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Long Island Lawyer’s Adoption Scam

adoptionKevin Cohen, Esq., was an attorney on Long Island. He was recently found guilty of stealing in excess of $300,000 from families he represented. He had promised these families to help them adopt children. Unfortunately, the children did not exist.

Mr. Cohen was found guilty of 37 counts, including 16 counts of second-degree grand larceny, 11 counts of third-degree grand larceny and 10 counts of third-degree forgery. Mr. Cohen now faces up to ninety-two years in prison for his crimes. He will be sentenced on December 7, 2010. As a result of his criminal convictions, he will receive a mandatory disbarment.

Mental Illness

Mr.Cohen’s defense was “mental illness”. He represented himself at the time of trial. He claimed he could not be criminally responsible for his actions due to the fact he suffered from a mental illness. Unfortunately for Mr. Cohen, the prosecution was successful. They were able to show that he was a bright, intelligent lawyer who knew exactly what he was doing.

Judge John Kase, sitting in the county court of Nassau County, ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support an insanity defense for Mr. Cohen.

From October 2007 to the time of his arrest in September 2009, Mr. Cohen was in charge of an adoption agency called Adoption Annex. He represented to the public that he was an adoption expert. He charged his clients large sums of money for his legal services. He had also fabricated forged records and had shown his clients fake sonograms and fake medical records to convince them he had a child who could be adopted.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Cohen’s bail was set at $500,000 and he was never able to make bail. Mr. Cohen deserves a long jail sentence !!.

About our Firm

Our law office has extensive experience in handling all aspects of matrimonial and family law. We represent individuals in divorce proceedings, custody proceedings, annulments, as well as pre and post-nuptial agreements. We are especially adapted in handling high-net-worth divorces.

Should you, a friend or family member have issues related to a divorce or family law proceeding, call us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802, or contact us by email. We can help you!

Gang Colors Not Enough To Search Car

searchA district court judge in Nassau County threw out a search of a car due to the fact that the reason the police officers gave for searching the car could not be substantiated. The occupants in the car were charged with weapons possession (which includes charges for violent crimes, both felonies and misdemeanors)

At the time, the officers testified that they were patrolling “hot spots” which were known for narcotic sales and gang activity. While on this patrol, they noticed four males walking down the street. The officers though the males clothing represented gang colors. The four males went into a car.

The officers approached the car and shined their flashlights into the passenger compartment. One of the officers observed what he says was “the butt end of a knife”. The officers proceeded to have the men leave the vehicle and thereafter the vehicle was searched. The search turned up a gravity knife (similar to a switchblade).

The court ruled that the officers failed to state a credible objective reason for approaching the defendants. The judge found that the testimony concerning “gang colors” was not credible. The court concluded that the evidence acquired pursuant to the search should be deemed inadmissible and thrown out. The misdemeanor and felony charges against the defendants for weapons possession were dismissed.

Our law office represents individuals charged with drug offenses, assault and battery, shoplifting, burglary, DWI and domestic violence. Call us if you have a criminal problem at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

Not Your Average Domestic Violence Case

phones1-150x150An unnamed woman had previously claimed in New York that her boyfriend called her more than 300 times from jail. She testified to this before a grand jury. The purpose of the phone calls were to intimidate her into refusing to testify against him at the time of trial.

The case is entitled People v. Smith. It is pending in Brooklyn before Justice D’Emic.

Grand Jury Testimony To Be Used At Trial

The woman involved was so intimated by these phone calls and the treats made in these phone calls that she is no longer willing to cooperate with the district attorney and testify at trial.

Although the principal means by which the credibility of witnesses is tested is cross-examination, there will be no cross examination in the trial of Daryl Smith. The woman who has accused him will not be testifying. Her grand jury testimony will instead be read into the records.

Judge D’Emic has stated the “the law recognizes that when an accused procures the silence of a witness against him he should not be permitted to gain from his wrong.” The judge also stated “the court has been shown by clear and convincing evidence that the wrong doing of the defendant has caused the victim to stop cooperating with the prosecution.”

Mr. Smith will be tried without any witnesses testifying against him. Only the grand jury minutes of his accusers testimony will be submitted to the jury.

Our office is experienced in handling all types of criminal cases, including domestic violence, misdemeanors, felonies, juvenile defense, bail, white collar crime and DWI’s. Call us if you need assistance at 1-800-344-6431 or contact us be email.

Dog Bite Kills Man

redLightThe state of Florida recently passed a new law that allows municipalities to use red light cameras at traffic intersections. If the camera catches a motorist going through a red light, a ticket is issued and mailed to the owner of the vehicle. A lawsuit has been brought in West Palm Beach for the purpose of invalidating Florida’s red light camera law. The lawsuit claims that individuals are innocent until proven guilty and that the red light camera law violates this basic tenant of criminal justice in the United States.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Individuals caught in the red light camera have to prove in court that they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. Instead of a individual being innocent until proven guilty, he or she is guilty until proven innocent under the new law. Attorney William Abramson, whic filed the lawsuit on behalf of one of his clients, stated that Florida’s red light camera law violates constitutional rights of individuals.

The Florida law went into effect July 1, 2010. Under this new statue, the driver of a motor vehicle either pays a $158 fine or has to submit evidence that he or she was not driving the vehicle at the time of incident. Attorney Abramson claims the driver should not have the burden of proof. The municipality should have to prove that the owner of the vehicle was the operator at the time of the incident. The lawsuit claims that “the presumption of guilt, shifting the burden of proof, violates both the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution.”

New York Red Light Cameras

The State of New York has a similar law in place concerning red light cameras. On Long Island and in the five boroughs of the city of New York, the owners of motor vehicles are regularly receiving traffic tickets based on red light cameras taking photographs of their vehicles at various intersections. The drivers of the vehicles are not identified. The New York law similarly places the burden on the owner of the vehicle to prove he or she is not guilty. This constitutes a violation of the owners constitutional rights. Under New York State Constitution and the Federal Constitution, individuals are innocent until proven guilty of traffic matters.

Should you, a family member or a friend have issues with red light tickets, speeding tickets or other types of traffic violations, feel free to contact the traffic attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We can help you with these matters. Our phone number is 1-800-344-6431, or contact us by email.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Recession Leads To More Abuse Cases

domestic_violence_080207_ms-150x150Do financial difficulties lead to more incidents of domestic violence in our society? Sandra Oliva, Director of the Nassau County Coalition of Domestic Violence, stated that “issues facing families these days have increased the potential for more violence”. Sandra Oliva looks for ways to prevent abuse an to assist victims. In a recent Newsday article, she indicated that victims seeking help have recently been talking about job loss, hunger and chronic unemployment.

Pamela Johnson, the Executive Director of the Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, also feels that unemployment causes abusers to be at home more often. As a result, they have more time to victimize their significant others.

Linda Smith, a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School who has worked with domestic violence victims, recently stated in a Newsday article that when people lose their jobs, they lose their self-esteem. This commonly leads to an unhappy domestic atmosphere. Although a poor economy may lead to more domestic violence, the experts are not sure that a healthy economy has any effect on reducing domestic violence.

Should you have any issues concerning domestic violence, feel free to call the domestic violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, by email or at 1-800-344-6431.

Judge Unable To Reduce Charges On Traffic Tickets

traffic1-150x150An upstate judge in the town of Milan was dealing with a huge backlog of traffic cases. He decided the best way to deal with the backlog was to “plea bargain” tickets down to lesser offenses. Unfortunately, the New York state police, assuming a role similar to that of a prosecutor, objected to the judge’s actions.

The State Police took legal action and challenged the judge’s rulings to a higher court, the Second Department of the Appellate Division. The Second Department held that “the town justice’s attempt to ease the backlog may have been understandable, but it was not legally justifiable”. The court held that although they were sympathetic to the huge burden placed on the courts, there was a blanket policy against plea-bargaining for these types of cases.

In the town of Milan, the State Police are responsible for the prosecution of traffic tickets. In 2006, they established a policy of barring negotiations concerning the reduction of charges on traffic tickets given by State Troopers.

Administrative Ajudication Of Traffic Tickets:

The five boroughs of New York City, as well as Suffolk County, have administrative ajudication programs conerning traffic tickets. In these six counties, the police officer acts as the prosecutor. The officers have no authority to enter into plea bargaining arrangements and the judge has no authority to work out plea bargaining schemes. If the defendant pleads “not guilty”, the case goes to trial. The trials are conducted before an administrative judge.

For approximately 25 years, my office has been trying speeding tickets and other types of traffic cases in the five boroughs New York, as well as Suffolk County. These trials can be won with the right legal representation.

Should you, a friend or a loved one have a problem with a traffic ticket, feel free to call the traffic defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

Trimming Down Miranda Rights

miranda-150x147The United States Supreme Court has recently taken action to restrict the now famous “miranda criminal warnings“. The Supreme Court rulings will have a significant impact on police procedures since police will be given more lee-way in the questioning of suspects.

Police Questioning:

The Miranda warnings are as follows:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

While the Miranda warnings have not been eliminated, the Supreme Court has greatly reduced the Miranda rights over the cours of the past year.

Under the court’s ruling, if you ask to have an attorney present during questioning, this request is only valid for 14 days (two weeks). After that time period, police can question you without violating your constitutional rights.

Furthermore, the court’s ruling also requires that suspects must verbally tell the police if they are going to remain quiet (if they are going to invoke their “right to remain silent“) and stop interrogation.

If you are a criminal suspect and you are arrested today, you must say to the officer, “I wish to remain silent”. If the suspect does not advise police that he or she wishes to remain silent, the police may now consider this to be a waiver of his or her Miranda rights. Legal experts feel that the court’s rulings will make it easier for police to get confessions from individuals who do not want to confess.

Should you be arrested, charged with a crime, or be the subject of a criminal investigation, it is important that you contact experienced aggressive criminal attorneys. Feel free to call the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

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