BlogCourtIf you have just been charged with murder or a serious violent crime in New York, chances are the last thing you are initially thinking about is how to win the case. Instead, you’ve been brought to jail, about to face a judge who may or may not grant you bail and you’re facing possibly the rest of your life in prison.  Things are looking grim and hopeless; however, at this very early stage the case can often be won or lost, even if the trial is ultimately a year or further down the road.  From a lawyer who has won many cases in which violent crimes have been charged, here’s a checklist of what you need to do if you are charged with murder or a serious violent crime and you want to win your case.   Continue reading

International extradition is the process in which an individual arrested in one country is surrendered to the requesting country for prosecution or, alternately, to serve a previously-imposed sentence.  Extradition requests are usually authorized by extradition treaties between the two countries; even without such a treaty, the countries can still agree to assist each other depending on circumstances which include political considerations.  While the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence do not apply here, an extradition proceeding still retains characteristics of criminal proceedings.  For these reasons – and because the defendant may ultimately extradited to the United States to face criminal charges – the target of the international extradition request should hire the best criminal defense lawyer and international extradition attorney he or she can find, whether the case is in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or anywhere in the United States. Continue reading

Today Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York cut the sentence of Anthony Mangone, a politically-connected, Westchester County disbarred lawyer convicted of corruption charges whose testimony helped convict three New York state senators and a chief of staff, a Yonkers councilwoman, the chairman of the Yonkers Republican party and an attorney.  Today’s sentence of 12 months and one day follows the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s June 14 decision vacating Judge McMahon’s 18 month sentence due to the judge applying the wrong federal sentencing guidelines; in addition, the Court of Appeals had criticized Judge McMahon for going “beyond the entirely appropriate condemnation of a defendant’s criminal conduct.” Judge McMahon also eliminated her prior fine of $15,000 and reduced Mr. Mangone’s term of supervised release from three years to one.  Jeffrey Lichtman, representing Mr. Mangone on both the appeal and at today’s sentence, stated afterward “I’m not pleased when any client is sentenced to jail time, however, I’m very happy that Anthony’s sentence was cut by a third.”  Continue reading

If you have been sexually assaulted in New York – whether it be at the hands of a loved one, an acquaintance or a stranger – navigating the New York criminal and civil court systems can be difficult.  Considering what you’ve already been through, dealing with red tape and rushed prosecutors does not exactly make your struggle any easier.  As the best New York sexual assault victim lawyers know, there are a number of things you need do right away – and other things you need to think about going forward.   Continue reading

Plea bargains have become increasingly important to criminal defendants these days as reports have shown that 97% of all federal criminal cases and 94% of state cases end in guilty pleas.  As most defendants do not wish for the uncertainty of trials – where one’s fate is left in the hands of a jury and if convicted, the trial judge – plea bargains can offer a definitive promise of punishment by prosecutors and in the federal system a small range of potential punishment as determined by the judge.  Of course, as the top criminal defense attorneys in New York know, the quality of your plea bargain is largely a function of the effort your lawyer puts in prior to cutting the deal.

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Last week, the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman along with the Law Office of Marc Fernich filed a notice of claim against the New York City Police Department on behalf of the wife and mother of George Tillman, charging wrongful death and excessive force by the NYPD officers who gunned Mr. Tillman down after he was initially spotted drinking from an open container in Queens in April of this year.  Chasing Mr. Tillman down the street, multiple police officers opened fire when they claimed Mr. Tillman pulled a gun on them.  Not a single, non-police witness has claimed Mr. Tillman possessed a weapon that night and no one present at the scene heard officers scream at Mr. Tillman to drop any gun.  Instead, the officers opened fire, hitting him with more than 10 shots – without a single shot fired by Mr. Tillman.  Continue reading

The other day a potential client came to see me about his federal criminal case in New York.  During our discussion, he wondered if there was any real benefit of hiring an attorney who was heavily experienced in the federal system or would any smart and hard-working lawyer do?  He had found an attorney online who seemed to be very smart but had just left the District Attorney’s office three years ago to become a defense attorney.  In this entry, I will answer this question by providing an example of how hiring a top New York federal criminal attorney can change your case – and your life.

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Firefighters examine the scene of a collapsed wall at a building site on Hylan Boulevard and Bay Steet where, Robert McGee, a construction foreman, was killed. (Irving Silverstein — Staten Island Advance)

A criminal defendant charged with Homicide is in a bad enough situation to begin with – but charged in a high profile case with public pressure for jail time only exacerbates a tough case.  Such was the case with a client of ours, a builder, who was tasked with the construction of a commercial project in Staten Island.  According to the allegations, a wind-blown, 60 foot high cinderblock wall toppled over in 2009 killing the construction foreman: prosecutors claimed the wall was built too high and without the proper reinforcement or inspections.  In addition, on the day of the accident, the New York City Buildings Department had issued a dangerous wind advisory.  Bad luck, shoddy construction work, whatever the case was – an innocent man was killed in a gruesome manner.  After a two year investigation, our client and his subcontractor were criminally charged with Homicide in Staten Island.  Continue reading

fbiIf you have received a visit at home or work from an inquisitive FBI agent then you may have just found yourself ensnared in a federal criminal investigation.  While the investigation may not lead to your indictment, it certainly could.  And how you and your attorney handle this investigation phase will go a long way in determining the rest of your life and the future of your family: whether you will be forced to fight federal criminal charges over the coming years or if you will be able to avoid this life-altering event and remain on the periphery of this investigation.  Your choice of lawyer in this scenario is, therefore, of crucial importance: because any misstep could be fatal – and even the best federal criminal attorneys in New York could have different advice on how to handle the investigation.  Continue reading

As shown in the media, more and more men and women are complaining about being sexually harassed in the workplace by their employers – including even being sexually assaulted.  If you are the victim of such offensive behavior, you are not without options: some of the best New York sexual harassment attorneys can assist you in not only stopping the offensive behavior but also in getting you compensation for your damages and possibly other related damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress.   This behavior is offensive and troubling; you should fight back with a lawyer who will not back down. Continue reading