The New York Criminal Law Blog

High Crime Areas: 3 Legal Truths

As part of Operation Impact, which also introduced the department's controversial stop-and-frisk tactics, the NYPD has assigned rookie officers to patrol high-crime areas in the city with little direct supervision.

The practice is beginning to raise questions about potential discrimination and excessive force being used against people in such areas, Al Jazeera America reports.

Here are three legal truths about high-crime areas:

Are Bottomless Mimosas Legal in NYC?

Have you heard the terrifying news that bottomless mimosa brunches are actually not legal in New York City?

Before you grab your pearls in sheer horror at the very thought of Sundays sans mimosas, calm down and raise your glass.

Mimosas are legal, thanks to a nifty legal loophole.

Legal to Leave Your Kids in the Car While You Run Errands?

A Long Island man is facing child endangerment charges after he left his two children locked in a car in the winter weather while he went shopping.

32-year-old Luis Fajardo left his 5-year-old and 5-month-old sons inside the car while he went shopping. At the time, the outside temperature was about 25 degrees, New York's WCBS reports.

Is it generally illegal to leave kids in the car while you run errands?

Gay Spouses Get Marriage Privileges in Fed. Court

On top of marital privileges in the state, gay spouses in New York now have marriage privileges in federal courts, too.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a memo on Monday stating that same-sex married couples should be treated the same and given the same marital privileges as opposite-sex married couples.

So what marital privileges can be used by gay couples in a criminal case?

How Are Mob Bosses Charged?

The recent arrest of five alleged mobsters said to have inspired the movie "Goodfellas" has given some insight into how mob bosses are charged with crimes.

Five reported members of the Bonanno crime family were arrested and charged with racketeering, murder, and the 1978 Lufthansa storage facility heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Reuters reported. The Lufthansa heist inspired the film "Goodfellas" and involved the theft of more than $5 million in cash and jewelry.

While it's a difficult and lengthy process to arrest and charge known mob families, the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as the RICO Act, helps prosecutors charge the mobsters.

Are Online Rap Videos Being Used as Evidence?

Alert the neighborhood: Online rap videos are being used by NYPD as evidence of gang activity.

In an effort to cut down on stop-and-frisk tactics, the NYPD is using content from rap videos made by young people associated with gang violence in order to reduce crime, reports The New York Times.

Although using online rap videos as evidence for long-term investigations by the NYPD is something new, rap videos and other YouTube videos have already been used catch criminals.

The Knockout Game: Fact or Fiction?

Is the Knockout Game real? After several reports of various attacks possibly being a part of an organized "game" online where teenagers randomly assaulted innocent victims, New York police officials still remain somewhat skeptical, The New York Times reports. However, they are also hesitant to rule out the possibility.

"The Knockout Game" is a theory that young assailants, singling out specific racial groups or minorities like those in Jewish community and women, are randomly targeting those victims in the street and then attempting to knock them out with just one punch.

Is this a real phenomenon or are the reported attacks all unrelated?

3 Potential Legal Defenses to DWI in New York

What are the legal defenses to a DWI in New York? DWIs, otherwise known as driving while intoxicated charges (DUIs in other states) are unfortunately common enough that they affect civilians and celebrities alike.

Take Dina Lohan, Lindsay's mom, for example, who was recently charged with speeding and driving under the influence on Long Island in September, according to Extra TV. What is Dina's DUI defense? Extra TV reports that apparently, Dina's driving behavior was a result of the stress caused by the paparazzi and media.

That excuse likely won't hold up in court for Lohan or anyone else. Here are three other actual legal defenses to a DWI that might:

Middle School Girl Arrested For Bullying

Parents in New York, do you know if your child is protected from bullying at school? Bullying is a serious offense on the playground, even among the youngest of children. Police in Stamford have recently arrested a 12-year-old girl for bullying a 13-year-old by constantly harassing, pushing, and intimidating her, WTNH-TV reports.

Bullying is a crime and can result in consequences for your young one(s). With that said, what do you need to know about bullying in general in New York? Here's an overview:

NYC Schools Safer, But Student Crime Still a Concern

According to data obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union, NYC school crime is down. The data shows that, from June 2012 to July 2013, school safety agents made 579 arrests in city schools, which is a hefty 34% drop from the previous year, reports the New York Daily News.

However, just because crime is decreasing in NYC schools doesn't mean students should let their guards down. Here are some common crimes students may want to watch out for at school: