Having a significant interest in the well-being of their residents, New York City and State maintain a strong criminal code relative to health and safety. Ignorance of the law here is no excuse, and violators may be subject to onerous sanctions if found guilty. Often, these rules relate to areas to which few give a second thought. Keeping professional licenses active and up to date; proper disposing of hazardous materials; and managing contagions all fall under this legal umbrella. Not as obvious is the fact that the purchase, possession or sale of illegal drugs can also bring charges of violating this broad code.
New York has scores of examining boards covering professions as diverse as lawyers and physicians, estheticians and cosmetologists, crane operators and pyro-technicians. What is common to all of them is that they can affect lives and livelihoods in big and small ways. For this reason, the state has an interest in making sure practitioners are competent, knowledgeable and stable. To that end, the various boards evaluate the candidates and issue licenses for a finite term to those who pass muster. Because advances and changes occur in each of the fields, these credentials are not normally granted in perpetuity, but instead must be renewed. Failure to do constitutes an infraction and puts the practitioner in legal jeopardy.
The state issues myriad rules to maintain a safe working environment for employees. Sanctions can be imposed if businesses or landlords are found to be out of compliance. A faulty boiler, insufficient ventilation or equipment not maintained to standards can each lead to legal exposure. If discovered in a civil suit, these could lead to criminal prosecution depending on the circumstances. Obstructed entrances, exits and corridors—even if only temporarily so—are deemed as serious threats to safety. Employers may be required to institute loss prevention programs and submit them to the Department of Labor for approval. Diligence about keeping current with these ordinances can save owners from serious legal consequences.
Those involved in the trafficking, purchase, sale or use of illegal drugs might assume that they run afoul of the penal code but they may not know that they are also violating public health laws. In fact, the health code contains numerous provisions with regard to controlled substances. Even the improper distribution of prescription medications fall under these regulations. Since most illicit drug transactions are anonymous, actors are unwittingly going contrary to laws governing proper licensing, labeling and packaging, each carrying their own set of penalties. Those getting mixed up in such deals need to know all of the consequences.
These are but a few of the ways people can get themselves into trouble with the health and safety codes. There are many more. Once trouble has come, however, alleged violators can not afford to seek anything but the best legal advice and representation. Raiser & Kenniff, PC is unparalleled when it comes to the intricacies of health and safety codes. Founded by former prosecutors and U.S. Army attorneys, this firm is well versed in the codes, statutes and case law that emanate from all levels of government, and effectively represent their clients in negotiations, trials and appeals.