This week, sixteen people were arrested in Queens following a raid of an underground casino. The New York City Police department found not only gambling devices, but also found drugs. Presumably everyone present will be charged with possession of the drugs, but whose drugs were they. This unfortunately is an issue that our New York City criminal defense lawyers deal with frequently. It is fundamentally unfair that people who did not even know the drugs were present can be charged under the theory of constructive possession of drugs. Basically the government argues that a person’s presence at a location where drugs were present is sufficient to show constructive possession of the drugs. However, while merely sufficient to bring a charge, it is not enough to win a case because constructive possession of narcotics requires both knowledge that the drugs were present and evidence of some degree of control over the drugs.
The New York State police are presently searching for two individuals who used counterfeit money at a Mohegan Lake game stop. While counterfeiting may seem like a victimless crime, it has serious consequences because it is not only a violation of New York State law, but also violates federal law. Our Federal criminal defense lawyers who practice in Westchester, know that the penalties for a federal offense can be much more severe than for a state law charge.
Also, this week,A Mount Kisco woman was arrested and charged with stealing a wallet from a Yorktown wine bar. The woman is being charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth degree. While stealing a wallet may seem like a petty crime, stealing a credit card is a felony, in and of itself, so there are serious consequences, which a lot of people don’t realize. Most people would think stealing a wallet would be a petty larceny, but the credit card creates significant consequences. For example if you steal a wallet which has only five or ten dollars, that is a petit larceny, but if there is a credit card in that wallet, it is now a felony, even if the person was not trying to steal the credit card.