Articles Posted in Assault/Murder

Despite promising the Court in September to “respond the same as I always do” to Khari Noerdlinger’s motion to dismiss the remaining charges against him due to prosecutorial misconduct and perjury in his grand jury, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office did quite the opposite this week: she refused to respond to Mr. Noerdlinger’s allegations and instead simply re-indicted Mr. Noerdlinger on the minor charges still in existence – presumably without the problems of the massive perjury which fouled the last indictment.  By tossing out the indictment and refiling the same charges, the Prosecutor’s Office actually believes it can avoid having to explain away the massive perjury and misconduct which permeated the original indictment filed nearly two years ago against Mr. Noerdlinger and attempt a fresh start in this case – despite the fact that Mr. Noerdlinger was damaged by the false public accusations from Grootenboer that he was a killer and a drug dealer all this time.  It was only when the Bergen County Prosecutor was shown the misconduct of Grootenboer and the perjury of case detective James Costello that the manslaughter charge was dismissed.  However, simply telling the Court that it “will not be filing a response to defendant’s motion to dismiss,” will not put an end to our inquiry and attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman and Lee Vartan will continue their efforts to dismiss the remaining charges against Mr. Noerdlinger as well as filing a lawsuit against Grootenboer, Costello and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for the deprivation of Mr. Noerdlinger’s civil rights.  Only in this way will the people of Bergen County see the true face of the prosecutors who have sworn to protect them. Continue reading

jl-KHARI-SEP-22-300x235 Nineteen months after charging Khari Noerdlinger with manslaughter and describing him as a violent drug dealer, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office has dismissed the charge and admitted that Noerdlinger was not involved in a drug deal during an attack on him which left him injured and one of his three attackers dead.  A review of the grand jury transcript revealed that the Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor and case detective worked together to deceive the grand jury about the danger facing Khari when he was attacked by three men with weapons including multiple knives as well as the injuries he suffered during it – all in an effort to negate any legitimate claim of self-defense the grand jury repeatedly asked about.  During this 19 month period, there was apparently no oversight in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and it took the defense to carefully lay out the obvious perjury in the grand jury presentation in order to get the faulty manslaughter charge dismissed.  All of the materials provided by defense attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman and Lee Vartan which proved the commission of perjury were in the possession of the prosecutors and provided to the defense as part of routine discovery disclosure.  Despite the obvious subornation of perjury by the Assistant Prosecutor, Danielle Grootenboer, and the perjury of the testifying case detective, James Costello, they have not been suspended and continue to menace the people of Bergen County.  No apology, additionally, has been issued by the Bergen County Prosecutor for the perjury which led to the bogus manslaughter indictment as well as the repeated false public claim that Khari was dealing drugs at the time of the incident. Continue reading

fata-300x203Time and time again, clients have hired us due to false accusations of rape or assault by people they know: an angry ex, a soon to be former wife, a college date feeling remorseful after a night of sex – or just some stalker hoping to extort our client out of some money with the threat of going to the police with a tall tale.  Traditionally, we have investigated the cases immediately and gotten the cases tossed out, cases as serious as Assault in the First Degree (New York Penal Law § 120.10) and Rape in the First Degree (New York Penal Law § 130.35), both punishable by up to decades in prison.  But lately we have done more than simply get the cases tossed out: we have gone after the accusers both civilly and criminally.  In some instances, additionally, we have gotten the accusers arrested before they could even make good on their threat to bring a false accusation to law enforcement if an extortion payment was not made by our client.  Such serious, but false, accusations are deeply hurtful, damaging – and potentially life-altering.  They require more than fighting off the prosecutor’s criminal charge since the accuser, despite making a false accusation, will otherwise suffer no harm once the case is dismissed.  By getting the complainant arrested or sued for damages, you can be sure that your accuser will never be heard from again – which is exactly what you want and need.  Continue reading

I am writing again on the topic of domestic violence cases because we have recently seen in our office and in the news a rash of very weak charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office – based upon complaints clearly designed to manipulate or punish the accused. Arrests were made by law enforcement without even the most cursory attempt to learn the truth behind the allegations.  After just a few weeks following the arrest – to allow for a defense investigation and/or presentation to prosecutors – most of the charges were either dismissed or severely lowered.  Had the investigations occurred before the arrest and not afterward, the defendants would have been spared significant time, expense, damage to career and personal humiliation.  Moral to the story: when charged in a New York domestic violence case, hire the best New York domestic violence attorney you can so that he can immediately expose false allegations and allow you to get your life back as quickly as possible.  Without a strong and experienced attorney with a history of success, prosecutors are more likely to simply allow the case to fester which will only cause continued damage to the defendant’s life and career.  Continue reading

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence crime in New York, do not panic.  Despite often carrying very serious penalties with sometimes painful personal and professional ramifications, these charges can be often be defeated through intensive investigation well before the trial stage, due to certain factors specific to these types of cases.  To start, domestic violence itself is not a criminal charge: the crimes usually associated with domestic violence incidents often include Assault, Harassment and Stalking.  The various assault charges contained in the New York Penal Law (NYPL §§ 120.00, 120.05 and 120.10) can rise as high as a B felony and as low as a misdemeanor – the range comes with potential jail time from up to 25 years down to probation.  In this post, I’ll give you some thoughts and ideas on what to do if charged with a domestic violence-related charge in New York.  Continue reading

When the cellphone video was released in 2015 of former North Charleston, S.C. police officer Michael Slager shooting an apparently unarmed man named Walter Scott, while Scott ran away from the officer after a routine traffic stop, the country reacted in horror.  That Slager is white and Scott an African American only exacerbated the current simmering topic of race relations in this country as well as the national debate of how police officers use deadly force – which oftentimes ends with a dead black man.  Slager was charged with murder in South Carolina and also indicted federally on civil rights charges and obstruction of justice for lying to a grand jury when he testified that Scott approached him with a Taser.  Now, over a year later inside a South Carolina courtroom, the jury appears deadlocked with one holdout who refuses to convict the jury – and the nation wonders how could this happen?  Continue reading

While hazing was once solely an issue confined to disciplinary or honor boards of colleges or universities, today prosecutors in New York are regularly enforcing anti-hazing laws in criminal courts – with devastating, long-term effects on college students.  News headlines today are filled with hazing offenses sometimes even leading to the death of students.  If you or a loved one are being investigated for hazing at NYU, Columbia, Fordham, Cornell or any other college or university in New York, you will need to hire a top New York school discipline attorney who also specializes in criminal defense work in order to avoid being expelled or even convicted and jailed for a crime.  Continue reading

RhoRobert Rho, a Queens gynecologist, has retained Jeffrey Lichtman to defend him against a single charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree brought against him by the Queens County District Attorney three months after a patient died following a second trimester abortion procedure.  Charged with a violation of New York Penal Law § 125.15 – and facing 0-15 years in prison – it is alleged that Dr. Rho recklessly caused the death of his patient after complications arose following the completion of the abortion and a corrective procedure thereafter.  Despite performing over 40,000 abortions in his 23 year career – which includes more than 900 higher risk abortions per year – this is the first and only time a patient has died while under Dr. Rho’s care.  Despite performing so many abortions and high risk procedures over the years without any significant complications, and despite having a spotless medical disciplinary record, Dr. Rho becomes the first New York abortion doctor in decades to face criminal charges due to the unforseen complications which caused the death of his patient in July.  Continue reading

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

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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