Criminal Law Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Driving School Scheme Leads to Criminal Charges
Crime comes in all shapes and sizes.  Some crimes happen out on the street, others in the home and some happen inside offices.  Crimes that happen in relation to someone’s occupation are often financially motivated and can cost those involved alarming amounts of money.  This type of crime is highlighted in a recent case involving a New York State employee and the employee of a driving school.

Two individuals, Keisha Relf Davis and Steven Washington, allegedly worked together to steal millions of dollars from the State of New York.  Davis worked for the New York State Department of Education as a job counselor.  Washington worked as a program director for a driving school that operated in the Bronx and Manhattan.  Individuals that wanted to learn how to drive would sign up for lessons with Washington and would pay up to $500 for the service.  Using the social security cards he demanded from customers, he would give Davis their information.  Davis would then forge an application for state sponsored driving lessons for persons with disabilities in the customer’s name, even though they suffered from no disability at all.  The state would then pay up to $5,000 for extended driving lessons that were not being used.

It is alleged that Davis and Washington divided the private and state payments accordingly and even cut in the owners of the driving school.  They are accused of stealing $2.5 million from the State of New York.  The pair was charged with multiple charges of bribery and larceny and the driving school owners plead guilty to related crimes last month.  Davis is being held on $100,000 bail set by a Bronx Judge.

Even if the crime you are accused of is non-violent and financially motivated, it can still be very serious and lead to harsh penalties.  It is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney even if you are only suspected of a crime.  New York City attorney Michael J. Redenburg can help you.  Call (212)240-9465 for a consultation today.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Queens False Arrest Lawyer Files Amended Complaint on Behalf of Client Britney R.

Britney R.'s Queens false arrest Amended Complaint was filed in the Eastern District of New York on September 13, 2014, and she has added the individually named defendant NYPD Officers as well as added a cause of action for First Amendment Retaliation. The filing is 14-cv-3260 and Britney R. has also demanded a trial by jury.

 Allegations Within the Amended Complaint

In the late afternoon of April 23, 2014, Britney R. was leaving her God-Mother's apartment located within The 41st Street Houses which are NYCHA residences located in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY. As she was on her way, she noticed 3 uniformed NYPD officers and they started following her. As she entered the elevator and pressed the elevator button to the floor of her destination, one of the NYPD officers began pressing the buttons to each and every floor available. Britney queried as to why he was doing so, and in response, the officer told her that, "If she didn't like it, she could get off the elevator." When Britney got off the elevator on the fifth floor, the officers followed her and she was then grabbed by the arm and told she was under arrest. Next, she was thrown against the wall although she had no weapons or contraband on her person and hardly posed a threat to the officers.

Britney was subsequently arrested and charged with violating NY Penal Law Sections 195.05, 140.10 and 205.30 - Obstructing Governmental Administration in the 2nd Degree, Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree and Resisting Arrest. At her Criminal Court Arraignment, Britney's case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

Michael Redenburg represents Britney and represents dozens of other victims of NYPD misconduct as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NYC Assault Lawyer Obtains Favorable Result for Client

NYC Assault Lawyer Michael J. Redenburg, obtained a very favorable result for a young Brooklyn man who was facing two open criminal cases in Kings County Criminal Court. The first case involved an allegation that the firm's client, CK, assaulted a relative in the family home. That allegation, made by the relative, resulted in him being arrested and charged with Assault in the Third Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, Menacing in the Third Degree and Harassment in the Second Degree. Only days later, the same family member called the police and alleged that CK violated an order of protection that had been issued in her favor as against the firm's client at the arraignment in the first case. That allegation resulted in CK being arrested again and charged with two counts of criminal contempt in the second degree.

In light of the false allegations made against the firm's client, it was decided that a criminal court trial was going to be necessary to vindicate the client and we pushed forward in that respect. However, during a scheduled court appearance in September, 2014, the prosecution and the judge offered that both cases be resolved with an ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal) with the order of protection expiring in November, 2014. As such, two misdemeanor cases were resolved without any criminal record for the client and the family can move forward.

Michael J. Redenburg regularly represents individuals being charged with criminal offenses including assault, DWI and domestic violence throughout the NYC area.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Brooklyn False Arrest Attorney Files Action in Federal Court

Brooklyn False Arrest Attorney Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. has filed a Complaint in Federal Court on behalf of his client, Kareem Clark and the Case Number is 14-CV-5228. Within his pleading, Kareem includes causes of action of unlawful search and seizure, false arrest, failure to intervene, unreasonable force and a claim against the City of NY.

Allegations Within the Complaint

On or about August 24, 2014, Mr. Clark had been lawfully and peacefully gathered with some friends in Brooklyn after a day of relaxing in Prospect Park. All of a sudden, an NYPD sergeant approached Mr. Clark and informed him that he must "disperse the area." Next, the NYPD sergeant shoved Mr. Clark explaining that Mr. Clark was not moving fast enough. Although Mr. Clark then tried to start moving faster, he was pummeled and tackled by numerous NYPD officers, before being hit in the face by an NYPD Officer.

After receiving a beating by the NYPD agents, Mr. Clark was placed in excessively tight handcuffs and he asked the officers to loosen the handcuffs, but his request was denied. Thereafter, he was transported to the 70th precinct to be fingerprinted, photographed and processed. Next, Mr. Clark was taken to Brooklyn Central Booking to await arraignment before a Criminal Court Judge. At his arraignment, Mr. Clark learned that he was being charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. At arraignment, the matter was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. represents Mr. Clark and represents dozens of other victims as well.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

False Arrest Suit Against NYPD Brought By Diabetic Teen

After a non-deadly shooting at a Foot Locker in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the NYPD arrested 14 year old diabetic and special needs youth, Richard Gonzalez, on suspicion ofattempted murder.  Another youth, Isaiah Martinez was shot in the foot over a pair of sneakers designed by rapper Kanye West.  The police suspected Gonzalez because eyewitnesses claimed that the shooter’s name was Richie and because Martinez and Gonzalez were Facebook friends.  Gonzalez consistently denied all allegations against him.  

Allegedly, the police confronted Gonzalez alone in the bathroom of the precinct and tried to scare him into confessing to the shooting.  When this didn’t work, the police disconnected his insulin pump, which he is dependent on for an hourly dose of medication to control his blood sugar levels.  After they removed the pump, Gonzalez became ill.  The police threatened to eject Gonzalez’s mother from the precinct when she objected to the questioning of her son outside of her presence.  She was eventually allowed to bring her son food and test his blood sugar levels prior to him being charged, but was not allowed to see him after that.  Without his insulin pump, the young man became ill and was stomach sick and weak when he appeared in court to be arraigned.

Gonzalez was held on $75,000 bail.  When he could not make bail he was confined to a juvenile detention center and was later sent to two different hospitals, without his parent’s knowledge, as his blood sugar levels rose.  There, he was allegedly handcuffed to his bed.  The charges against Gonzalez were eventually dropped.

Gonzalez has now brought suit against the NYPD for false arrest, malicious prosecution, endangering a teenager’s health and negligence.  He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for his claims.  The NYPD has yet to respond to the suit.

False arrest is a serious matter.  If you have been falsely arrested you may be entitled to compensation.  Call NYC criminal defense attorney Michael J. Redenburg at (212)240-9465 today for a consultation.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brooklyn Man Who Was Arrested For 'Walking While Black' Accepts Five-Figure Settlement

The firm's client, Trevor L., today accepted the City of NY's five-figure settlement offer to finally resolve his Complaint that he was arrested in Brooklyn on February 28, 2014 for 'Walking While Black.' Earlier this year, Trevor had been on his way home from work and in the vicinity of Livingston Street, between Smith and Hoyt Streets when the Incident took place. Trevor maintained that NYPD Officers stopped him for no reason and asked him where he was going. Trevor then politely queried of the officers why he was being stopped and this apparently agitated the NYPD agents. Next, the NYPD officers twisted Trevor's arm behind his back and then charged him with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration for screaming in pain.

When the officers frisked Trevor, their frisk and impermissible search revealed that Trevor had on his person: keys, $99 in cash and a debit card. Trevor was then taken to the 84th Precinct where he was processed and denied his right to make a phone call. At his criminal court arraignment, Trevor learned that he was also charged with jay walking, although he maintained that he was walking and crossing the street inside the crosswalk and with the crossing light for him to do so lit green to cross. At arraignment, the matter was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and Trevor subsequently retained Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. to represent him in his civil action against the City of NY.

Prior to settlement, the City maintained that Trevor in fact did not have a green light to cross the street and therefore, the NYPD agents were justified in stopping him and subsequently arresting him. However, during a telephonic settlement conference with the Court, the parties agreed that a settlement was in the best interest of all parties, to resolve the case without the need for protracted litigation.

False arrests and stop and frisks continue to be a pervasive problem in the City of New York and victims can seek redress by filing lawsuits to redress their grievances.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

$2.75 Million Settlement in Riker's Island Inmate Death

The death of a 52 year old man who was being held at Riker's Island resulted in a $2.75 million dollar settlement, following a lawsuit and it is one of the largest such settlements as of late. The city medical examiner's office had determined that the inmate, Ronald Spear, died as the result of blunt force trauma to the head while being detained at Riker's. Alarmingly, a recent NY Times column reported that in 2013, one hundred twenty nine cases of inmates being seriously injured were found.

There is evidence to indicate that Mr. Spear suffered from chronic kidney disease and was denied medical treatment, which left him exceedingly vulnerable. One of the lawyers representing the family has been quoted as saying, "No amount of money adequately compensates for the loss of life," but also added that the settlement "seems to reflect a recognition on the part of the city that something terribly wrong happened here." The City of New York also made a statement, by and through one of it's senior attorneys: "This was a tragic incident. It is hoped that this resolution brings some small measure of closure for the family."

The lawsuit also alleged that as a result of Mr. Spear's contacting a legalaid, corrections officers at Riker's retaliated against him; and he died two weeks after. Although the Bronx County District Attorney's Office investigated the allegations that corrections officers beat Mr. Spear to death, the DA's Office ultimately chose not to bring formal charges against any correction officers reasoning that they could not prove criminality as against COs beyond a reasonable doubt. Reports indicate that Mr. Bharara's Office will be conducting a civil rights investigation.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jury Awards $150,000.00 to Brooklyn Man Falsely Arrested

On August 13, 2014, a federal jury awarded a Brooklyn man $150,000.00 to compensate him for his 2007 false arrest at the hands of the NYPD. The jury found that the Plaintiff, Robert Graham, had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that NYPD Officer William Glenn falsely arrested him on June 8, 2007. The jury further determined that another NYPD Officer, Andrew Ugbomah, had failed to intervene in Mr. Graham's false arrest.

The incident of Mr. Graham's false arrest unfolded on a busy Brooklyn street. Robert Graham was on the side of the road in his automobile when a marked NYPD cruiser pulled-up behind his automobile. The credible evidence showed that the officers were on their way to respond to an emergency call when they pulled-up behind Mr. Graham and activated their siren to have Mr. Graham move his car. However, NYC traffic as it is, Mr. Graham had no where to go. This apparently angered the NYPD agents and they got out of their cruiser, approaching Mr. Graham. Next, they directed Mr. Graham to exit the car. Mr. Graham was then handcuffed and left in the car along with Mr. Graham's son, who was four (4) years old at the time.

When the officers returned shortly thereafter from their emergency call, Mr. Graham was written a summons for disorderly conduct and released. However, the summons was either not properly handled or disappeared, and the violation charge of disorderly conduct against Mr. Graham was dismissed. It is undisputed that Mr. Graham's entire detention was less than one (1) hour.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Double Decker Bus DUI Nightmare
Have you ever driven in New York City?  With the taxi’s zooming by and the buses barreling down the busy streets adding a driver that is under the influence into the mix can create a serious problem.  Yet, with the best restaurants, bars and shows in the world, driving while intoxicated is a common occurrence in NYC and the New York Police Department is well aware of the problem.  

Recently in NYC, a Gray Line double-decker tour bus crashed into a similar bus that was parked in Times Square.  The accident occurred right near the TKTS booth on 47th Street and Seventh Avenue.  Approximately 15 passengers and bystanders were injured when the bus crashed into the busy sidewalk knocking down a light pole in the process.  The bus was driven by William Dalambert of Irvington, New Jersey.  After he passed a Breathalyzer at the scene, police accused Dalambert of being high and arrested and booked him for driving under the influence (DUI).  He spent the night in jail but was released when his initial toxicology results came back clean.  He claims that the buses brakes failed and that this caused the accident.  Although Dalambert has a less than perfect driving record, including tickets and suspensions, he still managed to get a commercial license and find a job as a tour bus driver. 

The District Attorney is keeping the investigation into Dalambert’s condition open until the results of the full toxicology report come back.  He has been suspended from his employment and is not sure if he will be asked to return.

Commercial drivers, such as those that work for taxi services and buses companies, drive to make a living and are usually responsible for others.  When one of these drivers is accused of DWI or DUI it can have serious consequences beyond criminal charges.  These drivers can lose their jobs and have their commercial licenses taken away.  If you are a commercial driver that has been accused of DWI or DUI, it is imperative that you seek legal representation.  Call NYC criminal defense attorney Michael J. Redenburg at (212)240-9465 for a consultation today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Queens False Arrest Attorney Files Notice of Claim on Behalf of Torin R.

Alleging a false arrest and physical assault by an NYPD officer, the Firm's client, Torin Reid, has filed his Notice of Claim seeking $1,000,000.00 in damages. The Notice of Claim sets forth that the Incident of Torin's false arrest and physical assault occurred on or about July 26, 2014, in the evening; in the City and State of New York within the County of Queens. Further, the Incident took place within the property known as the Woodside Houses which are New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") residences.

Further, the Notice of Claim states that on the evening of July 26, 2014, Torin was lawfully gathered with some friends and sitting on a bench when Torin noticed uniformed NYPD officers marching toward him and his friends who were lawfully gathered. Torin states that he is afraid of the NYPD because, in his words, "they like to play rough," and so Torin got up from the bench and started to walk away. Torin had not engaged in any illegal activity. All of a sudden, and without warning, an NYPD Officer grabbed Torin from behind and tackled him to the ground. As a result of the "take-down," the left side of Torin's head hit the ground causing an abrasion. Once Torin was on the ground, face down and with his hands behind his back, an NYPD officer punched Torin in his right eye with a closed fist, which caused Torin to bleed.

Once the NYPD officer concluded his physical assault of Torin, Torin was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he received three (3) sutures near his right eye, in order to close the wound and stop the bleeding. Thereafter, Torin was taken to Queens Central Booking where he eventually saw a judge. At arraignment, the criminal charges that had been levied against Torin were adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

The Notice of Claim states that Torin suffered an unlawful detention, loss of liberty, physical injuries, emotional distress, fear, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment and damage to his reputation.

Friday, August 01, 2014

City of New York to Pay $25,001.00 to Settle Brooklyn Man's False Arrest Case

On July 28, 2014, the Law Firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq.'s client, James D., accepted the City's twenty five thousand and one ($25,001) dollar Offer of Judgment to finally resolve his claim that he was falsely arrested in Brooklyn, NY. In deciding to resolve the allegations contained within James' Complaint, the City expressly notes that such settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability by defendants or any official, employee, or agent of the City of New York or any agency thereof; nor is it an admission that James D. has suffered any damages.

James had alleged that on July 21, 2012, while he was lawfully present at a private home in Brooklyn, NY, he was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and attempted burglary. James denied the charges and eventually the criminal case was dismissed. Then on September 11, 2012, and again at the same private residence in Brooklyn, NY James was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and consumption of alcohol in the street. James denied the accusations of wrongdoing and demanded a trial. Following a trial before a Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge, James was acquitted of the false criminal charge and administrative code violation which had been lodged against him.

Following the two favorable outcomes in his criminal cases, James went from defense to offense and filed suit in Federal Court to redress the wrongs against him. The City has 90 days to make payment of the $25,001.00 owed to James D.

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