Bribing for a Gun License in NYC

In New York, you must have the proper permission to purchase, own, or possess a handgun. Before you buy or possess a gun, you must apply for a Pistol Permit with the proper licensing authority in your city or county, which is generally the County Sheriff in most upstate counties and the New York City Police Department Licensing Division in New York City. When you receive a license to purchase a gun, you may only purchase or possess the specific weapon that is noted on your license and the weapon must be properly registered and carried in accordance with the restrictions on your particular license.

One individual in New York City recently tried to get around the gun licensing requirements in a surprising manner–by trying to bribe New York Police Department officers. The requirements to have a gun license approved by NYPD in New York City are even more stringent than in the rest of the state. For example, law enforcement officers will review your application for accuracy and will always conduct a thorough background check. Many different marks on your record can prevent approval of your gun license, including domestic violence accusations, criminal convictions, or even certain traffic offenses. Because of these strict requirements and a complex bureaucratic process, most people are denied licenses.  Hiring a lawyer familiar with the pistol permit process helps but still provides only a slightly better chance of obtaining the prized and increasingly rare New York City Carry Permit.

The man in the news decided that trying to bribe officers was a better way around waiting for a gun license or receiving possible denials. Allegedly, the man was trying to secure gun licenses for his clients, who were willing to pay thousands of dollars for the licenses. He reportedly offered an NYPD officer $6,000 to speed up the license approval process for several people, claiming that he had used previous connections to obtain 150 licenses. He is now facing federal bribery charges, which can result in very serious penalties if convicted.

Call a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer for More Information Today

The penalties for gun crimes and related offenses are very serious in New York and anyone accused of a gun crime should immediately call an experienced NY criminal defense attorney for help. There are many ways to defend against gun offenses, however, timing is very important in these cases. At the Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel, we can begin building an effective defense strategy from the moment of your arrest, so please do not hesitate to call our office for more information if you have been arrested or charged with any crime.

Forged License Plate Could Lead to Arrest

A woman in New York made headlines after she was arrested for forging a license plate, among various other offenses. The 28-year-old woman allegedly took a piece of cardboard and attempted to replicate the New York license plate with yellow and blue paint. When police spotted the fake plate, they pulled her over and discovered she was violating several other laws, as well, and placed her under arrest.

While painting a piece of cardboard may not seem like that serious of an offense, the woman now faces several charges–some that may result in serious consequences. According to news sources, allegations against her include the following:

● Three traffic infractions
● Driving with suspended vehicle registration — Misdemeanor offense
● Driving with no insurance — Misdemeanor offense
● Possessing a forged instrument — Felony offense

Penalties for Forged Instruments in New York
The criminal charge of possession of a forged instrument can apply to many different situations, including:

● Having or presenting a fake driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification
● Having a fake credit or debit card
● Having or using counterfeit cash
● Using forged certifications or professional licenses
● Using forged checks or signatures on checks

To convict you of possessing a forged instrument, the prosecutor must prove certain the following elements:

● You knew you had a false or modified instrument and
● You intended to use the false instrument to defraud another party.

The punishment for a conviction will depend on the circumstances of your situation and the type of item that was allegedly forged. For example, having a fake ID can result in less serious penalties that having counterfeit currency. However, convictions for any forged instrument offenses can result in jail time and a serious felony on your criminal record. It is always important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling your forged instrument case.

Contact a NY Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you are arrested for any type of offense in New York, it is critical to seek quality and experienced defense representation as soon as you can. While your case may seem relatively minor, even traffic-related allegations and misdemeanor charges can result in serious penalties that can have lasting effects on your life. At the Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel, we help clients with a wide array of criminal offenses, from traffic tickets to violent felony crimes. No matter the reason why you were arrested, call us today at 718-575-3900 for more information.

How to Prevent False Eyewitness Identifications

False eyewitness identifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. Approximately 1 in 4 eyewitness identifications are incorrect. Despite a high rate of error, eyewitness testimony is considered to be some of the most powerful evidence against a suspect. Surveys show that the majority of jurors rely heavily on eyewitness testimony when deciding if the defendant is guilty.

Why is there a high rate of false identifications?

There is a common misconception that the human memory works like a video recorder: the brain records events and then plays back an exact replica of them on cue. Contrary to this popular belief, psychologists have found that memories are reconstructed each time we recall them.

It is impossible for the brain to remember everything we encounter. The human memory takes bits and pieces of information and processes the important aspects. The brain fills in the missing details to recreate a full picture.  During a trial, questioning by a lawyer can often alter a witness’s testimony. The witness may unknowingly combine fragments of the specific event with information provided by the lawyer, which may be inaccurate.

There are many factors that increase the risk of false identifications. Here are some circumstances that may lead to inaccurate testimony:

  • Extreme stress or trauma. When an individual is in a high-stress situation, the ability to accurately observe and recall events correctly is diminished.
  • The suspect lacks distinctive characteristics, such as tattoos or extreme height.
  • The presence of weapons. Witnesses tend to focus on the weapon during a crime. When a weapon is used, a witness can often recall the details of the perpetrator’s gun or knife, but they are unable to remember the suspect.
  • The suspect used a disguise, such as a wig or mask.
  • Suggestive identification.
  • Brief viewing time during the identification lineup.

How can we minimize faulty eyewitness testimony?

A mistaken conviction can have serious consequences on a person’s life. Your defense attorney should take measures to minimize eyewitness errors during your case.

Science is the best way to improve the accuracy and assessment of eyewitness identifications. The New York Court of Appeals has agreed that expert witnesses should be allowed to inform juries about research regarding factors that can affect a witness’s memory.

An expert witness is a professional with extensive experience or knowledge in a particular field, allowing them to present their expert opinion without having been an eyewitness to any event regarding a case. Expert testimony is a reliable way to ensure innocent people are not wrongly convicted due to the natural flaws in identifications. Experts can testify in court to educate jurors about the reliability of identification testimony, which may lead to a more measured evaluation of an eyewitness’s testimony.

If you are facing criminal charges, the Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. will ensure your case goes as smoothly as possible. Call for a consultation today at (718) 575-3900.