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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27082
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Im a first time felon on a gun charge sentedence 3 yrs in

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I'm a first time felon on a gun charge sentedence 3 yrs in jail 3 yrs parole got a licsene in S.C. arrested in Brooklyn N.Y. someone said I could sue, is that true?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

I'm not sure what you are suing for. NYS doesn't recognize any other gun license than its own. NYC doesn't even recognize a NYS license. It's the toughest state in the nation when it comes to possession of guns.

So if what you are saying is that you can sue NYC for arresting you for a felony when you had an out of state license for the gun, I don't see how it's going to fly. But, you didn't give me many details here, and I may be putting your facts together incorrectly. If that's so, use the reply box below to give me the additional information and reshape your question so that I can see why you think you may have a suit.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the court appointed lawyer, told me to get a tard lawyer when i get out, because. they will owe me alot of money. what could she have meant?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The court appointed lawyer, told me to get a tard lawyer when i get out, because they will owe me a lot of money. What could she have meant?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

I am sorry for the delay. We can only answer one customer at a time, and I had to finish the customer I was working with before I could get back to you.

In my experience public defenders in NYC know when one of their clients has a civil or civil rights suit against the city. But I don't have enough information about why you are in jail to know if the lawyer was advising you to sue or if she was simply saying you could try.

I still need you to tell me what facts your public defender used to determine that you had a suit. I'll go through this with you, but you're going to have to tell me when/where/how you got arrested and what the present status of your case is.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
First I"m retied from the post office / I was going to closing on a house in S.C. had to take a trip back to new york, took the gun for different reason/ but got stopped for a dwi and the cops found the gun, I did 2yrs +6months in jail +presently doing 3 yrs post release.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

I am very sorry to hear this, because I know how very tough the laws are if caught with a gun in one of the boroughs of NYC. Like I said, the City has its own license and doesn't evern recognize the a license in the rest of the state. Used to be that you could get five years of felony probation on a gun possession felony. Then the law toughened some years ago and the courts were calling for mandatory jail time. It has been this way ever since.

I can tell you other sad stories like yours of people who have come into -- or even through -- NYC unaware of the gun laws and assumed that if they could establish that the weapon was lawfully registered to them elsewhere, they'd escape a felony conviction. But I understand that this won't make you feel better.

I don't see anything in what you've told me that indicates you have a suit, especially as it appears you pled guilty to the charge in the first place, but it may not have to do with the gun piece but with the stop and the DWI part of the case. So even though I don't see a suit based on what you have told me, I will tell you what you need to do, and then you can sit down one on one and share the whole story with civil rights lawyer, and see after he's talked to you whether he thinks you would have a viable suit.

In order to sue NYC, if that's what the PD was suggesting you should do, for wrongful arrest or unlawful detention, you have to retain a civil trial lawyer and file something they call a notice of claim within 90 days of your release. That lets the city know that you plan on suing them. Once you get the notice filed, you get the regular statutory time to file the suit. However failure to file the notice on time is generally fatal, in that it will prevent you from filing suit at all.

This file from the City will explain it all.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was released on 7/25/11 now what do i do?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

If it is more than 90 days, you may not be able to do anything at all. You need to talk to a civil/civil rights tort litigator and see whether, first of all, you actually have a claim against the city. Then, if there is one, you need him to tell you whether you can still file a suit against the city without having filed a notice of claim within the 90 day window of opportunity.

The City is pretty firm about the notice of claim. Your former public defender cannot file this on your behalf because although it is related to your criminal case, it is a civil action, and their job does not allow them to practice in civil court. But you might want to call her all the same, if she is still there and get her to clarify why she told you that you had a suit, so you can pass that along to the attorney you will consult with.

To find the civil attorney, you can contact the New york State Bar Association's Legal referral service. They prescreen and guarantee to hook you up with an active member of the bar in good professional standing. Their referral fee is $35 and that includes a free half hour appointment with the attorney. Additionally, you do not have to hire him if you don't want to. If you are not still in NY, you can have the "consultation" over the phone so that you don't have to make the trip back up.

In any case, you will want to look into this as soon as you can, because you are already past the deadline, and further delay is not a good idea.
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