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Looking At Child Pornography Not A Crime

criminal defense attorneyIn May of 2012, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, rendered a decision that a Marist College professor could not be held criminally responsible for the presence of child pornography on the hard drive of his computer. The Court held, the police and the prosecutors failed to show he knew the page had been assigned to the unused space on his computer.

Judge Carmen Beauchamp-Ciparick, in a majority opinion, in the case of People v. Kent, stated while James Kent had a theoretical ability to exercise dominion and control over the child pornographic images, that potential control was not enough to constitute “the procurement or possession” thereby not meeting the standard of a violation of the New York Penal law. She further stated, “some affirmative act is required (printing, saving, downloading, etc.) to show the defendant in fact exercised dominion and control over the images that were on his screen.” “To hold otherwise, would extend the reach of the [Penal Law] article 263 to conduct – viewing – that our legislature had not deemed criminal.” All criminal charges against Mr. Kent for possession of pornographic material were dismissed.

Computer Tech Personnel Find Pornography On Mr. Kent’s Computer

In 2007, Professor Kent was arrested. Professor Kent had complained his computer was operating slowly. Computer technology personnel found the pornographic images on his computer. He was convicted in a non-jury trial and was sentence to 1 to 3 years in prison for charges of felony child promotion and possession of sexual performances by a child. He appealed the matter to New York State’s highest court which reversed his conviction.

Judge Robert Smith stated, in his concurring opinion, “this is surely a stringent punishment for someone who many would think more pathetic and then evil.” He wrote further “nor can we safely assume that bringing as many consumers as possible within the reach of the law is the most effective gave way to lessen or eliminate the trade. A policy of the most draconian enforcement directed at the most minor and peripheral of uses is no more likely to eliminate child pornography than a similar policy would be to eliminate illegal drugs.” Smith went on to write, the legislature must decide on criminality in the conduct of the case, not the courts.assistance in criminal court matters

Miranda Warnings as Applied to Children

child-147x150How old must a child be before he or she can understand the Miranda warnings? The Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of J.D.B. vs. North Carolina, dealt with this issue. The court, in this case, rendered a ruling that police must take a suspect’s age into consideration when evaluating whether to give the Miranda warnings before questioning the suspect about criminal activity.

The Miranda warnings are that the individual being interrogated has a right to remain silent, a right to counsel, that any statement may be used as evidence against him and, if he or she can’t afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed.

The Facts of J.D.B. vs. North Carolina

J.D.B. was a thirteen-year-old seventh grader. He was found near the site of home break-ins. He was questioned by the police without receiving his Miranda warnings. He initially denied complicity in the criminal activity. In the end, he confessed. He was given his Miranda warnings after confessing.

The Supreme Court Decision

The United States Supreme Court rendered a decision that a suspect’s age should be taken into consideration to determine whether he is “in custody” for purposes of being entitled to receive the Miranda Warnings. In the majority decision, Justice Sotomayor states “it is beyond dispute that children will often feel bound to submit to police questioning when an adult in the same circumstances would feel free to leave.” She further stated, “a child’s age is far more than a chronological fact. It is a fact that generates common sense and conclusions and perceptions…we have observed that children generally are less mature and responsible than adults and that they often lack experience, perspective and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be detrimental to them”, and that they “are more vulnerable or susceptible to outside pressure then adults.”

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Criminal Attorneys

Being charged with a crime can have a major impact on a person’s life. In these circumstances, you want experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense counsel to protect your rights. For more than 33 years, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have provided criminal defense throughout the Metropolitan New York area for individuals charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Our office is on call 24/7. We provide free consultations for all prospective clients.

Nassau County Loses Marijuana Evidence

crime-150x150Recently, Nassau County, New York lost two bags of marijuana. The bags of marijuana had been seized as evidence by police officers. Due to problems with Nassau County’s crime laboratory, the marijuana was being shipped to a laboratory in Pennsylvania for drug testing. The shipment was carried by Federal Express. Unfortunately, the marijuana never arrived in Pennsylvania. I wonder where it went?!

Nassau County Police to Transport Drugs to Pennsylvania

As a result of the lose of the marijuana shipped by Federal Express, Nassau County police will be using their own police officers to drive drug evidence to laboratories in Pennsylvania from this point forward. Thereafter, the drugs will be tested in Pennsylvania.

The round trip to Pennsylvania will take approximately eight hours. There will be extremely expensive transportation costs incurred by the citizens of Nassau County for the transporting of these drugs.

As of now, it costs Nassau County approximately $100,000 a month to ship drugs seized by police officers to Pennsylvania. It is a shame that Nassau County must send more than a million dollars a year to Pennsylvania for laboratory testing, instead of creating local jobs for qualified individuals to work in a well supervised crime laboratory.

The procedures for the transporting of drug evidence came at the recommendation of State Inspector General Ellen Biben. She is still in the process of investigating the negligence and mismanagement that caused the Nassau County Crime Lab to be closed.

Criminal Attorneys

Should you, a friend, family member or loved one be investigated or charged with a crime, it is important to retain experienced, competent legal counsel as early in the investigation and/or arrest process as possible. For more than 33 years, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have provided criminal defense throughout the Metropolitan New York area for individuals charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Our office is on call 24/7.

Talking Sense About Gun Control

GunControl-150x150It has been three months since the killings in Tucson, Arizona. President Obama recently spoke about gun control issues. In an article written in the Arizona Daily Star, President Obama asked both gun control supporters and gun rights advocates to discuss reasonable and sensible gun legislation. He was specifically interested in dealing with the gaps of the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. The system presently has significant gaps that allow dangerous or mentally unstable individuals to purchase guns.

The Crazed Tucson Shooter

The shooter in Tucson was a man who had been rejected as unfit by the United States Army. He was to not stable enough to attend college. Both his neighbors and friends thought he was inclined to commit violent acts. However, under the current gun control laws in the United States, he had no difficulty walking into a store and purchasing a firearm.

Crazies Can Obtain Guns

President Obama, in his article, pointed out that many states do not maintain the appropriate records regarding disqualifying individuals who have been involuntary committed or who have criminal records. These records are supposed to be submitted to the federal background system. The system is supposed to have an “accurate and comprehensive listing of individuals who should be precluded from purchasing firearms.” The significant loopholes in the system allow dangerous, mentally unstable individuals to avoid background checks and purchase guns. There also is a huge exception to the federal firearms background check system which allows anyone at a gun show to purchase any type of weapon he or she wants. The purpose of this exception is not to protect the American public. It is to line the pockets of the gun sellers!

The article by President Obama does not make specific proposals. It seeks to simply to open up a dialog. Unfortunately, the National Rifle Association declined President Obama’s invitation to enter into a reasonable discussion of gun control measures. Their position is anyone should be entitled to purchase any firearm they please. Hopefully the Obama Administration and Congress will be successful in establishing reasonable measures to control firearms from coming into the hands of unstable individuals or criminals.

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New York Criminal Attorneys

Our law office does a superior job of representing individuals accused of the following crimes: violent crimes; white collar crimes; sex crimes; weapons possession; driving while intoxicated (DWI); juvenile defense; burglary; shoplifting; assault and battery; domestic violence; drug offenses and all types of misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us for a free consultation.

Heckling – A Felony in California?

On February 8, 2010, Israeli Embassador Michael Oren was to give a speech at the University of California in Irvine. The room was packed with more than five-hundred people. As Embassador Oren started to give his speech, on four separate occasions, individuals in the audience stood up and shouted. He was drowned out. He eventually walked off the stage. Embassador Oren, after a period of time, returned to the stage. On six additional occasions, he was heckled to the point of being prevented from giving a speech to the audience. On each occasion he was heckled, campus police escorted the individual that was heckling Embassador Oren out of the auditorium.

The University of California in Irvine suspended the ten students who heckled Embassador Oren. The students were members of the Muslim Student Union. The heckling was an organized event by the Muslim Student Union.

heckling-150x150District Attorney Convenes a Grand Jury

Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County District Attorney, has convened a grand jury for the purpose of indicting the students. In the event an indictment is handed down by the grand jury, each of the students will be charged with a felony. This has raised questions as to whether heckling is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

University of Berkley Law Professor Jesse Choper has stated, “I think it is quite clearly accepted that there is no First Amendment right to shout down the speech of another, especially in an organized talk.” The university community in Irvine is pressing the District Attorney’s office not to charge the students with criminal offenses.

Carol Sobel is the attorney representing the students. The students have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. In a recent interview on the California public radio, she stated that grand juries are rarely convened to deal with misdemeanor charges. She is concerned that the District Attorney’s office is considering indicting the students for conspiracy based on the theory that their heckling the Israeli Embassador was planned in advanced. The Muslim Student Union denies these allegations.

attorney1-150x150Freedom of Speech

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can represent you if you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Should you be facing a grand jury indictment, it is important to be represented by an experienced criminal attorney. In addition, our law office represents individuals charged with possession of drugs, domestic violence cases, juvenile criminal matters, as well as driving while intoxicated cases. We help our clients with both violent crimes and white collar crimes. Call us if you need assistance at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561- 6645 or 718-350-2802.

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