September 24th, 2012
In a case before Gerri Pickett in the criminal court of Kings County the Judge found the accusatory instrument charging an individual with driving while intoxicated was facially insufficient. Her conclusion was based upon the fact there were no actual allegations supporting the charges essential elements in the accusatory instrument filed by the Kings County District Attorney’s office.
The accusatory instrument alleged that a police officer observed an individual named Padmore standing with a non-party named More. The officer’s statement alleged Padmore stated “he hit and sideswiped another vehicle.” Damage was caused to the other vehicle. Other individuals then drove his car away from the scene of the accident. The officer further stated she observed Padmore to be intoxicated.
Evidence Of A Criminal Offense
The Court’s decision stated in New York Criminal Procedures Law Section 60.50 for an individual to be convicted, in addition to a confession, there had to be evidence the criminal offense was actually committed. The Court found the prosecution did not meet the minimum requirement of facial sufficiency. There is a question as to whether Padmore “operated the vehicle.” Since no one saw Padmore driving the vehicle his own statement was the only proof of the officer’s conclusions. Since there was no corroborating evidence of driving while intoxicated, the Judge dismissed the case.
About The Author – New York Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel has been representing men and women charged with misdemeanors and felonies throughout the metropolitan New York area for more than 34 years. Call the law office for a free consultation.
April 18th, 2012
Nassau County, Long Island, now has a new pilot program designed to help 16 and 17 year olds charged with a crime avoid going to jail. Nassau County is one of nine counties throughout New York State to have a specific court designed to hear cases involving 16 and 17 year olds who previously have been treated as adults subject to criminal prosecution in the criminal courts in New York.
Jonathan Lipman, the Chief Judge in the State of New York, brought about this initiative because he feels teenagers charged with certain crimes should not be charged as adults within the criminal justice system in the State of New York.
Criminal Prosecution of Minors In New York
New York is the only state in the country that currently prosecutes non-violent 16 and 17 year old as adults within its criminal justice system. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice recently made the following statement with regard to this pilot court program “we’re prepared to show the rest of the state that this approach is the best way to rehabilitate young offenders, save tax payer money and protect the public.”
How This New Program Works
Sixteen and seventeen year olds who are charged with non-violent criminal offenses are initially screened by case workers from the Nassau County Department of Probation. If they are found to be at low risk of committing crimes in the future their case can be dismissed. If they are found to be high risk of committing crimes in the future, they are put through an extensive screening process and both the lawyers and the judge look for a solution that will solve the teenagers underlying problems and protect the public. The purpose of the teenager court is to find an alternative to sentencing teenagers to jail. Teenagers convicted as adults in the criminal courts receive permanent criminal records which can affect the rest of their lives.
A statistical analysis of the records of teenage boys and girls who have an initial contact with the criminal justice system finds that more than 80% of them will be rearrested by the time they are 28 years old. It is hoped teenagers who make bad judgment calls will be given the opportunity to have a second chance, a clean record and be able to get out of the criminal justice system.
Juveniles charged with crimes in New York can be prosecuted in either Family Court, Criminal Court or now the Teenager Special Court. The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel and their dedicated attorneys, for more than 30 years, have represented men and women charged with large varieties of criminal offenses. Our office has extensive experience representing individuals charged with computer and internet crimes, traffic tickets, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shoplifting, burglary, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug offenses and other misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us for a free consultation.
April 2nd, 2012
Children who are charged with crimes will often have these crimes adjudicated in the Family Court of New York. These children are entitled to virtually the same rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution in the Family Courts they would have if they were prosecuted in the Criminal Courts in New York.
Similarities and Differences Between the Family Courts and Criminal Courts in New York
There are similarities and differences between the prosecution of a crime in the Family Court in New York vis a vis the prosecution of the same or similar crime of an adult in the Criminal Courts. To start with, the prosecutor is called the “presentment agency” instead of “The People of the State of New York”. There is no District Attorney’s office representing the prosecution in the Family Courts. In the City of New York the prosecutors is the Corporation Counsels Office and in the suburban counties outside the City of New York the prosecutors are the County Attorney’s Office. In the Criminal Courts individuals charged with a crime can be released on their own recognizance instead of bail being posted. In the Family Courts the children are released to their parent’s custody. There is no bail statute affecting release in the family court.
The trial in a criminal prosecution in the Family Court is referred to as a fact finding hearing. The finding of a Family Court, instead of being that the individual is guilty, is a finding of “adjudication of juvenile delinquency”. In the Criminal Court an individual found guilty can be sentenced to jail. In the Family Court the sentence of a child is called a placement in a facility.
Motion Practice in the Family Courts
As in the Criminal Courts, Motions to Suppress evidence and Motions to Dismiss in the interest of justice can be made to the judge.
No Jury Trials in the Family Court
Juveniles in the Family Court do not have a right to a jury trial. Adults in Criminal Court are entitled to trial by jury in both misdemeanor and felony proceedings. In misdemeanor proceedings six person juries are used while in felony proceedings twelve person juries are used.
Plea bargaining is a process in the Criminal Courts where an individual charged with a crime can plead guilty to a lesser crime for the purpose of receiving a no jail commitment or a sentencing commitment from a judge that is much more lenient than if he or she had been found guilty of the original crime. In the Family Court instead of plea bargaining the juvenile makes an admission to a lesser charge. Unlike in the Criminal Courts there is no commitment by the court with regard to sentencing. The reason for the lack of commitment for sentencing in the Family Court relates to the mission of the Family Court. It takes into the consideration the best interests of the child and the protection of the community when dealing with sentencing issues.
Convictions In The Family Court
If a juvenile is convicted in Family Court after the fact finding hearing there is a second hearing called the dispositional hearing. During the disposition hearing the attorney for the child can present to the court a plan to deal with the issues raised in the case. These plans can deal with sentencing alternatives involving placement in schools, community based programs, drug treatment counseling and other types of alternative sentencing programs. The judge at a dispositional hearing will render a decision as to whether the child requires confinement, treatment or supervision. The court can also conditionally discharge the child into the custody of his or her parents.
Family Court Legal Representation
Although there are similarities between the prosecution of a juvenile in the Family Court and the Criminal Courts, should you have a child that is charged with a crime pending in the Family Court before retaining counsel you should discuss the attorneys experience in representing minors in the Family Court. Although there are similarities and differences between criminal prosecutions in the Family Court and in the Criminal Courts an attorney with experience and expertise in dealing with Family Court matters may obtain a better result than an attorney that only deals with prosecutions of individuals in the Criminal Courts in New York.
Family Court Lawyers
The Family Court Lawyers at the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have been representing minors charged with both misdemeanors and felonies in the Family Courts in the metropolitan New York area for more than thirty years. Our firm represents juveniles charged with misdemeanors and felonies in the Family Courts of the five boroughs of the City of New York, Westchester County, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. In addition the firm represents individuals charged with assault and battery, shop lifting, burglary, driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI), weapons possession, traffic tickets, computer crimes and internet crimes in the criminal courts. We also help our clients arrange for bail so they can be released from jail. Call us for a free consultation.
March 27th, 2012
Jorge Arbaje-Diaz was a New York City Police Officer. He was arrested in 2008. He was charged in a federal court proceeding with fourteen other members of a robbery crew. The charges against him say that they posed as police officers for the purposes of robbing narcotics dealers in the east coast. Arbaje-Diaz and one other member of the criminal crew were actual police officers. It is estimated that he participated in more than one hundred violent robberies of narcotics dealers. It is thought that these robberies resulted in more than four million dollars received by his criminal group.
Sentenced to Twenty Years In Prison
Jorge Arbaje-Diaz was sentenced in June 2011 to twenty years in prison. The prosecutors, in their indictment of him, alleged he used his status as a police officer to gain access to the homes utilized by the drug dealers. Once they were in the home they tied up and tortured their victims until they told them where there drugs and money were hidden. During at least one robbery Arbaje-Diaz while in his New York Police uniform, carrying his firearm, badge and handcuffs with him actively participated in the robbery.
At the time of the sentencing US Attorney Loretta Lynch stated “today’s sentence will send a strong message that anyone who abuses a position of public trust by committing such heinous crimes will be severely punished.” At his sentencing Arbaje-Diaz’ attorney argued for a more lenient sentence. He asked to be only sentenced to ten years instead of twenty years in prison. The basis of his argument was that a “dirty cop would have a very difficult time inside of prison”. Unfortunately for Mr. Arbaje-Diaz the judge was not moved by the argument and sentenced him to 20 years in a federal prison.
If you, a friend or loved one are being investigated for a crime that is the time you need to hire an attorney. You should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you suspect the police or other investigatory agencies are looking into your conduct.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between walking free and spending a significant portion of your life in a prison. The attorneys of the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel are known throughout the court system as dedicated, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers. The firm has experience in handling computer and internet crimes, traffic tickets, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shop lifting, burglary, juvenile offenses, assault, assault and battery, misdemeanors, domestic violence, drug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Feel free to call for a free consultation.
March 25th, 2012
A documentary “Scenes of a Crime” deals with ten hours of taped interrogations of Adrian Thomas at a police station in Troy, New York, in 2008. The ten hours of taped interrogations resulted in a disputed confession which is the subject of the documentary. The confession related to a high profile baby killing case. The Appellate Division for the Third Department located in Albany, New York, is currently considering an appeal of Mr. Thomas’ conviction based on the ten hours of interrogations.
Police Officers Lie
During the ten hours of taped interrogations, Mr. Thomas was continually lied to. He was mislead over the two days of interrogations. The police played good cop/bad cop. The good cop tried to befriend Mr. Thomas. The bad cop threatened him and called him a liar. The detectives threatened to arrest his wife. They sought to shame him into “being a man” and taking responsibility for the murder of the child so the wife would go free.
They lied to Mr. Thomas about the child being alive, and the doctors trying to save his life. Mr. Thomas, over the ten hour period, went into a deep depression and talked about suicide.
Mr. Thomas Confesses
In the end the police convinced Mr. Thomas to confess. He confessed to throwing the infant into the crib three times.
The defense sought to submit an expert witness to testify to the issue of psychological coercion and the use of psychological coercion to obtain false confessions. The defense tried to have Richard J. Ofshe, a social psychologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, testify. The judge ruled that Mr. Thomas’ theories were not “general[ly] acceptance[d] in the scientific community” and, therefore, were not admissible into evidence.
The police initially believed that the child, Matthew Thomas, died of a severe skull fracture. In the end, they learned that this diagnosis was incorrect. There was no skull fracture. The new theory of how the death took place was based on shaken baby syndrome, which is a crime.
Mr. Thomas Had No Prior Criminal Record
Mr. Thomas had never been previously arrested. During the interrogation they had insisted for hours they had no idea what happened to the child. He eventually weakened. The police repeatedly said that whatever had occurred they are sure it was an accident and that he would not be arrested. They offered numerous suggestions to him as to how the baby could have been inadvertently hurt. In the end Mr. Thomas stated “if it comes down to it I’ll take the blame for it because, listen, I didn’t do it, when it comes down I take the rap for my wife so she won’t go to jail…I don’t want my wife to go to jail…I’m saying I will take the fall for my wife because I got a good wife.”
Police asked him again what happened and he responded “I don’t know how it happened”. The officer then stated “then you can’t take the fall for your wife. We gotta go pick your wife up.”
At the end of the interrogation Mr. Thomas acknowledged that he threw the baby down in the crib which resulted in the child’s death. He was convicted by the jury.
The appeal pending before the appellate division of the third department has to do with setting aside the decision made by the jury based on a coerced confession.
If you, a friend or family member is arrested or is anticipating being arrested relating to a crime you need the best possible criminal defense lawyer for legal representation. The criminal defense lawyers at the law offices of Elliott Schlissel have extensive experience in dealing with the criminal courts throughout the metropolitan area. We represent individuals charged with computer and internet crimes, traffic tickets, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shop lifting, burglary, juvenile offenses, assault, assault and battery, misdemeanors, domestic violence, drug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7.
February 29th, 2012
In Coram, Long Island, Kevin Daly, age 23, was driving around drunk in his car while wearing a T-shirt that said “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings.” Kevin Daly was driving a 2000 Saturn. He attempted to make a turn when he struck a marked police patrol car. The officer in the patrol car noted Daly had blood shot, glassy eyes. He slurred his speech and reeked from alcohol. When he exited his vehicle, he was unsteady on his feet. Daly, as he walked out of his car, stated “I tried to stop but I was going too fast for my brakes to stop on the wet road.” He indicated to the police officer that he had two or three beers. He also said, “I deserve whatever I get. I was drinking and driving.” Daly was arraigned in Suffolk County Court and was given ten thousand dollars bail.
The attorneys of the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel handle traffic, tickets, white collar crimes, computer and internet crimes, domestic violence cases, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), drug cases, gun cases and all other types of misdemeanor and felonies. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones lines are open 24/7. We arrange for bail and we do arraignments seven days a week for our clients.
January 7th, 2012
Jacquline M. drove her car with her children in it while she was intoxicated. The Department of Social Services was notified of the situation. They investigated the matter and brought a proceeding in the Family Court claiming that Jacquline’s actions amounted to neglect of her children.
The children’s father also had some problems. He did not take anti-seizure medication because he wanted to drink alcoholic beverages. He was aware his failure to take the anti-seizure medication could cause him to become violent when having a seizure.
Both parent’s actions amounted to child neglect pursuant to the Family Court. Both parents appealed the court’s decision. The Appellate Court found that both parent’s neglect was supported by the evidence.
One of the Appellate Judges strongly dissented from the court’s decision. The Judge stated “there were no allegations of actual harm, thus, could not conclude the agency established either parent placed the children in eminent danger of physical, emotional or mental impairment.” The Judge also stated there was not sufficient evidence to show the mother was intoxicated or that her actions put the children at risk.
The Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have been protecting both mother’s rights and father’s rights in child neglect and child abuse cases. We represent individuals brought up for child abuse by Child Protective Services (CPS) and Administration for Child Services (ACS). We provide aggressive child abuse defense on behalf of our clients in both the Criminal and Family Courts. We represent both fathers and mothers in cases involving Social Services trying to change custody or visitation. We also represent individuals with regard to applications for orders of protection. Should you, a friend or family member have a divorce , Family Court or criminal problem related to actions involving children, feel free to call us. We have developed an expertise in handling these cases. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
September 21st, 2011
Recently, Nassau County, New York lost two bags of marijuana. The bags of marijuana had been seized as evidence by police officers. Due to problems with Nassau County’s crime laboratory, the marijuana was being shipped to a laboratory in Pennsylvania for drug testing. The shipment was carried by Federal Express. Unfortunately, the marijuana never arrived in Pennsylvania. I wonder where it went?!
Nassau County Police to Transport Drugs to Pennsylvania
As a result of the lose of the marijuana shipped by Federal Express, Nassau County police will be using their own police officers to drive drug evidence to laboratories in Pennsylvania from this point forward. Thereafter, the drugs will be tested in Pennsylvania.
The round trip to Pennsylvania will take approximately eight hours. There will be extremely expensive transportation costs incurred by the citizens of Nassau County for the transporting of these drugs.
As of now, it costs Nassau County approximately $100,000 a month to ship drugs seized by police officers to Pennsylvania. It is a shame that Nassau County must send more than a million dollars a year to Pennsylvania for laboratory testing, instead of creating local jobs for qualified individuals to work in a well supervised crime laboratory.
The procedures for the transporting of drug evidence came at the recommendation of State Inspector General Ellen Biben. She is still in the process of investigating the negligence and mismanagement that caused the Nassau County Crime Lab to be closed.
Should you, a friend, family member or loved one be investigated or charged with a crime, it is important to retain experienced, competent legal counsel as early in the investigation and/or arrest process as possible. For more than 33 years, the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have provided criminal defense throughout the Metropolitan New York area for individuals charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Our office is on call 24/7.
June 16th, 2011
Vincent Basciano, nicknamed Vinny Gorgeous, has been convicted in a Federal Court, located in the Eastern District of New York, of having ordered the murder of Bonanno crime family associate Randolf Pizzolo.
Prosecutors Seek the Death Penalty
Federal prosecutors on the case claim that Vincent Basciano has killed and will kill again. They claim he’ll continue to kill people even if he is in prison.
Penalty Portion of Basciano’s Trial
Vincent Basciano’s lawyer, in a plea to the jury, asked that they choose their conscience between life over death. Mr. Basciano is already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of Frank Santoro in 2001. The death penalty demands by the government rely on informants working for the government. One of the informants is a former crime family boss.
Counsel for Mr. Basciano plans on pointing out that all of the witnesses to be presented by the government during the penalty portion of the case are themselves either murderers or have been involved with murders.
It is the prosecutor’s position, with regard to Mr. Basciano, that he killed people “to increase his standing in the Bonanno family.” He killed other men because they “embarrassed” him and he bragged about their murders!
Last Execution Was in 1963
There have been no executions either related to state proceedings or federal proceedings in the state of New York since 1963. However, the death penalty is still on the books. Will Mr. Basciano become the first man to receive the death penalty in almost fifty years? That’s up to the jury.
If you have committed a crime, have been charged with a crime or have been arrested, we can represent you. The criminal lawyers of the law office of Elliot Schlissel represent individuals charged with drug offenses, assault, battery, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, driving while intoxicated, weapons possession and sex crimes. We represent men and women charged with all types of misdemeanors and felonies throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We also can assist our clients in arranging bail. Call us for a free consultation.
June 10th, 2011
A pedestrian was struck by a car. The driver of the car was uninsured at the time of the accident. The pedestrian was taken to a hospital emergency room for treatment. He also, at a later date, received treatment for pain from the injuries.
The pedestrian did not miss any time at work. He incurred no medical expenses since all the expenses were paid for by the defendant, the Motor Vehicle Accident Corporation.
Lawsuit For Pain & Suffering
The pedestrian brought a lawsuit for past and future pain and suffering. Judicial Hearing Officer Nadelson, sitting in the Civil Court of Kings County, found that the pedestrian only had soft tissue injuries involving sprains, muscle spasm and disk bulges. His decision was that these injuries were not sufficient to meet the heavy burden on individuals in car accidents to prove a “serious injury.” The court found that the injuries suffered by the pedestrian were not permanent and did not meet the threshold of a serious injury. The pedestrian’s claim that he suffered an inguinal hernia were not supported by the evidence. The pedestrian did not recover any monetary damages.
If you are in a car accident and sustain a serious injury, we can help you. The law office of Elliot Schlissel, for more than 30 years, have represented both men and women involving personal injuries. Our firm litigates car accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall cases, wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases. Call for a free consultation.