The Bronx Defenders releases updated Consequences of Criminal Proceedings in New York State


August 11, 2014

Contact: Molly Kovel, The Bronx Defenders, 718-508-3421 or

A Comprehensively Updated Guide for Criminal Defense Attorneys, Civil Legal Services Attorneys, and Other Reentry Advocates

New York – Today, The Bronx Defenders released an expansive update to our landmark manual detailing the hundreds of consequences in New York State that flow from a criminal arrest or conviction. The guide is aimed at criminal defense attorneys, civil legal services attorneys, and other reentry advocates. Every section has been updated with expanded citations to case law and useful practice tips. The manual also added comprehensive sections on abuse and neglect proceedings in Family Court, civil forfeiture, commercial motor vehicle licenses, firearm licenses, and military service.

Criminal defense attorneys will find that a better understanding of the myriad enmeshed consequences of a criminal arrest and prosecution will enable them to re-frame their advocacy, from bail arguments to plea negotiation to sentencing. Ultimately they can better advise their clients, access new sources of discovery, and get improved criminal dispositions. Legal services attorneys and other reentry advocates will find helpful practice tips to represent clients in the so-called “collateral” proceedings in civil, housing, family, and administrative courts that so often stem from arrests and convictions.

So-called “collateral” consequences are not at all collateral in effect – they range from deportation, to the loss of federal student loans, loss of a federally-subsidized apartment, or loss of a job or a commercial motor vehicle license. These punishments are not limited to felony convictions – they are not even limited to convictions at all. Significant civil penalties flow simply from arrest.

The steady accumulation of collateral sanctions has combined with the exponential increase in the availability of criminal history data and the growth of the criminal justice system to create a “perfect storm” – those who are arrested, even for minor nonviolent charges, will find that these hidden punishments can trap them in cyclical encounters with the criminal justice system. These sanctions further illustrate that “reentry” is a process that begins at arrest, and each stakeholder in the criminal justice system – prosecutor, judge, defense attorney, and more – has an important role to play in minimizing disproportionate penalties and promoting rehabilitation.

For more about The Consequences of Criminal Proceedings in New York State, please visit To read the full guide, please visit here.

Please contact the Civil Action Practice with any questions or if you are interested in scheduling a training: 360 E. 161st Street Bronx, New York 10451, (718) 838-7878,

Funding for the guide was provided by the Gimbel Foundation, the New York Bar Foundation, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, and the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale.

To download this press release click here.

To download a complete version of the guide click here.