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The consequences of a sexual assault conviction

If an alleged offender is convicted of sexual assault, they will be sentenced by a judge. The sentence can include jail time, fines or other penalties allowed by state law. The severity of a defendant's punishment will be determined by a variety of factors including details specific to a given case. In New York, individuals are sentenced to a range of years in prison as opposed to a specific amount.

New York state law makes sexual assault a felony that carries a prison term of between a year and seven years. When an offender is released depends on their criminal history as well as their actions while in custody. Not all states require a defendant to serve a range of years when sentenced for a sexual assault crime. For example, those convicted in California will serve a determinable sentence of up to 48 months.

Truck accident injuries include physical and psychological damage

A serious accident with a large commercial truck could drastically alter the life of someone in New York because the size of commercial vehicles inflicts serious damage on passenger vehicles and their occupants. The victims of fatal accidents involving large trucks and passenger vehicles are almost always occupants of the passenger vehicles. For those who survive, some endure disabling spinal injuries, broken or shattered bones or traumatic brain injuries. In the aftermath of a wreck, victims could experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to spinal injuries that could leave a person with permanent paralysis, injuries like broken bones might require multiple surgeries. Cuts and lacerations caused by broken glass and debris might disfigure people's faces or cause infections. When head trauma occurs, both physical and psychological changes could result. The symptoms of traumatic brain injuries might take days or weeks to emerge fully. Even if head injuries appear minimal, internal bruising and brain inflammation could still produce mental difficulties.

Rate of wrongful convictions studied

Wrongful convictions in New York are sometimes overturned by the introduction of new DNA evidence not previously available. Anywhere between 3 and 5 percent of serious crimes like murder results in exoneration when new evidence comes to the light. Lesser crimes like aggravated assault and drug possession rarely get overturned due to wrongful convictions.

In a study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, cases of inmates were examined to determine the prevalence of wrongful convictions. A total of 3,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania were surveyed about being wrongfully convicted. An estimated 6 percent of the prison population was innocent of their convicted crime.

Startup creates safety software for U.S. truckers

There are currently more than 3 million truckers around the country, and they serve an essential role in the economy. However, the trucking industry has some problems. New York truck drivers work an average of 70 hours in their eight-day workweek, so fatigue is a constant hazard. Because of the industry's lack of safety, turnover rates are high and trucker shortages are not uncommon.

However, an Oklahoma-based startup may provide a better means to reduce trucker fatigue as well as lower turnover rates and insurance rates. BlyncSync was founded three years ago and continues to build a business plan with the nationally recognized nonprofit i2E. It will be launching its first pilot program, in which five trucking companies will be participating.

Police pursuit leads to crash and DWI charges

Police in New York say that a 52-year-old Monroe County man was drunk when he attempted to flee from state troopers in the early morning hours of April 20. Reports indicate that troopers were joined by officers from the New York State Police during a pursuit that lasted for between 5 and 10 minutes. The man has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, unlawful fleeing, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment, and he faces a raft of motor vehicle infractions and violations.

According to police reports, the man attempted to flee when troopers signaled his vehicle to pull over in the vicinity of East Avenue and Chestnut Street at approximately 3:20 a.m. Troopers say that the vehicle was being driven erratically. Media accounts suggest that the pursuit came to an abrupt halt when the man deliberately rammed his vehicle into a marked police car outside the federal building on State Street.

Autonomous vehicles and human behavior

New York drivers who are concerned about the safety of autonomous vehicles may be interested to know that the programming the vehicles receive may make them unsafe. This is because the programs they are equipped with directs them to drive as humans would.

A computer science professor who conducts research on the designs of cyber-physical systems and who is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology states that autonomous vehicle industry players are employing humans to guide the driving of the autonomous vehicles. Because the vehicles are copying humans, who are prone to make mistakes, they are also copy their dangerous driving behaviors.

The elements of possession with intent to distribute

In New York, possession with the intent to distribute is a crime that combines possessing a controlled substance with the criminal intent to distribute that substance. Possession of a controlled substance on its own is a crime, but typically possession with intent to distribute is punished more harshly. Generally speaking, a prosecutor will look at the circumstances around a defendant's possession of a controlled substance to determine if that defendant intended to distribute the drugs. One of the most important factors is the amount of the drug.

The first element of possession with intent to distribute is that the individual charged must have knowingly possessed the illegal substance. "Knowingly" is the operative word. Willful ignorance of the nature of the subject is no defense, however.

Whiplash symptoms could take hours or days to emerge after crash

Even if people involved in a car accident in New York appear unhurt in the immediate moments after the impact, they might still have serious soft tissue injuries. Whiplash describes one of the most common forms of soft tissue injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents. The forces transferred into people's bodies during the collision of vehicles jolt their bodies. In the case of whiplash, the forward snap and backward recoil of the head stretches or tears ligaments, muscles or tendons in the neck.

Injuries to these types of tissues occur in other areas of the body as well. Physicians often have trouble diagnosing soft tissue injuries because the damage does not show up on an X-ray like a broken bone. Victims might not experience symptoms like pain and swelling for hours or even days after the car wreck.

NGA urges governors to improve road safety

New York drivers could be looking at enhanced traffic enforcement measures if recommendations from the National Governors Association are implemented. The NGA recently issued a report that analyzed road safety in the United States and made suggestions that could reduce traffic fatalities.

The report points out that there were 37,461 traffic-related deaths in 2016 on American roads. Additionally, there were 4.6 million personal injuries related to motor vehicle accidents. Incorporated into the association's report are recommendations from the Governors Highway Safety Association. These include expansion of proven strategies such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols during high-risk windows for impaired driving. The report also proposed stronger enforcement of seat belt statutes. While some states allow officers to initiate a traffic stop upon observing a seat belt violation, others require a moving violation to pull drivers over. Seat belt usage is one of the most important factors in limiting traffic injuries and deaths.

Study: Fatigued drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers

Everyone who drives in New York City is aware of the dangers posed to motorists and pedestrians by drunk drivers. Few are aware, however, that fatigued drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers -- and more plentiful.

According to a new AAA study, drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as alcohol-impaired drivers and cause even more motor vehicle crashes that result in injuries and fatalities.

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