“You have a truly sharp legal mind and your courtroom presence is among the best. I am forever grateful for your two years of hard work, dedication and service to my father's case.” — R.C.
“I give Mr. Spano the highest possible recommendation. Mr. Spano helped me navigate a somewhat unorthodox legal matter, did so quickly, and always kept me informed.”
“Thanks for taking my case and getting me a not guilty verdict. You are a great lawyer. I could not asked for anything more. Please know you hold a special place in my family's heart.” — G.B.
“Many thanks for the very professional and gentlemanly way that you conducted yourself at the trial of my son. I along with all of my family were thrilled beyond words with the outcome.” — B.B.
“Thank you for assuring me that just because a good honest person makes a mistake does not mean they have to be treated like a criminal!” — D.S.

Onondaga County Criminal Defense Blog

Can police search your property without a warrant?

There are various guidelines in place for police officers who wish to obtain a warrant to inspect a person's home or car. These guidelines are in place to protect the general public from unlawful searches and seizures

Most people are aware they can ask police officers for a warrant when they demand to enter a private residence. However, there are some occasions when a warrant is not necessary. For instance, if an officer asked to peruse a person's home and that person granted permission, then lack of a warrant would not matter if the officer later found an illegal substance. Here are other times when officers do not legally need warrants:

2 ways you may accidentally commit tax fraud

Doing your own taxes can prove complicated, but paying someone else to do them can be expensive, costing you considerable money on top of what you may already owe to the Internal Revenue Service. While the language and calculations involved may be bewildering, tax-related crimes also have serious consequences, so it is important to avoid any “guessing” to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.

In many cases, people who commit tax crimes do not intend to do so; they occur because of negligence, rather than maliciousness or deceitful behavior. Nevertheless, tax crimes can have grave repercussions at the federal level. Recognizing some of the most common tax errors may help you avoid them come tax time.

Penalties for shoplifting in New York

Shoplifting is a serious offense and is one of the most common crimes people commit. According to data published in New York Magazine, approximately one out of every 11 citizens have shoplifted in the past. That information comes from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention.

Shoplifting may seem like a small crime, which may explain why so many people commit it. However, it can carry some serious penalties. It is vital for people arrested for shoplifting to fight the charges to avoid jail time and/or heavy fines.

How New York handles sealed criminal records

The legal consequences of an action in New York may be nothing like what you would face in another state, and the remedies available to you may be completely different, too. Your criminal record is one such example.

In many states, the courts may expunge your record in certain circumstances, meaning they erase it. However, in New York, the best you may do is to have the record sealed.

DWI charges in New York

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI) in New York can form grounds for a variety of criminal charges. Some people make the mistake of thinking they should not fight DWI allegations. Top reasons include a belief that chemical testing is conclusive proof and cannot be contradicted, or a belief that a DWI conviction will not affect your life in the long run.

Types of DWI charges

How social media use can affect your criminal case

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are just a few social media platforms that are used to connect and communicate with friends. You can choose your privacy settings and who you engage with, but can your social media postings influence your criminal case?

Facebook alone has close to 2 billion monthly users throughout the world. It is important that you know how social media use can directly affect your case and future if you are facing criminal charges.

What is adjournment in contemplation of dismissal

If you face criminal charges in New York State, you may receive an offer of Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. Whether you should accept this offer depends on the circumstances of your case, but you should understand what it is and how it affects you.

How it works

Accomplice liability in New York

The company you keep can matter a great deal when it comes to criminal charges. Whether the crime in question involved a bar fight or a massive investment fraud scheme, the law can hold you responsible for something you did not do yourself.

Known as accomplice or accessorial liability, this principle holds that participating in a crime by encouraging or otherwise aiding the perpetrator is legally the same as committing the crime with your own hands. This means the accomplice gets slapped with the exact same charges as the perpetrator.

VERDICT: Baker not guilty of murder, guilty on weapons charges

A jury acquitted Lawrence Baker of murder Friday, but declared him guilty on two weapons charges tied to the death of 24-year-old Najee Holmes in Elmira.

After about three hours of deliberation, the 12-member jury handed up its decision to Chemung County Judge Richard Rich. Before the jury's decision was read, however, police presence in the courtroom more than doubled; At least 12 police officers wearing uniforms were on hand and several of plains-clothed officers were carefully watching the full courtroom.

Baker, a 25-year-old Elmira resident, faces a 5- to 15-year stay at state prison for the convictions. He's slated to be sentenced 9 a.m. March 3 as a second-felony offender. He'd previously been convicted of a felony drug charge in 2013.

Why people admit to crimes they did not commit

You may have heard of defendants who confess to committing a criminal act only later to claim the confession was false. Many people react skeptically. Why would an innocent person ever admit to unlawful behavior? However, there have been numerous cases where DNA and other solid evidence backed up the defendant's false confession claim. There may be several reasons why a defendant might admit to something he or she did not do.