Over the past few weeks, the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC successfully advocated for clients in both NYC’s Criminal and Family Courts to obtain dismissals for Attempted Extortion and Aggravated Harassment respectively, and against the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) to avoid the arrest of an autistic young man for Forcible Touching in another. An easy task it was not, but the resolutions were just dispositions welcomed by our clients and a continuation of similar successes many Crotty Saland PC clients have enjoyed during the past months and years.
Forcible Touching & Related Offenses
In a Pro Bono matter involving a young man with severe autism, the NYPD sought his surrender and arrest for allegedly touching a young woman around the breast area on top of her clothing. While the conduct was not in dispute, over the course of a month we provided the NYPD with medical records and other evidence demonstrating the significant impact autism had on our client’s communication skills, social awareness, and general understanding of his alleged conduct towards another autistic young adult. In the simplest of terms, while our client was an adult in terms of his age, his impairment rendered him no different than a minor child. Ultimately, upon sharing relevant information and convincing the detective that our client would not understand nor be capable of going through the arrest process, and that he lacked the knowledge and intent necessary to establish the criminal elements of Forcible Touching, the NYPD agreed to change course on the “collar”. Instead of prosecuting this young man, his family, program, and healthcare providers needed to work with him within his abilities and make efforts to keep him away from certain situations to best ensure the behavior would not occur again.
Attempted Extortion & Related Offenses
The NYPD arrested and the District Attorney prosecuted our client for Attempted Extortion and related crimes. It was alleged that after a date went awry, our client called and messaged the would-be girlfriend and demanded a return of any monies spent on her for that date and or our client’s time or he would expose certain things about her, whether true or not, in order to shame and embarrass the complainant. While Crotty Saland PC regularly represents parties who are the target of Blackmail and Extortion in efforts to resolve these matters privately without law enforcement’s participation, this case involved an individual on the other side of the interaction. Nonetheless, in this matter our client faced life altering charges and consequences not commensurate with the facts, evidence, and claims. Fortunately, with some effort and time, our attorneys resolved the case with an outright dismissal.
Respondent in an Article 8 Family Court Order of Protection Petition
After purportedly making claims against a family member through various forms of social media, a Family Court Judge issued a Restraining Order in favor of the petitioner and against our client pursuant to Article 8 of the Family Court Act. Despite a well written motion to dismiss the Family Offense of Second Degree Aggravated Harassment under the theory that our client’s conduct was protected speech and did not violate the law, the Court denied our request to dismiss the matter. Not willing to accept this decision and agreeing with our lawyers that the Court made the wrong decision, our client initially considered appealing. Ultimately, however, our client took another route refusing to negotiate a consent order with the petitioner and seeking to exonerate herself at a fact-finding hearing. Although there are no guarantees in the legal world, our client’s courage paid off. Upon the close of her accuser’s case, the Court agreed with the petitioner that our client caused him annoyance and alarm, but with Crotty Saland PC that he failed to establish a prima facie case of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree before dismissing the case with prejudice and vacating the protective order.
Merely three matters among many recent cases handled by Crotty Saland PC, our attorneys have justly resolved numerous cases over the past weeks and months with dismissals and non-criminal dispositions. Although it will be addressed in a later entry, one such client eventually walked away completely exonerated after being dragged through three separate proceedings in both Manhattan and Brooklyn Criminal Court and Brooklyn Family Court due to an ex-wife’s fabricated claims of Domestic Violence.
Crotty Saland PC is a New York law firm representing clients in both Family and Criminal Court, Title IX and collegiate code of conduct proceedings, and as targets of Blackmail, Harassment, and related misconduct in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and elsewhere in the state.