December 4th, 2013
Recently eighteen graduates from the Nassau County Drug Treatment Court Program had a celebration. This was the thirtieth graduation from the Nassau County Felony Treatment Court. The court which combines therapy, random drug testing and court appearances provides an alternative to jail for alcoholics and drug offenders.
The Court’s Success Rate
More than 400 people have been involved in the program at the Nassau County Felony Drug Treatment Court since 2009. Of these 400 individuals, only 3 have committed crimes again. This is an outstanding achievement.
Cost Savings from the Court
The Nassau County Drug Treatment Court is saving the taxpayers of Nassau County millions of dollars. The treatment program costs far less than incarcerating the individuals charged with crimes. Individuals involved in the program have stated the program has “institutionalized compassion.” Instead of treating the people in the program as criminals they are treated with humility. The program lasts eighteen months. In addition, it is followed by a one year conditional release. Individuals who graduate from the program, who have been charged with felonies, can have their convictions dismissed or reduced to misdemeanors. In addition, they can have their record sealed in certain circumstances.
Judge Frank Gulotta who sits in the County Court in Nassau County stated with regard to the program that it is a “reclamation project.” He requested the program be expanded to include other individuals charged with felonies. Among those other individuals he would like to see included in the program are those charged with identity theft. He made this suggestion because many of the drug offenders are involved in identity theft too. He went on to state “instead of letting someone sit in prison for umpteen years, you are essentially producing people who can be productive members of society.”
Elliot Schlissel Esq. and his associates provide aggressive legal representation for individuals charged with misdemeanors and felonies throughout the metropolitan New York area. In addition, they represent individuals being investigated for criminal activity.
Hot Pursuit of an Individual Suspected of Committing a Misdemeanor Does Not Allow Police Officers to Enter His Home
November 21st, 2013
Judge John Wilson sitting in the Criminal Court of Bronx County was recently presented with a case involving a warrant-less entry into a man’s apartment. Police officers were investigating a crime scene in the Bronx. Mr. Cruz approached the scene and threw a piece of metal at one of the police officers. The police officer claimed the piece of metal almost struck him. Thereafter the police tried to arrest Mr. Cruz. Mr. Cruz did not wait around long enough for the police to successfully arrest him.
Mr. Cruz ran to his apartment. The police entered his apartment and claimed Mr. Cruz resisted arrest. The police charged Mr. Cruz with possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration. The police officers claimed they saw that Mr. Cruz had in his possession and control a handgun which was located in his mattress.
Cruz Seeks to Have Criminal Charges Dismissed Based on a Warrant-less Search
Cruz took the position the police did not have authority to enter his home and search it without a warrant. The district attorney’s office took the position the police did not need a warrant because they were in hot pursuit of Mr. Cruz. Judge John Wilson claimed the hot pursuit exception allowing for warrant-less searches only applied when they were pending felony charges. In this case, Judge Wilson took the position since the allegations against Mr. Cruz only amounted to misdemeanor criminal charges there was not a strong enough stated reason to justify a warrant-less search of his apartment. The judge’s ruling stated the police were without authority to arrest Mr. Cruz in his apartment without a search warrant on a misdemeanor charge.
Elliot Schlissel has acted as a criminal defense attorney for men and women being investigated and charged with crimes throughout the metropolitan New York area.
September 18th, 2013
In a case in London, England, a British DNA database of cat’s DNA was used to convict a man of the crime of manslaughter. John Wetton of the University of Leicester stated “this is the first time cat DNA has been used in a criminal trial in the U.K.”
Investigators found the dismembered torso of David Guy. His dismembered torso was found in trash bags. Detectives found cat hair at the scene. The cat hair was matched to a cat named Tinker, which belonged to one of the victim’s neighbors.
As a result of the DNA cat hair evidence, Mr. Hildre, age 47, was tried and sentenced to life in prison. The cat has been adopted by new owners!
About The Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a criminal attorney with more than 37 years of legal of experience. His law office represents clients all types of criminal matters throughout the metropolitan New York area. The office can be contacted for a free consultation.
September 9th, 2013
In October of 2012, the Appellate Division of the Third Department, an Appeals Court in the State of New York, found a jury should have been instructed intoxication, without further evidence, did not establish reckless driving. Upon making this ruling, the court set aside the conviction of a defendant named Goldblatt.
Goldblatt had been convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree (2 counts), assault in the third degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree, driving while intoxicated (two counts) and reckless driving.
Goldblatt had been driving an SUV in a 40 mile an hour zone at 55 miles per hour. His car went off the road. He hit two people who died from their injuries.
Goldblatt’s lawyers argued on appeal he should not have been convicted on the top count of the indictment which was aggravated vehicular homicide. Their position was this conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence. They claimed the Court at the trial level did not properly instruct the jury regarding the criminal charge of aggravated vehicular homicide. The appeals court reversed the conviction on the aggravated vehicular homicide. The case was sent back for a new trial on this criminal charge. The reason for the Judge’s finding was he agreed with Goldblatt’s lawyers’ argument that the jury had not been properly instructed as to what they must find to convict him of this criminal charge.
August 19th, 2013
In a recent case in Bronx Criminal Court, Judge John Wilson threw out the criminal charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon against a defendant named Black.
Police Heard Gun Shots
Police Officer’s testified they heard gunshots. Upon hearing the gunshots, they traveled in the direction of the sound of the shots. While traveling in that direction, they observed Mr. Black and two other individuals. They initially were walking. When the police approached the three of them, the two other individuals stopped. However, Mr. Black continued to walk and thereafter started to run as the officers pursued him.
The police officers testified when they saw Mr. Black running, his right arm had been tucked over his waistband. Upon being questioned further, they stated they did not know what type of object, if any, he had at that time.
The District Attorney asserted that the police officers had a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity due to Mr. Black’s actions after they heard the gun shots.
Gun Evidence Thrown Out By Court
The Court took into consideration no evidence was submitted to show Mr. Black and his friends were involved in the gun shots. The Assistant District Attorney claimed the gun shots and Mr. Black’s actions gave the officer’s objective credible reason to approach and make an inquiry. However, the Court took the position there was no nexus between the gun shots and Mr. Black’s actions. The Court held Mr. Black had the right to refuse to cooperate with the police. He could walk away if he wanted, or run away. The Court felt the police officers were not justified in stopping and pursuing him. The Court’s decision was there was an absence of probable cause to stop Mr. Black, search him and seize the gun. Therefore the Court suppressed the gun from being introduced into evidence.
No gun, no case!
April 18th, 2013
A man had parked his car illegally. A Police officer walked up to the car. He asked the man if he should be aware of anything in the car. The man consented to a search of the car. The police officer found a handgun in the car.
The issue presented to an Appellate Court in upstate New York was “[did the police officer have] reasonable suspicion to make the inquiry?” The Appeals court found there was none. The Court said the police must have “founded suspicion” of a crime before asking a motorist if he or she has a firearm. As a result, the Appeals Court threw out the search for the handgun. The handgun could not be used as evidence of the illegal possession of the weapon.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes a standard police must meet before intruding into the personal space of Americans. The Fourth Amendment specifically protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The court’s decision specifically stated while the police officer had an “objective credible reason” for approaching the illegally parked car he was not justified in making an inquiry about the contents of the vehicle without a “founded suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.”
About the Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates provide criminal defense legal services for individuals being investigated and charged with crimes throughout the metropolitan New York area. Our law firm is available seven days a week to assist our clients. Call for a free consultation.
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.
July 30th, 2012
Carl M. Perry had an order of protection against him. This order of protection from the Family Court in Monroe County indicated he was to have no contact with his wife. It further ordered, he was to stay away from his wife.
During the period of the order of protection, Carl gained access to his wife’s Facebook account. He sent out letters to friends and family on his wife’s friends and family list. In these letters he complained that his wife was using the parties children against him. He further indicated that she was preventing him from seeing or communicating with his children. Mr. Perry was charged with criminal contempt for violating the order of protection that barred him from having contact with his wife.
Justice DiSalvo, sitting in the Webster Town court, dismissed the criminal charges against him. The Justice stated in his decision “changes in technology, including the way people communicate, continue to present unique challenges to the courts. As of the date (April 7th) of this decision there were no reported cases of people charged with violating an order of protection for accessing Facebook. One must look for cases where defendants are charged for indirectly contact a protected person by making statements to others.” The court further held, that there was nothing in the order of protection that prevented him from accessing the Facebook account.
The court held that by communicating with individuals through Facebook he was not either directly or indirectly trying to contact Ms. Perry. The court further stated, the order of protection did not prevent the defendant from having contact with individuals that happen to be listed on Ms. Perry’s Facebook account. It also did not prevent him from having contact with family, friends or acquaintances.
This is a win for Facebook. If you have an order of protection against you can still communicate with third parties through Facebook provided the order of protection doesn’t specifically mention no contact through Facebook accounts.
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.
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.