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Nassau County Teenager Court

criminal defense attorneysNassau County, Long Island, now has a new pilot program designed to help 16 and 17 year olds charged with a crime avoid going to jail. Nassau County is one of nine counties throughout New York State to have a specific court designed to hear cases involving 16 and 17 year olds who previously have been treated as adults subject to criminal prosecution in the criminal courts in New York.

Jonathan Lipman, the Chief Judge in the State of New York, brought about this initiative because he feels teenagers charged with certain crimes should not be charged as adults within the criminal justice system in the State of New York.

Criminal Prosecution of Minors In New York

New York is the only state in the country that currently prosecutes non-violent 16 and 17 year old as adults within its criminal justice system. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice recently made the following statement with regard to this pilot court program “we’re prepared to show the rest of the state that this approach is the best way to rehabilitate young offenders, save tax payer money and protect the public.”

How This New Program Works

Sixteen and seventeen year olds who are charged with non-violent criminal offenses are initially screened by case workers from the Nassau County Department of Probation. If they are found to be at low risk of committing crimes in the future their case can be dismissed. If they are found to be high risk of committing crimes in the future, they are put through an extensive screening process and both the lawyers and the judge look for a solution that will solve the teenagers underlying problems and protect the public. The purpose of the teenager court is to find an alternative to sentencing teenagers to jail. Teenagers convicted as adults in the criminal courts receive permanent criminal records which can affect the rest of their lives.

Teenager Recidivism

A statistical analysis of the records of teenage boys and girls who have an initial contact with the criminal justice system finds that more than 80% of them will be rearrested by the time they are 28 years old. It is hoped teenagers who make bad judgment calls will be given the opportunity to have a second chance, a clean record and be able to get out of the criminal justice system.

Juvenile Defense and Criminal Defense Lawyers In New York

Juveniles charged with crimes in New York can be prosecuted in either Family Court, Criminal Court or now the Teenager Special Court. The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo and their dedicated attorneys, for more than 30 years, have represented men and women charged with large varieties of criminal offenses. Our office has extensive experience representing individuals charged with computer and internet crimes, traffic tickets, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shoplifting, burglary, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug offenses and other misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us for a free consultation.criminal court assistance

Nassau County’s Continuing Crime Lab Problems

crime1-150x150 The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that laboratory technicians  will have to testify regarding lab tests for such tests to be accepted into  evidence. This will create significant problems for the Nassau County  District Attorney’s Office.

Nassau County Crime Lab Closed Since February

In February of 2011, the Nassau County Crime Lab was closed. This action was taken after the crime lab lost it’s certification for drug testing. Nassau County is now in the process of re-testing thousands of samples taken regarding drug cases. All of the testing is currently being undertaken by a crime laboratory located in Pennsylvania. It is estimated that this is costing Nassau County in excess of $100,000 per month.

Presenting Laboratory Evidence

The Supreme Court decision will require Nassau County to bring the crime laboratory technicians from Pennsylvania to testify with regard to the tests they conducted concerning evidence obtained by police in drug related cases. The United States Supreme Court case requires the actual lab technician who conducted the test to testify on the procedures utilized in the analysis of the drug material. The court ruling does not allow for supervisors or other employees to testify instead of the technician that conducted the tests.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal defense lawyers throughout the country have taken the position that this removes the unfairness from the submission of laboratory tests by prosecutors without calling the lab technicians to testify regarding their procedures. This gives criminal defense lawyers an opportunity to cross examine the laboratory employees with regard to how they handle the evidence sample and the tests and procedures undertaken by them.

Long Island and New York City Criminal Defense

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals charged with crimes or who are being investigated for crimes. We are experienced in representing individuals charged with computer and internet crimesviolent crimes, white collar crimessex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI)shopliftingburglaryjuvenile offensesassault and batterydomestic violencedrug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Guns, Guns, Guns

NRAThe National Rifle Association takes the position that every American should have a gun. There are numerous proposed laws backed by the National Rifle Association pending in the State Legislatures. These new statutes are based on the proposition that one of the big problems we have in the United States is that there are not enough people who carry guns. State Representative Hal Wick of South Dakota submitted a bill to the State Legislature requiring every adult citizen to purchase a gun.

State Legislation Regarding Guns In Public Places

In Georgia, individuals can carry guns into bars. In Arizona, you no longer need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The State of Utah is working on establishing an official state gun. Numerous states are in the process of developing statutes that would stop college universities from barring firearms on campus.

Police Use of Guns

Bill Bratton, the former New York City Police Commissioner, stated, “police on average for every ten rounds fired, I think actually strike something once or twice and they are highly trained.” Proposals to give everyone guns will create more problems because the majority of the people who utilize guns are not as well trained as police officers. Therefore, if a gun is shot ten times, it is much more likely that innocent bystanders will be harmed instead of the individuals committing crimes. It is more likely that the well intentioned, poorly trained gun owner will shoot the victim, not the assailant.

Criminal Lawyer

Our law office represents individuals charged with the following criminal offenses: violent crimes; white collar crimes; sex crimes; weapons possession; driving while intoxicated (DWI); shoplifting; burglary; juvenile defense; assault and battery; drug offenses; domestic violence and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. If you, a friend or loved one is either being investigated for a crime or charged with a crime, call us for a free consultation, we can help you.

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.

Drug Treatment Programs for Prisoners

criminal1-150x150There are approximately 60,000 inmates in New York state prisons that require drug treatment or drug counseling. If given drug treatment or drug counseling, these men and women will have a greater opportunity to live drug free when they are released from prison.

The New York State Department of Corrections recently conducted a three year study of drug treatment and alcohol treatment programs available to prisoners in New York State. The results of the study were that New York prisons are providing no treatment, or extremely poor treatment, to the 60,000 prisoners in the system who need these services.

Drug and Alcohol Deficiencies

The New York state prison system does not screen prisoners based on their drug and alcohol problems. Some prisoners need intensive programs, while others need less intensive programs. There is no way to ascertain this information. This causes a waste of valuable resources.

Overcoming Drug and Alcohol Problems

In addition to the screening for the severity of drug or alcohol abuse, the prisoners must also be screened as to their level of motivation to help themselves deal with these issues. Overcoming drug and alcohol addictions requires motivated individuals. When prisoners finish their sentences, there should be follow up treatment programs in their local communities. This will help prevent recidivism. It is much less expensive to treat an individual for alcohol or drug addiction than to house him or her in prison at the taxpayers expense.

The treatment programs should be based on a three phased system. Programs should start with the six month residential treatment program. During the course of this program, the prisoner should live in separate dorm facilities than the general population. Thereafter, they should be integrated into the general population of the prison. After being released from prison, there should be follow up treatment programs.

Alcohol and drug addiction are society’s problems. Warehousing individuals who suffer from these addictions is much more expensive then treating them.

Criminal Attorneys

Our office provides aggressive legal representation for individuals charged with the following criminal offenses: drug offenses; domestic violence; misdemeanors; felonies; assault and battery; juvenile defense; shoplifting; burglary; driving while intoxicated (DWI); weapons possession; sex crimes; white collar crimes and violent crimes. In addition, we assist our clients in obtaining bail and in dealing with traffic tickets. Contact us for a free consultation.

The Hamster Killer

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Monique Smith was recently arrested at her home in Bushwick. The arrest was conducted by law enforcement officers of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The criminal charges against Ms. Smith are that she killed the family’s hamster and threw it violently against a wall. Theresa Smith’s mother had stated she watched her daughter kill the hamster in cold blood. She stated that Theresa “took Sweetie (the hamster) out of the cage and slammed the hamster on the floor.” The impact with the floor killed the hamster.

Criminal Charge: Aggravated Cruelty to Animals

Monique was charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal. This is a felony charge that carries with it a sentence of up to two years in jail. She accused her older brother of causing her to kill Sweetie. However, she did state, “if I saw a hamster in this filthy place, I’d kill it.”

The spokesperson for the ASPCA stated “their organization’s investigation was thorough and it was corroborated by eyewitnesses.” Monique’s family have changed their mind about putting her in jail for up to two years. They are no longer supporting the story of her murdering the hamster. The hamster murderer will go free! The Brooklyn District Attorneys office doesn’t have the stomach to prosecute her for this crime!

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New York Criminal Defense Lawyers

Our office represents individuals charged with various criminal offenses including, but not limited to, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, drunk driving (DWI), shoplifting, burglary, juvenile defenses, assault and battery, felonies, misdemeanors, domestic violence and drug offenses. We also assist our clients with traffic tickets and arranging for bail. Call us our phones are monitored 24/7.

Gun Laws Are Not Being Enforced

States are required under existing gun laws to maintain a registry of mentally ill people who are subject to background checks before they can purchase guns. According to the Associated Press, more than half of the states in this country are in violation of this Federal law. The deadline for complying with this law, which was enacted three years ago, was January of 2011. As of this date there are nine states that haven’t supplied even a single name to this Federal database. Seventeen other states have supplied less then twenty-five names to the Federal database. Gun dealers are still selling guns to mentally incompetent individuals due to the failure of states to comply with this statute.

The Federal database law for mentally ill people who seek to purchase guns was passed after the tragedy that took place at Virginia Tech. Gun control groups estimate that there should be more than one million people listed in this Federal database.

Sean Byrne, who is the current acting commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services in New York, stated, “if the mental health records are not current from our sister states, the quality of our background check is going to be compromised.” New York State has submitted more than one hundred thousand names to this Federal database of mentally ill individuals who should not be sold guns. Congress has allocated $1.3 billion to develop this federal database. Only a very small portion of these funds have been utilized.

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Representative Gabriel Gifford

House of Representatives member Gabriel Gifford was an up and coming congress woman. On January 8, 2011, she was shot in the head in Tucson, Arizona. The gunman also killed six other individuals. They were shot by a mentally ill man. Had the federal gun laws mental illness database been appropriately maintained he would not have been able to purchase a gun. Jared Loughner was so mentally unstable that he was kicked out of the community college he attended.

Gun Safety Laws

In 2007, the United States Congress passed a law that prevented people with some mental illnesses from purchasing guns. This group of mentally ill individuals included those who had been considered dangerous to themselves and others. It also included individuals who had been involuntarily committed to mental institutions or judged not guilty by reason of incompetency or insanity relating to criminal prosecutions.

A national background check system was instituted under the Brady Law in 1993. In 2007, there was a massacre at Virginia Tech. A student by the name of Seung- Hui Cho shot thirty-two people to death and thereafter committed suicide. As a result of this incident, a statute was passed by Congress in 2007 that required states to submit records of mentally ill individuals or risk losing up to five-percent of the federal funding they receive to fight crime. Although Seung-Hui Cho was considered to be a danger to himself as a result of court hearings undertaken in 2005 and ordered to undergo out-patient mental health treatments, he was still capable of purchasing two handguns. Mr. Cho should have been barred from buying these weapons, but his records had never been forwarded to the federally sponsored gun background check system.

The following states have failed to submit any records of mentally deficient individuals to the mental health system: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota. The enabling statute creating the mental health database has penalty provisions, but these penalty provisions do not come into effect unto 2018.

Privacy Laws

In some states there are privacy laws that prevent the states from turning over individuals names to the mental health database. In these states, legislation must be passed by the state legislature to amend the states privacy laws to allow this information to be transmitted to the federal agency.

Representative Carolyn McCarthy

Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York (my congress woman) ran for Congress after her husband was murdered and her son paralyzed by a shooting that took place on the Long Island railroad in 1993. She has been a major advocate of gun control legislation in the United States. Guns should only be in the hands of responsible individuals. Carolyn McCarthy and other members of Congress have been fighting against the National Rifle Association which is a pro-gun lobby, to bring sensible gun laws to the United States of America.

handcuff-150x150Criminal Lawyers

Every individual charged with a crime in the United States is presumed innocent until proven guilty. At our law office, we represent individuals charged with violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession and drunk driving (DWI). We also provide legal assistance to our clients charged with shoplifting, domestic violence cases, and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Call us should you need a dedicated criminal attorney. Our phones are monitored 24/7. We can be reached for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.

Nassau County, New York’s Crime Lab is an Embarassment!

crime1There have been recent disclosures with regard to the numerous problems faced by the Nassau County Police Crime Laboratory. Nassau County faces the potential that numerous individuals were convicted based on erroneous findings of the Nassau County Crime Laboratory. There is the potential for many lawsuits related to the poor quality of the testing work performed by the Nassau County Crime Laboratory.

History of Problems

Crime Laboratories

The police and the district attorneys’ offices rely on crime laboratories to process data related to drugs and other compounds seized by the police. When the crime laboratory’s integrity is challenged, it undermines the credibility of the entire law enforcement system.
Bad lab results can result in improper convictions. Individuals can be convicted of crimes they did not commit. Forensic evidence which includes blood samples, fingerprints and hair analysis is necessary for the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases.

There have been many failures regarding the crime laboratory in Nassau County. Television viewers throughout the United States are familiar with the excellent work that can be accomplished by well-organized, sophisticated forensic investigations of a crime. The CSI television programs are largely responsible for educating the American public regarding these matters.

Presumption of Innocence

Approximately four years ago the Crime Laboratory was placed on probation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory directors. They took this action due to the poor quality of the analysis of drugs taken from criminals by the police. In 2010, the New York State Commission on Forensic Science conducted an inspection of the Nassau County Police laboratory. This resulted on the laboratory being placed on probation a second time. In February of 2011, all testing on narcotics in the laboratory ceased.
Individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Individuals charged with crimes are entitled to due process. This amounts to a fair and impartial legal system. There can be no due process when the police and prosecutors are relying on faulty, inaccurate, erroneous laboratory results caused by a flawed poorly run crime laboratory.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are charged with a crime, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can provide you with aggressive legal representation. We experienced in representing individuals charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, juvenile defenses, driving while intoxicated (DWI), weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, violent crimes and other misdemeanors and felonies. We can assist you and help you save your license if you’re charged with traffic tickets. Feel free to call Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or 1-800-344-6431. Our phones are monitored 24/7.

The Great Escape

CopCars-150x150Jose Rodriguez was a wanted man. Police tracked him down to a hotel in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The New York City police, New Jersey police and members of a federal task force found Rodriguez in his hotel room. They had tracked him down by intercepting his cell phone calls. Overwhelmed by the police presence, Rodriguez surrendered. The police placed him in a police cruiser and handcuffed behind his back in the backseat. The engine of the police vehicle was left on and the key in the ignition. Besides from having his hands handcuffed behind his back, Rodriguez legs were also shackled together. Rodriguez was left in the back seat for approximately an hour while police were working out the details of the numerous criminal charges against him.

Rodriguez Escapes

Rodriguez squirmed into the front seat from the rear seat. He was somehow able to place the police cruiser into gear. Unable to steer the vehicle with his hands handcuffed behind his back, he steered the vehicle with his knees.

14 Hour Manhunt

When the police realized that Rodriguez had escaped, a manhunt was undertaken to find him. The police cruiser was located approximately five miles away. In it were the handcuffs and leg shackles that Rodriguez had removed from his arms and legs. The keys left in the ignition also had a key that opened up the handcuffs and leg shackles.

Heavily armed police officers utilizing both dogs and helicopters searched the neighboring area. Eventually they found Rodriguez. Rodriguez was returned to the 43rd precinct in the Bronx. He’s being charged with a November 1, 2001, shooting in the Bronx.Rodriguez has more than seven prior criminal arrests related to marijuana possession and robbery. He also was a parole violator. Thank God the police didn’t lose Mr. Rodriguez the second time they caught him!!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Our law office has extensive experience in representing individuals charged with all kinds of misdemeanors and felonies. We represent men and women charged with white collar crimes, violent crimes and sex crimes. We represent our clients in driving while intoxicated (DWI) and weapons possession cases. Should you, a friend or family member be the subject of an investigation or charged with a crime, call us! We can help you. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

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.

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

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