Felony Assault Case in Suffolk County
My client was a bouncer who’d been accused of assaulting a patron and breaking bones in his face – a serious felony. My client was adamant he didn’t do any harm: the patron was drunk, so he was made to leave the bar – and his face was intact when he did so. End of story.
The patron had an altogether different recollection: he said my client threw him out of the bar, pushed him to the ground and kicked him in the face. My client’s prior record of misdemeanors didn’t help his case, but in no way did it mean he was guilty this time.
The DA’s office refused to offer a plea bargain – not that it would have mattered, my client was insistent that he did nothing wrong. Instead, they held him to the charge and wanted him to do upstate time (i.e. a prison sentence of at least a year). We agreed that the case would go to the Grand Jury. The Suffolk DA’s office agreed to call numerous witnesses we had supplied to them. These witnesses some of who were co-workers, and some who were customers of the bar that evening testified that they saw my client remove the complainant without injury. The Grand Jury chose not to indict him and the case was dismissed.
Felony Assault in Queens County
After my client finished filling his car with gas, he went inside the station to pay while his wife stayed in the passenger seat of the vehicle. As she was waiting, two men approached and asked her to move the car because they wanted to use the pump. She told them that her husband would be back soon to move it – at which point they started yelling at her.
When her husband returned, all he could see was two men standing over his wife and shouting at her. So he approached them and told them to leave his wife alone. Their response? To physically attack him: he ended up with bruises, scrapes, and a swollen face. Unfortunately, he also managed to land one “lucky” punch on one of the men, who ended up going to hospital and getting ten stitches as a result.
And what happened to my client – a regular guy trying to mind his own business? He was arrested for felony, carted off to a precinct and booked for court in the morning.
At the arraignment (the initial appearance in court), the DA’s office asked for $2,500 bail. Thats right. $2,500! Because all they looked at was the charge and the injury. They took nothing else into consideration. They didn’t try to asses whether he was a flight risk and what the likelihood was that he would show up for all his court appearances. They just asked for a big number because of the charge and injury.
I explained to the judge that the defendant was a father of two who owned his own home and had never even been in trouble before – let alone a fight. I emphasized the fact that he was the victim in all this – and he had the injuries to prove it. He was simply defending his wife from two other men. What’s more, he understood that being at every single court appearance would be mandatory. The judge agreed to release him on his own recognizance. .
When we reviewed the video from the station, it showed my client’s fist making contact with the complainant’s face– which meant the DA could felt they had a pretty good case. They offered my client a plea to a lesser felony with five years’ probation, which would have given him a felony record for the rest if his life and there was a good chance he could lose his job. I point blank refused their offer. I explained that I didn’t think a jury would convict him of defending himself and his wife from two people who had clearly been the primary aggressors.
I asked them to investigate further, so they spoke to my client’s wife as well as the attendant who’d been working at the station that night – both of whom supported our version of events. The prosecutors then either couldn’t secure the appearance of the aggressors to testify or didn’t believe what they said, and they dismissed all charges against my client.
Nassau County Burglary
Not long ago I represented a 26-year-old maintenance worker who made a good living and provided financial support to two children. He’d never been in any sort of trouble before, but one night he and two friends (who’d both been arrested multiple times before) decided to break into a deli. They set off an alarm, and the police found them inside and arrested them.
My client is still shocked he did it. He went out with his friends, got drunk and broke into a store as a stupid prank; they weren’t even trying to take anything.
There wasn’t much we could do regarding the prosecution’s case. The police showed up to the deli at 2:00 AM, my client was present at the deli with the two co defendants and then my client made a full statement admitting to what they had done. I didn’t think we had much of a chance at trial. The judge offered him a plea of six months in jail and five years’ probation – conditional upon the results of a pre-sentence investigation. He accepted.
While probation conducted their investigation, I had time to prepare my own report that gave the judge a true picture of who my client was – including wonderful, praising letters from co-workers, clergy, community leaders and family members. I also explained that he’d lose his job if he were away for six months. The judge agreed that jail wasn’t appropriate for him, and sentenced him to straight probation instead.
Queens County Grand Larceny
A worried father called me one day to say he’d just received a call from a police detective, who informed him that his son needed to go to the precinct. He asked the police if he needed a lawyer, but they told him it “was unnecessary” and “would just confuse things.” When he asked why they wanted to speak to his son, the response was even vaguer: “Just come to the precinct and we’ll discuss it then.”
Fearful of walking into a situation he wouldn’t understand, he called and hired me to represent his son. I was able to quickly have a conversation with the arresting detective, who explained that my client was being accused of stealing three computers from his school.
The detective and I agreed that I could take my client to the police station the following day, which meant I had some time to prepare my client and his father by explaining the procedure and likely outcomes. By hiring me early, they could feel confident that they weren’t making any legal missteps that would cost them later. (For example, I made sure he didn’t give a statement to the police before I surrendered him.)
He was initially charged with grand larceny – a felony that’s usually punishable by imprisonment. Yet we managed to get the charge reduced to disorderly conduct (a non-criminal offense) after presenting him in the best possible light and agreeing to pay back the cost of the laptops.
Nassau Domestic Violence Case
After my client was charged with violently threatening his stepdaughter, he called upon me to help prove his innocence. When you hear her side of the story – that they had an argument and he picked up a knife to her – he comes across as a horrible person who many would think deserves to be locked up. But I looked at this man differently.
I looked at this man as a dad. A husband. A respected member of the community. A man who worked 55 hours a week in order to support his wife and her three kids. And what I learned from him was that because one night he refused to let his stepdaughter stay over with her boyfriend, she became angry and decided to show him. She called the police, made this false allegation and got him arrested. He was more than concerned. A conviction would cause him to lose his job – not to mention his dignity.
I provided the DA’s office with information to doubt her credibility. For example, we showed them that she’d previously made a complaint to child protection services about both her parents, which was deemed unfounded by the CPS. I also had the DA’s office interview the mom to get a better understanding of the daughters motivation. The case was resolved by being dismissed by the DA’s office after they were not able to be ready for trial.
Nassau County Larceny Charge
A few years ago I represented a client who tried to raffle off his house after realizing he could no longer afford to own it. He’d only sold about 10% of the tickets when he decided to call off the raffle – and he was in the process of returning the money when he was contacted by the DA’s office, who said he was under investigation for running an illegal lottery. They didn’t believe him when he insisted he’d since canceled the raffle and was handing the money back.
The DA went on to obtain copies of my client’s bank records, which showed how he’d recently traveled to Miami and Las Vegas. Assuming he’d used the raffle money to pay for an extravagant lifestyle, they arrested him for Grand Larceny.
I was able to show that my client was a record producer who’d traveled to these places and incurred similar expenses for the past four or so years. What’s more, I proved that he really was in the process of returning the money – and that he’d never used it (or intended to use it) to fund any sort of lifestyle. What began as a felony case (with lots of media attention) ended as a non-criminal offense and no criminal record.
Nassau County Criminal Law Office
200 Old Country Road Suite 2 S Mineola, NY 11501 Telephone: 516-742-2300
Queens County Criminal Law Office
80-02 Kew Gardens Road Suite 300 Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Telephone: 718-742-6300