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What Is The Effect Of Prior Convictions On Current Charges In New York?


Prior felony convictions require increased sentencing on any subsequent felony conviction (within ten years). Two prior felonies that each resulted in a state prison sentence each may even allow the court to impose persistent felony offender status, which can result in a lifetime jail sentence.

Further the court may allow the prosecutor to use prior felonies and misdemeanors to cross examine the accused if he or she testifies, or in rare occasions to help prove an element of the offense. For example, if the defense claims the defendant accidently took the item from the store (disputing the intent element of the crime) the court may allow the prosecutor to use prior larceny convictions from the same store conducted the same way to show it was no accident.

Are There Also Civil Penalties For Burglary Or Larceny In NY?

There are numerous collateral consequences to most convictions in New York. The most severe effect non-citizens who may (and probably will) face removal hearings if convicted of either of these crimes.

According to the Office of Court administration, you will also lose your right to vote while you are in prison or on parole for a felony conviction. If you are convicted of a felony and you are released from prison and are no longer on parole, you can vote.

Further, according to the office of court administration, if you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor you may be barred from public office jobs, like a police officer, firefighter, court officer, or notary public. Public offices also include elected and appointed offices, like governor, judge, legislator, and local supervisors and commissioners.

The office of court administration also warns of student loans consequences. One could also lose professional licenses such those necessary for the practice of law, real estate, stockbroker, nursing, accountant, and security guard licenses.

How Will A Larceny Or Burglary Conviction Impact My Life?

Many of the ways a conviction will impact your life are obvious. If the court sentences you to jail, you will lose your freedom. Even if the court sentences you to probation, you will lose significant freedom. The court may require you to pay restitution. You may suffer collateral consequences of the conviction. Additionally, you may suffer significant embarrassment if the case is made public.

Is There A Way To Keep A Larceny Case Off My Record?

If you are a youthful offender, the answer may be yes. If we can work out a deal that allows you to plead guilty to a non-criminal offense, we can keep it off your record.

Before I leave this topic, in certain circumstances we can now get a court to seal your conviction if you have not had another conviction for ten years.

What Are Some Defense Strategies For Dealing With Larceny Charges?

In some cases, we argue about the value of the property. This will reduce the degree of the crime. In some cases, we argue that the defendant was authorized to take the property. In some cases, we argue the defendant did not take the property. And in yet other cases, we argue someone else took the property and the defendant was not that person’s accomplice.

Should I Take A Plea Agreement? Are There Alternative Programs Available For First Time Offenders?

This is fact case specific. I could not advise you to either take a plea or take the case to trial without knowing (1) the specific charge(s); (2) your criminal history; (3) the prosecutor’s plea offer and most importantly (4) what the prosecutor could prove.

Do I Always Need An Attorney To Defend Me In A Larceny Or Burglary Case?

One never needs a lawyer. But one is very unwise to represent him or herself. In addition to the training that a lawyer brings to the analysis about how to proceed, lawyers have a better idea than you will have as to how vigorously the prosecutor will prosecute the case. Lawyers know what arguments have worked in the past. Lawyers can actually try the case. And finally, a lawyer is more objective than you, the person being charged, can be.

For more information on Effect Of Prior Convictions On Current Charges, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 794-1303 today.

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