Kew Gardens Criminal Defense Law Blog

How many of the 10 million arrests in the U.S. are necessary?

Police forces across the United States make 10.5 million arrests each year and many of them are unnecessary, according to a new study from the Vera Institute of Justice.

The study says most arrests in New York and elsewhere are not over serious crimes but are for offenses like drug possession, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, which could be effectively handled by other means rather than incarceration.

An appeal could help overturn your conviction

If you have previously been convicted of a crime, one thing you may be interested in is filing an appeal. A criminal appeal helps you seek additional relief from the justice system. You may even ask it to overturn the sentence or to reduce it significantly.

In reality, there are several post-conviction remedies that can be made available to people who have been convicted of crimes, and appeals are a good way to seek them.

Police: two men suspected in New York City armed robberies

According to a news report, New York City police are looking for a pair of men who are believed to have committed a series of hold-ups. Officials say the pair committed or attempted to commit five armed robberies in less than a week.

The men are believed to have robbed a 24-year-old man at gunpoint in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, taking cash, credit cards and his red Ford Mustang.

New study details problems in police evidence gathering

Much as the Federal Aviation Administration studies airplane crashes to find their causes and ways to prevent future accidents, a pair of researchers have done a careful analysis of dozens of known wrongful convictions to see what went wrong.

Their conclusions allege failures of reasoning and evidence gathering that put innocent people in prison, sometimes for decades. They point to a “weak system environment” that fails to learn from mistakes or prevent the same errors from repeating, allowing dangerous criminals stay on the streets.

Fingerprints: imperfect evidence

According to Smithsonian magazine, the first case in which fingerprint evidence was used in court to convict a person of a crime was more than 100 years ago. In that case, an intruder shot and killed a homeowner in a struggle. As he fled the house, the intruder left his unique mark on a freshly painted railing, however – an identifying impression that changed our criminal justice system forever.

Since then, many people have assumed that fingerprints reliably point directly at the guilty. But a pair of studies done three years ago showed that fingerprint evidence turns up false positives as often as 1 in every 18 cases. In fact, we recently read in the New York Post of a case in which a man spent 12 years in prison after being accused of murder and then convicted for a killing he did not commit.

A dozen charged in long-running drug investigation

New York’s WNBC recently reported that federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested several alleged members of a street gang called G-Shine Bloods.

A dozen G-Shine Blood members and associates have been charged with distributing fentanyl, heroin and crack cocaine, according to the report.

Unraveling New York sentencing guidelines

After someone has been arrested in New York City, one of the first things they discuss with a criminal defense attorney are the sentencing possibilities they face if convicted on the charge. Unfortunately, answers to these types of questions are not always as clear as everyone would like them to be.

New York sentencing guidelines include too many complications and exceptions for anyone – a cop, defense lawyer or prosecutor – to say with certainty what lies ahead after an arrest. That said, it is certainly possible to get a sense of what punishments are possible after being accused of a felony in New York.

Looking back at Robert Morgenthau and the Central Park 5

Retired prosecutor Robert Morgenthau recently died just 10 days short of what would have been his 100th birthday, but his mark on New York City is likely to last well into the future. One of the longest-serving public prosecutors in U.S. history, he built a reputation for taking on mobsters, politicians and people accused of white-collar crimes.

But part of Morgenthau’s legacy is the prosecution, conviction and eventual exoneration of the Central Park 5. In 1989, a woman jogging in Central Park was severely beaten and raped. After she was found in a ravine, she spent the next 12 days in a coma. Five Harlem teens were charged with assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder in the case.

NYC law enforcers under adverse light re unlawful records access

There are reportedly “reservoirs of records” on NYPD databases that one national publication notes city cops and other investigators “shouldn’t be able to see.”

Here’s why: They relate to criminal histories “that shouldn’t even exist.”

New York Mets great arrested on cocaine possession charges

Back in the day, it was a short trip from Kew Gardens to Shea Stadium in order to see the New York Mets play. One of the best and brightest reasons to make the jaunt in the 1980s was Dwight “Doc” Gooden. Along with slugger Darryl Strawberry, Gooden led a Mets resurgence that culminated in their seven-game World Series triumph over the Boston Red Sox in 1986.

As Mets fans know, Gooden’s career was eventually derailed by substance abuse problems revolving around cocaine and alcohol. The former pitcher recently made the news again, generating headlines after being arrested on charges of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence while driving.

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Robert D. DiDio & Associates

Robert D. DiDio & Associates
8002 Kew Gardens Road
Suite 307
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Phone: 917-300-0984
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