Grand Jury declines to indict CDH Law client on felony gun charges
Our client was the driver of a vehicle with four passengers. Police pulled him over for a traffic infraction. Police searched the vehicle and found a pistol behind the row of backseats, where three of the passengers were seated. We prepared our client for the grand jury presentation where he testified that the weapon was not his and he did not know it was in the car. The grand jury indicted all other co-defendants but declined to indict our client. This “No Bill” ended the case against our client.
CDH LAW CLIENT FOUND NOT GUILTY OF CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON IN THE SECOND DEGREE AFTER JURY TRIAL
A jury found our client not guilty following a 3-day trial in Onondaga County. Our client was facing a mandatory state prison sentence of up to 15 years. Partner Clifton C. Carden, III and Senior Associate Brian N. Tedd led the trial team. They convinced the jury there was reasonable doubt as to whether the client knew a gun was in the vehicle he was driving. A lack of forensic evidence pointing to our client, as well as his innocuous behavior at the point of the traffic stop, left insufficient evidence for the prosecutors to meet their burden of proof, a point capitalized on at all critical phases of the case, from opening statements, through cross-examination and summation.
SORA risk level modified from level 3 to 1, CDH client drops off of registry and is no longer a registered sex offender
Our client was convicted of a sex offense in the late 1970s. In the intervening 4 decades, he had no other sex offenses and his last criminal conviction was over a decade ago. In the meantime, he developed some debilitating health issues, became close with family who wrote letters of support, engaged in substance abuse and mental health treatment, and became a leader in his cultural community. We presented these facts in a petition for modification, and the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders did not oppose the petition. The District Attorney opposed the petition, but we persuaded the Court that the Board’s analysis and the overwhelming evidence we presented should control. Because our client had spent over 20 years on the registry, he came off of it altogether, because a level 1 sex offender only stays on the registry for 20 years.
YET ANOTHER CDH LAW CLIENT’S SORA LEVEL MODIFIED FROM LEVEL 2 TO 1, REGISTRATION NO LONGER PUBLIC
Our client was convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense 17 years ago and found to be a level 2 sex offender after an initial hearing under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). In the years since his conviction, he engaged in sex offender treatment, substance abuse treatment, and mental health treatment. He was released from probation early. He was married, had children, pursued advanced education, and held steady jobs despite being underemployed due to discrimination over his sex offender status. He volunteered in his community. He provided a heartfelt personal statement and multiple character letters to support his petition for a downward modification. The Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders recommended modification, the District Attorney agreed it was appropriate, and the Court granted it. As a level 1, our client will no longer be publicly viewable on the sex offender registry and, even better, he will come off the registry altogether at the 20-year mark, which is coming up very soon for this client. If you are a sex offender and find yourself in similar circumstances, contact our office today.
CDH Law client exonerated of 40-year-old unjust rape conviction
Our client was convicted of a brutal rape that he did not commit and we were determined to remedy it. Four decades ago, he had been tried and convicted based on a faulty victim identification procedure and flawed forensic evidence. After over a decade in prison and even longer on the sex offender registry, our investigation pieced together the necessary aspects of a successful motion to vacate the conviction under CPL 440.10(1)(g) based on newly discovered evidence. The Court granted the motion and our client was removed from the sex offender registry the next day.
SORA Level Modified from Level 2 to 1, Registration No Longer Public
Our client was convicted of a sex offense 12 years ago and found to be a level 2 sex offender after an initial hearing under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). His case presented the perfect case for modification. In the years since his conviction, he engaged in sex offender treatment, substance abuse treatment, and mental health treatment. He was released from probation early. We could show strong family ties and a good reputation in his community through multiple character letters. He remained gainfully employed despite the discrimination that comes with his sex offender status, and he achieved several educational accomplishments. He volunteered at non-profit organizations. We were able to present records and other evidence of these activities and presented an overwhelming case for modification. The Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders recommended modification and the Court granted it. As a level 1, our client will no longer be publicly viewable on the sex offender registry and, even better, he will come off the registry altogether at the 20-year mark.
CDH Law Mitigation Efforts Provide a second chance to a young man with no criminal history
The defendant was indicted on charges of Arson in the Third Degree and facing 2-6 years of incarceration. Our mitigation specialist was called upon to help improve the offer, which was for prison time. Through an exhaustive review of years of education records, she learned the client had struggled with significant learning disabilities throughout his educational career. Interviews with various family members revealed a loving family who take care of and watch out for each other in spite of their own personal struggles with cognitive deficits and serious health problems. The client’s employer provided an outstanding assessment of his work ethic as well as a positive endorsement of his moral character. As a result of our efforts, the charge was reduced to Attempted Arson and the client received a sentence of probation. He is able to continue to care for his infirm family member and to positively contribute to our community and workforce.
CDH Law Client Removed From Sex Offender Registry
CDH Law successfully advocated for our client’s modification of his sex offender risk level from a level 2 to a level 1. Our client’s one and only criminal conviction was a SORA qualifying offense over 20 years ago. He remained crime free since his conviction, engaged in pro-social activities, had overwhelming family and community support, was of advanced age, and suffered from demonstrable disabilities, all of which we were able to show the Court reduced his risk of re-offense. Because the Court modified his risk level down to a level 1, and he had been on the registry for over 20 years, he came off of the registry completely and no longer is subject to SORA’s reporting requirements. If you are close to 20 years on the registry and believe you are in a similar situation, please contact us because it is likely you too can be removed from the registry and avoid the consequences of SORA registration.
Jury Finds Yet Another CDH Client Not Guilty After Jury Trial
CDH Law successfully advocated for our client before an Onondaga County Jury in a trial for Assault in the Second Degree. The Jury returned a Not Guilty verdict after deliberating for several hours after trial. Our client was facing up to 7 years in prison. We persuaded the jury that there was reasonable doubt as to the sequence of events. Our client testified that he was acting in self-defense during the altercation with another family member. He walked away from the ordeal with a new found lease on life.
Jury Finds CDH Client Not Guilty of charges involving alleged knife threat
A jury found our client not guilty after a multiple day trial on charges of Menacing, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Criminal Mischief and Harassment. The evidence consisted primarily of the alleged victim’s testimony and the testimony of our client. Rigorous cross-examination from trial defense counsel Brian Tedd, Esq. resulted in the favorable verdict. Our client walked out of the courtroom and back to his life.
Grand Jury Declines to Indict CDH Law Client on Violent Felony Offense After Defense Efforts
During a contentious custody dispute our client was arrested and jailed for breaking and entering the family home. It was alleged that our client did not have permission to be in the home, threatened those who were present, and violated an order of protection. Suspecting that the whole story had not been told we launched our own investigation and prepared for the grand jury presentation. Rarely does a client testify before the grand jury because they typically must waive their 5th Amendment right to remain silent. However, given the various family and criminal ramifications we proceeded to present evidence and testimony for the grand jury’s consideration. Afterwards the grand jury declined to indict our client and within 24 hours we had submitted the decision to the judge whereby our client was released from custody. We now proceed to family court to settle custody of the children. Having a competent legal team capable of addressing all aspects of a situation is paramount in these situations.
CDH Law Client Acquitted of Attempted Kidnapping Charge After Jury Trial
An Onondaga County jury found our client not guilty of attempted kidnapping after only 2 hours of deliberation (including lunch). This outcome was especially remarkable given the fact our client was unable to attend the trial in person. Attorneys Matthew Dotzler and Brian Tedd led the trial team in this case and their remarkable work saved our client from the possibility of a decade in prison. Read more about the case here
Record of Felony Conviction Sealed under CPL 160.59
CDH Law successfully petitioned Onondaga County Court to seal our client’s felony conviction record pursuant to a Sealing Motion made under New York State Criminal Procedure Law 160.59. Following his felony conviction, our client enjoyed a successful military career but had limited career opportunities in the private sector as a result of the negative consequences of the felony conviction record. Our dedicated attorneys were successful in sealing our deserving client’s criminal record, who can now pursue previously foreclosed career opportunities.
CDH Law Mitigation Efforts Result in Reduced Sentence Over District Attorney’s Objection
Our client was accused of reckless driving after a high-speed chase. In plea negotiations, the District Attorney insisted on 6 months in jail. We presented detailed mitigation
to the Court, and the judge agreed to a sentence of a Conditional Discharge instead. This means that the Court was persuaded by the detailed circumstances we presented regarding our client’s life and upbringing, as well as his meaningful contribution to society, to the extent that jail time was taken off the table and our client walked free after entering his plea. This was over the objection of the District Attorney, who continued the request for incarceration through to the end of the proceedings.
Expert Mitigation Work Results in Reduced Sentence for CDH Law’s Client and Extended Time With Family for the Holidays
Our client was indicted on charges of criminal possession of a weapon for possession of two guns. He had no prior felonies but a long history of misdemeanor convictions. The prosecutor was insisting on a plea and sentence of 6 years. At first glance, the case seemed open and shut for the prosecution. We enlisted the help of Richard Luciani, MSW
for mitigation and Curtis Brown of 1st Choice Private Investigations
for investigation. Mr. Luciani’s assistance was indispensable. Through extensive family interviews and the collection of medical and educational records, his thorough report highlighted the client’s difficult upbringing as a victim of domestic abuse and his significant cognitive disabilities. This report nested perfectly with Mr. Brown’s investigative efforts, which produced evidence that a known gang member was using the client’s mental shortcomings and susceptibility to influence in order stash his guns at the client’s home. The mitigation report and the affidavits secured through investigation created a compelling defense case that ultimately allowed negotiation of the sentence down to 3.5 years, the minimum possible term on the indictment. At his plea and over the prosecution’s objection, the court agreed to release the client so he could enjoy Thanksgiving with his family before starting his prison term. When he appeared for sentencing after the Thanksgiving holiday, the court allowed another adjournment so the client could enjoy the Christmas holiday with his family, again over the prosecutor’s objection. The court cited Mr. Luciani’s report as a basis for the compassionate release. This case shows that when a case seems open and shut from an evidentiary perspective and the prosecutor doesn’t budge, mitigation and investigation can go a long way in improving the outcome.
The Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) orders favorable change to Soldier’s DD 214
Our client, a former Army Officer, was administratively discharged from the service. However, his command failed to properly follow the regulation, which resulted in a negative “Narrative Reason for Separation” on his DD 214. CDH Law submitted a detailed application to the Army Review Boards Agency requesting the narrative reason on the DD 214 be changed in light of the command’s failures to properly process the separation. The ABCMR agreed and ordered the change. The data on a DD 214 has important implications for servicemembers transitioning to the civilian sector, as well as employment and benefit implications for Veterans.
Another CDH Law Client removed from the sex offender registry over the government’s objection
Our client was convicted of a sex offense over 30 years ago. We filed a petition for modification of his sex offender risk level, arguing his advanced age and debilitating physical conditions significantly reduced his risk of sexual reoffense. After all, protection of the public from the risk of a sex offense is the only purpose of New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). Using extensive medical documentation, we persuaded the Court to modify our client’s risk level down to a level 1. Level 1 registrants who do not have any special designations are removed from the registry after 20 years. So by obtaining the reduced risk level, the practical effect was a client removed from the sex offender registry and no longer having to comply with the strictures of SORA.
CDH Efforts Persuade SORA Court to find Client a Level 1 Sex Offender Despite District Attorney’s and Board’s recommendation
Our client was convicted in federal court of a sex offense requiring registration under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”). Upon his release from prison, the Board for the Examination of Sex Offenders recommended the Court find our client a Level 2 sex offender, or “moderate” risk to reoffend. At the SORA Hearing, the District Attorney agreed with the Board and argued our client was a moderate risk to reoffend and should be a level 2 sex offender. Our detailed filings and arguments in the case persuaded the Court to find our client a Level 1 sex offender. When this occurs, it is a big win for our clients and has life-long implications. A level 1 sex offender is not listed publicly, and in most cases will come off of the registry after 20 years. Level 2 and 3 sex offenders’ names and photos are listed publicly on the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ website, and must register for life.
Mitigation Efforts Secure Release of Client Held in Jail Awaiting Trial
After nearly 15 months of pre-trial incarceration, CDH Law successfully used mitigation efforts to persuade the Court to release our client pending trial. The judge noted he had more information on our client than he does for “most defendants.” By working closely with mitigation specialists where appropriate, CDH Law often achieves excellent results in all stages of criminal cases.
Pistol License Restored in Jefferson County
Our client works in the security industry and needs his pistol license for employment. His license was revoked after a bogus charge. While the charge was ultimately disposed of with a favorable outcome, the revocation remained in place and he was unable to carry. We applied for restoration of his permit and made the case that the underlying charge was weak and he was a responsible gun owner deserving of his license. The Court agreed and reinstated his license.
Pistol Application Approved in Onondaga County
Our client, a businessman responsible for frequently carrying large amounts of cash, had repeatedly attempted on his own to have the restrictions on his pistol license removed. He kept getting denied by the Court. We took on the case, and after advocating for him in a thorough application, the Court removed the restrictions from his license. He is now able to carry without any restrictions.
Case dismissed “in the interest of justice”
Our client was charged with Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree. The police arrested her after she was alleged to have broken several picture frames at an ex boyfriends house. We advocated for our client and filed motions in preparation of taking this matter to trial. As part of our motions, we filed a motion to dismiss in the interest of justice using the standards set out in CPL 170.40. The Judge was convinced based on that motion that it would serve the interest of justice that these charges be dismissed rather than taken to trial.
Not guilty verdict after bench trial for DWI
We convinced the court there was reasonable doubt that 1) our client was intoxicated and 2) she was driving the vehicle.
Not guilty verdict after bench trial for predatory sexual assault against a child
Our client faced life in prison on a A felony charge of predatory sexual assault against a child. After a second trial, the court returned a verdict of not guilty after only 30 minutes of deliberation.
Statements suppressed after hearing
Our client was interrogated while in police custody, and the prosecution was attempting to use these statements against him at trial. After a contested hearing on the issue, we convinced the court that our client was not properly read his rights prior to the interrogation. The court agreed and the statements were thrown out.
Harassment charge dismissed before arraignment
Our client was issued a criminal summons for harassment in the second degree. We noticed the allegations in the charging document, known as an “information,” fell short of the legal requirements for properly charging an offense. Prior to arraignment (the first formal step in the criminal justice process), we argued the court did not have jurisdiction over the case due to the defective charge. The judge agreed and dismissed the case before it even began.
Not guilty verdict after jury trial for assault in the first degree
Our client faced up to 25 years in prison for a B Felony charge of assault in the first degree. After a 3-day trial, the jury acquitted our client after only a few hours of deliberation. We persuaded the jury that the witnesses were not reliable and there was reasonable doubt. Not guilty.
A-I Felony indictment down to Non-Violent D Felony, possible life in prison down to 1 ½ to 4 ½ years
Our client was indicted for the most serious of offenses and faced spending the rest of his life in prison. Instead, through CDH Law’s advocacy, we secured a plea to hindering prosecution in the first degree, a non-violent D Felony with a fraction of the prison time our client originally faced.
New York DMV Restores Driving Privileges after Fatal Accident
Our client was convicted of criminally negligent homicide several years ago for her involvement in a fatal accident. As a result, her driving privileges were revoked. After several attempts at re-applying for her license on her own, she turned to us for help. We were able to show the DMV the required “unusual, extenuating, and compelling circumstances” justifying a departure from their general revocation policy. Our client now has full driving privileges.
Felony sexual assault charge dismissed, Jury Unable to Reach Conclusion on Guilt or Innocence of remaining felony charges after trial
Our client faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. After a week long jury trial on an A Felony sexual assault charge, among others, the jury could not reach a conclusion on his guilt or innocence, known as a “hung jury.” One of the charges was dismissed at the close of the prosecution’s case and is forever barred from re-prosecution. The remaining charges may be retried, but our client remains a free man until that decision is made by the government.
Misdemeanor “Unauthorized Speed Contest” charge reduced to parking ticket
Our client was accused of drag racing. However, we convinced the prosecution that he only briefly accelerated when another driver challenged him on the roadway. We aggressively argued there was no planned race as required by the statute, and the prosecution agreed to reduce this criminal offense to a simple non-moving parking violation.
Client removed from sex offender registry
Over 25 years ago our client was convicted of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. He served his prison term and was designated a Level 3 sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act. After his release from prison and parole, he lived a good life, was gainfully employed, and had no run-ins with the law. We successfully petitioned the Court to reduce his risk level from 3 to 1, which meant his risk level would no longer be publicly searchable in the database. Even better, since it had been over twenty years since he was initially registered, he came off of the registry completely and is no longer a registered sex offender.
Case of Mistaken Identity Resolved, Criminal Impersonation Charge Dismissed
A woman was pulled over for speeding and gave a false name, committing the crime of criminal impersonation. The woman got away, and after a police investigation, our client was charged by mistake because she looked similar to the suspect. We proved the police officer identified the wrong person by conducting an aggressive investigation. Charge dismissed.
Petit Larceny Charge Dismissed
Our client accidentally walked out of the grocery store without paying for her groceries. We were able to show that she did not intentionally take the merchandise, and the charges were ultimately dismissed.
Bogus Charges Dismissed After CDH Law Defense Investigation
Our client was in the middle of a bitter custody dispute, and the baby’s father repeatedly fabricated criminal allegations in a desperate effort to win custody. We defeated his efforts with an aggressive approach at every stage of the case, ultimately exposing his lies. Charges dismissed.
Charge of Refusal to Submit to Chemical Breath Test Dismissed at Refusal Hearing
Our client was pulled over and charged with DWI. She declined to submit to the chemical breath test at the station. At the DMV administrative hearing, we demonstrated that the police did not have probable cause to pull our client over. The refusal charge was dismissed and our client was spared a one-year revocation of her license.
DWI Charge Dismissed
DWI charges were dropped against our client after several months of aggressive negotiations. We demonstrated that our client’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was in fact below the legal threshold for intoxication and that the case was impossible to prosecute based on the evidence.
Felony Charges of Hindering Prosecution Dismissed
Our client was charged with Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree, a Class D Felony carrying a maximum prison sentence of 2 and one-third to seven years in state prison. After aggressively litigating pretrial motions, the Court dismissed the charge on the basis that insufficient evidence was presented to the grand jury.
Endangering the Welfare of a Child Charge Dismissed
Our client was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly hitting his stepchild with a belt. We successfully demonstrated that the child was fabricating the allegations and the case was ultimately dismissed.
State employee found Not Guilty of trespassing at work.
Our client was acquitted of criminal trespass after a bench trial. She was charged for allegedly showing up to work at her place of state employment after being told by her supervisor to stay home. We proved that the state failed to follow its own procedures for placing employees on leave, and thus our client was licensed to be present at work. The verdict: Not Guilty of criminal trespass.
Felony DWI conviction vacated, client released from prison.
After spending 2 years in prison for a felony DWI he did not commit, our client hired us to bring a motion to vacate the conviction. We successfully brought a CPL Section 440 motion to vacate the judgment by showing that the toxicology evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. Our client was released from prison days later.
Charges dropped for a young man who slid on black ice while speeding.
The client was speeding when he hit a patch of black ice and lost control of his truck. These types of conditions are very common in Central New York especially during the winter months when the incident occurred. Our team worked hard to dismiss the charges filed against this young man and eventually the charges were dropped.
Misdemeanor and conditional release set for man who faced jail time.
Our client was facing a possible felony and jail time after obtaining his second DUI. The incident occurred here in New York, but the client lived in Arizona. We knew how important it was for him to be able to go home after the case had ended and the conditional release was imminent on making that happen.
Dismissal of a traffic ticket issued in a different county.
Our client was told that he would have to go to trial or accept points on his license after receiving a speeding ticket in a different county. With this being his first traffic ticket, we knew he was nervous about how this would affect his driving record going forward. We were able to negotiate with the prosecutor for a dismissal of his ticket.
Young girl charged with harassment in high school free of jail time and civil suit.
A family received charges against their daughter, stemming from a disagreement between high school girls. They needed guidance and for someone to explain the next steps in moving forward with her case. Our knowledge of prior police and assistant DA work experiences eased her parent’s minds that everything was going to be OK. Our team was able to keep their daughter from jail time and to avoid a civil suit.
Speeding and traffic ticket reduced.
Client was charged in separate courts with multiple misdemeanor offenses of driving with a suspended license, as well as the pointed violations of speeding and passing a stopped school bus (9 Points). The charges were reduced to two zero point traffic violations following successful plea negotiations.
Third arrest for DWI reduced to one and minimum fine.
Client was arrested for a third time and posted a BAC over .18 resulting in 3 DWI charges and two traffic violations. Outcome: One plea to lowest DWI charge, no jail or probation, minimum fine and surcharge allowed, permitted to drive on conditional license while case was pending.
Criminal defense charges reduced and dismissed.
Client was charged with multiple vehicle and traffic offenses. After successful plea negotiations, one ticket was reduced to a zero-point parking ticket and the other ticket was dismissed.
Domestic argument led client to be charged with assault.
The client was charged with Assault following a fight with a family member. The charge was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal after successful plea negotiations with the District Attorney’s Office.
DUI and DWI reduced to traffic violation.
Client had two previous DWI convictions and facing two charges of DWI along with several traffic tickets. After picking a jury, opening statements, and examination of the first witness our client was offered a violation to settle the matter during break.
Road rage traffic ticket dismissed in court.
Officer’s described the incident as road rage and ticketed our client for causing the accident. After an independent investigation it was shown that the other party manipulated the events. The case was dismissed after trial.
Criminal defense and theft-related charges reduced with only a fine.
Client was charged with a theft-related criminal offense. After successful negotiations, the charge was reduced to a violation level offense with a fine.
Client’s sentence reduced after fourth DWI.
Client had been advise to enter into his fourth dwi plea which left him facing 3 years in state prison. Client had never been to jail and a family member searched for an attorney who could figure out if the sentence could be changed? After a review of the plea, case, and equites the sentence was reduced to 6 months incarceration.