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Sex Offenders Entitled to a Hearing

criminal defense attorney in nassauGaspari Gutierrez-Lucero was convicted in 2003 of attempted first degree sodomy. The victim was the 6 year old daughter of his girlfriend. He received a sentence of three and a half years in prison and an additional five years of post-release supervision. On January 6, 2011, a hearing was held under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). The purpose of the hearing was to determine the risk level classification of Mr. Gutierrez-Lucero. However since he had been deported, he could not be present at the proceeding to determine his risk level classification. His attorney, at the hearing, claimed the hearing should not go forward because his client was not present and he did not waive his right to appear at the hearing. The Court held since he was deported, he waived his right to be present at the hearing and the hearing could go forward in his absence. At the hearing, Gutierrez-Lucero was adjudged to be a level one or “low risk” offender.

Gutierrez-Lucero Appeals

On appeal, Mr. Gutierrez-Lucero’s attorney claimed his due process rights were violated. The Second Department (appeals court) held “[a] dangerous precedent would be established if, as urged by the Supreme Court and the People on appeal, the hearing court could simply obviate due process rights by designating a sex offender in a level one category. This reasoning would render the requirements of the SORA hearing for, the assignment of counsel to represent, a level one sex offender unnecessary.”

The Second Department’s decision clearly indicates individuals convicted of sex crimes are entitled to a hearing before their names can be maintained in the New York State Sex Offender Registry. The court also held that Mr. Gutierrez-Lucero’s deportation does not act as a waiver of his rights to a hearing.

Since Gutierrez-Lucero was convicted of a felony, it is unlikely he will ever be able to come back to the United States to participate in a hearing. How can a hearing be held?criminal defense help

Colorado’s “Make My Day” Law

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Woman Kills Her Boyfriend and Is Not Prosecuted Under Colorado Law

Azura Lakin has dodged a bullet and avoided prosecution for murder under Colorado’s “Make My Day Law”. Azura Lakin is 21 years of age. On October 2, 2011, she had a fight with her boyfriend. During the fight, she slashed his throat with a broken bottle. Her boyfriend Shawn Cassidy, age 23, died of his wounds.

Shawn came to her apartment one evening in a hostile, intoxicated manner. While he was there, he argued with Azura. During the argument he started to choke her. She and her sister pushed him out of the apartment. However, he was persistent and continued to pound on their door. She opened it again and he again attacked her, choking her neck. At this time, she claimed she hit him with the broken bottle, which cut his throat. The blood loss resulted in Shawn’s death.

Shawn’s Death Was Ruled a Homicide

District Attorney Larry Abramson of Larimer County found that Cassidy’s death was a homicide. Since he unlawfully entered Azura’s house, and committed a crime of assault while he was there, Azura had an expectation that he sought to cause her harm.

Under the Colorado “Make My Day Law”, citizens of Colorado have a right to self-protection at their home. Since Azura was acting in self defense, District Attorney Abramson stated “we came to the unanimous conclusion that criminal charges could not be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Cassidy’s Aunt, Colleen Countryman, stated “she was mad over a broken cell phone. So my nephew is gone because of a cell phone that was broken, it’s not right.” This is an example of street justice!

Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have committed a crime, have been charged with a crime or have been arrested, we can represent you. The criminal lawyers of the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represent individuals charged with drug offenses, assault, battery, juvenile defenses, shoplifting,burglary, driving while intoxicated, weapons possession and sex crimes. We represent men and women charged with all types of misdemeanors and felonies throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We also can assist our clients in arranging bail. Call us for a free consultation.

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.

Gravity Knife Not Admitted into Evidence, Case Dismissed

gravity-150x150In a recent case in New York County, Judge Martino, sitting in the Family Court, dismissed a juvenile proceeding. The juvenile was walking in February in what the police referred to as a high crime area. Police officers saw the juvenile walking alone. He was wearing a winter jacket and had a black ski mask. When the juvenile saw the police officers, he changed directions. He also put his hands in his pocket while walking away. The police officer stopped him and questioned him. They asked if he had any weapons on him. They then searched him and found a gravity knife.

Appeal Taken

The Appellate Division, an Appeals Court, held that looking startled and walking away from police officers is not criminal behavior. This does not generate a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. The court thereafter ruled that the police officers did not have the level of suspicion necessary to ask questions that could be incriminating, even in a high crime neighborhood. The court rule also found that wearing a ski mask and a heavy jacket in February while putting one’s hands in one’s pocket did not rise to the level of suspicion required under common law to indicate a crime was committed. The knife was suppressed, the case was dismissed.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation for committing a crime, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you. We represent individuals charged with a variety of offenses including, but not limited to, white collar crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, drunk driving (DWI), shoplifting, burglary, juvenile defenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug offenses and all types of felonies and misdemeanors. Call us should you have criminal problems. We can help you!

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