic violation no matter what state issues the ticket, so speak with a Long Island traffic lawyer if you are facing a second violation.
#3: Unsafe Lane Changes and Tailgating
What are the other citations considered serious traffic violations in New York? Two of the most common are unsafe lane change and tailgating.
In my role as a Long Island traffic lawyer, I discuss the specifics of traffic tickets and moving violations with CDL holders each and every week. More often than not, commercial drivers have an excuse or good argument for committing an unsafe lane change or tailgating. Want to work with a lawyer willing to hear your side of the story before it’s too late? Let’s talk today.
#4: Refusing to Undergo a Blood Alcohol Test
Simply by driving on the roads in New York, you’ve agreed to undergo a chemical test to determine sobriety or intoxication. Of course, there are some caveats. Law enforcement must have reasonable cause to request the blood alcohol test and can’t impede your rights. However, if procedure was properly followed you must submit to the blood-alcohol test requested.
Refusal to take a blood-alcohol test in New York carries its own steep consequences, including the loss of your CDL for an entire year.
#5: Using a Commercial Vehicle to Commit a Felony
Our practice at Jeffrey Bettan, Attorney at Law includes representation for traffic tickets, moving violations, and criminal defense. In instances when a CDL holder is accused of using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony is one time when all of this knowledge coincides. As both a Long Island traffic lawyer and Long Island criminal defense lawyer, our practice can represent you in all charges.
In some instances, the conviction of committing or aiding a felony is intertwined with the administrative proceedings to revoke your CDL, but not always. Our team can take your case either way!
To schedule an initial consultation with top Long Island traffic lawyer, Jeffrey Bettan, call our Nassau County office at (516)-642-6636.
By Jeffrey Bettan | Published February 15, 2018 | | |
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