Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sealing Criminal Records in Buffalo Area Courts under CPL 160.50 and 160.55

Sealing Criminal Records in Buffalo Area Courts under CPL 160.50 and 160.55

J John Sebastian

Buffalo City Court follow the laws set forth in the New York  Criminal Procedure law in regards  to the sealing of records.  Despite the confusion and abundant  misinformation on the topic, it is a critical area of New York Criminal  Law. After all the worst consequence to a  criminal charge is usually  not jail, a fine or community service, but the criminal record  that will usually  result.

The following information reflects my  understanding of what happens to charges when they are disposed of in  New York State either by conviction , verdict or pea or by  dismissal, (acquittal or dismissal, ACD)  

"Expungement" means that the record is  actually taken out of the system.   "Sealing" means that the record  exists, but that it is hidden from public view.   When a record is  sealed at the Court level it means that the Court's file is stored at the  Particular Courthouse where the sealing was ordered, and that there is  also an electronic record there of the case, but neither the actual file  nor the computer record is available to the general public.
Under New York CPL 160.50, there is a combination of sealing and expungement   with regards to a defendant's criminal criminal record. The fingerprints, photographs and  arrest records are supposed to be destroyed (expunged) at the police  level, but the Court Records are neither destroyed nor returned,  Instead, under CPL 160.50 they are sealed at the Court level and are  also sealed in Albany, New York.  But even Albany maintains a  special  electronic file of the arrest which is not disclosed except under very special circumstances.
What Records can be sealed in New York?
In New York State, a record of a  criminal conviction, of  any misdemeanor or felony except a  youthful offender adjudication, is never sealed and is  considered a  public record available to anyone through the OCA website for a $55 fee.  Even  if the person had the charge reduced from a felony  to a misdemeanor or only received probation.  There are no exceptions to  this general  rule.
In New York, the only records that get sealed are complete dismissals including:
ACD's   other forms of dismissal and Acquittals, these get the full seal  treatment of CPL 160.50.  Also, charges that are reduced  from a misdemeanor or felony to a violation or infraction get the  partial seal treatment of CPL 160.55.   j john sebastian attorney The Law Office of J. John Sebastian

Buffalo NY Area Bad Check Lawyer

Issuing a Bad Check: New York Penal Law 190.05

Issuing a Bad Check (New York Penal Law 190.05), is  one of the least serious fraud type  crimes handled by Buffalo Area criminal lawyers. It is  a “B” misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days jail,.  Should you be convicted of this crime, it could put a very bad mark on your record and be prepared to place your immigration status in serious jeopardy. Certainly you will need the experience of a Buffalo criminal defense attorney.

In simple terms, one is guilty of NY PL 190.05 for Issuing a Bad Check if they deliver a check to another person knowing that you or the person for whom you are uttering or passing the check does not have sufficient funds to cover the check. Additionally, you must intend that when the receiver of the check deposits it, payment will be refused and it is in fact refused.

Making things tougher when facing the charge of Issuing a Bad Check, the law provides for many damaging presumptions found under New York Penal Law 190.10.

Specifically, if the drawer has non-sufficient funds in his or her bank account to cover that check, the law permits a judge to issue a ruling that allows a jury (or him or herself if there is a bench trial), to infer that the drawer knew the account lacked the funds. Also,  another presumption that you intentionally issued a bad check is permissible if you actually issue a check from an account that is closed.

Despite the lawapparently being stacked against a person arrested or accused of Issuing a Bad Check in Buffalo or the adjacent Towns and Villages  there are practical and statutory defenses. Whether any of these will work for you is something that you and your counsel should discuss and potentially implement as soon possible.

What Should You Do If You Have a Bench Warrant in New York State?

 A bench warrant has the potential to cause you significant problems and can be taken as a clear sign that you have erred somewhere along the way. If you have a bench warrant out for your arrest, it is important to discuss your options with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Can we get the judge to quash your bench warrant? Can we make arrangements for you to be re-released? In many cases YES. We are committed to helping you find the answers to these questions and making sure your best interest are protected. Call 716-254-1751 for a free initial consultation with an attorney. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How Do Bench Warrants Work?

If you were released after your arrest and given a date on which to report in the future, you will be issued a bench warrant by the judge for failure to appear in court on that date. From there, the warrant makes its way to the clerk's office and then to the bench warrant squad who will seek to arrest you.
In other cases, a letter will be issued requesting to find out why you failed to show up. It is important to take these matters seriously, as they could potentially impact the result of your case. We are experienced at vacand will seek to clear up your situation with the judge.
If you think you may have a bench warrant, to lea

Developing The Theory of the Case before Trial
Posted on 2013-03-20 09:01:43

The Theory of the Case
The theory of the case should start being formulated from the moment your client finishes telling you what happened that resulted in criminal charges. 
It begins during the first interview and is detailed and gone over as each bit of information is conveyed. It encompasses what the prosecution  must prove, what you can prove, what objections you’ll make, what motions you will bring.
It considers the discovery you have, the discovery you need to get  and what you will do  about obtaining it. Your theory will dictate how your client dresses what you say in your opening statement , and what jurors you will pick to serve on the jury. The theory of the case is the general theme of your defense it sets the stage for what defenses if any will be presented, and it must at least be considered before any meaningful progress is made on the file.
If you are facing a possible criminal jury trial for a serious offense contact J John Sebastian for a Free Consultation today.

Sample Bail Motion NYS

Sample Bail Motion NYS
Posted on 2013-03-20 09:12:02

[Many judges will not entertain applications for bail unless the application is in writing. Institutional defender offices often have a standard form that may be filled in by counsel. Alternatively, counsel may prepare a bail application.]
____________ COURT OF ________________
COUNTY OF ______________
Index No. _________
S I R O R M A D A M :
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, that upon the annexed affirmation of ____________________, the attorney of record for the accused ___________________, the annexed exhibits, and upon all the proceedings had heretofore, a motion will be made in the _______________________ Court of __________________, County of ____________________, Part _____, at the Courthouse at ___________________________________, New York, on the ____ day of ________________, _____, at ______ in the forenoon or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard for the following Order setting reasonable bail.
Dated: ________________, New York
[Date] Respectfully Submitted,
s/ ________________________
[Signing Attorney’s Name]
Attorney of Record for the Accused
TO: District Attorney
___________ County
Clerk, Part ______
___________ County

Buffalo Weapon/Gun Charge Lawyer

Buffalo Weapon/Gun Charge Lawyer

Buffalo Weapon/Gun Charge Lawyer

Have you been charged with a gun crime in the Buffalo Area or Erie and Niagara counties?  Possessing a firearm for self defense is a sacred right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.  Two recent Supreme Court cases have held that the 2nd Amendment gives the right to individuals to keep and bear arms.  Despite this, New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States. Erie County is even more restrictive.  As a supporter of the National Rifle Association, J. John Sebastian is committed to ensuring that your constitutional rights are not infringed.  He defends clients charged with crimes including:
  • CPW 2nd Degree
  • CPW 3rd Degree
  • CPW 4th Degree
  • Possessing unregistered or unlicensed firearms
  • Possessing firearms by felons
  • Possessing firearms by minors
  • Negligent or unlawful discharge of firearms
  • Menacing
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Possession of a machinegun or silencer

Buffalo Area Juvenile Crime Lawyer

Buffalo Area Juvenile Crime Lawyer


Although most juvenile crimes are similar to those for adult offenders, the penalties and laws associated with juvenile crimes are substantially different. Two of the most significant differences are that juveniles are not entitled to a trial by jury and must be represented by an attorney. A juvenile offender is anyone between the ages of ten and seventeen. In most juvenile cases, it is possible to have the child receive an alternative disposition instead of placement in a state facility.
In addition to attempting to dismiss and reduce charges, J. John Sebastian will fight aggressively to keep your child out of state facilities. He will do everything possible to ensure the case is kept in juvenile court and that a 16 or 17 year old isn’t thrown unfairly into adult court. We are on the same team, and we want to see your child at home with you where they belong.
Contact J. John Sebastian  to make sure that your child receives all the attention they deserve. Young people make mistakes and it is extremely important to make sure that these mistakes don’t ruin their future! A juvenile crime attorney like J. John Sebastian will treat you and your family with respect and try to provide the emotional support you need while strongly defending your child’s rights and ensuring they get the best possible defense and outcome, including the possibility of case dismissal or reduction of the charges.