Articles Tagged with John F. Kennedy airport arrest

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Thousands of domestic and international travelers pass through John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City every day. It should be unsurprising, then, that every day, Port Authority Police officers arrest a few travelers and give them Desk Appearance Tickets. A Desk Appearance Ticket is a summons given to a person who has been arrested for a criminal offense, and it directs them to appear before a judge in criminal court at a later date. Desk Appearance Tickets are usually reserved for misdemeanor offenses and for those individuals without significant criminal records in the United States.

Common Desk Appearance Tickets from JFK Airport include 1) shoplifting offenses (Petit Larceny – PL 155.25, a Class A misdemeanor) at the JFK retail shops or duty-free stores, 2) misdemeanor possession of controlled substances (PL 220.03), 3) misdemeanor possession of a weapon, such as a knife or collapsable baton or brass knuckles (PL 265.01), 4) theft of services, such as failing to pay a bar or restaurant tab (PL 165.15), and 5) assault (PL 120.00, a Class A misdemeanor). However, there are many other possible offenses at JFK Airport that could result in Desk Appearance Tickets.

A Desk Appearance Ticket is the same thing as a criminal arrest and a conviction for a misdemeanor can give you a permanent and public criminal record. It can also potentially result in jail time, probation, fines, loss of employment, loss of immigration status, and loss of licensure, depending on the circumstances. These DATs must be taken seriously, as should any criminal arrest. Matthew Galluzzo has successfully helped over 100 clients earn dismissals in cases involving Desk Appearance Tickets, and has specifically helped over a dozen clients with charges stemming from JFK Airport.

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It can be somewhat dangerous for people to travel in and out of the United States with large quantities of cash. Section 5316(b) of the Title 31 of the U.S. Code requires individuals to file reports with U.S. Customs when “knowingly transporting [or] being about to transport monetary instruments of more than ten thousand dollars at one time.” The failure to file such a report is a violation of 31 U.S.C. 5361(a)(1)(A), and if a Customs officer discovers an individual who has misrepresented the amount of cash he or she is carrying, that officer will almost certainly seize the cash for forfeiture in addition to arresting the defendant. Those individuals arrested for failing to disclose their cash may also be subject to the charge of lying to a federal agent, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

The penalties for this crime can be significant depending on the amount of cash that was being concealed. For most “bulk cash smuggling offenses,” the federal sentencing guidelines set a base offense level of eight (meaning 0-6 months in jail), see U.S.S.G. 2S1.3(a)(2) and U.S.S.G. 2S1.3(b)(1)(B), plus enhancements based upon the amount of money. See U.S.S.G. 2B1.1. Accordingly, for illegally smuggling, say, $20,000, the federal Sentencing Guidelines might suggest a sentence of 10-16 months in prison for first-time offenders (though this figure is highly dependent upon other variables).

People are often wary about revealing the amount of cash they are actually carrying through Customs because they are afraid that the cash will be investigated. The cash may constitute the proceeds of a crime, or suggest that someone has failed to disclose all of their income to the tax authorities. Regardless of whether the cash is actually illegal or not, however, the Customs officer is likely to seize a significant quantity of cash (50-100% of it, normally) and keep it unless and until the legitimate source of the income is sufficiently proven. This process of contesting forfeiture can take months and typically requires the assistance of an attorney to stand a solid chance of success.

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