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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12899
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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I was arrested on Saturday June 29th at approximately 2:15am

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I was arrested on Saturday June 29th at approximately 2:15am in NYC. I was informed that I was supposed to see a judge within 24 hours of my arrest. I did not see a judge until 2pm of Monday afternoon. I was not able to make a phone call until 8pm Sunday night. Do I have grounds to file some type of complaint of mistreatment? Second question.... I am a Marine Corps veteran who served as a Military Policeman and SWAT team member. Upon my release from active duty, I became a NYS Peace Officer for a small police department. I have no criminal history. On July 4th of last year, while I was in my home with friends, two guys entered my gate and threatened to kill me. This was the result of a friend of mine exploding fireworks that got a little too close to them. These guys are apart of the Bloods gang. I live in the South Bronx of New York City where shootings and slashings are a normal occurance. I am a 31 year old man, a husband and father of three. I've never been threatened with death before. Much less for something as ridiculous as this incident. After this day, I was contacted by someone who I assumed to be a friend of mine. He told me that guy who threatened me wanted me to give him $1,000 and if I didn't then he would "See me in the streets." I told them I would give them nothing. He said, "You gonna get yours." A few months after this happened, I ran into the same guy in the street and if it had not been for mutual friends who interfered, I'm positive it would've become physical. All this stuff happening made me feel like I needed something to help protect myself and my family. At the time, I was on the waiting list for the City and State Corrections Officer job, as I had already taken and passed both exams with a 90 or better percentile. I didn't want to do anything to put myself at risk. But, I was being threatened and literally followed around in my neighborhood. All my friends are police officers and correction officers. I am not the "Typical" South Bronx kind of guy. I spoke to a friend of mine about my problems. He told me that he had a weapon he could loan me. But, the weapon was non-functional. The firing pin was broken. But, in my opinion, I could keep the weapon in my home and if ever they came back, I could use the weapon for face value....meaning, if they saw a weapon, hopefully, it would make them back off long enough for the police to arrive. It could possibly save me from them. So, I brought the weapon home. On Saturday, I wanted to go to the store. It was almost 2am. But, immediately after making the decision to go to the store, I remembered about me being approached two times by these guys around the corner. Beyond my better judgement, I put the weapon in my back pocket just in case I ran into them, I could use it as a deterrent knowing that it doesn't work. I made it to the store and on my way back, I was approached by a uniformed police officer who told me, he was approached by someone outside of the store who told him that I might have a weapon on me. He then asked me, "Do you have a weapon on you?" I answered, "Yes." At that point, the rest is history. I am now being charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm. (The magaine contained ONE round. Nothing in the chamber.) Again, the firearm doesn't even work. I explained this all to the police with the hopes of them understanding, but of course, I was the criminal. I was in jail from Saturday night (Sunday morning) until Monday afternoon at 2pm. I was released on my own recognizance. No bail. Thank God. I was told yesterday by my court appointed attorney that the prosecutor is going to present the case to the grand jury. To be very, very honest, I am afraid and nervous beyond words. My attorney says, due to my clean criminal background, my military background as well as my law enforcement background, he is going to work on getting the case dismissed. Hopefully, I can get probation or community service or even both. My daughters were so distraught to find out that daddy was in jail. I can't stand the thought of being away from them. I'm looking for insight regarding this crazy issue. Can you please help? What are the chances of things going uphill instead of downhill for me?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.

Can you please let me know what is your specific legal question for me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm sure I was clear in my LONG message.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In your professional opinion, what are the possibilities I have??

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The answer to your first question that it is generally 24 business hours within which a criminal defendant is usually brought before the judge in NYC, however if the time of arrest is on the weekend, the defendant would not be brought before the court until Monday and in some cases Tuesday or later.

Please keep in mind that we are prohibited from providing JustAnswer.com customers with any type of legal advice / opinion or legal service, which can only be provided by your local attorney and the only scope of our service is providing JustAnswer.com customers with general answers to JA customers' legal questions.


I have read your entire question and facts, however it is impossible to try to guess what could or would happen in any particular case, that is why I asked you if you can please state a specific question for me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Understood.


When a case goes to grand jury, it is standard operating procedure for a felony case in New York City, am I correct?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Yes. You are correct.

Under New York State law, unless the defendant consents, all felony cases must be presented to the Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury can vote an indictment (a written statement that defendant is being charged with a commission of a felony) or the grand jury might not vote for an indictment (No TrueBill) and then the charge would be dropped.

Unfortunately, the Grand Jury is an "arm" of the DA office and generally it is very easy for DA to obtain an indictment, especially given the fact that only prosecutor is allowed to present evidence and Grand Jury only gets to hear one side.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I did read that as well. I nor my attorney can not be present at the grand jury hearing. Which almost definitively guarantees an indictment. Sucks to be me.


Is it possible to still make some type of deal with the DA?


 

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Did you hire an experienced local criminal defense attorney to represent you?

Was any type of plea deal offered by the DA yet?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, I haven't hired a private attorney yet. I was represented by a public defender right out of jail. I felt that since he was able to get me out of jail with no bail, ROR, that he may be good enough to handle this case. Regardless, I have still been doing research into other private attorneys.


Unfortunately, up until this point, no deal has been offered by the DA. I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 9am with my attorney to discuss some details of the case. He doesn't want to discuss too much over the phone, which kind of tenses me up. But, I guess I will find out more tomorrow.


My attorney told me that due to my being a veteran and having a clean record as well as being prior law enforcement, that it's very likely that he can get this case dismissed or put on probation.......I am not a criminal. I am a family man and this will help in court, he says. Also, the fact that the weapon is non-functional will help.


Does any of this sound right to you??

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, you are currently facing a class C felony, which carries a mandatory 3 1/2 years in the state prison upon conviction and a maximum of 15 years in prison, which is an extremely serious charge to face. However there is a loophole in the sentencing law, which allows the judge to not sentence a defendant convicted of this charge to a mandatory minimum state prison sentence, "in the interest of justice".

In any case it given the fact as to how serious this felony is, it would be a good idea for you to consult and retain an experienced private criminal defense attorney who has hanldled similar gun charges in the past before the same court.

I do agree with your public defender that your military service, lack of prior criminal convictions, employment / family status would be mitigating factors, which might help reduce your sentence or hegotiate a more favorable plea, however such facts would not be a defense to a charge of possession of a loaded weapon, even if the weapon was not functional.

I wish you the best of luck!
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Do you have any related follow up questions for me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No more follow up questions. Thank you for your concern.


So far, I found out that I was charged with three counts of possession of a weapon and one charge of possession of ammunition. The first two charges are felonies and the second two are misdemeanors.


I went to court a couple of weeks ago represented by my legal aid attorney. The ballistics test for the weapon came back from the lab and it was confirmed that the weapon was totally inoperable. Due to that fact, the DA decided they didn't have any further evidence to pursue a convinction so they dismissed the two felony counts of possession of a weapon. (Thank God.)


Court was adjourned until September when I have to report to respond for the final two misdemeanors. My attorney says, being that the DA has already dismissed the felonies it's a good chance that he can get the misdemeanors reduced to minor violations. I may end up doing some community service, but he's hopeful and optimistic that because of my extensive military and law enforcement background and lack of criminal record, he can get this situation taken care of. Hopefully, all goes well. God knows I'm still on edge.


Thank you for your feedback to my questions. I appreciate it. Be well.


 

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the update and I am extremely happy that the case is going in the right direction and most serious felony charges against you got dropped and hopefully the other misdemeanor would get reduced to a violation or dismissed.

I wish you the best of luck.

Please click on the "Excellent Service" feedback, so I can receive credit for my answer.

Bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, but are not required.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12899
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney
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