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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.

Conclusion

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

Sexual Consent in California

Long Island criminal attorneyA new law has recently gone into effect in the State of California. The purpose of this new statute is to clarify when during the course of sexual relations “yes” means “yes”. This California law sets up requirements for colleges with regard to the procedures for looking into allegations of improper sexual conduct.

This California law was submitted by California Senator Kevin deLeon from Los Angeles. Mr. deLeon’s intent with this new statute was to require an “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” This new California statute states that silence or a lack of resistence can not be construed to constitute consent for sexual relations. Individuals high on drugs, intoxicated, unconscious or semi-conscious cannot consent to sexual relations under this California statute.

Although consent to sexual relations can be non-verbal under the California law, the statute does not say what constitutes non-verbal consent to sexual relations.

Victim’s Rights

Victim’s rights advocates are major sponsors of laws preventing sexual attacks. Sexual assault advocates take the position victims do not have to prove they resisted a sexual assault for the sexual conduct to be improper.

Query

Should the consent be in writing? Should the writing be notarized or witnessed by a third party?family law and matrimonial attorney

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!

New York Police Officer Convicted of Robbing Drug Dealers

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.

New York City and Long Island Criminal Defense Lawyers

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 Schlissel DeCorpo are known throughout the court system as dedicated, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers.  The firm has experience in handling computer and internet crimestraffic ticketsviolent crimeswhite collar crimessex crimesweapons possessiondriving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shop lifting, burglary, juvenile offensesassault, assault and batterymisdemeanorsdomestic violencedrug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Feel free to call for a free consultation.

Coerced Interrogations

A documentary “Scenes of a Crime” deals with ten hours of taped interrogations of Adrian Thomas at a police station in Troy, New York, in 2008.  The ten hours of taped interrogations resulted in a disputed confession which is the subject of the documentary.  The confession related to a high profile baby killing case.  The Appellate Division for the Third Department located in Albany, New York, is currently considering an appeal of Mr. Thomas’ conviction based on the ten hours of interrogations.

Police Officers Lie

During the ten hours of taped interrogations, Mr. Thomas was continually lied to.  He was mislead over the two days of interrogations.  The police played good cop/bad cop.  The good cop tried to befriend Mr. Thomas.  The bad cop threatened him and called him a liar.  The detectives threatened to arrest his wife.  They sought to shame him into “being a man” and taking responsibility for the murder of the child so the wife would go free.

They lied to Mr. Thomas about the child being alive, and the doctors trying to save his life.  Mr. Thomas, over the ten hour period, went into a deep depression and talked about suicide.

Mr. Thomas Confesses

In the end the police convinced Mr. Thomas to confess.    He confessed to throwing the infant into the crib three times.

Psychological Coercion

The defense sought to submit an expert witness to testify to the issue of psychological coercion and the use of psychological coercion to obtain false confessions.  The defense tried to have Richard J. Ofshe, a social psychologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, testify.  The judge ruled that Mr. Thomas’ theories were not “general[ly] acceptance[d] in the scientific community” and, therefore, were not admissible into evidence.

The police initially believed that the child, Matthew Thomas, died of a severe skull fracture.  In the end, they learned that this diagnosis was incorrect.  There was no skull fracture.  The new theory of how the death took place was based on shaken baby syndrome, which is a crime.

Mr. Thomas Had No Prior Criminal Record

Mr. Thomas had never been previously arrested.  During the interrogation they had insisted for hours they had no idea what happened to the child.  He eventually weakened.  The police repeatedly said that whatever had occurred they are sure it was an accident and that he would not be arrested.  They offered numerous suggestions to him as to how the baby could have been inadvertently hurt.  In the end Mr. Thomas stated “if it comes down to it I’ll take the blame for it because, listen, I didn’t do it, when it comes down I take the rap for my wife so she won’t go to jail…I don’t want my wife to go to jail…I’m saying I will take the fall for my wife because I got a good wife.”

Police asked him again what happened and he responded “I don’t know how it happened”.  The officer then stated “then you can’t take the fall for your wife.  We gotta go pick your wife up.”

At the end of the interrogation Mr. Thomas acknowledged that he threw the baby down in the crib which resulted in the child’s death.  He was convicted by the jury.

The appeal pending before the appellate division of the third department has to do with setting aside the decision made by the jury based on a coerced confession.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you, a friend or family member is arrested or is anticipating being arrested relating to a crime you need the best possible criminal defense lawyer for legal representationThe criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have extensive experience in dealing with the criminal courts throughout the metropolitan area.  We represent individuals charged with 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. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7.

DWI Charges To Man Wearing “I’m a Drunk” T-shirt

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.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

The attorneys of the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo 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.

Prostitution Charges Against Sixteen Year Old Dismissed

Judge John T. Hecht recently dismissed prostitution charges against a sixteen year old girl who was accused of hustling. Judge Hecht sits in the Criminal Court in Kings County. He has adopted the point of view young prostitutes are simply sexually exploited children. He stated with regard to the case of People vs. Samantha R, 2011kno 9255, “the criminal justice system is not always the best venue for addressing societal problems.”

In this case Samanthar R was arrested after she solicited males for prostitution. She was initially charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution. This is a noncriminal violation punishable only up to 15 days in jail.

Safe Harbor for Exploited Children’s Act

Judge Hecht, in his decision, stated the legislature in 2008 enacted the “Safe Habor For Exploited Children Act.” Judge Hecht interpretted this statute to mean sixteen and seventeen year olds who are charged with prostitution should be referred to the Family Court and not prosecuted criminally. Judge Hecht further stated “if she is incapable of consenting to intercourse, the incapacity does not change because she agrees to except money.” Judge Hecht’s position is that the Safe Harbor Act precludes prosecution for prostitution of cases such as the one involving Samantha R.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Should you be charged with a crime, you need the best possible legal representation. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been representing New Yorkers and Long Islanders for more than thirty years. We have experience in handling cases involving white collar crimes, violent crimes, computer and internet crimes, drug offenses, driving while intoxicated (DWI), weapons possesssion charges, juvenile cases, assault and battery, and all other felonies and misdemeanors. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7. We can also help you arrange for bail and in some situations expunge matters from your record.

Teenagers Should Not Be Tried As Adults

Jonathan Lipman is the Chief Judge of the State of New York. He seeks to reform our legal system with regard to the prosecution of teenagers as adults. He believes that teenagers who commit minor crimes should have these matters handled by the Family Courts and not the Criminal Courts. New York is one of only two states in the United States that try sixteen and seventeen year old as adults for minor offenses. Thousands of non violent youthful offenders should be given community service instead of being sentenced to jail as adults. When teenagers receive criminal records it has a negative impact in their fitting into society and obtaining meaningful employment in the future. Why should young lives be decimated by mistakes made as teenagers! Sometimes these teenagers are convicted before they grow into mature, reasonable adults. They should at least be given a chance to succeed.

Judge Lipman seeks to have the State Sentencing Commission submit a new bill to the State Legislature in 2012. He wants teenagers accused only of violent crimes prosecuted as adults. Teenagers who are charged with non violent crimes will have their cases handling under a pilot project in the Criminal Courts. Judge Lipman feels being more insightful with regard to the handling of cases involving teenagers in the long run is a better policy and will save large sums of money for the State’s present recidivism and eliminate unnecessary prison overcrowding.

I strongly agree with Judge Lipman’s suggestions. I hope the State Legislature will carry through with his ideas.

Family Court Lawyers

The Family Courts in the State of New York handle a variety of cases. They deal with orders of protection, child custody matters, juvenile cases, child abuse and child neglect cases. In addition, they deal with all types of problems involving juveniles. Both father’s rights and mother’s rights need to be protected in cases involving orders of protection in the Family Courts.

Our office can also assist you with regard to divorce related issues in the Supreme Courts. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Movie Style Jewel Robbery

During a busy Friday, four masked men in blue painter’s overalls proceeded from a Cadillac Sedan into the Americana Mall in Manhasset, New York. They entered a jewelry store and took out their guns. In addition to their guns, they took out sledge hammers. This all took place at about 2:00 pm in the London Jewelry Store located in Manhasset, New York. The men told the employees and customers to lie on the ground. They then raised their sledge hammers and broke the glass cases. They emptied the cases of watches and then ran off to a waiting black Cadillac Escalade. The men and women in the store were shocked by these events.

Nassau County Police On the Job

Approximately two hours after this brazen robbery four of the six criminals were apprehended. None of the stolen loot was recovered from these men.

The mall in which this robbery took place is located in an affluent area on Long Island. The mall is approximately a quarter mile long and has luxury retailers, such as Tiffany, Prada, Louie Vuitton, Versace and Fendi. This is the first time a significant crime of this nature as ever taken place at this mall. All the employees and shoppers in the store were very shaken up by this brazen robbery.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

It is important you have the best available criminal defense lawyer, should you be charged or investigated of a crime. The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has more than 30 years of experience in defending individuals investigated or charged with crimes. We are experienced in handling drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, juvenile offenses, driving while intoxicated, weapons possession, sex crimes, computer and internet crimes and all other felonies and misdemeanors. If you ever need an attorney you can call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. Our phones are monitored 24/7.

Men Who Spent 40 Years in Prison Exonerated and Released

jailpic-150x150The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that works to overturn wrongful convictions, has set two men free. Obi Anthony, age 37 and Michael Morton, age 57, both got released from prison to the innocence project. Both men had continuously maintained that they were innocent of the crimes they were convicted of and were serving life sentences for murders they didn’t commit. Together they spent in excess of 4 decades in jail before being freed by the diligent work of the innocence project.

Obi Anthony was in prison for seventeen years. He was convicted of killing a man outside a brothel located in Los Angeles, California. The prosecution’s main witness was a pimp, who subsequently admitted that his testimony in trial was false. The witness stated that he falsified his testimony to help him obtain a lighter sentence for his own crimes. Not only is Obi Anthony not the individual responsible for the shooting, but he wasn’t even present when the crime took place.

Michael Morton Spent 25 Years In a Texas Prison

Over 25 years ago, Michael Morton was charged and convicted with beating his wife to death. At the time of his conviction, however, technology did not exist whereby DNA evidence could be examined.

At the time of Morton’s conviction there was a bandana found at the scene of the crime. This bandana in fact contained DNA material of another man who was suspected of killing a woman under similar circumstances.

The prosecution in Morton’s case labeled him a sex-crazed, murderous monster, and also claimed he had faked a burglary as an excuse to kill his wife.

DNA evidence from the scene of the crime eventually exonerated Morton. This inevitably forces us to ask ourselves – how many other innocent men and women are languishing in American prisons?

Our law firm has extensive experience in handling a variety of criminal matters, such as drug offenses, driving while intoxicated (DWI), domestic violence cases, assault and battery, juvenile defenses, shop lifting, burglary, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, violent crimes, computer and internet crimes as well as all types of misdemeanors and felonies. Call us for a free consultation. We can help you!

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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