What is inciting a riot in NY?

Ten people face charges in Syracuse, NY for inciting a riot in connection with the Father’s Day shootings in Skiddy Park on balduf-inciting-a-riot-attorneythe West Side. This uncommonly used charge of the Penal Law prompts several questions; What exactly is inciting a riot? Is this charge considered a felony or misdemeanor? What can these defendants expect going forward?

 According to NY Penal Law Article 240.08 Inciting to riot;  A person is guilty of inciting to riot when he urges ten or more persons to engage in tumultuous and violent conduct of a kind likely to create public alarm. Inciting to riot is a class A misdemeanor. Inciting a riot may be punishable by up to one year in jail.  Inciting a riot belongs to a group of charges commonly known as Conduct Against Public Order.

 When dealing with a defendant charged with this particular crime, there are many aspects to consider.  It is imperative that if you are charged with inciting a riot, you seek legal representation that will take the time to listen to your accounting of the events that took place, will examine the case’s merits thoroughly, and  is willing to make any applicable motions in an effort to receive the best possible outcome for your matter.

 If you have been charged with a crime or the police want to interview you in relation to a crime, you need an experienced attorney immediately.  Call me, I offer a free consultation 315-474-5533See related articles:

When should I talk to police?

balduf-lawyer-talk-to-policeMany of our clients do not expect to be arrested or have a run in with the law.  In times like this many people want to tell “their side of the story” in an attempt to get the police to understand and release them.  It’s understandable, however ill advised.  The police are not there to help you and in many instances will coax you into talking so you can set the record straight.  Understand this, the police are not there to help you.  The job of the police is to get a confession during your interview, even if that means they must lie to you.  Additionally, they will often tell you that they cannot help you once you have contacted an attorney. It is not in your best interest to talk to police at any time without legal counsel.

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What is considered a “hate crime”?

balduf-criminal-lawyer-hate-crimeA Hate Crime occurs whenever an individual commits a crime against another individual, property or group as a result of his or her alleged bias or hatred towards the apparent race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender identity or any other characteristic represented by that individual, property or group.

Many charges can be considered a hate crime if the prosecution can also prove that evidence of bias exists.  Physical assault, bullying, rape, harassment, reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing, vandalism, robbery and murder all become more serious charges when a hate crime is charged, and as a result the sentences are more severe upon a conviction.

Having an experienced attorney on your side to help you prove that the crime at issue was not motivated by bias will be crucial to the outcome of your case.  To achieve the best possible result, look for an attorney with extensive trial and evidence experience that is familiar with the jurisdiction you are charged in, and can make proper motions if necessary for you to achieve the best possible result.

Being charged with a hate crime is considered a violent felony offense and carries stiff minimum sentencing guidelines.  If you or someone you know has been charged with a hate crime, do not wait to get competent and experienced legal representation.  I have over 35 years of criminal defense experience and offer a free consultation. Call me. 315-474-55-33

What should I do if I’ve been accused of rape?

balduf-criminal-attorney“I am being accused of rape.”

The mere accusation of rape alone, regardless of its authenticity or a conviction could damage your entire personal and professional life. Rape is a felony, and conviction of rape in the State of New York can lead to 18 months to 25 years in State prison, along with being placed on the sex offenders registry, significant fines, loss of employment, and the ability to obtain certain types of employment or professional licenses.  If you are accused of rape, you are facing serious legal trouble and need an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. It is important that you do not answer any questions or give any information to law enforcement without having your attorney present to protect your rights.  In charges of rape you will need an aggressive attorney on your side to fight for you, even if you are completely innocent.

Call me immediately.  I will review and analyze the case against you,  listen to your side of the story and plan a legal strategy that is in your best interests.  Remember the police and law enforcement are not on your side and they do not want to help you.  Their job is to charge you and convict you.  You need someone to be on your side.  If you are in Onondaga, Madison, Cayuga, or Oswego County have been accused of rape or any sex related crime, call me immediately.  I offer a free consultation. 315-474-5533

Should I take a plea?

My lawyer wants me to take a plea, should I?balduf-syracuse-criminal-lawyer

I sometimes get calls from a defendant that is being advised by their current attorney to “take a plea”.  A plea is when a defendant agrees to enter a guilty plea without a trial in exchange for a lesser charge. They want to know if I think its a good idea. The answer is always- it depends. There are many different elements to consider when advising a defendant to take a plea. An experienced attorney will review all elements of your case from the initial police encounter, through the arrest, as well as examine evidence and make appropriate motions before negotiating with the District Attorney’s office with regard to a plea bargain. It is always a defendants right to a fair trial.

Only after meeting with a defendant and reviewing all the facts of the case can an attorney get a good sense if they feel that a plea is in the best interest of their client. Only after a thorough review of a case can an attorney make such determinations and be able to explain the options and risks of going to trial. Only an experienced criminal trial attorney can give you a realistic idea of what a trial entails and what the risks are to going to trial. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Onondaga County and are unsure if a plea option is the best decision, call me. I will review your case for free, advise you of your rights to your own attorney. I have years of successful criminal trial experience in which to help you determine if a trial or a plea is the best possible route for your particular case.

If you have been charged with a crime, and are considering a plea in Onondaga County, call me immediately at (315) 474-5533.  I offer a free consultation to review all the facts and circumstances of your matter so that I can best advise you proceeding forward.

How Do I Post Bail?

To post bail there are two types of bail- cash bail and bail bond.



Post Bail  – Cash Bail

If both the person who will post bail and the defendant are in court, cash bail can be posted in the courthouse, and the defendant can be released before being transferred to jail. This most commonly occurs at the initial arraignment. If you plan to post bail for a defendant following an arraignment or other court appearance, you should tell a court officer, so that the defendant will be held in the building for release. Bail posted in the courthouse must be paid in cash; the courthouse cashiers do not accept any form of check.

Bail can also be paid at the Justice Center in Syracuse, NY, Local Justice Courts and other various City Courts and jails. Jails will accept certain kinds of certified or government checks as well as cash, but there are restriction on the amount and type.

Post Bail – Bail Bond

If you are posting a bond, you will need to find a bail bondsman. They can be located through the yellow pages or online, and often have offices near the courthouse. Bail bondsmen must licensed by New York State; make sure you deal with one who has a valid license.

How Do I Get My Bail Money Back?

If the defendant has made court appearances as required, cash bail should be returned at the end of the case. When the case is over, the judge should issue an order for the return of bail (“exonerating” the bail). The Local Court, City Court or Justice Center, Sheriff’s Department will issue a check to the person who deposited the bail. If the case has ended in a conviction, 3 percent of the bail will be kept by the government. If your bail has not been returned after 6 weeks you may wish to contact an attorney to assist you in its return. You should have your bail receipt available when you call, so that you can provided the information they will need to find the case.

What If My Bail was Forfeited?

If a defendant does not come to court when required to do so, the judge may order that bail be “forfeited,” or kept by the City. There is a procedure, called “remission of forfeiture,” which allows a person who posted bail to apply for it to be returned if it has been forfeited. Some people hire a lawyer to do this, but you can do it on your own if you cannot afford a lawyer. Keep in mind that there is a strict deadline for a “remission of forfeiture” application: you must apply within one year of the date that the court ordered the bail forfeited. If the bail was forfeited in Supreme Court (a felony case), the application must be made to the court that issued the forfeiture order. If it happened in Criminal Court (a misdemeanor case), the application is made to a Supreme Court judge in that county.

An application for “remission of bail” must be made in writing. If you are proceeding without a lawyer, you should ask the court clerk for instructions about how to proceed.

What if I can’t post the cash bail or bond?

First, you or your family member has to find out when you are scheduled to go in front of the Judge.  Hiring any attorney to help you convince the Judge not to set a high bail or release you on your own recognizance is suggested.

If they won’t set bail, this means you may have two prior felonies.  You will need an attorney to obtain a bail hearing in front of the Judge able to set bail under those circumstances.

Contact William Balduf, Esq. and let his 30 years of experience work for you.  Serving Syracuse and Oswego, New York.

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 Criminal Charges and Defense



criminal-charges-change-lifeCriminal charges can change your life.  Being convicted of felonies, misdemeanors, drug or weapons charges can change your entire life.  In addition to possible jail time, there are lifetime ramifications of a criminal conviction.  The ability to get or keep a job, carry certain types of firearms, and hold certain types of professional licenses are all affected by a criminal history.

The decisions made in your criminal case now will impact the rest of your life. Make sure you call someone with EXPERIENCE to advise you properly and protect your rights.

William Balduf, Esq. understands what you are facing. With extensive experience with criminal law, he has proven time and time again that we have what it takes to handle even the most complex of cases. He know what is on the line and we know how important it is that we tenaciously defend it. For this reason, should you choose to work with William Balduf, Esq. you will be able to breathe easier knowing that we will take your case seriously. William Balduf, Esq. provides superior legal services unmatched by any competitor, without the cost of a large firm.

Regardless of the exact circumstances that you are facing, if you seek legal representation from William Balduf, Esq. he will immediately launch into action. No matter whether you are looking to get the charges dismissed, if you are hoping to at least get the penalties lowered or if you are preparing a case to go to trial, he will apply the same level of high-quality preparation and care. Call now 315 474-5533 or email williambalduf@gmail.com. Make an Apppointment

See also:

Should I Take A Breathalyzer Test?

What will hiring a lawyer cost me?

What do lawyers charge?lawyer-cost


What will hiring a lawyer cost me?  This is often the first question that people ask when the first question that should be addressed is:  Which lawyer  has tried cases to successful jury and non-jury verdicts?  If the District Attorney handling your matter believes that your lawyer doesn’t like to conduct jury trials you may not get the offers that would best resolve your situation.  The District Attorney’s office may not consider your specific circumstances in the same manner as when represented by an attorney who will take your matter to a trial if necessary.  Not having a trial experienced attorney will decrease your chances of a positive result.  I have successfully negotiated and successfully tried/litigated cases and that matters!

Of course the question still remains:  What will a lawyer cost you?  Don’t be fooled into thinking that the amount of the legal fees directly corresponds to the level of service and experience you will be getting.

Do you have to shell out a lot of money for legal services? Does it have to cost a fortune?

NO.  When it comes to the  cost for an attorney pay a fair price.  You choose.  Don’t trust words, trust actions.


Pay a reasonable price.  Do not look for the cheapest fee.  Do not be talked into the most expensive.  Fair and just representation starts with a fair and just legal fee.  We pride ourselves in offering great legal services for people who need them and that means not overcharging them just because we can.  Call us for a free consultation.

Contact William Balduf, Esq. and let his 30 years of experience work for you.  Serving Syracuse and Oswego, New York.

See related articles:

Do I really need a lawyer for a speeding ticket?

What is Drug Court and Could it Help Me?


drug-courtWhat is Syracuse Drug Court and is it right for me?

I am often asked if I think Syracuse Drug Court is a good idea. My answer is that I think drug court is a great idea for certain clients. Syracuse Community Treatment Court  (SCTC) commonly known as Drug Court oversees delivery of comprehensive addiction treatment services under judicial supervision, thereby reducing drug dependency and recidivism in the nonviolent offender and returning him/her to the community as a productive citizen.

The Syracuse Drug Court is supervised by Chief Judge of the Syracuse City Court Hon. James H. Cecile. The judge takes an active interest in all aspects of participants’ lives and supervises their treatment for substance abuse, as well as their receipt of support services. Services include treatment, assistance with education, vocational training, housing, employment and counseling.

Defendants are required to appear regularly before the court for supervision, and emergency hearings for non compliant participants and those in danger of relapse are handled on a case-by-case basis. Treatment and community resource agencies will report to the judge each time before a defendant appears in court. Sanctions for non-compliant behavior can include an increase in court appearances and drug testing, a change in level or modality of treatment, and incarceration.

Drug Court looks to assist the whole person not just through substance abuse treatment but also education, and job training as well.

Eligible defendants must:

  1. Be charged with a non-violent felony or misdemeanor in the County of Onondaga;
  2. Be determined by the SCTC to be in need of treatment for a substance abuse/ addiction problems;
  3. Have no prior convictions for violent felony offenses.

Typically, if a person is successful, misdemeanor charges are dismissed. Successful participants who are facing felony charges will have their charges reduced to the underlying misdemeanor and receive a 1 year conditional discharge.

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What will hiring a lawyer cost me?

Do I really need a lawyer for a speeding ticket?

This is a question frequently asked.  Isn’t just easier and more cost effectivelawyer-for-speeding-ticket to mail the speeding ticket in, pay the fine and go on with my life?  I was just speeding after all.  I’m not exactly a criminal!  At first glance that may be so, but the reality is that one may find that having a lawyer to handle their traffic tickets may actually save them more money and time than the fees cost them.

Your time has a certain value to it. Often when hiring an attorney, a client may not even have to appear personally in court.  Your lawyer can appear for you, negotiate for reductions or dismissals, and speak with the DA on your behalf.   If you do need to appear in court, those with an attorney have their cases called first, saving you from a long wait in the courtroom.  If you have ever spent several hours in traffic court, you surely will appreciate that!

Often times, with the reduction of the charges comes reduced fines.  In addition in New York State, the number of points against your drivers’ license may cause increased auto insurance premiums.  The money you spend for a lawyer to defend you regarding your traffic matter is well worth the investment when you consider time, fines and cheaper insurance rates.

Call us at 315 474-5533 or contact us online.  Reasonable rates. Serving Onondaga, Oswego and Madison Counties.

See also:

DWI-Traffic Offenses

Should I Take A Breathalyzer Test?