New York Criminal Attorney, Marianne S. Rantala wants you to pay attention to your shopping online

Author: Marianne S. Rantala

The holiday season is upon us! We Americans celebrate many holidays in many different ways, but nearly all of us will spend much of the coming month doing one thing – SHOPPING. Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving— is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and we are all familiar with the stories of Black Friday chaos. Fistfights over video games and people being trampled are just two of the real-life crimes that have occurred. But, every year, more and more of our browsing and buying is done online with computers and mobile devices, and while we are making our list and checking it twice, the majority of us forget to check that our internet connection and retailers’ shopping carts are secure!

That’s right—while most of us are spending time with our families, relaxing, and getting a jumpstart on our holiday shopping, cyber criminals are hard at work stealing credit card information and other personal data, resulting in almost $400 billion in losses worldwide.

Now, you may be thinking, “Hey, I’m thankful for online shopping! I can browse, compare prices, buy presents, and have them mailed to my loved ones, all without leaving the comfort of my home!” Modern life is busy, and shopping online can be a lifeline.

Mobile and online shopping security is the order of the day:

  • Limit your use of Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Back up your data.
  • Make sure you are shopping and banking on secure websites – https or shttp. Http is not secure.
  • Only download apps from reputable sources.
  • Beware of fraudulent calling, texting and voicemails that request personal information.

Cybercrime is a very serious offense. Anyone who is under investigation or has been charged with computer or Internet crimes will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to provide aggressive representation. At the criminal law firm of Marianne S. Rantala, legal help is available 24/7. Call our office at (631) 627-3433, if you or someone you care about is facing criminal allegations. Consultations are always confidential.

White Collar Crime – Fraud and Corruption Charges Rock the U.S. Navy

Author: White Collar Crimes Attorney Marianne S. Rantala

If you watched or read the national news this past weekend you probably heard about the shocking charges of fraud and corruption that are rocking the United States Navy. Senior officers were allegedly involved in an overbilling scheme with a military contractor.

Recent scandals like this one and high profile cases like that of Bernard Madoff have made white collar crimes—insider trading, tax evasion, securities fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and so forth— part of our national vernacular. Crimes that used to seem like the stuff of television dramas are now commonplace on the daily news. Public outrage has, in part, led to much longer and harsher sentences for white collar criminals than ever before, mainly due to the extremely high financial losses involved.

But many judges and lawyers, including the American Bar Association, are asking the United States government to review the guidelines, arguing that the existing sentencing guidelines are “fundamentally flawed” and often “shockingly high.”Opponents of the guidelines argue that too much focus is on the losses, and sometimes merely potential losses, and not enough attention is given to other factors, like the defendant’s intent or the actual harm caused by the scheme or crime. Some critics have noted that imprisonment might not be a suitable punishment for “someone…that doesn’t impose a threat to safety for the purpose of deterrence.” Even proponents of the current sentencing guidelines are open to some revisions, in order to reduce sentences.

The outcome of white collar crime cases often hinges on obtaining trusted legal advice and guidance at the outset.  If you have been accused of a white collar crime, you are entitled to representation by an experienced, knowledgeable attorney, regardless of how much money is involved. Whether you suspect that you are under investigation or charges have been filed against you, call our office at 631-543-7667 to arrange a confidential consultation.



NY Criminal Defense Attorney Marianne Rantala: Texting Zones on New York Highways

Author: Marianne S. Rantala

A decade ago, many Americans still did not own cell phones, and most of us had no idea that “text” could be a verb. These days, texting is practically our national pastime. We text message during class, while we eat, when we watch television, and even while we drive. Studies actually show that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol.

Texting while driving, also known as distracted driving, has become such a problem in New York State, especially amongst teenagers, that in July of this year Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that increased the penalties for these offenses. And just this week, Governor Cuomo announced that there are now “texting zones” on New York highways —areas designated for drivers who need to text or make a phone call, rather than doing so while driving.

Of course, if a driver is pulled over and charged with distracted driving, the penalties are limited to fines, points on their license, and/or suspension of their license. But what if, instead of being pulled over, a driver who is text messaging or otherwise distracted by their cell phone actually causes an accident? What if that accident results in a fatality? Suddenly that driver is facing criminal charges.

When criminal charges are filed against you, consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital to the outcome of your case. Call (631) 864-1144 to speak with New York criminal defense attorney Marianne S. Rantala.

Colorado Movie Theater Shooting

Author:  Marianne S. Rantala

By now you’ve heard about the tragic shooting during the showing of Batman in Aurora,Colorado. I offer my sincere condolences to all the victims and their families.

According to media sources over the past two days, Holmes is now facing 142 criminal counts. Prosecutors have charged him with two murder charges for each of the 12 people killed; one for premeditated murder and one for evidencing “an attitude of universal malice manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life generally.”  Holmes is also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder for the surviving victims, as well as a charge related to the booby-trapping of his apartment.

So what could possibly be his defense?  Many sources indicate that Holmes’ only defense is that of insanity. First, psychiatrists could potentially find that Holmes is incompetent to stand trial because he doesn’t understand the charges against him and cannot assist his lawyers in his own defense. Holmes could then end up in a psychiatric facility for treatment to attempt reviving competency, like Jared Loughner, accused in the 2011 Tucson, Arizona killing of six people and wounding of numerous others. If that status doesn’t apply, then he could plead not guilty by reason of insanity. That is a very difficult defense, one rarely raised. However, Holmes was apparently seeing a psychiatrist, according to court records and as evidenced by a packet mailed to psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton. Also, prosecutors in Colorado may be at a disadvantage in that regard because once a state psychiatric hospital psychiatrist evaluates the accused, the judge may rule that prosecutors may not conduct their own evaluation and are then with the first evaluation of insanity.

However this case proceeds and ends, it is unlikely that Holmes will receive the death penalty. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether or not to seek the ultimate penalty and may not decide for several months. According to www.deathpenaltyinfo.orgColorado has only three men on death row  and has not executed anyone since 1997.

Clearly, few individuals end up charged with such horrific crimes. But every person is entitled to the representation guaranteed by the United States Constitution. A skilled criminal defense attorney is essential in this representation.

Violent Crimes

Violent Crimes

Criminal Defense Lawyer – Serving Clients in Suffolk and Nassau Counties

Violent crimes are those characterized by physical violence and may involve threats, force or bodily injury to another person. Examples of violent crimes include, but are not limited to:

Murder Manslaughter
Criminally negligent homicide Attempted murder
Assault Assault with a deadly weapon
Vehicular assault Gang assault
Reckless endangerment Kidnapping
Robbery Rape

 

Violent Crime Convictions Carry Serious Penalties

If you are convicted of a violent crime, the legal penalties you can expect may include:

  • Prison sentence
  • Probation
  • Counseling
  • Restraining orders
  • Permanent criminal record

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