Getting Federal Criminal Charges Dismissed Pretrial — It Happens!

Sutton DismissIn 25 years of practice as a New York criminal attorney, the biggest change I’ve noticed is the failure of attorneys today to do the extensive investigation and research necessary to not only win cases at trial but to get them dismissed before the trial even starts.   Defenses are slapped together quickly or rely solely on challenging the evidence turned over by the government.  Clients are usually too trusting of their criminal attorney and often do not realize how much more can be done to help their efforts to avoid conviction — or even a trial.  When criminal lawyers rely solely on the government’s discovery to prepare a defense, they’re simply following the government’s gameplan toward conviction. This is true in federal cases in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and in state courts in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester and throughout Connecticut.  If you want to win your case, the best New York criminal attorneys know that you need to find the impeachment material which has NOT been turned over.

How To Attack a Criminal Case From the Start

If you ask most defense attorneys how often they have gotten federal criminal cases dismissed, you would be surprised to learn that it is an incredibly rare occurrence.  However, at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman we have gotten numerous cases voluntarily dismissed by the government, always due to a zealous investigation of the government’s witnesses which, when our findings have been presented to the prosecutors, have led to dismissals simply because it was clear that the government’s case could not withstand the complete impeachment of its main witnesses.  When the government provides discovery to the defendant pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16, the materials relate mostly to the defendant’s statements to law enforcement (or others including wiretapped recordings), documentary evidence, the defendant’s rap sheet, photographs to be used by the government in its case in chief and reports of examinations and tests.  Prior statements of the government’s witnesses are not discoverable to the defendant until trial.  Therefore, in order to have any chance of  discrediting the witnesses a top criminal lawyer will need to do his or her own investigation very early on after the client is arrested.  This includes reviews of public records including civil and criminal litigation, mortgages, licensing, etc.  Defense investigation can also include the issuing of subpoenas, interviewing friends and acquaintances of the witness, and possibly hiring a private investigator.  Many times initial subpoenas don’t result in usable evidence; therefore rounds of them need to be sent out, building off of what was gained from the prior set.  In some cases we have served hundreds of subpoenas in an effort to determine exactly what the government witnesses are doing — when they should be abiding by the law.

The Impact of Thorough Witness Preparation 

Such intensive witness preparation is devastating at trial, regardless if the venue is federal court in Manhattan or Brooklyn or a state court in Westchester, Staten Island or New Jersey.  During some trials, we’ve had judges tell us that the witness’s credibility has already been completely shattered and that no further cross examination is even necessary.  Media outlets such as the New York Times have reported that our cross examinations in federal court have “shred[ed]” the star witness’s credibility.  But a client does not — and should not — desire a trial if it can be avoided.  Trials are expensive, filled with risk and stressful — for the client. Oftentimes armed with the fruits of an extensive witness investigation we have approached the government and shown part of our hand in an effort to get them to back off their prosecution of our client.  In one federal Eastern District of New York case in Brooklyn, RICO charges (along with securities fraud and money laundering) were dismissed by prosecutors after our investigation of the linchpin witness revealed his repeated perjury and fraud during his cooperation.  United States v. Lev, 00 CR 196 (E.D.N.Y. 2001).  In another federal case, this time in the Southern District of New York, federal RICO charges (along with securities fraud and mail fraud) were dismissed by the government two days prior to trial after our investigation revealed extensive, continuing fraud by government’s two main witnesses.  United States v. Iodice, 95 CR 124 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).  Finally, in another Eastern District of New York case a federal complaint which charged the CEO of a publicly traded company with Commercial Bribery was dismissed after we convinced prosecutor that no crime had occurred.  United States v. Sutton, Cr. No. M-06-1173 (E.D.N.Y. 2007).   And there have been countless serious federal cases which due to our extensive investigation of government witnesses, our clients have received extremely low, no prison plea deals.

So Contact a Top New York Federal Criminal Attorney Today

Call us at (212) 581-1001 and the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman, who have represented over a hundred clients in federal cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and all over the country for over 25 years, will do all the work necessary to help you put your federal criminal case behind you.