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Contempt of court is an act or omission that interferes with the proper administration of the court or disrespects the authority and dignity of the court. The primary objective behind punishing contempt of court is to preserve the effectiveness and sustain the legitimacy of the judicial system. A court’s power to hold someone in contempt is a necessary tool in its arsenal to maintain the rule of law, as defiance of court orders can render the judicial process meaningless.

A conviction of criminal contempt in New York can have significant legal and non-legal consequences on an individual’s life. Working with an experienced Long Island criminal contempt attorney is crucial to defend against the charges and protect your best interest. At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, our team of skilled Long Island criminal defense attorneys can help you navigate the legal complexities surrounding criminal contempt charges in New York. You don’t have to face these charges alone. Contact us today at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a consultation.

Contempt of Court on Long Island

Contempt of court is defined as the willful disregard or disobedience of a court’s authority or the act of intentionally acting disrespectfully towards a court or judge in a legal proceeding. This behavior undermines the court’s ability to function effectively and fairly, and it is a punishable offense. The authority to hold individuals in contempt enables judges to enforce their orders and maintain courtroom decorum, ensuring that their judgments are respected, and disruptive parties are held accountable for their actions.

On Long Island, NY, contempt of court may be civil or criminal, and it is governed by New York State law. Contempt proceedings take place in various courts across the Long Island region, including Nassau County and Suffolk County courts. 

New York State Laws on Contempt

Under New York State law, contempt of court is divided into two categories: criminal contempt and civil contempt. Each type has distinct provisions and punishments, depending on the nature of the contemptuous act.

Criminal Contempt

Criminal contempt is when an individual purposely disobeys a court order, interferes with the proper functioning of the court, or disrupts court proceedings. It generally involves disrespectful behavior or actions that are meant to undermine the authority, dignity, or integrity of the court. In New York, criminal contempt may result in penalties such as imprisonment, fines, or both. There are various degrees of criminal contempt, with escalating responses based on the severity of the offense.

There are two main categories of criminal contempt of court: direct contempt and indirect contempt.

Direct Contempt

Direct contempt is an act of contempt committed in the presence of the court or during a legal proceeding. It includes any behavior that undermines the court’s dignity or disrupts the orderly conduct of the trial, such as inappropriate language, disrespectful conduct, or failure to comply with the court’s instructions. In cases of direct contempt, the judge can take immediate action, such as imposing a fine or incarceration, without the need for a separate hearing or due process. This is because the judge has directly witnessed the contemptuous act and can impose a just punishment based on their observation.

Some examples of direct contempt could include:

Indirect or Civil Contempt 

Indirect contempt, sometimes referred to as constructive contempt, occurs outside the presence of the court and typically involves the violation of a court order. Unlike direct contempt, indirect contempt requires a separate hearing to establish evidence of the contemptuous act and to allow the accused an opportunity to defend their actions. The due process requirements in cases of indirect contempt are crucial, as the judge was not a direct witness to the alleged misconduct and must rely on third-party reports and evidence. Civil contempt is meant to be remedial in nature, and its goal is to ensure compliance with the court’s orders, rather than to punish the offender.

Examples of indirect contempt could include:

Examples of Contemptuous Conduct

Various acts and behaviors can be considered contemptuous, depending on the circumstances. Some common examples include:

Understanding the concept of contempt of court, its types, and examples of contemptuous conduct is essential to comprehending the impact of criminal contempt charges. Criminal contempt charges are applied to ensure that individuals respect the rule of law, maintain the authority of the courts, and uphold the fair administration of justice.

Examples of Contemptuous Conduct Description
Disrespectful language or gestures Using profanity or derogatory language, or displaying inappropriate gestures aimed at the judge, attorneys, witnesses, or court staff.
Disobedience of court orders Failing to comply with a court order, whether it’s failing to appear in court, pay fines or fees, comply with conditions of probation, or respect the terms of a restraining order.
Disrupting court proceedings Engaging in loud or unruly behavior, refusing to comply with court etiquette, or displaying threatening behavior in the courtroom.
Impeding the administration of justice Interfering with the effective functioning of the court, such as interfering with court officers’ duties, tampering with evidence, or bribing or threatening a witness.
Failure to pay court-ordered support Unlawfully refusing to pay child or spousal support as mandated by a court order.

Contempt of Court as a Felony

Contempt of court can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the actions. In New York, contempt of court is considered a felony when there are aggravated circumstances present or when the accused has committed repeat offenses.

Aggravated Circumstances

Aggravated circumstances refer to situations where contemptuous behavior is combined with other criminal actions or is considered especially severe. This could include situations where the accused disobeys a court order that results in the physical harm of another individual, such as violating an order of protection and subsequently assaulting the protected party. These situations can elevate the contempt charge to a felony level.

Repeat Offenses

If an individual has previously been found guilty of contempt, a subsequent charge may be considered a felony. For example, if a person has been convicted of criminal contempt in the second degree, a new charge of criminal contempt in the second degree would be considered a felony.

Potential Penalties for Felony Contempt Charges

Felony contempt charges have more severe penalties than misdemeanor charges. Potential penalties for felony contempt of court convictions in New York can include jail or prison sentences, fines and financial penalties, and probation.

Jail or Prison Sentences

Depending on the severity of the offense and the classification of the felony, prison sentences for felony contempt of court convictions can range from a minimum of one year to a maximum of seven years. For Class E felonies, the term may be between one and four years.

Fines and Financial Penalties

In addition to jail or prison time, fines and financial penalties can be imposed for felony contempt charges. These fines can reach up to $5,000, depending on the specific offense and the circumstances surrounding the case. If the contempt charges were incurred due to a willful violation of a child or spousal support order, the defendant may also be required to pay any outstanding balance they have.

Probation and Other Alternative Sentencing

In some cases, probation may be an option for individuals convicted of felony contempt charges. Probation allows the accused to remain in the community under supervision instead of serving a jail or prison sentence. The length of the probationary period can vary depending on the offense and the individual’s criminal history. Other alternative sentencing options, such as community service, counseling, or anger management classes, may also be considered in lieu of—or in addition to—jail or prison time.

Legal Defense for Contempt of Court Charges

Contempt of court charges can result in serious consequences, including fines and jail time. If you are facing such charges, it is essential to understand the legal defenses available to you and to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the specific defense strategy will depend on the facts of your case, some common defenses include:

Legitimate Excuses or Misunderstandings

In some cases, you might have a legitimate excuse for the conduct that led to the charge. For example, if you failed to comply with a court order but had a valid reason for doing so, you may be able to demonstrate that your noncompliance was not willful and intentional. If there was a misunderstanding about the terms of the court order or the deadline to comply, you might be able to argue that the situation resulted from a genuine mistake rather than a willful disregard for the court’s authority.

Lack of Intent

To be found guilty of contempt of court, a person must usually have acted with an intentional, willful disregard of the court’s authority. If you can show that your actions were not done with the intent to defy the court or disrespect its authority, this could be a strong defense. This might be particularly relevant if the alleged contemptuous act was unintentional or arose from an honest mistake or misunderstanding.

Insufficient Evidence

In other cases, you may be able to challenge the evidence against you as insufficient to support a finding of contempt. For instance, if the prosecutor cannot prove that you knowingly and willfully violated a court order or that your conduct actually disrupted court proceedings, you might be able to argue that the charges should be dismissed. Additionally, if the court order you allegedly violated was vague or ambiguous, you may be able to argue that it was not clear enough to support a finding of contempt.

To build a robust legal defense strategy, consulting a skilled Long Island criminal contempt attorney is necessary. An attorney can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case and determine the appropriate legal defense. An attorney may also be able to negotiate a reduction of the charges or pursue their dismissal.

Getting the Help of a Skilled Long Island Criminal Contempt Attorney

A felony contempt conviction can have a profound impact on various aspects of one’s life, from employment to personal relationships and civil rights. It can make it difficult to find a job and restrict access to certain careers requiring licenses. The social stigma can strain relationships and lead to isolation. Felony convictions may result in limitations on voting rights and firearm possession. Failure to disclose a felony conviction can have negative repercussions in various applications and forms. It is important to consult with an attorney to navigate the legal challenges and minimize the impact of a felony contempt conviction.

At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, our team of experienced Long Island criminal defense attorneys works diligently to provide top-rated legal assistance and representation in Nassau and Suffolk County. We understand the impact a felony conviction can have on a person’s personal relationships and professional prospects. Take a proactive approach toward your legal defense today. Contact us at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Drunk driving is a serious threat to public safety, and in order to combat this issue, the state of New York has implemented strict laws and penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Understanding these laws, especially on Long Island, NY, is important for drivers in order to prevent accidents, injuries, and legal consequences. This article discusses the basics of New York State DUI/DWI laws, the definition of a vehicle for DUI purposes, and the legal blood alcohol concentration limit.

One common question that arises is whether or not you can be charged with a DUI while riding a bicycle. At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, our team of experienced Long Island DWI lawyers has assisted clients in navigating the complexities of the legal system. We understand the importance of knowing your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist and the potential consequences of the different DWI charges and penalties on Long Island. Our attorneys provide valuable insight and information and work diligently to help secure the best possible outcome in our clients’ cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052.

New York State DUI/DWI Laws

New York State has a stringent set of DUI laws designed to discourage individuals from driving while intoxicated. These laws are referred to as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in the state of New York, with penalties depending on the nature of the offense and the driver’s prior history. The basic categories of alcohol and drug-related violations in New York are:

Depending on the charge and the driver’s history, penalties for these offenses could include fines, license suspension or revocation, mandatory attendance in an alcohol/drug rehabilitation program, and jail time.

Definition of a Vehicle for DUI Purposes

In New York State, DUI laws apply to the operation of any motorized vehicle on public roads, highways, or other publicly accessible areas. This includes:

It is important to note that DUI laws do not apply to non-motorized bicycles or other self-propelled vehicles. However, riding a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle while intoxicated can still be dangerous and result in other legal consequences.

Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit

On Long Island and throughout New York State, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit depends on the age and type of driver. For drivers aged 21 and older operating a non-commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is 0.08%. For commercial vehicle operators, the limit is reduced to 0.04%.

New York State follows the Zero Tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21, making it illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. This law is aimed at preventing youth from drinking and driving, given their inexperience and heightened risk for fatal crashes.

Law enforcement officers use a breathalyzer or similar tests to determine a driver’s BAC when they suspect impairment. Refusing to submit to a BAC test can result in immediate license suspension and further penalties.

Understanding the nuances of DWI laws on Long Island, NY is crucial for drivers, as it ensures compliance with the law and promotes safer roads. Familiarize yourself with the types of offenses, the definition of a vehicle for DWI purposes, and the legal BAC limits according to your age and the type of vehicle you operate. 

Factors Influencing Bicycle DWI

Riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) can lead to severe consequences for both the cyclist and other road users. Despite the risks associated with cycling while intoxicated, many people still engage in this dangerous behavior. Several factors contribute to the prevalence of bicycle DWI, ranging from societal attitudes towards cycling to leniency in traffic laws. This article explores the factors influencing bicycle DWI and provides insight into the dynamics that contribute to this hazardous behavior.

Bicycle Riders vs. Motor Vehicle Drivers

One of the primary factors influencing bicycle DWI is the difference in perception and social norms between cyclists and motor vehicle drivers. While drunk driving is generally stigmatized and viewed as a severe offense, intoxicated cycling may not be seen as equally dangerous by some people. This difference in perception could stem from the idea that bicycles are not as potentially lethal as motor vehicles, thereby resulting in a reduced sense of responsibility for cyclists.

Moreover, the social aspect of cycling may contribute to a greater likelihood of bicycle DWI. For instance, group cycling events or casual rides with friends may involve alcohol consumption, which can lead to impaired cycling decisions. In contrast, driving a motor vehicle is often considered a more individual responsibility, with designated drivers assigned to ensure the safety of their passengers and fellow road users.

Differences in Traffic Rules and Guidelines

Another factor contributing to bicycle DWI is the variation in traffic laws and guidelines governing bicycle and motor vehicle operation. In many jurisdictions including New York, DWI laws primarily focus on motor vehicles, resulting in less stringent regulations or potentially unclear guidelines for cyclists. These legal differences can make it difficult to determine when a cyclist is operating under the influence, contributing to a lack of enforcement and reduced deterrence for intoxicated cycling.

Additionally, such differences in penalties can create a perception that cycling under the influence is a lesser offense, encouraging some individuals to engage in such risky behavior without fear of significant repercussions.

Interaction with Other Road Users

The interactions that cyclists have with other road users can also play a role in influencing bicycle DWI behaviors. In some cases, cyclists may feel less accountable for their actions due to the perceived vulnerability they experience while sharing the road with larger and more dangerous motor vehicles. This feeling of vulnerability can lead to cyclists taking greater risks in their riding behaviors, including operating their bikes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Furthermore, the lack of cycling-specific infrastructure in many areas can exacerbate the issue of bicycle DWI. With limited safe spaces for bike riders, such as dedicated bicycle lanes, intoxicated cyclists are forced to navigate complex roadways with other motor vehicles. Impaired judgment and decision-making can result in severe accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving both cyclists and other road users.

The factors that influence bicycle DWI are multifaceted, including differences in societal perceptions, legal regulations, and interactions with other road users. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive approach that includes educating cyclists and motorists about the dangers of impaired cycling, updating traffic laws to better account for bicycle DWI, and creating safer spaces for cyclists to navigate through town and city streets. Until these factors are adequately addressed, the problem of bicycle DWI will continue to pose a significant risk to both cyclists and other road users.

Potential Consequences of Bicycling Under Influence

Bicycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous and potentially illegal act, with consequences ranging from fines to potential injury or death. Riding a bicycle while drunk or high not only puts the bicyclist at risk but also poses a threat to the safety of others on the road. 

New York State Drunk Bicyclist Penalties

Operating a bicycle completely manually while drunk is not illegal under New York’s DWI laws. This also applies to manually powered vehicles such as kick scooters, skateboards, and roller skates. However, if the bicycle has been rigged with a motor or is motorized, a DWI would be treated in the same manner as if the cyclist was operating a motorcycle and they may be charged with a DWI.

According to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 1146, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles. Bicyclists, provided that their vehicles are not motorized, are in the same class as pedestrians and are afforded the same protections. However, if the vehicle in question is a motorized bicycle, the bicyclist is subject to the same laws as anyone operating a motor vehicle.

Moreover, bicyclists found to be under the influence may face fines, probation, or even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and the discretion of the judge.

Collateral Consequences for a Bicycle DWI

Aside from the potential legal penalties, a bicyclist charged with operating under the influence may suffer collateral consequences as well. These consequences can impact the individual’s personal and professional life. For example, a criminal conviction may affect a person’s employment opportunities or the ability to secure housing. Some professional licenses or certifications may also be at risk.

Additionally, a bicyclist convicted of an alcohol or drug-related offense may face social stigma and damaged personal relationships. Insurance rates for auto policies may increase as well, as insurers may view the individual as high risk. It is essential to note that these collateral consequences can have a lasting effect, long after the legal penalties have been resolved.

Safety Hazards for the Bicyclist and Others

Perhaps the most significant consequence of bicycling under the influence is the danger it poses to both the bicyclist and other road users. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s ability to operate a bicycle safely, affecting balance, coordination, and judgment. This increases the likelihood of accidents, putting not only the bicyclist but also pedestrians, other bicyclists, and motorists at risk.

Bicycling under the influence increases the likelihood of crashes, resulting in injuries or fatalities for the rider or others involved. Injuries can be severe, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. In some cases, the consequences can be fatal.

Furthermore, bicycling under the influence may also damage public perceptions of bicycling as a safe and responsible form of transportation, potentially undermining advocacy efforts for improved bicycling infrastructure and policies.

The potential consequences of bicycling under the influence are far-reaching, affecting legal penalties, collateral damage, and the safety of the bicyclist and others on the road. It is essential for individuals who choose to ride bicycles to be aware of the dangers and their responsibilities, ensuring that they operate their bicycles in a safe and responsible manner at all times.

Consequences of Bicycling Under Influence Details
Legal Penalties Bicyclists found to be under the influence may face fines, probation, or even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and the judge’s discretion.
Collateral Consequences A bicyclist charged with operating under the influence may face collateral consequences that can impact personal and professional life.
Social and Personal Impact A bicyclist convicted of an alcohol or drug-related offense may face social stigma and damaged personal relationships.

New York State Senate Bill S4141

New York State Senate Bill S4141 is a piece of legislation that prohibits the operation of a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The bill recognizes the dangers of bicycling while impaired and seeks to promote responsible behavior and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on the roads. As of writing, the bill is yet to pass at the Transportation Committee.

Bicycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be extremely dangerous, as it impairs a rider’s judgment, reaction time, and coordination. By making it illegal to ride a bicycle while under the influence, the bill seeks to discourage reckless behavior and promote responsible bicycling practices.

While NYS Senate Bill S4141 has not been passed into law, it is important to be aware of the potential consequences of driving a bicycle while under the influence. Being charged with a DWI/DUI in New York can carry serious legal and non-legal repercussions on a person’s life. 

Getting the Help of an Experienced DWI Attorney on Long Island, NY

Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a driver is important, regardless of the vehicle you use. Whether you use a bicycle or a motor vehicle, your knowledge of your can prevent potential altercations and issues with law enforcement down the line. 

If you or someone you know is facing DWI charges on Long Island, it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney. Ed Palermo has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against DWI charges and minimizing the legal consequences of a conviction.

Don’t face DWI charges alone. Contact Edward Palermo Criminal Defense today to schedule a free consultation. Our team of experienced Long Island DWI/DUI attorneys can help defend your rights and minimize the potential penalties of a DWI conviction. Contact us today at (516) 280-2160 or at (631) 265-1052.

In criminal law, trials usually end with a verdict of either guilty or not guilty. However, there are cases when the court ends in neither. These are mistrials. Mistrials are incomplete trials that are declared void. If grounds are met, a judge can stop the legal proceedings. A motion for a mistrial must be submitted before a verdict can be announced. The judge will decide whether a mistrial has indeed occurred.

When a mistrial occurs and is not recognized as such, it can result in a false conviction and cost an innocent person a host of troubles. A wrongful conviction is considered a miscarriage of justice and can have long-lasting effects on a person’s life. As many as 6% of all people incarcerated in the United States have been proven to be wrongfully convicted. A competent Long Island criminal defense attorney can be the last line of defense in identifying a mistrial and avoiding a wrongful conviction.

When Can a Mistrial Be Called?

When a judge declares a mistrial, it means that the trial has been interrupted and cannot continue. A mistrial can be called for several reasons, including:

A mistrial can be declared at any point during the trial, even after deliberations have begun and a verdict has been reached but before it is officially announced in court. If a mistrial is declared, the entire trial process must start over from the beginning with a new jury or with a different presiding judge if judicial misconduct was found in the case.

Reason for Mistrial Description Example
Jury Deadlock The jury is unable to reach a unanimous or majority decision A federal jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict after several rounds of deliberation
Juror Misconduct A juror violates the code of conduct during legal proceedings A juror discusses the case details with an outsider during the trial
Inadmissible Evidence Evidence that cannot be admitted in court is presented The prosecution presents evidence obtained illegally during the trial
Improper Juror Selection Jurors are selected improperly during the voir dire process A juror lies during the voir dire process
Defendant’s Confession The defendant confesses to the crime outside of court The defendant confesses to the crime to a reporter
Key Actor Unavailable A key actor such as a witness, judge, or attorney is unavailable The judge becomes ill and is unable to participate in the trial
Judicial Misconduct The judge makes a ruling that unfairly favors one side The judge shows favoritism to the prosecution during the trial

Impacts of a Mistrial in a Case

If a judge declares a mistrial, the defendant is not automatically acquitted and the charges are not dropped. The double jeopardy rule does not apply in cases of mistrial because, technically, the first trial was never completed. If a defendant is found not guilty in a criminal trial, the charges against them are dismissed and they cannot be tried again for the same crime. However, if the jury is unable to reach a verdict and a mistrial is declared, the prosecution may choose to retry the defendant.

In some cases, the defendant may want to waive their right to a new trial in exchange for a plea deal. This can be advantageous for both parties as it avoids the costs and uncertainties of another trial. However, accepting a plea deal can be disadvantageous for the defendant if the plea deal is not as favorable as the potential outcome of a new trial.

There are also cases where the prosecution does not proceed with a retrial. Such a case can happen if the prosecution does not believe that they have enough evidence to convict, possibly due to evidence being declared inadmissible. Charges against the defendant may be dismissed if the prosecution doesn’t call for a retrial.

Being involved in a mistrial can be a source of conflicting emotions in defendants. A mistrial can further amplify the sense of anxiety and stress a defendant may be feeling due to further postponement of their case. A defendant may also be more likely to accept a plea bargain that is disadvantageous to them just to get the matter over with. Having the help of a Long Island criminal defense attorney that has your best interest at heart is important.

Edward Palermo, a Long Island attorney with more than 28 years of experience in criminal law, may be able to help you. Before you make any decisions, explore your legal options with an attorney that can walk you through the complicated legal process. Our team of skilled Nassau County criminal defense attorneys at Edward Palermo Criminal Defense may be able to help you understand your rights. We provide aggressive legal representation and compassionate counsel. Call us today at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Is a Defendant Released After a Mistrial?

While a mistrial may terminate a current criminal case, it does not guarantee an acquittal for the defendant. If a case results in a mistrial, the prosecution may decide to refile the case after rectifying any procedural or clerical errors. Additionally, the attorneys on either side of the case may change depending on the reason for the mistrial ruling.

A mistrial ruling may also result in the dismissal of the case “with prejudice,” which means that it cannot be retried. However, if the case is dismissed “without prejudice,” the prosecution is likely to retry the case if they believe it to be in the interests of justice to continue pursuing a conviction. In summary, a mistrial does not automatically lead to an acquittal for the defendant, and the outcome depends on the judge’s ruling and the prosecution’s decision to refile or not.

A skilled Long Island criminal defense attorney may be able to provide guidance and advocacy to ensure that the defendant’s rights are protected and that they have the best possible chance for a fair and just outcome. Contact Edward Palermo Criminal Defense today to schedule a consultation and start building your defense.

What Happens with a Mistrial

When certain conditions are met, a mistrial may be declared, resulting in an incomplete trial that is considered null and void. Such conditions may include jury tampering, a hung jury, the presentation of inadmissible evidence, or the unavailability of a crucial participant in the trial. If a mistrial occurs, the entire trial process must begin anew with a new jury or a different judge in cases of judicial misconduct.

It is crucial to understand that a mistrial does not automatically acquit the defendant or dismiss the charges. Unlike acquittals, mistrials are not subject to the double jeopardy rule since the first trial was not completed. After a mistrial, the prosecution may opt to retry the defendant or offer a plea deal to avoid another trial’s uncertainties. In some cases, the prosecution may decide not to retry the defendant if there isn’t enough evidence to secure a conviction, leading to the charges being dismissed.

Mistrials can cause immense stress and anxiety for defendants, as the case’s outcome is further delayed. It is essential to have the support of a capable criminal defense attorney to protect the defendant’s rights and ensure a just outcome. An attorney can assist the defendant in navigating the legal process and making informed decisions, especially if a mistrial occurs.

How Can an Attorney Help Me if My Case Results in a Mistrial?

The help of an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney is crucial regardless of the criminal charges you are facing. Before making any decisions, consulting with a skilled attorney is important.

At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, our team of skilled Suffolk and Nassau County attorneys is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of our clients. Our attorneys are well-equipped with the necessary skills to represent you in court in the interest of getting your charges reduced or even dismissed. We are committed to defending your right to due process and will help see your case through in your favor should an initial legal proceeding end in a mistrial.

Schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our qualified Long Island criminal defense attorneys today. Contact us at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052. You may also fill out our online form.

Trespassing is a criminal offense in New York involving an individual entering or remaining on a property without the owner’s consent. The act of trespassing can result in various legal consequences, depending on the specific details of the incident. Trespass offenses in New York can result in charges that can range from a violation to a felony.

Regardless of the charges brought against you, it is important to get the help of an experienced Long Island trespass attorney to help you understand your rights and walk you through the legal processes involved. A conviction of trespassing in New York can have severe legal and non-legal consequences. Don’t leave the matter of your legal defense up to chance. Contact Edward Palermo Criminal Defense today to schedule a consultation.

Definition and Types of Trespassing under New York Law

Trespassing is defined as knowingly intruding on or entering another person’s property without authorization. It involves crossing boundaries set by the property owner without the owner’s consent or knowledge. There are several types of trespassing in New York:

Simple Trespass (NY Penal Code § 140.05) 

Occurs when an individual enters or remains unlawfully on a property without explicit permission from the owner. This is considered a violation rather than a misdemeanor or felony. Simple trespass is a violation punishable by a fine of up to $250 or up to 15 days in jail. It is not considered a crime; if a person is convicted of simple trespass, it will not go on their criminal record.

Criminal Trespass 

Criminal trespass involves unlawful entry or remaining in a building or property without permission from the property owner. The charges a person receives depend on the kind of establishment they unlawfully entered, if the person had a weapon, and if they have a prior history of criminal offenses. Criminal trespass in New York is divided into three degrees.

Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree (NY Penal Code § 140.10) 

A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the third degree if they knowingly and unlawfully entered and remained on the property of another person and the property is:

Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail. A one-year probation period can also be imposed instead of jail time.

Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree (NY Penal Code § 140.15): 

A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the second degree if they knowingly and unlawfully entered and remained on the property of another person and:

Criminal trespass in the second-degree class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Criminal Trespass in the First Degree (NY Penal Code § 140.17): 

A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the first degree if they knowingly and unlawfully entered and remained on the property of another person and:

Criminal trespass in the first-degree class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison. If the defendant has not had a felony conviction in the past ten years, it may be possible to have a lighter sentence.

The penalties for trespassing in New York vary depending on the type and severity of the offense. They range from a simple fine to imprisonment, and the consequences may extend beyond criminal penalties to include civil lawsuits. A criminal record may result in negative personal and professional consequences, such as difficulty finding employment, housing, or educational opportunities.

Criminal vs. Civil Trespassing

Criminal trespassing and civil trespassing are two different legal concepts with varying consequences. While criminal trespassing involves a violation of the law and prosecution by the state, civil trespassing is a claim brought by the property owner seeking monetary damages.

Criminal trespassing charges concern the state and aim to hold the offender responsible for breaking the law. The goal is to punish and deter future trespassing by the defendant and others. This may involve incarceration, fines, community service, or probation.

Civil trespassing, on the other hand, is a cause of action between private parties. In a civil trespass lawsuit, the property owner seeks compensation for the invasion of their property rights. The goal is not to punish the offender but to compensate the owner for any damage or losses caused by the trespass. A property owner may seek to file a civil trespass lawsuit regardless of whether a crime has been committed.

It is essential to understand the differences between criminal and civil trespassing and the potential consequences associated with each type. If you are facing trespassing charges, it is crucial to seek the appropriate legal counsel to navigate the complexities of the law and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Assessing Your Trespassing Charge

When facing a trespassing charge, it is important to assess the various aspects of the case to determine the optimal course of action to take. A thorough understanding of the elements of the charge, gathering all relevant evidence, and identifying potential defenses can help you navigate the legal process and potentially minimize the severity of the consequences, either by a reduction of the charges or securing a dismissal.

Understanding the Elements of Your Charge

When evaluating your trespassing charges, it’s important to understand the essential elements that constitute a trespassing offense. In New York, trespassing involves unlawfully entering or remaining on another person’s property without permission.

The prosecution must establish several elements to successfully convict you of trespassing. These elements often include proving whether:

A skilled Long Island criminal trespass attorney can assist in walking you through your charges and help you familiarize yourself with the relevant trespassing laws and provisions that pertain to your case. 

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

In preparation for your case, your attorney will gather all available evidence and documentation that may help refute the charges against you or strengthen your defense. Evidence and supporting information may include the following:

To beat charges of criminal trespass, it is important to cooperate with your attorney and provide information that can be useful for your defense. Your attorney would then be able to investigate the circumstances of your case and build an appropriate legal defense based on the evidence. 

Common Defenses Against Trespassing Charges

Trespassing is the act of unlawfully entering or remaining on another person’s property without their consent. Charges of criminal trespass can be reduced or dropped depending on whether the prosecution can successfully substantiate and prove the elements of the charges. Common trespassing defenses include:

Lack of Intent

A trespassing charge typically requires that the defendant acted with intent, meaning they knowingly and willfully entered or remained on the property without permission. If the accused can demonstrate that they were unaware that they were trespassing or did not intend to do so, this could serve as a defense against the charges.

Examples of situations where this defense may apply include accidental entry when lost or disoriented, or unknowingly entering a portion of private property not marked with “no trespassing” signs or other warnings. Additionally, evidence showing that the accused was intoxicated or otherwise not in the right state of mind may also support a lack of intent defense.

Mistake of Fact

A mistake of fact defense arises when the accused reasonably believed they had permission to be on the property, or that the property in question did not belong to the person alleging trespass. To successfully argue this defense, the defendant must show that their mistake was reasonable and that it negates the required intent for the trespassing charge.

Examples of a mistake of fact defense might include: interpreting an unclear property boundary or believing that the property was public land. Evidence may include property maps or records, unclear signage, or the testimony of other individuals who made the same mistake.

Consent or Authorization

One of the most basic defenses against a trespassing charge is that the person accused of trespassing had the consent or license of the property owner or occupant to be on the property. Consent means that the owner or occupant of the property granted their permission for the accused to enter and remain on the property, either verbally or in writing. A license is a more formal grant of permission to enter or use another’s property for a specific purpose, such as a written agreement to rent a space or obtain access to a facility.

To successfully argue consent or license, the defendant must prove that they had reasonable grounds to believe they had permission to be on the property. Evidence that may help in establishing this defense includes communication records, witness testimony, or a history of prior consent or license. However, it’s important to note that consent or license can be revoked, and if the property owner or occupant communicated their revocation of consent, this defense would no longer be valid.

Emergency or Necessity

The defense of necessity might apply if the accused trespassed on the property out of an urgent and immediate need to prevent injury, harm, or damage from an imminent danger. This defense acknowledges a person’s inherent right to protect themselves, others, or property from harm, even if it requires trespassing to do so. For the necessity defense to be successfully utilized, the defendant must demonstrate that the danger they sought to avoid was greater than the harm resulting from the trespass and that there were no other reasonable alternatives available.

Examples of situations where this defense might apply include: attempting to prevent a fire from spreading to a neighboring property, entering a property to rescue an injured person, or stopping an ongoing crime. Evidence supporting the necessity defense can include the severity of the ensuing harms or dangers, the lack of other reasonable alternatives, and the immediacy of the danger.

The best legal defense you can use is a defense that is tailored to your specific case. It is important to consult an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney to determine potential defenses that may apply to your case. At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, we can assess your trespassing charge, gather evidence, and develop a defense strategy tailored to your circumstances. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Consequences of a Trespassing Conviction

A criminal conviction can have a significant impact on a person’s employment prospects and civil rights. Many employers perform background checks on potential employees, and a criminal record may make it challenging to find or maintain a job. Some professions, like nursing, teaching, or law enforcement, may be particularly affected by a criminal history. It may also be more difficult to obtain professional licenses or certifications required in certain fields.

Additionally, a criminal conviction can affect a person’s civil rights, such as their right to vote, hold public office, or own a firearm. New York prohibits people who have been convicted of serious offenses and felonies from owning a firearm. A defendant may also be prohibited from jury duty as well as from being employed by the government after a conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony. 

To mitigate these effects, a defendant can explore options like expungement or record sealing or work with a re-entry program to help find employment or housing. Legal assistance may also be available to help navigate the post-trial consequences of a criminal conviction.

Additional consequences can also apply if the property owner decides to file a civil lawsuit against the defendant to recover any damages to their property.

Working with a Top-Rated Long Island Criminal Defense Attorney from Edward Palermo Criminal Defense

Getting the legal assistance of an experienced attorney can help in reducing the charges or avoiding the possibility of a conviction through their dismissal. At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, we understand the significance of a conviction and how it can affect the personal and professional prospects of individuals charged with a crime on Long Island. 

Our team of skilled attorneys can assist in conducting a thorough investigation of your case and aggressively representing your rights and best interests in court. You don’t have to face your charges alone. Contact us today at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a consultation.

For the third year in a row, Edward Palermo Law P.L.L.C. was voted as the best law lawyer on Long Island. Every year the public votes for the best business in different categories in the Bethpage FCU Best of LI awards. I am honored that I have consistently won in this category. I take pride in my reputation and devotion to my criminal defense law practice and I’m very grateful that it could be reflected in this award. With so many lawyers that practice criminal defense, you might wonder what makes a criminal defense lawyer effective. Here are some things you can look for when trying to find someone to represent you for a criminal charge you may be facing.


Every case even in one practice of law can vary greatly. In the case of criminal defense, a DWI case is much different than someone charged with a first degree assault. A lawyer that specifically focuses on criminal defense is going to be better equipped to handle your case as opposed to a general practice lawyer or a lawyer that typically practices a different area of law.

The right criminal defense attorney for your case will have a long track history of handling cases similar to yours in the jurisdiction where the incident happened. Additionally, experience in the location is also very important. If you get a DWI in Suffolk county, NY for example, an attorney with experience handling DWI cases in Suffolk County has the experience to handle the case properly. They also have experience with the judges, court system and jurors in that area. If the attorney has been practicing a specific area of law for a long time, that also shows that they have a lot of experience focused solely on that practice.


A lawyer’s reputation is so important to their practice. To find a lawyer with a good reputation, you may first ask family members, friends, and acquaintances if they have a recommendation for an attorney. If a family member or a friend recommends a criminal defense lawyer, this can be a good insight on the lawyer’s reputation and what to expect should you use him. So ask around, do some research and put together a list. The best place to start is with Google. 

Even if you don’t have a personal recommendation, online presence is a great way to see a lawyer’s reputation. Like anything else, not all reviews online are honest or fair, but reading a good array of online reviews along with the descriptions can give a really good general idea of an attorney and his/her staff. Most Long Island criminal defense attorneys will have many reviews on various websites. Google, Avvo,, Yelp and Facebook all list attorney reviews. It is worth the time to read them to see how the attorney that you are considering for your criminal defense case has a good reputation.

Additionally, meeting the attorney and his staff for a free consultation is a really good way to use your instincts to determine the lawyer’s reputation and how he conducts himself and the office. The staff should be kind, the office should look presentable and well organized. These kinds of clues reflect the firm’s experience in handling cases and getting successful verdicts.


Finally, an attorney’s prior results are very important. If your attorney doesn’t have a track record of recovering successful results, for their clients how can you be sure they will get you the most compensation possible? Most attorneys will list their results online. Ethically a lawyer cannot  advertise false results. Therefore, if you see any case results displayed on a lawyer’s website, you can be sure that the information is true.

A combination of all three of these things is what is going to ensure that you are hiring a trusted criminal defense attorney. Although many qualified attorney’s may claim to know the practice, an attorney with good experience, reputation and results are more likely able to increase your chances of the most desired result for your case. Thank you to Bethpage Credit Union for voting me as the Best Lawyer of Long Island for three years in a row.

My first year with the Tesla Model S has been very enjoyable.  It is fast and efficient, has incredible pick-up and looks amazing.  I love that it has almost no moving parts and zero emissions.  My law practice requires me to put about 25,000 miles per year on my vehicle and each mile of this past year has been a pleasure.  I have owned a Tesla Model S since mid-March of 2013 and can report that it is, by far, the best car that I have ever driven.  Beyond the beauty of its design, the performance of the vehicle is world-class.  Most importantly, the Tesla Model S is environmentally friendly and almost maintenance free.

Amazingly, no other start-up automobile manufacturer has succeeded in the United States in the last 90 years.  That is, no company since Tesla Motors.  Tesla has been successful to date but the future is still uncertain.  The uncertainty stems not from the quality of the product, as there is a growing consensus that the Tesla Model S is one of the best cars ever produced but, rather, from the fact that there are huge corporate interests working against it.

Tesla Motors does not focus its profit generating on dealer service of its vehicle.  In my more than one year of ownership, which includes nearly 25,000 miles of travel, I have spent $0 on service!  My last vehicle was a Mercedes S Class Hybrid.  I spent thousands every year on servicing that car and it did not provide anywhere near the performance.  I also spent approximately $500 per month on the required “Premium” gas.  With the Tesla Model S, I drive the same mileage each month but only spend about $160.00 on electric.  Both cars retail for about the same price.  However, the Tesla Model S came with a $7,500 federal tax credit.   There is no comparison between these two vehicles on either performance or efficiency metrics.

As a plug-in all-electric vehicle,  The Tesla Model S has an impressive range of approximately 250 miles on a full charge.  Charging is simple, as I plug my vehicle in each time I pull it into my garage.  I have a High Powered Wall Charger and recharge to full capacity in anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, even if I have run the charge down significantly that day.  Additionally, Tesla has built and continues to build “Super Chargers” which are able to restore 170 miles of charge in 30 minutes.  Supercharge use is free for the life of my Tesla Model S (that is right, FREE) and the superchargers are powered by the sun.  Every morning I enter my car with a full charge and have rarely needed to add charge during the day.

The concern I and many others have is that the monied interests behind the big oil companies and the automobile industry will be successful in inhibiting the growth of Tesla and even, potentially, causing enough economic damage to put them out of business.  Many states, under pressure from automobile dealer lobbies, have attempted and sometimes succeeded in stopping Tesla from selling vehicles in their state.  Texas and New Jersey recently passed laws prohibiting selling cars directly to consumers without franchised dealerships.  Now, as most everyone will attest, it is no fun walking into an automobile dealership and dealing with a salesman who will not give you a bottom line price and pressure you to purchase. Tesla Stores are casual and there never is pressure to purchase.  I purchased my car online from the Tesla website.  It was the most rewarding, pressure free car purchase that I have ever made.

The Tesla Model S performs better, is easier to purchase, requires very little maintenance, charges at home and comes with free supercharger service.  It is also environmentally friendly, quiet and beautiful.  Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, has done something remarkable.  Hopefully, Tesla will continue to prosper and deliver on Elon’s promise to deliver a Tesla for the masses.  If Tesla ultimately produces a model in the 40-50 thousand dollar price range, it will not only succeed but, possibly, become the most successful automobile manufacturer in history.  That success would benefit every person on this planet because as new renewable sources of electric power are created and put into use, our reliance on carbon emitting fuel sources will lessen and, hopefully, our environment can be saved.

Greenland is Melting!  I was sitting on my couch and watching television the other night when I came across an episode of the HBO series, “Vice”.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, “Vice” is a half hour news magazine in the vein of 60 minutes, only shorter and MUCH edgier.  I’ve seen episodes where the correspondent will literally negotiate secret meetings with Taliban leaders who openly support killing western journalists, on Taliban controlled turf!  Think for a moment about the danger for a western journalist in that scenario…..  The show is very thought-provoking and the danger element that exists in many of their stories makes the television that much more compelling.

The episode that I most recently watched contained a story about the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet.  The Greenland Ice Sheet is truly amazing.  It covers approximately 660,000 square miles of land surface and the thickness is generally 1 mile!  It is the second largest ice sheet in the world after the Antarctic Ice Sheet.  Click here for the Wikipedia page, which contains more information about the Greenland Ice Sheet.

The correspondent travelled by helicopter with a leading Glaciologist over Greenland and what is initially striking is the amount of land that is no longer covered by the glacier.  The expert noted that the land was covered with ice just ten years ago and that enough ice had melted to supply Las Angeles with fresh water for 2000 years.  In all, 5 miles of land had to be travelled over before they reached the new edge of the glacier.

To get an idea of the amount of water contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet, it covers 80% of Greenland, which is three times larger than Texas.  It is also multiple miles deep at some locations.  It is estimated that if it melts completely, sea level will rise about 20 feet!  That means goodbye to the worlds coastal cities including New York and it also would spell Atlantis time for Long Island as well.  In fact, 80 of the worlds 100 largest cities would be under water!!

The expert then indicated that the ice is melting at a rate of 27 feet per year!  One of the reasons the ice is melting so fast, is obvious from looking at the color of the ice.  It is actually dark from soot from burning of forests and the massive amount of pollutants that we put into the air.  Black ice absorbs, rather than reflects heat, which speeds up the whole process.

The expert notes that the ice melt has far outpaced the worst case scenario estimated by experts just 20 years ago.  The host states that we are 60 years ahead of the worst case scenarios.  The episode actually shows glacier pieces, the size of Manhattan buildings, falling away one after the other.  The two eventually  set-up camp next to the glacier and at night and hear what sounds like thunder in the sky, only coming from below, where the glacier mountains were falling, one after the other, into the sea.  It is truly chilling, even from my couch, to witness this.  Especially, considering that global temperature rise is only going to continue to increase.  Greenland is melting and will continue to melt at an even greater pace.

The expert states that the trajectory we are on now heads toward “climate catastrophe”.  The worst cased scenario was taken from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Report (IPCC5) which concludes that we have dramatically exceeded our recent worst case scenarios.  In order to put into perspective what the IPCC5 report means, the correspondent then met with Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a highly respected Climatologist from NASA.

Dr. Schmidt talks not only about how Greenland is melting but, also, the dramatic melt in other glaciers as well.  He also discusses the enormous heat that we are dumping into our oceans which is warming the oceans and causing them to expand.  All of this is leading to dramatic sea level rise and he anticipates it will accelerate over the next 50-100 years.  He says we need to cut emissions by 80% in next few decades or else we will see rise of sea levels by 4 or 5 feet by end of century and it will continue on.

Dr. Schmidtt says that WE are responsible for ALL OF THIS CHANGE!  “This is a crime scene that is so covered in our fingerprints, there is no credible way you can say it was somebody else”.   He goes on to state that we can only slow it down, it can not be completely stopped.  The future holds the reality that Cities will eventually have to build large sea walls to remain dry.  This will happen in the foreseeable future unless we take DRASTIC action.

Now for those of you, some of my friends included, who do not believe this FACT… Who may feel global warming is just an agenda for liberals who want to tax us and Hollywood types blowing hot air, consider the good that will come of heeding the warning of this episode.  If we can cut emissions by 80% it will mean that we have drastically shifted our energy generation from carbon emitting to renewable sources such as wind, solar, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat.  We will finally kick the oil addiction which has led America into conflict in the middle east and only increased fundamentalist hatred and terrorism.   The bottom line, if the facts are the facts then we must make these changes for our race to continue.  If, somehow, all of this science is wrong, heeding the warning will still result in better sources of energy and an end to our reliance on the ever depleting oil sources around the globe.

Please check this episode out on HBO on demand.  It is necessary viewing for all who care about our children and future generations.

Here’s a story on the episode.

Here’s another story on the Greenland Ice Sheet melt.

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