It may sound surprising, but there are a number of seemingly minor situations that can lead to criminal charges. A traffic stop for a broken taillight, for example, could result in the driver being charged with drunk driving or possession of an illegal substance. Many individuals who find themselves facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Although the prosecution often relies on the testimony of arresting officers, the truth of the matter is that even these individuals may not be as reliable as many think.
To see an example, one need only look at a recent Rochester case where an individual was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The man, who was one of many individuals arrested during a massive outside fight, was taken into custody in a local parking lot after he allegedly fought with police and refused to put his hands behind his back. However, after an additional investigation into the incident, a judge dismissed the charges for lack of a factual basis for the charges.
According to reports, the city of Rochester had contacted the FBI to investigate the matter after suspicions arose that one of the arresting officers had choked the accused man while he was handcuffed. A major cause of concern was footage captured by a police body camera, which appeared to show the accused individual’s airway being restricted by the arresting officer while the accused individual was restrained.
Of course, most police officers conduct their duties honorably and without incident. Yet, when their accounts are what divide innocence and guilt, they and their actions must be carefully scrutinized. Those New Yorkers who are facing criminal charges therefore need to carefully decide how to approach police officers’ testimony. To learn more about the various legal approaches, one may wish to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.
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