Charge: Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree – Possession of loaded firearm,
Criminal Possession of Weapon in the Third Degree – Possession of large capacity feeding device
Results: Client was able to plea to a misdemeanor
Date: January 2019
Case: People of the State of New York v. H.S.
Details: New York gun laws are exceptionally strict and illegal gun possession, especially a loaded gun, is viewed as a very serious crime with minimum mandatory incarceration. In this case, my client was charged with a class “C” violent felony for possessing a large capacity loaded firearm, after undercover detectives rolled up on him in his truck in a hotel parking lot. The Detectives were most likely looking to make a drug bust. They shined a flashlight into his vehicle and asked him to roll down his window. They told my client that his car smelled like marijuana and asked him to step out of the car. My client told the Detectives immediately that he had a gun in his waistband. My client was a young man from North Carolina, where gun laws are the polar opposite of what they are in New York. North Carolina does not require so much as a permit for an open carry of a handgun. And this young man did not know New York gun laws so he didn’t think that he was doing anything illegal. After several weeks of bargaining with the District Attorney, I was able to negotiate a misdemeanor weapons charge, with no jail time or probation.
Charge: Criminal Possession of Weapon in the Third Degree – Possession of an Assault Weapon
Results: Case dismissed
Date: September 2018
Case: People of the State of New York v. J.Z.; People of the State of New York v. H.Z.
Details: In these cases, my clients were licensed gun dealers and instructors at a shooting range. Police arrested both clients after an anonymous tip that they possessed illegal assault weapons. In New York, if a gun is modified so that its magazine and/or its hand-grip becomes detachable, it is then considered illegal. However, my clients did not modify their guns and it would seem that the guns were tampered with after they were seized by police. After months of talks, with the case going nowhere, I decided to waive both cases to the Grand Jury. The District Attorney, finally realizing that they did not have a credible case, dismissed all charges against both my clients.
Charge: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree – Possession of Cocaine
Results: Charges reduced from “D” Felony to a non-criminal Violation, Disorderly Conduct
Date: November 2018
Case: People of the State of New York v. F.J.
Details: Client was pulled over by police for a traffic violation. Police noted an odor of marijuana and asked my client to exit the vehicle. Client volunteered information to police, that he had marijuana and cocaine in the vehicle. The Nassau County District Attorney has taken a hard stance on drug possession, especially in light of the current Opioid crisis. There are often no plea bargaining options, only Drug Treatment Court. Otherwise, they are holding defendants to the charge or possibly reducing to a misdemeanor drug possession. But in this case, I demanded the lab results after several months of not receiving them. Once lab results received, it was found that the cocaine was not felony weight. Then after several months of negotiating, I was able to get the charge reduced to a non-criminal violation disorderly conduct, keeping my client’s criminal record clean.
Charge: Criminal Possession of Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree – Possession of Concentrated Cannabis (Wax)
Results: Charges reduced from “C” Felony to a non-criminal Violation, Disorderly Conduct
Date: July 2018
Case: The People of the State of New York v. J.R.
Details: Client was pulled over by police for tinted windows. Pursuant to an unlawful search of the vehicle, police seized 28 packages of Concentrated Cannabis in an excess weight of 1 oz. (approximately 90 grams). Initially, I was able to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. After some further negotiation, it was apparent that the District Attorney would not be willing to reduce the charge any further. So instead of taking their offer, I decided to put the case on for a pre-trial hearing to attempt to have the evidence suppressed based on the illegal seizure of the drugs. Once it became apparent to the DA that this was not a winnable case for them, I was able to get the charge further reduced to a non-criminal violation, disorderly conduct.
Charge: Grand Larceny in the Third Degree
Results: Charges reduced from a “D” Felony to a non-criminal Violation, Disorderly Conduct
Date: May 2018
Case: The People of the State of New York v. F.C.
Details: This young lady became involved, unbeknownst to her, in a bank scam. An acquaintance asked her if she was interested in making some money. He asked her for her bank card and pin number and said he would take care of the rest. The acquaintance gave the bank card back to her several days later and told her that there was $2,500 in her account and that she should withdraw it as soon as possible. She withdrew the money and then came back a week later to check on her account. She was told by the bank that her account had been closed for a fraud investigation. She was contacted by police and surrendered after they asked her to come to the Precinct. This was a difficult case to negotiate because the DA wanted her to give them names and addresses of the people behind the scam. This young lady really didn’t have any useful information and I told the DA that there was no point in her coming in to talk with them. Because she would not cooperate, they would only initially reduce the charge to a misdemeanor with the condition of 3 years of probation. We decided not to stop there because I knew we could do better. So I had my client gather character letters, college transcripts, community service proof as well information regarding her professional plans for the future. I took this information to a Supervisor and was eventually able to get a disorderly conduct offer, a non-criminal violation, keeping my young client’s criminal record clean.
Charge: DWI; Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree
Results: Acquittal after a Bench trial on Felony DWI and Felony Aggravated Unlicensed Operation charges
Date: October 2018
Case: The People of the State of New York v. J.P.
Details: This was the client’s 3rd offense involving driving while under the influence of alcohol. He refused to take the breath test. He was also charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation, for allegedly not paying Driver Responsibility fees on prior DWI. At trial, I was able to prove that my client was not intoxicated and did not have reason to know his license was suspended. I was able to convince the judge that the police made a bad stop and arrest of my client. This, along with video of my client performing well on the standard field sobriety tests and his refusal to take the breath test, his testimony and a mix up with the defendant’s name at DMV, was enough to show that the Prosecutor could not prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Results: Acquittal after a jury trial on Felony DWI charge
Date: January 2017
Case: The People of the State of New York v. T.C.
Details: This was the client’s 2nd DWI offense within 10 years. He refused to take the breath test. My client was also charged with speeding. At trial, I was able to convince the jury that my client was not driving while intoxicated and that speeding was not indicia of intoxication. In fact, this would show the opposite, that my client was able to maintain control of his vehicle at a high rate of speed, which would be a difficult task if he was in fact intoxicated. This, along with video of my client performing well on the standard field sobriety tests and his refusal to take the breath test was enough to show that the Prosecutor could not prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.