There are presently more than a dozen pieces of legislation pending in the New York State Legislature to expand the use of DNA material. Recently a DNA data bank was utilized by Westchester County legal authorities to match the DNA of Francisco Acevedo for the murders of three woman in Yonkers from 2009. Francisco Acevedo was arrested while … [Read more...]
Can the Police Search Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant?
In Ohio, cell phones protected by the 4th amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure by the government. In a recent decision, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that police officers need to obtain a warrant in order to search a cell phone. This decision by the Ohio Supreme Court takes into consideration the fact that cell phones … [Read more...]
To Taser Or Not To Taser
(The "Don't Tase Me Bro!" Video - See minute marker 1:50) The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the use of a taser stun gun by a police officer can be considered, under certain circumstances, excessive force which leaves the police officer open to be sued for the injuries received by the tasered … [Read more...]
In Prison, But Not “In Custody”???
We advise our clients not to say anything to police officers if they are pulled over, or are taken into custody. Even seemingly innocuous answers to carefully crafted questions like "Do you know how fast you were going?" or "Are you dealing with some sort of emergency?" can be used to clinch a conviction in what may otherwise been a weak case … [Read more...]
United States Supreme Court Addresses Life Sentences for Juvenile Defendants
In the United States today there are more than more than twenty-two hundred (2,200) juveniles who are incarcerated as adults. These juveniles are serving life sentences without the ability to obtain parole (to be released from jail prior to the end of their sentence). Among the twenty-two hundred (2,200) juveniles, there are some prisoners who are … [Read more...]
Do the Police Need a Warrant to Attach a GPS Tracking Device to Your Car? (Updated)
Right now, it depends which part of New York you live in. In Westchester and Albany, the police do not need a warrant to place a GPS tracking device on your car, but in Nassau County they do. On March 24th, the New York Court of Appeals heard oral arguments (video here) in the case of People v. Weaver, which will probably lay out a uniform rule … [Read more...]
After Gant, Is New York’s Car Search Rule Stricter, More Lenient or Juuuust Right?
Last week, the Supreme Court announced the groundbreaking decision of Arizona v. Gant, significantly limiting the police's ability to conduct searches of automobiles "incident to a lawful arrest" without either a warrant or probable cause. Before the Gant case, however, New York courts have consistently interpreted the State Constitution much more … [Read more...]
A Problem (And Solution) With the Miranda Right to Counsel
Our office maintains a significant criminal defense practice and therefore the issue of police Miranda violations is of great interest to the firm. Miranda v. Arizona established a "Miranda right to counsel" during custodial police interrogations, purportedly based on the Fifth Amendment. One problem with the Miranda decision is that the Sixth … [Read more...]
Review of Select Law School Audio CDs
One strategy that has been very effective for me in my law school career has been listening to audio summaries of many of my courses. In addition to preparing for class, briefing cases, outlining, and doing practice exams (indispensable!), I use my time driving to and from work and law school to listen to audio lectures of the courses I'm taking, … [Read more...]