New York Criminal Blog

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MANHATTAN AND ORANGE COUNTY CRIMINAL TRIAL ATTORNEYS | WHITTEL & MELTON, LLC | NEW YORK CITY, MIDDLETOWN, NEWBURGH AND GOSHEN

The lawyers at Whittel & Melton are former prosecutors now fighting for the rights of clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the state of New York and NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Middletown, Town of Walkil, Scotchtown, Newburgh, Goshen, Pine Bush, Monroe, Chester, Warwick, Washingtonville and Port Jervis, New York.

If you have been charged with a crime, we are here to help.

Being under criminal investigation or charged with a crime can be an intiminating time. Our New York Criminal Defense Attorneys guarantee that our clients receive the personalized attention they need. Our first priority is to give you the representation that you deserve and that includes doing everything in our power to investigate your case, and to give you as many options as possible-­‐-­‐whether it be through a favorable plea agreement, a dismissal or trial.

Please call us, 866-608­5529

Offering Commitment to Our Clients in Manhattan and Orange Counties

Our New York criminal practice involves representation of clients a variety of matters, including: DUI, DUI Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, all drug crimes, including, Trafficking, Sale, Purchase, Cultivation, we also handle violent crimes such as Murder, Battery, Assault, Weapons Charges, all sex crimes such as Rape, Lewd & Lascivious, Indecent Exposure, all theft crimes such as Burglary, Grand Theft, Home Invasion, Carjacking, Fraud, all juvenile offenses, white collar crimes, traffic offenses, probation violations as well as extradition.

We Stand with You.

At Whittel & Melton, you can be confident that we will stand behind you and your case. We will never put you or your claim on the back burner, and we are available by phone 24 hours a day. We promise will strategically deal with the prosecution to fight for the justice you deserve.

Simply put, we will not be satisfied until you are. Whether the case is resolved by plea agreement or trial, we will prepare your case to obtain the best possible result. If you've been arrested, facing jail or prison, a criminal indictment or are the potential suspect of a criminal investigation, contact the experienced lawyers at Whittel & Melton today. You need knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense guidance today.

New York Criminal Attorneys - Whittel & Melton, LLC
Please call us, we are available 24 hours a day. 866-608-5529

Celebrity chef Todd English, Iron chef USA star who has opened restaurants around the US and written multiple cookbooks, was arrested on Sunday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, according to authorities.

Police in Southampton arrested English on Sunday morning on a county road on Long Island. He made a court appearance later in the day, and posted $1,500 bail.

The circumstances regarding the arrest are unavailable at this time.

3386272571_fd08b405fa_mThe chef is the creative force behind a number of restaurants around the country, including Olives, Figs and Fish Club. He also has been a regular on television programmes, including Iron Chef USA.

English has written several cookbooks and has been honoured by the James Beard Foundation for excellence and achievement in cuisine.

The state of New York is known for the having some of the toughest criminal DUI laws in the country. Not only does the State penalize drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content above .08 percent, but it also penalizes drivers with a BAC above .05 percent. Driving with a BAC of .08 percent or above is known as a DWI or Driving While Intoxicated and driving with a BAC between .05 percent and .07 percent is classified as a DWAI or Driving While Ability Impaired. New York also classifies the criminal offense of driving with a BAC of .17 percent or above as an Aggravated DWI.

A DWI charge is quite serious. These cases can also be somewhat complex as each case is different. As soon as you have been arrested for a DWI offense it is important to contact the right attorney as soon as possible. A New York DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can ensure that you understand the charge you are facing and help you move past this difficult situation.

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While it is known knowledge to anyone who has ever consulted a lawyer that these private communications seeking legal help are completely confidential, people behind bars are not exactly awarded that same privilege.

Despite the fact that the attorney-client privilege is the oldest, broadest and perhaps the most important of all privileges in the American legal system, inmates awaiting trial or appealing a conviction have this privilege ignored as soon as they login to access their email.

The Bureau of Prisons has made limited email access available to federal inmates, however there is a price for that access and inmates are warned every single time they log in that the government is allowed to monitor and read all messages sent and received. And federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are taking advantage of this fact by freely accessing emails between inmates and their attorneys.

6160077394_fea830a2a2_mIn fact, in one case, prosecutors read more than 12,000 pages of emails sent by an imprisoned former Pennsylvania senator, and then included them in their argument for a harsher resentencing.

Government lawyers argue that because inmates must knowingly consent to the inspection of all email messages, they waive the attorney-client privilege. This argument has also been accepted by several federal judges who have ruled on this issue. The government claims it would cost too much to separate attorney-client emails from other kinds of email messages, and that inmates also have many other means of communication such as letters, phone calls and in-person visits.

However, email is the most common form of modern communication, especially by lawyers. The value of email is even greater to those behind bars as it can take weeks for confidential letters to be processed by prison officials, and setting up an unmonitored phone call can take months, if the request is even answered at all. Personal meetings in prison can be difficult to arrange, time-consuming and costly.

One Brooklyn federal judge has weighed her opinion on the government’s rationales. In a case against a surgeon accused of Medicare fraud, the prosecutor told the judge that he had no interest in reading a defendant’s emails to his lawyer for “strategic advantage.” The judge replied by saying, “That’s hogwash. You’re going to tell me you don’t want to know what your adversary’s strategy is? What kind of a litigator are you then? Give me a break.” The judge then ruled that the government could not take a peek at any emails between the surgeon and his lawyers.

There are undoubtedly serious criminal rights issues with the government reading inmates emails, the most disturbing being the fact that prosecutors have the ability to determine the defense’s strategy before trial. It seems like this will be an issue for the Supreme Court to handle in the very near future.

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A New York Police Department officer, a Fire Department of New York paramedic, a rabbi and a scoutmaster were among more than 70 people arrested in a major child porn bust on Wednesday.

The investigation began as part of an undercover operation into peer-to-peer networks and involved agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as New York authorities. The suspects were apparently able to search files using graphic terms and descriptions, according to authorities. Law enforcement claims that software continuously scanned files and automatically uploaded images to personal computers, laptops and mobile phones.

keyboard child pornThe operation yielded a total of 71 arrests, including one woman, and the seizure of nearly 600 devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and thumb drives allegedly containing tens of thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children.

The head of Homeland Security Investigations New York called this sting operation the largest enforcement operation in New York that targeted supposed child predators possessing, distributing or producing sexually explicit images of minors.

According to authorities, the pornographic images were shared at no charge.

One of the men arrested, a supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration, is accused of travelling to the Dominican Republic to have sex with children, according to law enforcement officials. He allegedly made more than 50 trips there.

The arrest of the chief of the Mount Pleasant Police Department in upstate Valhalla, New York, on child pornography violations apparently helped lead to the arrests of others, according to reports.

Nearly a third of the suspects remain in custody, while the others were released on bonds ranging from $30,000 to $500,000.

Both federal and New York state laws are quite severe regarding child pornography crimes. The possession, production and  distribution of child pornography can carry very harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and registration as a sex offender, which can jeopardize the future of those who are convicted. A conviction for a child pornography offense can haunt you for the rest of your life, which is why these charges must be taken extremely serious and dealt with early on.

Every image that depicts child porn can be charged as a separate crime, meaning that the penalties can become enhanced as the number of photos increases. The punishments for these charges may include multiple years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

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Authorities allege that a clinic in the Bronx was controlled by drug traffickers, and the patients, doctors, prescriptions and even urine samples were part of an intricate scheme to redirect oxycodone to be sold on the street.

In a federal indictment, prosecutors claim that corrupt doctors were paid $300 in cash for fraudulent medical visits that lasted just minutes, involved no actual physical examination and led to a consistent number of prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone.

According to a government court filing, for more than three years the doctors at this Bronx-based clinic wrote about 31,500 medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone, involving about 5.5 million oxycodone tablets with a street value of up to $550 million.

Federal prosecutors allege that members of the oxycodone ring used threats, intimidation and violence to protect their access to the clinic and its doctors, going as far as staging armed bodyguards near the clinic.

The indictment shows that Oxycodone is a highly addictive, narcotic-strength painkiller, and these prescriptions have colossal cash value to drug dealers. In New York City, a 30-milligram tablet has a street value of $30 to $40. The value for one tablet can go as high as $100 per tablet elsewhere in country. The indictment adds that a single prescription for 180 Oxycodone tablets can profit a distributor as much as $18,000 in cash.

The investigation into the Bronx clinic involved the use of at least a dozen cooperating sources, confidential informers and undercover agents in what has been called “the largest pill mill in the Northeast.”

OxycodoneThe federal indictment charges one doctor, the owner of the clinic and others in the city, as well as 23 other people in connection with the scheme. The doctor is accused of collecting nearly $12 million in fees over three years in the scheme, according to prosecutors.

The doctor, who pleaded not guilty, was permitted home detention if he meets certain conditions of a $5 million bond.

Another clinic doctor faces state charges of conspiracy and illegal prescription sales. He was ordered held without bond, and entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

The indictment alleges that this doctor sporadically saw supposed patients and wrote excessive oxycodone prescriptions. He is accused of hiring other doctors and telling them to write Oxycodone prescriptions as well, paying the doctors based on the number of prescriptions they wrote.

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A former Playboy cover girl pleaded guilty to sneaking her illegal immigrant boyfriend across the U.S.-Canada border in U.S. district court Tuesday and faces as long as ten months in jail.

According to reports, the 35-year-old Playboy alumna admitted to helping her boyfriend enter the country illegally by moving him through an Indian reservation. She was busted by border police in August while trying to sneak her boyfriend over the border at the Akwesasne Mohawk Indian Reservation upstate.

78373_bunny.jpgThe model’s boyfriend apparently served time in Canada on drug, prostitution and pimping convictions.

Under federal law, anyone who has previously been convicted of a drug charge in a foreign country that is punishable by more than one year in prison is barred from entering the United States.

In November, the woman’s boyfriend was sentenced to six months for his role in the scheme and was deported to Canada following his release.

The former Playboy Playmate will be sentenced on Oct. 22.

Willingly sneaking an illegal immigrant across the U.S. border is a felony under federal law punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors allege that the Playboy alumna drove her boyfriend’s car into Canada where she picked him up and headed for the U.S. border. The duo was headed across the country to the model’s home in Los Angeles when they were arrested by Border Patrol agents.

The Playboy model was also charged with aiding and assisting her boyfriend, a previously convicted felon, to enter the United States, a charge that is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars.

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According to new federal data, black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges related to marijuana possession in 2010, despite the fact that both used the drug at similar rates.

This disproportion has increased steadily from a decade before, and is even higher in some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, where blacks were nearly eight times as likely to be arrested.

During this same time frame, the public opinion regarding marijuana use relaxed and a handful of states legalized its use. However, almost half of all drug arrests in 2011 were on marijuana-related charges, nearly the same amount as in 2010.

1206038_dutch_weed-2_jpg.jpgThe new data draws from police records from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is the most comprehensive review of marijuana arrests by race and by county. It is part of a report that will be released this week by the American Civil Liberties Union.

According to the director of the A.C.L.U.’s Criminal Law Reform Project and the lead author of the report, “We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner.”

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Two New York City men, 32 and 35, along with a 38-year-old New Jersey man have been accused of kidnapping another man off a Queens street in broad daylight and holding him for over a month while demanding a $3 million ransom from his family in Ecuador.

All three men are facing charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. If convicted, they face 25 years to life in prison.

The 52-year-old victim was apparently approached on a Queens street on April 18 by the men who allegedly showed him what looked like a police badge. Police believe he was forced into a car, where a mask was placed over his face. Authorities claim he was threatened with a knife.

1384588_brown_envelope_money_bribe_1.jpgThe man was taken to a warehouse in the Long Island City section of Queens, where he was kept for over a month. According to authorities, during the time he was held against his will, he was burned with acid and beaten, in addition to being threatened with mutilation and death. He was allegedly confined with his hands bound and face masked.

The trio is accused of punching the victim in the face and body, causing him to lose teeth and suffer multiple bruises and swelling.

Authorities allege that the man’s kidnappers forced him to call his mother in Ecuador, asking for the $3 million ransom.

Police were notified of the man’s disappearance and the ransom call. They found him on May 20 with his hands bound. They arrested one of the suspects outside of the building.

Police claim three accomplices have fled to Ecuador and that they are currently searching for man in New York City who was seen on surveillance footage at a Chase Bank trying to get cash from the victim’s account.

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A 33-year-old man accused of shouting out homophobic slurs before firing a gun point-blank into a man’s face on a busy Manhattan street appeared in court Sunday to face a charge of murder as a hate crime.

The man appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court to face murder and weapons charges. A judge ordered him to be held without bail pending another court appearance on Thursday.

Authorities believe the man used a silver revolver to kill a 32-year-old man as he strolled with a companion through lower Manhattan early Saturday morning. The man is accused of following the men and yelling antigay slurs at them. According to the reports, the man asked the pair if they were “gay wrestlers,” based on how they were dressed.

704729_revolver.jpgThe man was found by police fatally wounded on the pavement. He was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital.

The accused was detained a few streets down by a police officer. Records indicate he was arrested in 1998 for attempted murder.

According to police, this shooting is at least the fourth violent attack in two weeks that can be linked to anti-gay bias.

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A 36-year-old public school teacher in Queens has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old former student of his elementary school.

The English teacher was arrested last month and charged with two counts of first-degree rape, 10 counts of second-degree rape and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The sexual relationship allegedly began in November, and the man is accused of having sex with the girl in his Queens home.

The girl’s sister apparently found a series of text messages between the two and took the information to the police.

The man has been removed from the classroom. However, no complaints have been filed against this teacher in the past.

1418319_freedom.jpgTeachers accused of sex crimes have a lot to lose. In addition to possible criminal penalties, they also face suspension or job loss at the school where they teach. If you are a teacher and have been accused of a sex crime or are under investigation for any type of crime, you must take swift action to protect your rights. A NYC Sex Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton help you establish a powerful defense against whatever charges you are up against, as well as help you through any administration or disciplinary hearings that you may face.

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