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Category: Criminal Defense

May 25, 2019
NY Lawmakers Approve Legislation to Curb Gravity Knife Prosecutions

By Michael H. Joseph

The New York legislation is intended to eliminate the option for members of law enforcement to charge someone for simply carrying what could be considered a gravity knife under current state law. Our New York criminal defense lawyers have defended numerous cases where people are prosecuted for carrying gravity knives. Very often the local police departments don’t understand what a gravity knife is and arrest people for carrying knives that are not really gravity knives. The law is outdated because it is often erroneously enforced against people who use knives in a number of trades, including electricians, maintenance workers and… Read More

May 16, 2019
New York Makes a Major Change in Requiring Disclosure of Evidence to Defense in Criminals Cases

By Michael H. Joseph

For decades, the rules governing criminal trials in New York have been tougher on defendants and more favorable to prosecutors than those in most other states. Our White Plains Criminal defense attorneys know that the criminal system for years has been one of unfair surprise where the evidence and witnesses against our client were disclosed for the first time on the day of trial. This severely limits the ability of a criminal defense attorney to properly investigate the case and the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence and witnesses. The New York State Legislature passed a law last month that will… Read More

April 22, 2019
New Rules Limit ICE’s Arrest Ability in New York State Courts

By Michael H. Joseph

On April 17, 2019 the New York state’s Office of Court Administration issued a memo that bars ICE agents from making arrests on state court property, including New York’s Criminal courthouses, absent a warrant issued by a federal judge. Immigration advocates hailed the new policy as a check on Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ ability to make arrests inside New York state courthouses, just a week after a new, 80-page report detailed the impact of federal immigration officials making arrests in the state courthouses. Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks concluded that this report provides us with a sufficient basis to… Read More

April 6, 2019
‘Forbidden’ Instruction Forces Retrial, 2nd Circuit Rules

By Michael H. Joseph

U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy’s actions in an immigration and marriage fraud trial potentially tainted the jury, requiring the convictions be overturned and the case remanded, the appellate panel found. A guilty verdict in a marriage and immigration fraud trial out of the Northern District of New York has been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, after the panel found the trial judge’s ex parte communications with jurors and instructions ahead of deliberations raised too many concerns about the fairness of the proceedings. Obviously jurors look up to the Judge and when a Judge implies… Read More

February 16, 2019
Star Power does not Entitle Free Pass

By Michael H. Joseph

On March 28, 2018, DMX, the rapper also known as Earl Simmons, was sentenced to one-year prison term for tax evasion along with three years of supervised release.  U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff imposed no fines for Simmons, but imposed $2.2 million in restitution. Simmons, 47, was convicted of not paying $1.7 million in taxes between 2002 and 2005. Simmons pleaded not guilty after he was arrested. Simmons defense team said that his client had relied on hired hands to take care of his tax obligations while he focused on his work in music and film. However, Simmons later changed… Read More

February 9, 2019
2nd Circuit Revives Federal Wrongful Conviction Challenge

By Michael H. Joseph

Our New York police misconduct lawyers know that police sometimes bend the rules and manipulate if  it create fabricated evidence. When this happens innocent people are wrongfully convicted and their lives are shattered. One such case was Kareem Bellamy who was convicted in 1995 of murdering James Abbott in Far Rockaway on the morning of April 9, 1994, based largely on the evidence of two witnesses, and a statement police claimed Bellamy made in the squad car upon arrest.  After serving 14 years of a 25-years-to-life sentence for a depraved indifference murder and weapon possession conviction, Bellamy’s habeas petition was… Read More

January 5, 2019
Federal court says New York state ban on nunchucks unconstitutional

By Michael H. Joseph

Just blame Bruce Lee. Back in 1974, New York state decided to ban the possession of nunchucks as lawmakers feared they were becoming enticing tools of violence among hooligan children and street criminals who were exposed to the weapons on TV. They were so dangerous, lawmakers believed, that not even karate teachers could keep them in a locker at home. But while being dangerous might have been a good enough reason then, it doesn’t cut it anymore, as a federal judge ruled on December 18th, 2018. Our White Plains criminal defense lawyers who regularly handle possession of weapons cases throughout… Read More

November 8, 2018
The US Opioid Crisis: Current Federal and State Legal Issues.

By Michael H. Joseph

Drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers have increased dramatically since 1999. Concerted federal and state efforts have been made to curb this epidemic. In 2011, the White House released an interagency strategy for Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Crisis. Enacting this strategy, federal agencies have worked with states to educate providers, pharmacists, patients, parents, and youth about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the need for proper prescribing, dispensing, use, and disposal; to implement effective prescription drug monitoring programs; to facilitate proper medication disposal through prescription take-back initiatives; and to support aggressive enforcement to address doctor shopping and… Read More

November 8, 2018
Suit Alleges Manhattan DA Is Hiding List of Police Officers With Compromised Credibility

By Michael H. Joseph

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is keeping a list of police officers who have credibility problems as witnesses on the stand but is refusing to make it public, an attorney alleges in a challenge to the DA’s refusal to provide the list under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Criminal defense attorneys are absolutely entitle to discover when the main witness in a criminal action has a credibility issue. This is a well established right under the confrontation clause because when a person is charged with a crime, they have the right to confront their accuser. In a suit filed in Manhattan… Read More

September 7, 2018
New York has New Rules for Identifications in Criminal Cases

By Michael H. Joseph

Witness tampering, coaching  and suggestive  photo arrays by police officers and detectives in New York has become a major problem and a contributing cause to several wrongful convictions in New York. The New York  legislature has taken steps in an attempt to combat this problem. Too often, when detectives have  a suspect in mind, they can say things and give hints who the suspect is. In one recent case, that our office handled, a detective told a witness who said a suspect looked familiar, told the witness, that is right, that’s who did it. Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers have… Read More

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