Client with Previous Felony Record Gets Disordely Conduct After Charged with Felony Criminal Mischief

The New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC are pleased to announce a top disposition for a client charged with Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree (New York Penal Law 145.05), Auto Stripping in the Third Degree (New York Penal Law 165.09) and Attempted Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 110/155.25). The most serious offense, NY PL 145.05, is an “E” felony punishable by up to four years in state prison.

Prosecutors alleged that our client, an individual who had previously been convicted of violating New York Penal Law 265.03 for possessing a loaded firearm, took a brick and smashed it through the back trunk window of a vehicle parked in Manhattan. After allegedly smashing out the window, our client is further alleged to have reached inside the vehicle in the presence of a plain clothes officer and an independent eyewitness. Ultimately, the police arrested our client and the owner of the vehicle assessed the damage at $1,000. Charged with a felony, and previously convicted of a violent felony, prosecutors offered our client a “sweetheart” deal of a misdemeanor plea and restitution. Unhappy with the offer, our client, who was represented by a “public defender,” consulted with and retained Saland Law PC.

Upon reviewing the case, our criminal attorneys determined that significant issues existed that fortified our client’s defense despite the police officer and independent witnesses’ observations. Although much was on the line should prosecutors present the case against our client to the Grand Jury and a misdemeanor offer was rejected, we advised our client to pursue a better disposition than the one offered.

Fairly straight forward, one is guilty of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree if he or she, without permission, intentionally causes damage to another person’s property in an amount that exceeds $250. While the facts and allegations against our client seemed equally clear, when we dissected the matter further we learned that our client obtained a prescription for ambien (a drug used to aid in sleeping) earlier that day. Using that medication to sleep, our client asserted that he had no recollection of the incident for which he was arrested. Research revealed that one of the side effects of ambien is “sleepwalking.” Not merely relying on the possibility that our client could have suffered from “sleepwalking” when the incident occurred, we further corroborated our client’s lack of intent to cause damage to the vehicle or steal from it. To that end, we were able to establish that at the time of the incident our client was wearing nothing other than shorts (no tee shirt, shoes, etc.). Moreover, our client had resided in a family owned building three doors down from where the vehicle was parked and served as a superintendant for over ten years at that location. Objectively, it made little to no sense that an individual who had no trouble with the law since a conviction in the 1990s would smash a vehicle window and attempt to steal from that vehicle in a location doors down from where our client owned a building. Moreover, if an individual would in fact attempt to steal from a car parked in a neighborhood where he or she is likely known to many residents, it is probable that the person would wear sneakers and a shirt so he or she could flee as quickly as possible.

Combining all of these factors together, the prosecution ultimately agreed to offer a better deal than the original misdemeanor offer. Avoiding a new criminal conviction, probation, community service or incarceration, our criminal attorneys convinced the District Attorney’s Office to permit our client to plead to a violation of Disorderly Conduct. While an argument could have been made that our client should have sought a complete dismissal, the risk-reward analysis dictated that a non-criminal plea was the best possible disposition. At a minimum, it was exponentially better than either a misdemeanor or felony conviction.

To further educate yourself on any of the crimes listed above, including Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, please follow the highlighted links above. To learn more about other crimes, please review the website or the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com.

Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, the New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC represent those accused of criminal offenses throughout New York City and the region.

Note: Although this disposition is one of many tremendous results for a Saland Law PC client, past results do not guarantee future outcomes. Each and every case is unique.

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