Helene E. Weinstein

Leading the fight
to make
Brooklyn safer

Dear Neighbor,

The 2006 legislative session was a success because of several agreements to toughen New York’s crime laws. From expanding the state’s DNA database, to ending the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault, the Assembly and Senate found common ground to make our neighborhoods safer.

Improving public safety is something I take very seriously, and it’s something I’ll continue to fight for in Albany.

Helene E. Weinstein

New crime laws will keep criminals off the streets and protect our families

Expanding the
DNA database

New York State’s criminal DNA database will roughly triple in size under a new agreement between the Assembly and Senate, expanding the database to encompass people convicted of felonies and 18 key misdemeanors, including petit larceny (A.11951-A).

Modern science has equipped us with powerful tools. Today’s DNA technology has revolutionized criminal investigations and it’s time we utilize it more effectively. The Legislature’s bipartisan legislation will allow police and prosecutors to take criminals off our streets and better protect our communities.

Eliminating the statute of
limitations on rape,
sexual assault

To help ensure that criminals are brought to justice, the Assembly and Senate agreed to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations on first-degree rape and sexual assault – and extend the civil statute of limitations for such acts against adults to five years (A.12012). This means criminal charges for these crimes could be brought years, or even decades, later.

Many traumatized victims of rape and sexual assault need years to feel secure enough to notify authorities. Also, DNA evidence is solving “cold” cases. Eliminating the statute of limitations will help assure that the mere passage of time does not allow these criminals to escape justice.

Making the sex offender
registry more effective

An important new measure enhances Megan’s Law. The law adds Level 2, moderate-risk sex offenders to the state’s online sex offender registry and authorizes local police authorities to provide information concerning low-risk, Level 1 offenders to entities with vulnerable populations (A.8370-A).

Sending sex predators
to prison for life

Assemblywoman Weinstein welcomed the Senate’s overdue approval of a bill to crack down on the most dangerous sexual predators (A.8939-A). The bill will create the crime of predatory sexual assault, elevating penalties for Class B violent felony sex crimes, such as rape, to a maximum of life in prison if the perpetrator acts especially violent, is a repeat offender, or attacks a child under 13.

The Legislature also passed a bill increasing the penalties for incest to assure that a person who commits a rape or criminal sexual act against a child who is a family member faces charges at least as severe as the charge brought against a person who commits such a crime against a non-family member (A.9305-B).

Criminals who commit these horrendous crimes need to be behind bars. The Assembly’s legislation will keep these dangerous offenders off the streets so they can’t strike again.

Toughening DWI

The Legislature also passed the strictest DWI legislation in decades, enacting sweeping reforms that target drunk drivers involved in crashes with fatalities or serious physical injuries, repeat drunk-driving offenders and drivers with high blood-alcohol content levels with much harsher criminal penalties (A.11963).

In addition, the Legislature agreed to increase penalties for repeat drunk drivers who subsequently kill or seriously injure others while driving drunk or under the influence of alcohol or drugs (A.10619B).

Assemblywoman Weinstein believes that New York State must enact reforms that will strengthen DWI laws and send a message that drunk driving will not be tolerated. This legislation will help put an end to some of the senseless tragedies endured by so many families.

Cracking down
on gun violence

The Assembly and Senate also reached agreement on legislation to elevate the possession of a single illegal loaded firearm to a Class C felony by removing the requirement of intent to use the firearm (A.12042).

Currently, a person charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm may be sentenced to local jail time or straight probation. The measure approved by the Legislature requires a mandatory, no-parole prison term of at least 3 1/2 years.

By elevating the penalty for possession of an illegal loaded firearm, this legislation takes an important step toward ridding New York’s streets of illegal firearms, and sends a clear message that New York will not tolerate violence perpetuated by illegal guns.

Toughening penalties for
those who flee the police

Following the death of New York State Trooper Craig Todeschini – who was killed in a high-speed chase – the Legislature reached an agreement on legislation toughening penalties for fleeing the police (A.11935-B).

Trying to flee a police officer by speeding or driving recklessly is a danger to our communities and our law enforcement officers. This bipartisan agreement will toughen penalties for fleeing the police and make criminals think twice before trying these foolish and dangerous acts.

Assemblywoman Weinstein
continues fight for civil
commitment of sexual predators

Both the Senate and Assembly passed legislation providing for the civil confinement of dangerous sexual predators. While a conference committee was created to iron out differences in the houses’ bills, the Senate refused to meet during the final months of the legislative session. Assemblywoman Weinstein will push the issue next year so that Brooklyn’s neighborhoods can be safer.

The sex offender registry can be accessed at

Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein Assemblywoman
Helene E. Weinstein

3520 Nostrand Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11229