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International Child Custody Issues: The Hague Convention

International Child Custody Issues: The Hague ConventionIn cases where a child is removed from one country where he or she resided in and brought to another country, what can a parent do? Many countries are signatories to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction (hereinafter referred to as the “Hague Convention”). The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty. It has been ratified by 98 countries. It provides a protocol for the return of a child unilaterally removed by a parent from one member country to another.

Article 3 of the Convention requires signatory countries to return children to the country of their habitual residence when they are wrongfully removed or retained in another country in breach of the custody rights of the left behind parent. The law of the state or country from which the child was removed determines custody rights; this adds some fluidity as in some countries an unmarried father may have rights upon the birth of a child, while other countries require a declaratory order to bestow custody rights.

Country of Habitual Residence

Custody rights are usually determines by the law of the country from which a child is removed. This can be complicated by the fact that fathers who have children out of marriage may be faced with the issue that some countries do not recognize custodial parental rights to unmarried fathers.

The Hague Convention is considered a treaty the United States is a party to which can be enforced by bringing a proceeding in a United States Court. There is an expedited procedure to do this.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. represents parents in child custody cases. He’s been representing parents with regard to domestic and international custody cases for more than 35 years. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Criminal Attorney – Who Should You Hire?

Handcuffs and fingerprint sheet

If you are charged with a crime your freedom is at stake. You should hire an excellent criminal defense lawyer. However, who do you hire? The first thing you should look into before you hire a criminal defense lawyer is how long they have been practicing law? You should then ask the attorney about their familiarity with the courts in the county where your case is pending. How often do they appear in that court? How many cases have they handled? Delve into their level of experience. For your hard earned money you want the best attorney for your money!

Communication With Your Attorney

Once you hire your attorney, discuss with him or her how you would like to be communicated with. Do you want to talk on the phone? Should you be communicating through e-mail or text messaging? When is the best time to call your attorney? It should be noted that most busy criminal lawyers are in court representing their clients during the mornings. It is usually better to call criminal defense lawyers in the afternoon when they are back in their office.

The Attorney’s Office

When you enter your attorney’s office look around and see if he or she has staff. How many people are in the office? Are their phones monitored on a 24 hours basis 7 days a week? If your attorney is busy, are there other attorneys in the office who can help you?

Our Office

Our office has 5 full time attorneys who represent clients with regard to criminal cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We have a staff of 7 people backing our attorneys up. Our phones are monitored 24/7. Should you need a criminal attorney at any day on any time, you can call us. Our phone numbers are 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 and 631-319-8262. Our phones are monitored 7 days a week/365 days a year!

VIDEO: Criminal Acts That Can Prevent You From Becoming A US Citizen

Elliot Schlissel discusses crimes that could possibly prevent you from becoming a US citizen.

Seal Your Criminal Record

Handcuffs laying on top of fingerprint chart in file

Starting on October 1, 2017 New York will have a new criminal record sealing law. This new law is New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59. Virtually anyone convicted in New York for up to two (2) misdemeanors and one (1) felony can move to have their criminal records wiped out. Sealing a criminal record and expungement of a criminal record are two different means to obtain the same or similar outcome with regard to an individual’s criminal record. Expungement means eliminating the existence of the negative criminal conviction information. Sealing refers to hiding the criminal record and making it not available to be found.

Remove Negative Impact of a Criminal Record

Sealing a criminal record can change an individual’s life. Misdemeanor and felony convictions have numerous negative impacts on individual’s lives. They can prevent you from obtaining certain types of employment. They can prevent you from being bonded They can impact negatively on your credit history.

Our law office has extensive experience in representing individuals charged with crimes. Many years ago an individual who I represented on a criminal case came to my office and spoke to me about the impact of his criminal conviction on his life. What he told me was the only job he could find due to his criminal record was working in a car wash. The elimination of this individual’s ability to obtain a quality job or reasonable employment had virtually destroyed this man’s life.

The Sealing of the Criminal Record Process

The process starts by hiring an attorney to bring a proceeding in the court where you were convicted of a crime. The case must be sent back to the original convicting judge. If that judge is no longer available or is no longer sitting on the bench, a new judge will be appointed to hear your case. The application will show the basis of sealing your criminal record under New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 159.60. It will show that you have been a good citizen, rehabilitated, you have moved forward with your life and obtained employment and sealing of your criminal record will further enhance your ability to be re-established in society. The application will also show that the general public would not in any way be endangered by the sealing of your criminal record. This application is then served on the District Attorney’s Office where you were convicted. They will have up to forty-five (45) days to challenge the sealing of your criminal record. If they do not submit written opposition to the sealing of your criminal record, it will be submitted to a judge for decision Should the District Attorney’s Office have any objections to the sealing of your criminal record, you will be entitled to a hearing to present evidence to the court as to why your criminal record should be sealed.

It should be pointed out the purpose of this new statute is to give you a fresh start and prevent your prior criminal record from destroying your life. The purpose of the new law is to enhance your ability to be a vibrant contributing member in society.

The Opportunity for a Fresh Start in Your Life is Now!

You can hide, seal and keep from the rest of the world from accessing information about your criminal convictions by moving forward to seal your criminal record now. This could give you a new Attorney Elliot Schlissellease on life and new career.

Contact the criminal record sealing lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, LLP. Contact us for a free consultation at any of the following phone numbers for a free consultation about sealing your criminal record and helping you move forward to maximize your opportunities in life: We have offices in Queens, Nassau & Suffolk Counties. Our phone numbers are: 516-561-6645, 631-319-8262 and 718-350-2802.

We can also be reached by e-mail at:

Free Yourself From Your Criminal Record

Handcuffs and fingerprint sheet

New York has a new sealing of criminal records law. This new law is New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59. Ten (10) years after your conviction or release from jail, a court will now have the discretion to seal, under certain circumstances, your criminal records. This can give you new opportunities, put your past behind you and eliminate the negative impact criminal records can have on employment, credit worthiness and other situations.

Courts can seal up to two (2) convictions from your record. One of these convictions can be a felony. Class A felonies and sex offenses and violent felonies are excluded from being sealed. Some states have expungement laws. In New York the law deals with sealing of a criminal record. Expunge means destruction of the criminal record. Sealing is similar but it refers to closing of your criminal record.

Should You Have Your Criminal Record Sealed?

The answer to this is definitely YES!!! There are significant benefits from sealing past negative criminal information. Simultaneously with the passage of New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59 regarding sealing of criminal records, New York has also amended the New York Human Rights Law. The sealing of your criminal record will bar employers from even asking you the question about a criminal conviction that has been sealed. The intent of this new criminal record sealing law is to give you a fresh start and not have your past prevent you from moving forward with employment, social situations and improving your life. If a criminal record has created problems for you in the past,

Elliot Schlissel

Our law office is ready to help you eliminate your past criminal record. Call us at any one of our three (3) offices in either Nassau, Suffolk or Queens County on the following numbers for a free consultation regarding sealing your criminal records:

We can also be reached by e-mail at:

Arrests of Immigrants for Criminal Acts in New York

Handcuffs & keys

On February of 2017 federal immigration agents arrested 41 people in the State of New York. After the arrests the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provided details as to why these individuals were detained. These individuals had been convicted of offenses against children, convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, rape, robbery and cocaine distribution convictions. All of these convictions are considered aggravated felonies and are therefore offenses that individuals can be deported for.

Thomas R. Decker, the Director of Enforcement Removal Proceedings for ICE’s New York Office quotes: “Citizens of New York City and the surrounding areas are safer every time another criminal is removed from the street.” “Our nation has a proud history of immigration,” however, he went on to state: “No one should be allowed to pick and choose which laws they decide to follow.”

Attorney Elliot S. Schlissel

The individuals arrested were from a variety of countries including Mexico, Guinea, Guyana and Jamaica. Carlos Gerardo Izzo a spokesman for the Mexican consulate stated: “These were specific operations to pick up each one of them and not randomly take someone off the street because there was a Mexican place where there were a lot of people.” Mexican family members have been warned by consulate officials that they should not fear being arrested while on the street. The individuals arrested in the New York Metropolitan area were part of the approximate 700 people who were detained on a nationwide basis.

Medical Marijuana Use Causes Mother To Lose Custody of Her Son

child custody attorney in New YorkA mother in Kansas had been using medical marijuana to deal with Crohn’s disease. The woman’s name is Shona Banda. She had been using marijuana to treat the debilitating impact Crohn’s disease was having on her life.

Her son, age 11, was attending a school function dealing with the negative impact drug use can have on people’s lives. During the function, he told the speaker that both his mother and another adult at his home use drugs on a regular basis. The speaker called the local police. The police searched the woman’s home and found more than one pound of marijuana at the home.

An emergency proceeding was brought in the local town court and Banda lost custody of her son. The local child protective services agency was keeping the son in protective custody.

Medical Marijuana

There are currently 23 states in the United States and the District of Columbia which allow marijuana for medical purposes. Unfortunately for Banda the state she lived in, Kansas, is not one of those states. Banda has written a book called Live Free Or Die. The book talks about using marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease and how it had an affirmative impact on her life. In addition, she had made YouTube videos extolling the benefits of medical marijuana use.

Permanent Custody

An interesting aspect of this case is that Banda lives about a one hour drive from the State of Colorado. In Colorado marijuana is legal for both medical purposes and for recreational purposes. The one hour traveling difference and the difference in attitudes between Kansas and Colorado may cause Banda to lose permanent custody of her child!

New York family law attorneyElliot S. Schlissel is an attorney who has been representing clients regarding custody issues for more than 35 years.

Suffolk County Enacts Domestic Violence Law

domestic violence defense attorneysThe County Legislature of Suffolk County has unanimously adopted a statute calling for risk assessment forms to help predict whether a domestic batterer will likely commit domestic violence again. The purpose of this statute is to aid victims who seek help from the police. This new statute will allow the police to make an assessment of the needs of individuals who dial 911.

Helping Domestic Violence Victims

Suffolk County Police will utilize a model which had previously been developed and used by the Police Department in Portland, Oregon to provide an enhanced scale to make reasonable assumptions concerning the risk of domestic violence offenders continuing to abuse their victims. It rates previous domestic violence offenders on a scale of 1 to 13. The higher the number on the scale the more likely this individual will commit future offenses. Before adopting the form, Suffolk County ran five years of domestic violence data through the questionnaires based on this form. They found the model assisted them in predicting recidivism among domestic violence offenders. Police in Suffolk County will utilize this score when responding to whether victims of domestic violence require further protection and help from Suffolk County. The victims of domestic violence will also be given the scores their abusers received to show them the level of danger they are facing in the future.

New York family law attorneyElliot S. Schlissel is an attorney who represents individuals regarding domestic violence offenses.

Warrantless Cell Phone Searches

Check out today’s video blog where we talk about warrant-less cell phone searches by the police and your rights:

Elliot S. Schlissel and his associates, for more than 35 years, have represented clients in misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. The phones are monitored 24/7. Call us for a free consultation should you have questions or problems regarding criminal matters. Elliot and his associates can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to

Cell Phone Search Kept Out of Court

criminal defense lawyer in Nassau CountyA judge in Kings County has suppressed evidence which would have shown a man charged with a sexual crime photographed the child sex victim. The evidence was not allowed to be presented in court. This was an interpretation by a judge in Brooklyn of the United States Supreme Court precedent which protects cell phones under the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court case stated cell phone material is protected and a search warrant is required to view the material on a cell phone.

About the Case

There had been a case in King County, Criminal Court before Judge Michael Gerstein. The case involved a Satmar Orthodox Jewish spiritual counselor who had molested a young girl for a period of three years. During the course of the trial he was charged with 59 counts of sexual abuse. He was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Spectator at Trial – Cell Phone Search

During the course of the trial, the judge admonished spectators in the courtroom not to utilize their cell phones. Yona Weissman, who was in attendance at the trial, in violation of the judge’s order, utilized her cell phone for photographs during the course of the trial inside of the courtroom. A court officer took the cell phone from her and searched it. On the cell phone the court officer found photographs of the victim. Yona Weissman was charged with crimes related to the evidence uncovered during the search of her cell phone.

Judge Gerstein sitting in the Supreme Court in Kings County stated in his decision the search violated the Supreme Court’s recent holding in the matter of Riley v. California. The photographs of a sexual abuse victim could not be used in the prosecution of Ms. Weissman.


With the advance of technology, cell phones now store huge amounts of individuals’ private information. Although in this case a person guilty of a crime may have avoided conviction, it is important that privacy rights of Americans be maintained. Cell phones now have the capabilities that only a few years ago were reserved for desktop computers. Many individuals have all of their personal information, life history, photographs and all types of materials on cell phones. They need to be protected from reasonable search and seizure. The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution requires a search warrant under current law to search the material in a cell phone.criminal attorney on Long Island

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