Villarini & Henry, L.L.P.
888-834-8623 716-312-1136

Hamburg New York Criminal Defense Blog

A former Buffalo business owner faces prison time for tax fraud

A former business owner from Buffalo faces 15 years in prison after recently pleading guilty to tax fraud. According to a recent news article, the man under-reported the sales tax collected at his four Mexican restaurants between March 2012 and Nov. 2016. The man previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy to unlawfully employ undocumented immigrants and will be sentenced in February.

Under-reporting income is one of the most common ways businesses and individuals commit tax fraud. Other common ways include over-reporting expenses and claiming unearned deductions.

How can I drink responsibly over the holidays?

Holiday parties usually involve alcohol. While it’s OK to imbibe, you want to make sure you do so responsibly. Drinking and driving can lead to a DWI or even worse, and it’s up to each driver to make sure the proper steps are taken to prevent that from happening. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility offers the following tips in this case, which will keep you and others safe this holiday season.

The first step is to know the legal limit. In all 50 states, drivers with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08% are not permitted to operate a vehicle. Getting to this level is different for everyone. For instance, your height, weight, gender, and age all play a role in how quickly you reach the cutoff. You can keep track of the number of drinks you consumed, but even this can be misleading.

What is substantive due process?

When you face criminal charges in New York, you have certain rights guaranteed to you under the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the 14th Amendment and the right to due process. This basically means that legal authorities will uphold your rights when pursuing you for a crime. There is a related concept that is often argued about by legal professionals called substantive due process.

According to CATO Unbound, substantive due process is an abstract idea not directly found in the constitution but rather implied by it. The idea is rooted in how every action taken against you requires that whoever does it, does so in a lawful way. Essentially, you have a right to not have your life, liberty or property taken away in a manner that is not lawful. Substantive due process differs from due process in that due process is about procedure whereas substantive is about the adherence to the law.

What is a civil RICO case?

If you face federal RICO charges in New York, this is a serious situation indeed. As the Justice Department explains, RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act passed by Congress in 1970. Its original purpose was to attack the problem of Mafia racketeering, but the Federal Government also uses it to pursue alleged serious white collar criminals including the following:

  • Money launderers
  • Embezzlers
  • Counterfeiters
  • Criminals engaged in mail fraud
  • Criminals engaged in bribery

Proving a RICO case

How can I prevent drinking and driving?

Many holiday parties feature great food along with alcoholic beverages. While you want to ensure you and others have a great time, you should also keep in mind the dangers of drinking and driving so you can avoid these problematic behaviors. State Farm offers the following tips in this case, so you can make this holiday season a safe one.

When you’re having a holiday gathering, make sure your guests have a lot of options in terms of beverages. For instance, offer a wide selection of soft drinks along with alcoholic beverages so people don’t feel pressured to imbibe. Also, make sure you serve a good selection of food. This will prevent your guests from becoming too inebriated at your party.

How does a court judge trademark infringement?

Since trademarks help provide recognition for businesses and corporations in New York, it is in your best interest to protect your trademark if you suspect another party is using a trademark that is so similar to yours that your clients may confuse it for the one you own. If you take the infringing party to court, a judge will look over a number of factors to determine if the other party is guilty of infringement.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, one of the things a judge will look for is how strong your trademark is. If your trademark is distinct enough that it is reasonably difficult to come up with a mark that looks like yours, a judge will likely rule your mark as being infringed upon. On the other hand, a judge is less probable to rule in favor of a trademark that is too simple or general in appearance.

Calls to ban tramadol within professional sports

According to most athletes, performance-enhancing drugs have no place in the world of professional sports. However, it can sometimes be difficult to gauge which drugs can be used reasonably and which are responsible for boosting performance. Tramadol, a strong painkiller used by many athletes, is the latest to be called into question, both for its performance enhancement as well as it’s addictive qualities.

According to WebMD, tramadol works similarly to an opioid in that it alters brain chemistry to reduce the body’s response to pain. It’s used to treat acute bouts of pain, with a maximum recommended dosage of 400 milligrams per day. Side effects include dizziness, headache, and gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and constipation. More serious side effects also include severe abdominal pain, seizures, changes in mood, loss of appetite and problems urinating.

Has marijuana been decriminalized in New York?

New York is often on the cutting edge of change, but when it comes to marijuana, it is not too far ahead of the majority of states. According to The New York Times, marijuana is still very much illegal in that state except for a very strict medical marijuana law. This law is restricted to only 12 conditions that will qualify you for a medical marijuana card and it cannot be smoked or used in public. This is one of the toughest laws in the country.

When it comes to recreational marijuana, it is not legal in the state, but some areas have seen changes to their laws. In New York City, for example, using marijuana in public is no longer a criminal charge. It is a violation. What this means is that you will go to court and probably pay a fine, but once your court case is over, your record is sealed so nobody will ever know about what happened. Instead of arresting you, law enforcement will just issue you a ticket to show up in court on the assigned date. This took effect on September 1, 2018, in the city.

What are some common types of white collar crime?

While white collar crimes are not usually associated with violence, they are still taken very seriously by law enforcement. Many types of offenses fall into this category, all of which are enacted in pursuit of financial gain by unlawful means. FBI.gov offers the following insight into common white collar crimes.

Money laundering

Contact

Villarini & Henry, L.L.P.
16 Main Street
Hamburg, NY 14075

Map & Directions
Toll Free: 888-834-8623
Phone: 716-312-1136