Does The DA Prosecute Minor Crimes In Manhattan?

When Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg took office, he said that he would not prosecute certain nonviolent, minor crimes. The listed crimes included fare beating, marijuana misdemeanors, resisting arrest, trespassing, and prostitution, so long as these crimes were not committed in concert with other felonies.

He also recommended that incarceration be the last resort for nonviolent crimes. He is currently evaluating many substance use and mental illness cases through a public health lens, referring them to drug treatment and mental health treatment courts. He stands against the practice of overcharging for the purposes of obtaining a plea bargain as well.

Police officers got into an uproar over the resisting arrest issue, even though there were less than 76 stand-alone resisting arrest charges in 2020. Each of these were disproportionately filed against Black New Yorkers and a small percentage of officers account for many of the cases. Assaulting a police officer is still a felony.

The original memo did make some changes to armed robbery that Bragg has since clarified. Bragg stated:

“A commercial robbery with a gun will be charged as a felony, whether or not the gun is operable, loaded, or a realistic imitation. A commercial robbery at knifepoint, or by other weapon that creates a risk of physical harm, will be charged as a felony. In retail thefts that do not involve the risk of physical harm, the Office will continue to assess the charges based on all of the aggravating and mitigating circumstances presented.” –ABC News

What does all this mean for you if you are charged with a crime?

In reality, it still means that you need to hire an attorney. You are more likely to be dealing with an ADA than the DA. The DA can’t necessarily stop every instance of police officers loading up charges just to force a plea bargain. Criminal cases are unpredictable, and having a private criminal lawyer is one of the best ways to help protect your rights and your freedom, regardless of who is in the DA’s office. And if you’re charged with a crime that can’t be classified as “minor” at all, then you definitely need a criminal law attorney to help you.

Reach out to Greco Neyland today. Our team of experienced criminal lawyers are led by a former prosecutor who understands how prosecutors across the ideological spectrum think. This can give you a huge edge when it’s time to defend your case. Call for a consultation today.

See also:

What Happens When Criminal Charges Get Dropped in NYC?

How a New York Attorney Gets Charges Dismissed

When Is it Smart to Take a Plea Deal?

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About The Author

Jeffery Greco

Jeffery Greco is an attorney providing legal services covering Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense: White Collar and Criminal Defense: DUI / DWI. Jeffery Greco, who practices law in New York, New York, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2020 - 2023. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors. Prior to becoming an attorney, he studied at South Texas College of Law Houston. He graduated in 2004. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 2005.

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