Case Studies of Actual Cases
Everyone says you should make sure that your lawyer has experience handling criminal cases, but it is hard to get a real handle on the nature and quality of that experience. "Have you handled criminal cases before?" Answer : "Yes.". Ok, then what? What new and important information do you really have about the lawyer or law firm you are considering? Not much, really. So we offer a sample of case studies of actual cases we have handled that really go under the hood to give you an idea of how we think about cases and how we handle them. These case studies were prepared by the lawyer who handled the case.
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A client was arrested for one of the most serious crimes on the books, an A1 Kidnapping charge, on the basis of allegations made by a former girlfriend that he kidnapped her and drove her around NYC and Nassau County at gun point, all the while making terrible violent threats to her and her family. The problem was that he was absolutely innocent and video surveillance ultimately proved this. While ultimately all charges were dropped, the experience for our innocent client, which included a subsequent arrest based on further false allegations (also dismissed) for violating an order of protection, was incomprehensible, terrifying, and unfair. Read more about this case and about how our criminal justice system, at least in the context of domestic violence prosecutions, seems to be shifting from a system designed to protect the innocent, even at high cost, to a system designed to punish the guilty regardless of the consequences for the innocent.
One of the scariest of all defenses for the criminal defense lawyer is the so-called "false confession" defense - where the Government presents evidence of a confession by the defendant but the defendant claims that the confession is not true. The worry is that jurors will be naturally suspicious of such a defense. Partner Don Murray takes a deep dive into this fascinating case and he ultimately concludes that it was an innovative approach to jury selection that made the biggest difference for his client in the end.
One of the all time classic problems in Criminal Law is the mistaken identification, and Don Murray reviews one of his more interesting and frightening examples in Robbery in the First Degree case. You will get to watch the surveillance video that ultimately led to the Government dismissing the case. The video showed Mr. Murray's client leaving a movie theatre about 20 miles from the scene of the robbery at the exact time that the robbery was taking place.
Modern communication methods available through widespread use of cell phones have found their way into criminal courtrooms. Don Murray explores a Robbery in the First Degree trial where he was able to obtain an acquittal (not-guilty verdict) primarily through a careful analysis of the text content and the timing of text messages between his client and his client's girlfriend.
Getting evidence, especially critical evidence like a gun from gun possession case, is extremely rare in the real world of criminal court. Partner Don Murray shares his thoughts about a criminal possession weapon second degree felony case where he ultimately won suppression of a gun and spared his client a substantial mandatory minimum prison sentence.