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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 schlissel.law@att.net.

Speeding Tickets

long island traffic ticket attorneysReceiving a speeding ticket can be a minor situation that requires only the payment of a fine. If you receive multiple speeding tickets or a speeding ticket for going far in excess of the speed limit, there are potential serious consequences. To start with, you could lose your driver’s license. You may have problems getting car insurance or your car insurance company may significantly raise your insurance premiums.

Reckless Driving

If you are driving far over the speed limit it can be considered reckless driving. Reckless driving, unlike a speeding ticket, is a misdemeanor, a crime punishable by time in jail. Should you receive a reckless driving ticket, it is strongly suggested you retain an attorney familiar with handling these matters to represent you. If you are found guilty of reckless driving, it does not give you points on your license. It gives you a fine and possibly a jail sentence.

Driving While Intoxicated

If you are stopped by a police officer concerning a speeding ticket, he or she may make further inquiry as to whether you are driving while intoxicated. Driving while intoxicated is seriously punished in the State of New York. A charge of driving while intoxicated may result in your spending a night in jail and being arraigned in front a judge the next day. Some counties also have car forfeiture statutes which may cause you to lose your vehicle if convicted of the driving while intoxicated charge.

Car Accidents and DWIs

If you are involved in a DWI that results in a car accident, the prosecutors in New York take that even more seriously. Even if you are not at fault, you may be blamed for the accident because you were driving while intoxicated. This can lead to civil lawsuits against you, loss of your insurance, loss of your car, and possible incarceration.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

The law involving speeding tickets, DWIs, and reckless driving can become fairly complicated. Facts in each case are unique to that case. The best way to deal with these matters is to retain a criminal attorney who is familiar in dealing with these issues. He or she will be able to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome.

traffic violations attorney on long island Elliot S. Schlissel and his associates, for more than 35 years, have represented clients on speeding tickets, driving while intoxicated charges, and all other misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. The law offices’ phones are monitored 24/7. Call us for a free consultation should you have questions or problems regarding criminal matters or speeding tickets.

Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings Dismissed

A juvenile delinquency proceeding was brought before Judge Joan Posner sitting in the Family Court of Dutchess County. The presentment agency had brought a petition against a minor named Jared J.P. The allegations were that Jared had committed acts which constituted an attempted assault and the crime of menacing if he were charged as an adult. They sought to have Jared adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent.

Jared was represented by a court appointed guardian ad litem in this proceeding. The guardian ad litem requested the court dismiss the case against Jared in the interest of justice.

Jared Was Autistic

The allegations were that Jared, who was 16 years old, had been diagnosed with autism and additional mental illnesses. This diagnosis was initially made when he was 7 years old. The court appointed guardian ad litem for Jared claimed since the incident took place, he had been in a residential therapeutic educational institution. While at this residential facility his conduct had improved dramatically. In addition, it was pointed out by Jared’s attorney his family would not cooperate with regard to his prosecution. They did not want to traumatize his brothers and sisters and grandmother by forcing them to testify at trial.

A Finding of Juvenile Delinquency Would Serve No Purpose

Judge Posner rendered a decision dismissing the juvenile delinquency petition brought by the presentment agency. In her decision she stated finding Jared was a juvenile delinquent would not serve a useful purpose. In fact, she held it would be an injustice to punish Jared. Judge Posner found it was in Jared’s best interests he should remain at the residential therapeutic educational facility and it was not necessary for the court to take any further action on this case.

legal help for people who have been arrestedThe Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has extensive experience in representing minors with regard to Family Court proceedings concerning juvenile delinquency issues and criminal proceedings brought in the Criminal Courts against minors throughout the Metropolitan New York area.

Are Warrantless Cell Phone Searches by the Police Admissible into Evidence?

criminal defense attorneyThe United States Supreme Court Will Rule on This Matter

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case regarding whether a police officer can search the cell phone of an individual under arrest without obtaining a search warrant. Today cell phones contain an enormous amount of information about an individual. The legal issue presented to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court is whether the information obtained from a warrantless search of an individual who is under arrest’s cell phone is an unreasonable search in violation of the individual’s fourth amendment rights to the US Constitution. Prosecutors throughout the entire country are paying attention to two cases the Supreme Court has before it dealing with warrantless cell phone searches. The technological advances made regarding the amount of personal information stored on cell phones will have a significant impact on American’s lives and the ability of law enforcement agencies to obtain personal information from cell phones.

Searches of Individuals Under Arrest

Police officers can search an individual and the area around him without a search warrant at the time of an arrest. This is to ascertain the individual is not armed and does not have weapons near him or her that could be used to injure the police officers. The police also can secure evidence maintained on the defendant related to the reasons for his or her arrest.

The first case before the Supreme Court involves an individual by the name of David Riley. Mr. Riley was convicted in California of three charges relating to a situation in San Diego in which gun shots were fired at a car. The prosecutors were able to produce evidence from a photograph on his cell phone that showed him standing in front of a car similar to the one that was at the crime scene.

In the second case before the United States Supreme Court the Federal Government is appealing an Appeals Court decision that tossed out three drug and fire arm charges against Brima Wourrie. Wourrie had been convicted by a jury in Massachusetts. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling in May, that police officers could not search Wourrie’s phone without a warrant.

The United State Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on both cases in April of this year.

Opinion of the Writer

The United States Supreme Court should not allow warrantless searches of cell phones. Cell phones are mini computers today that maintain enormous amounts of personal information. The technology that allows ever expanding amounts of information to be maintained on smartphones should be protected under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution which bars unreasonable searches without warrants.

criminal defense assistanceThe Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo are composed of five attorneys. The attorneys represent individuals charged with crimes throughout the Metropolitan New York area. The firm has extensive experience in representing individuals charged with misdemeanors and felonies. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo are available to deal with criminal matters seven days a week.

Juvenile Justice in New York

criminal defense attorneysNew York is one of two states which allow juveniles to be tried as adults at age 16. The large majority of states do not allow prosecution as an adult until such time as the individual reaches the age of 18. It should be noted an individual of age 18 is considered an adult for purposes of voting.

Juveniles who are tried as adults and sentenced to an adult prison facility do not do well in these prisons. In most situations they end up being tutored by hardened criminals to become better criminals once they get out of jail. Teenagers in New York State who commit crimes should be dealt with under a juvenile justice system and not an adult legal system. In a juvenile justice system, they can receive rehabilitation services and training. They can also avoid obtaining a criminal record that will stay with them for the rest of their lives and have a negative impact on their obtaining a job.

Bill In the New York State Legislature Regarding Juvenile Justice

Judge Lippman, the Chief Judge of the State of New York, has proposed a new piece of legislation to the New York State Legislature which calls for the creation of a special court for 16 and 17 year olds charged with non-violent crimes in the State of New York. This proposal asks that courts have judges with special training concerning adolescent development and therapeutic approaches to juvenile criminal activity. It is suggested in this proposed legislation, if the case is resolved, no criminal charges should be filed against these adolescents. The fingerprints should be destroyed and the criminal records are to be sealed. Judge Lippman’s goal is to treat children as children. He doesn’t want them treated as adults with the stigma of a crime on their record for the rest of their lives.

Conclusion

Judge Lippman has the right idea. Putting juveniles in jail destroys their lives, is not cost effective, and is not the best route for an enlightened society to take in dealing with the crimes of a non-violent nature. I hope the New York State Legislature passes the new legislation.juvenile criminal lawyer

Nassau County’s Drug Treatment Court

criminal defense attorneyNassau County established a Drug Treatment Court in 2009. The purpose of the court is to allow individuals charged with drug related felony charges to rehabilitate themselves and avoid going to jail.

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.”

help in handling criminal mattersElliot S. 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.

Avoiding Traffic Tickets – Part II

long island vehicle and traffic law attorneysFighting the Speeding Ticket

If you receive a speeding ticket, you should plead not guilty and ask for a trial. In some situations the prosecutors will plea bargain the matter and agree to give you a lesser ticket that involves less points on your license and a smaller fine. This is usually a good approach. Insurance companies often raise the rates for car insurance for those individuals convicted of speeding tickets. If you cannot plea bargain the speeding ticket, you can challenge the application of the radar, the laser or the use of the camera. Unfortunately these challenges are a bit complicated and the best way to deal with these types of challenges would be to hire a lawyer who handles speeding ticket defense cases.

Signage

There are very specific requirements municipalities must meet with regard to posting signs regarding the speed motorists can travel at on a particular roadway. You can check the uniform traffic control devices rules (MUTCD) with regard to the location and size of signs necessary to be posted with regard to providing motorists with information concerning how fast they can travel on a given roadway.

The Trial of the Speeding Ticket

There are a number of things you can do with regard to trying a speeding ticket. You can serve requests pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) on the police department. You can ask for the calibration specs with regard to radar guns. You can look into how often tuning forks are utilized by the radar gun manufacturer to test the radar guns. You can look into how old the radar device is and the last time it was tested for accuracy.

When the police officer testifies, you can ask him where he was in relation to your vehicle at the time you were stopped. If he paced your car with his vehicle, you can ask him how long he paced your car for. The police officer needs to establish how long a distance he paced your car for before it is appropriate for him to come to the conclusion you were speeding.

Driver Rehabilitation Courses

In the State of New York, in the event you receive points on your license, you can take a course that will remove up to four points from you driver’s license. These motor vehicle safety courses are highly recommended should you get convicted of a speeding ticket.traffic court counsel

Hot Pursuit of an Individual Suspected of Committing a Misdemeanor Does Not Allow Police Officers to Enter His Home

criminal defense attorneysJudge 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.

criminal defense for New YorkersElliot S. Schlissel has acted as a criminal defense attorney for men and women being investigated and charged with crimes throughout the metropolitan New York area.

Man Convicted Due To Cat’s DNA

criminal defense lawyerIn 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.”

The Case

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

criminal attorneyElliot 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.

Gun Kept Out of Evidence

criminal defense lawyersIn 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.

Conclusion

criminal law assistanceNo gun, no case!

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