Lowell J. Sidney
NYC Criminal Law News from the Law Offices of Lowell J. Sidney
The Manhattan Club on W. 56th St., near iconic Carnegie Hall, is a high-end, luxury hotel. It describes itself as a “residence-style boutique hotel” combining the style of a vacation ownership property with the luxury of a world-class hotel. It perhaps makes sense that it is a difficult hotel to book—maybe too difficult, especially for owners of a timeshare program run out of the hotel. As a result, buyers have complained about the timeshare program to the Attorney General’s office.
Ian Bruce Eichner, the developer for the Manhattan Club, has been accused of building a fraudulent timeshare business. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has charged Eichner and other club associates for allegedly selling 14,000 timeshares for a hotel with only 286 units. Buyers were allegedly told that the hotel does not cater to the general public and that booking for the hotel would be easy and straightforward.
Eric Schneiderman apparently conducted an investigation into the hotel’s timeshare program using his own staff, who said the sales team used high-pressure tactics and inaccurate information to sell units. However, Eichner’s company has promised to be completely and totally cooperative with the Attorney General’s office, hoping to provide clarity and dispel the allegations with the truth.
When the power of the State Attorney General is directed toward an individual or a business, hiring a criminal defense attorney is even more vital than it normally is. In cases such as these, the prosecution will often begin gathering evidence before making formal charges (as demonstrated by Mr. Schneiderman’s staff).
Calling a Brooklyn criminal defense lawyer would not be an admission or even a sign of guilt, either—you can fully cooperate with law enforcement while acting under the advice and protection of a lawyer. That’s why having an attorney on your side as soon as possible can make a significant difference in your case—our work helps put the situation back in your control, preventing information from being used against you unfairly or without context.
If you suspect that you are the subject of a criminal investigation, call our attorney as soon as possible. As a former prosecutor, I have the inside knowledge and strategic experience you need to maximize your chance for a positive outcome. Call (718) 395-2067 today.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is filled with laughs, but it’s also filled with a lot of knowledge. In the recent “Public Defenders” episode, there's important information about public defenders that everyone can afford to hear.
If you don’t already know, a public defender is a criminal defense lawyer appointed by a court of law for legal counsel. Public defenders are publicly-funded, meaning they are funded by the state—and are at the mercy of state bureaucracy, high caseloads, and low wages. As a defendant in a criminal case, this means that you are one of several hundred individuals that the public defender counsels in a single year.
Public Defenders Have Too Many Cases
For public defenders, the work never ends, and there’s little that they can do about it. In most areas of the United States, state guidelines restrict the number of criminal cases that a public defender can take on in a year. However, these restrictions are frequently overlooked. For example, public defenders in Fresno County, CA frequently work on as many as 1,000 felony cases in a year, when the state guideline is 150 felony cases.
Public defenders with heavy caseloads may not have the time or ability to build a strong and capable defense strategy for your criminal case.
Meet ‘Em & Plead ‘Em
With so many cases to go through, it’s not unrealistic for public defenders to consider plea bargains to be an effective way of resolving heavy caseloads. Some studies find that 90% - 95% of state and federal cases end in guilty pleas with a plea bargain.
Plea bargains may be the most effective course of action for some criminal cases. However, there are many other cases where pleading guilty is simply cheaper and faster, but not the best choice for the person who has been charged with a crime.
Entering a plea bargain does not guarantee that you will receive better treatment than if you take your case to trial. It may only save the public defender time and money.
Public Defender Offices Are Underfunded
Some public defender offices don’t have investigation teams, others don’t have enough money to stay up to date on health and safety codes. As publicly-funded attorneys, public defenders are already underpaid for the caseload they endure each year. Combined with poor office budgets, there isn’t enough expendable income for public defenders to keep their offices fully-stocked with resources.
Public defender offices are understaffed, and public defenders are underpaid. Being so short on resources, they don’t have access to all the tools you may need in your case.
Explore Your Options Before Hiring A Public Defender
It may sound like retaining attorney counsel is free of charge is too good to be true, and depending on what state you are in (and a roll of the dice), it could be. In many states, local municipalities may actually apply charges for retaining a public defender through a court of law. If you’re thinking of retaining a public defender in New York, take the time to explore all of your legal options. The difference could be thousands of dollars, and the success or failure of your case!
Contact a criminal defense attorney in Brooklyn and discuss your situation!
If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Brooklyn, you could be facing some very serious consequences. For first time offenders, a DWI conviction could send a person to jail for a year, cost them up to $1,000 in fines, and cause them to lose your driving privileges for 6-months. For those with prior DWI convictions, the penalties are even more severe.
For this reason, it is critical to fight your DWI charges by retaining an experienced Brooklyn criminal defense attorney. When you retain the Law Offices of Lowell J. Sidney, their lawyer will become a devoted advocate for your rights and freedom and will work tirelessly to craft a maximally effective DWI defense.
Three Common & Effective DWI Defenses
Challenging the Results of a Breathalyzer Test
Most people think of Breathalyzer tests as a reliable indicator of your blood alcohol content. While they can be very accurate under perfect circumstances, there are many reasons why they might show heightened BAC levels.
Some of the most common examples include:
- The breathalyzer must be properly maintained or calibrated for accurate results
- Certain health conditions can cause inaccurate readings
- Mouthwash or similar alcohol-based hygiene products can cause false readings
There are many more reasons why the results from a Breathalyzer tests may be in accurate. If your Brooklyn defense attorney is able to bring the results of the test into question, they may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
Disputing the Legality of the DWI Stop
With the exception of DWI checkpoints, the vast majority of DWI arrests occur following a routine traffic stop for a common infraction. Common reasons the police will stop you include speeding, driving recklessly, and failing to yield to a stop light or stop sign.
If the reason for the initial traffic stop was not legal, then in most cases any evidence related to the subsequent DWI investigation will be inadmissible. Without evidence, the state will have a very tough time creating an effective case against you. Even if your attorney can only get some evidence dismissed, this will still weaken the prosecution’s case.
Challenging the Results of a Blood Test
Blood tests are usually performed after the arrest at the police station, or at specialized vehicles which are often present at DWI checkpoints. These are considered to be the most accurate and reliable type of test for blood alcohol content, but they can still yield inaccurate results. In 2013, an error was discovered at a DWI testing lab in Orange County, California, which caused inaccuracies in more than 2,000 blood tests. An experienced Brooklyn criminal defense lawyer can often use expert witnesses to bring the results of a blood test into question on a number of technicalities.
Don’t face DWI charges alone. Call The Law Offices of Lowell J. Sidney today to secure his experienced counsel.
On June 26, the Supreme Court made a historic ruling, stating that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage—meaning gay and lesbian couples across the U.S. are finally able to get married and have their unions recognized by the law. The Supreme Court decision was an incredibly powerful and transformative one, which shapes the way we will all understand what it means to live in freedom.
I am pleased to witness this victory in equality, and I would like to personally extend a congratulations to the LGBT community on the long overdue ruling. I am thrilled to share in this moment of celebration and joy, and I fully believe that we are all one large step closer to fairness and equality for all people.
I welcome all members of LGBT community and its allies to my offices. If you are in need of a Brooklyn criminal defense attorney to handle your DWI, assault, or drug related case, I am ready to represent you and your family.
Contact my office today for the experienced representation you deserve.