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

Hamburg New York Criminal Defense Blog

Do video conference hearings infringe on your rights?

One of the core pieces of the justice system is your right to due process. Things like hearings and trials allow you to have your day in court. Courts across the country, including New York, have used video conferencing technology to make the process more efficient for the courts for decades.

Besides enhanced efficiency, proponents of the video technology cited better protection from safety and health threats as additional reasons for its use. As you might expect, there have been drawbacks to the use of video conferencing in hearings. Some of the issues include:

Gambling addiction leads to embezzlement charges

Barbara Gannon was the director of Grand Island’s Golden Age Center. People trusted her with the senior center’s operations, including the money. Unfortunately, Ms. Gannon was addicted to casino gambling. From 2011 to 2017, she embezzled $110,671 from the center. An accountant finally discovered the theft when Ms. Gannon retired in 2017. She pled guilty in Erie County Court in February and could face up to 15 years in prison.


What are my rights during a traffic stop?

Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, a police traffic stop can be a nerve-wracking experience. Fear and apprehension are normal feelings when interacting with police in a tense situation.

But knowing your civil rights and putting them to practice can keep your mind at ease and make the stop go as smoothly as possible

Largest seizure of fentanyl in history made at US border

US Customs and Border Patrol recently discovered about 254 pounds of fentanyl with a value of around $3.5 million dollars in what was the largest seizure of the substance in US history.

Concealed in a tractor-trailer at the Nogales port of the US-Mexico border, officers also found nearly 395 pounds of meth alongside the fentanyl. Now, state officials are being urged to educate people on the dangers of these increasingly popular drugs.

If a drug addict overdoses, who is responsible?

Whether it’s during a business seminar, school psychology course or interpersonal dispute, many times the message is the same: you need to take responsibility for your actions. But in some circumstances, you may not know how far-reaching the extent of your responsibility is.

You might be of the understanding that a drug overdose is considered an accidental death caused by the drug user, with no further blame involved. However, in cases of drug-related death, could the supplier be held liable?

What is PTSD?

Many victims of violent crimes in New York experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can cause a number of emotional issues and can have a long-term impact on a crime victim’s mental health. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information on PTSD, including how you can get help.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into four different categories. These are physical and emotional reactions, changes in thinking and mood, avoidance, and intrusive memories. For example, a person may have recurring memories of what occurred, also known as flashbacks. This can cause avoidance of any reminders of the traumatic incident, as well as negative thoughts about the future, irritability, self-destructive behavior, and many other changes. Other symptoms of PTSD include problems sleeping, feelings of guilt or shame, problems with interpersonal relationships, feelings of isolation, and decreased interest in your life. 

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


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

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