Criminal Justice Insider

An in-depth review and analysis and of emerging topics in both federal and New York State criminal law. This blog explores developments in substantive and procedural criminal law, providing practical insights to the latest case law and statutory changes.

The Nose Knows – New York Court of Appeals Prohibits Warrantless Search by Drug-Sniffing Dogs


On December 19, 2023, the Court of Appeals issued its decision in People v. Butler. In this case, the Court determined that a canine sniffing a person suspected of drug possession is a search pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, and thus requires a warrant.

Breaking Down Manhattan District Attorney’s Sweeping New Prosecution


On January 1, 2022, Alvin Bragg became the first African American to be sworn in as the District Attorney for New York County. He kicked off his ground-breaking tenure by announcing a series of dramatic changes which affect all aspects of affecting criminal justice in Manhattan.

New York Combats COVID Vaccination Forgery


On December 22, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law the “Truth in Vaccination Act.” By amending certain aspects of the penal law, the “Truth in Vaccination Act” seeks to make it illegal to falsify proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Tainted Convictions: The Government and the Courts Continue to Struggle with Taint Teams


The Government and the Courts continue to struggle with taint teams.

The Role of Remorse in Federal Pleas and Sentencing Explained


The role of remorse in federal pleas and sentencing explained.

Crawford Hearings: A New Standard for Pre-Trial Orders of Protection in Criminal Cases


A new standard for pre-trial orders of protection in criminal cases.

The Art of the Steal: US Tightens Leash on Money Laundering through the Opaque Art Market


US tightens leash on money laundering through the opaque art market.

Supreme Court Changes the Scope of Criminal Liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act


Supreme Court changes the scope of criminal liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Second Circuit Expands the Scope of Insider Trading Liability


Second Circuit expands the scope of insider trading liability.

A Lethal Legacy: The “Son of Sam Laws” Explained


The “Son of Sam Laws” explained.

The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Use in New York: A Criminal Law Perspective


A criminal law perspective on the legalization of recreational marijuana use in New York.

Lock and the Key: Ethical Obligations of Prosecutors Concerning Exculpatory Evidence


Ethical obligations of prosecutors concerning exculpatory evidence.

As Opportunities Arise: The State of Bribery in the Second Circuit


The State of Bribery in the Second Circuit.

How to Maintain Privilege When Working With Consulting Experts in Criminal Cases


How to maintain privilege when working with consulting experts in criminal cases.

Paradise Lost – Attorney-Client Privilege and the Crime-Fraud Exception


Is there a time when communications between an attorney and a client are not protected?

How to Manage the Collateral Consequences of a State Criminal Conviction


How to manage the collateral consequences of a State Criminal Conviction.

Criminal Incompetence: What Happens When Criminal Defense Attorneys Make Mistakes


What happens when Criminal Defense attorneys make mistakes?

The Prince and the Pauper: The President and the Potential Tax Evasion


The President and the potential tax evasion.

Deus ex Machina: Considerations for Virtual Cross-Examination of Witnesses in Criminal Trials


The considerations for virtual cross-examination of witnesses in criminal trials.

The Rhyme and Reason of Federal Sentencing


How can a judge can arrive at two different sentences for two different defendants for substantially similar conduct?

A Primer on State and Federal Grand Juries


On August 10, 2020, grand juries will resume in New York City after a four-month hiatus.

As Seen on TV: The Myth of “Pressing" and “Dropping” Charges


TV shows spread a pernicious myth about the criminal justice system: that a victim of a crime has a say in whether the prosecution proceeds. This is the notion of “pressing charges” or alternatively “dropping charges.” All too often on television, a fictional victim agrees to “drop the charges” following an epiphany or reconciliation with the defendant. While such a tactic makes for great television, it bears little resemblance to real life.

Ask Me No Questions (and I’ll Tell you No Lies): Limitations on Questioning by Judges in Criminal Proceedings


The limitations on questioning by judges in criminal proceedings.

A Bridge Too Far – The Supreme Court Overturns “Bridgegate” Convictions


The Supreme Court overturns “Bridgegate” convictions.

Go, Set a Watchman – Criminal Liability for COVID-19 Relief Fraud


Criminal liability for COVID-19 relief fraud.

Compassionate Release in the Age of COVID-19


The number of motions for compassionate release have been transferred from Bureau of Prisons Facilities to home confinement.

Bail Reform Reform: Changes to New York State’s 2020 Bail Reform Laws in the 2021 State Budget


Changes to New York State’s 2020 bail reform laws in the 2021 state budget.

Insanity is Relative – The Precarious State of the Insanity Defense


The precarious state of the insanity defense.

Current State of Criminal Courts in New York Amid COVID-19


The current state of criminal courts in New York.

Give Me Your Virtual Lunch Money: Corporate Cyberbullying and the Criminal Justice System


Corporate cyberbullying and the criminal justice system.

Swipe Right If You Like a Witness – The Legality of App-Based Witness Contact


The legality of app-based witness contact.

Partial Silver Linings – The Second Circuit’s Holding in United States v. Silver Explained


The Second Circuit’s holding in United States v. Silver explained.

Worry Warrants: Potential New Restrictions on Government Taint Teams


Potential new restrictions on government taint teams.

A New Year, A New Criminal Justice System in New York State


A new criminal justice system in New York State.

Double Trouble: Paul Manafort and The State of Double Jeopardy in New York


Paul Manafort's case highlights New York State's double jeopardy policy.

All That You Can’t Leave Behind: The Court of Appeals Issues New Guidance on Plea Waivers


The Court of Appeals issues new guidance on plea waivers.

Passports and Passwords: New Limitations on Warrantless Searches of Electronic Devices at the Border


New limitations on warrantless searches of electronic devices at the border.

The Gordian Knot - The Intersection of State Criminal Law and Federal Immigration Enforcement


The intersection of state criminal law and federal immigration enforcement.

Second Circuit Limits Bail Options for Wealthy Defendants


Second Circuit limits bail options for wealthy defendants.

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