Friday, October 26, 2012

New York Increases Penalties for Repeat Domestic Abusers

New York State has enacted new penalties for repeat domestic abusers, including tougher standards for bail pending trial.

The law was signed on Thursday (October 25).  It creates the crime of “Aggravated Family Offense.”  Under the law defendants who commit certain offenses against family members and have a previous conviction for doing so within the past five years can be charged with a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.  The law also expands the definition of “Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree” to include when a defendant, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm, causes physical injury to an individual, or to a family or household member of that individual.

The new law also requires judges to consider various risk factors, including access to firearms and previous violations of orders of protection, when setting bail for people accused of a family offense.

For more on the new law and its requirements click here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Legal Links of Interest for the week ending October 12, 2012

Some of the stories about the law and lawyers in the news this past week:

·         One Million Motorists Skipped Out On $35M InUnpaid Thruway Tolls: Records reviewed through a Freedom of Information request show that the New York State Thruway Authority's finances have been hurt by its inability to recoup tolls and fines from people who zip through EZ-Pass lanes scot-free.

·         New law expands farm distilleries' salesoptions:  Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last week to allow licensed farm distilleries to sell liquor at the New York State Fair, local fairs and farmers’ markets.

·         It could become illegal to resell your iPhone 4,car or family antiques: If the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling, it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in another country would have to give you permission to sell it.

·         New York traffic cameras use short yellow lights to increase ticket revenue: AAA New York has found that New York City intersections with cameras have yellow lights that are shorter by as much as 15 percent compared to the city standard.

·         New York Court of Appeals mulls if gang memberis a terrorist: The state’s highest court will consider whether the street gangsters who crashed a Bronx christening party, starting a fight that left a 10-year-old bystander dead, are also terrorists who deserve longer prison time.

·         Obama vs. Romney on the Supreme Court: Control of the Supreme Court, perhaps for a generation, is very much up for grab in the coming presidential election.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Legal links of Interest for the week ending October 5, 2012

A number of stories about the law and lawyers in the news this week:

Judge rejects birth mother & gives custody to partner: A Family Court judge has awarded full custody of a young child to her adopted mother, instead of her biological mom, in what is believed to be the first such New York state case involving a same sex couple. 
 Judge Rejects Binghamton’s Fracking Ban: Justice Lebous ruled that the city had failed to show that the moratorium was needed because the state has not decided whether to allow fracking. 
 Attorney General Too late for Prosecution in Securities Meltdown: While New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges massive fraud in mortgage-backed securities in a lawsuit filed this week, he’s not criminally prosecuting anyone. 
Mootness Dooms Suit Against County Attorney: A civil action accusing Madison County's part-time county attorney of self-dealing has been dismissed because the attorney has paid back some of the money and there is little likelihood the situation will arise again.
CornellLaw School Aids Undocumented Students: Cornell Law School professors and students worked to assist undocumented youth applying for deferred action — a status that, if granted, may allow thousands of undocumented immigrants living in upstate New York to temporarily be protected from deportation.
 Knox Supreme Court Decision Strengthens Worker Rights: the Court ruled 7–2 in the plaintiffs’ favor, striking down the SEIU’s fundraising scheme and reaffirming the rights of public-sector employees to refrain from supporting union politics [and] Justice Samuel Alito authored an expansive five-member opinion that raises the possibility that the Court could require unions to receive affirmative consent from nonmember employees before spending their money on politics at some point in the future.