Ossining man arrested after Boating Accident on the Hudson By Michael Joseph on August 04, 2020

An Ossining man has been charged with boating while intoxicated after the speedboat he was driving slammed into an anchored sailboat on the Hudson River, Westchester County police said.

As per the reports, the man on the sailboat jumped into the river as the speedboat approached, and a woman aboard the sailboat ducked down on the deck. The powerboat smashed into the rear of the sailboat and traveled upward, narrowly missing the woman who'd ducked for cover, the police said. The county police's marine unit charged the 38-year-old Ossining man with the misdemeanor in the crash, which happened around 9:45 p.m. about a mile south of Teller's Point off the town of Ossining. The two people aboard the sailboat, residents of Delaware and upstate New York, weren't injured, according to the police.

While not as severe as felonies, a conviction to a misdemeanor in NYC or anywhere in New York State is still a devastating and significant event. Any criminal conviction from Manhattan to Rockland County and Brooklyn to Westchester County can have an enormous impact on your liberty and employment as well as your legal status and professional licensing. Solely from a standpoint of incarceration, upon conviction for a class “A” misdemeanor, any local municipal judge or criminal court judge in the City of New York can sentence you to up year in a county or city jail. One such jail where you can find yourself held is Rikers Island.

Violation, while not crimes, can also have a significant impact in certain circumstances, and it is important not to neglect or dismiss such a charge against you based on the fact that a conviction will not brand you with a criminal record. For one, a violation could potentially stay on your record forever in certain circumstances, such as allegations related to domestic violence. Furthermore, a violation, while not a crime, can still land you in jail for up to 15 days, which is long enough for some people to potentially lose their job or other similarly disastrous consequences.

Misdemeanors can be broken down as either unclassified, class "B," or class "A" misdemeanors. Violations have no such grades nor levels and are not considered a "crime." To fully understand what this means in non-legal terms, discuss all of this with your criminal defense attorney.

Class "A" misdemeanors: The most severe misdemeanor crimes, these offenses include Petit Larceny, Assault in the Third Degree, Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and even Theft of Services. The sentences for a conviction to an “A” misdemeanor offense can include community service, a fine, mandatory state surcharges, issuance of an order of protection, two, three or more years of probation , up to one year in the county or city jail, such as Rikers Island, or a split sentence which includes a shorter period of incarceration for a period of time, such as 60 days, and then a longer period of probation following release from the jail .

Class "B" misdemeanors: Less severe than class "A" misdemeanors, but can still include a lengthy jail sentences, these offenses include crimes such as Marijuana Possession in the Fifth Degree, Prostitution and Harassment in the First Degree. Additionally, any attempt to commit a class “A” misdemeanor is by default a class “B” misdemeanor. The possible sentences for a conviction to a "B" misdemeanor are a fine, mandatory state surcharge, community service, issuance of an order of protection, probation, or incarceration in the local county or city jail for up to 90 days.

Unclassified misdemeanors: Not only found in the Vehicle and Traffic Law, but unclassified misdemeanors are scattered throughout various statutes in New York State. These are charges and offenses that the Vehicle and Traffic Law refers to as "misdemeanors," meaning that they are crimes that give you a criminal record and are punishable by some amount of time in jail, but the statute does not specify a level of misdemeanor. The possible sentences are typically specifically delineated in the VTL statute itself, or the statute refers to the appropriate section of the Criminal Procedure Law or the Penal Law for the level of misdemeanor it is to be assigned.

Violations: The least severe level of offense under the New York State Penal Law. violations include offenses such as Disorderly Conduct, Harassment in the Second Degree, and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana. Typically, violations are punishable by a fine, mandatory state surcharge, community service, issuance of an order or protection, or up to 15 days in jail. However, some violation statutes specifically delineate the possible sentences and do not include jail as a possibility, and/or specify some other range of fines available to the Court.

As with all criminal charges and convictions, the sentence that directly flows from the conviction, and which is imposed on the defendant by the court, is not the only important potential consequence that an accused person may face. For example, immigration consequences are always looming, and the particular misdemeanor offense that you are convicted of, and whether it is considered a crime of "moral turpitude" by the federal government, will have a direct impact on your immigration status. Whether you are a public school teacher, a broker-dealer regulated by FINRA, a bank employee overseen by FINRA, or a professional in any capacity, know that every conviction, whether jailed or not, has grave and life altering consequences.

Our Westchester maritime boat accident lawyers know that a conviction, also has consequences if there is a civil suit for  personal injuries. Our New York maritime lawyers know that a criminal conviction is considered res judicata in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit arising out of the same event. That means that a conviciton to a crime, which requires proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, is conclusive proof in a civil case, which only requires a preponderance of the evidence. Operating a boat in New York waters, while under the influence of alcohol, is illegal, just like drunk driving of a car. Alcohol reduces the ability of anyone operating a vessel to percieve and react to changing circumstances, and dramatically increases the liklihood of an accident. Not only was the Hudson river accident, caused by the captain comsuming alcohol, our Westchester boat accident lawyers and maritime attorneys know that the captain violated the Admiralty rules of Navigation. In general, the sailboat was under the wind and the motorboat was under motor power. Navigation rules, which have been around for over a centruy, required that vessels under power yield to sail boats or those under wind power, because vessels which are using the wind for movement are less able to control their movement, compared to vessels under power. If you were injured in a pleasure boating accident, call our Westchester boat accident lawyers who handle accidents at sea. 


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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

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