The postings below present recent noteworthy CAL court appearances and case outcomes. Please use the Contact Us inquiry form if you'd like further information about any of these cases.

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals vacated our client's conviction after the trial court refused to allow cross-examination of police witnesseses about prior instances of dishonesty. It was an abuse of discretion to prohibit counsel from exploring one officer's misstatements to a federal prosecutor in a different matter, as well as prior judicial determinations rejecting both officers' testimony as incredible. John Vang represented the client in the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals.
On August 22, 2019, CAL client NR’s conviction for possession of a gravity knife was vacated, the accusatory instrument dismissed, and the case sealed. NR’s motion was granted on prosecutorial consent following the state’s repeal of the gravity knife ban. Kate Skolnick represents NR.
The Appellate Division ordered a de novo resentencing for our client after the prosecution had argued that a 30 year sentence should be imposed by running the sentences for criminal use of a weapon and robbery consecutively.   On appeal, we successfully argued that the conviction violated double jeopardy principles and the Appellate Division dismissed the criminal use count and ordered resentencing on all counts.
AD1 affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the indictment based on counsel’s ineffectiveness in botching a meritorious 30.30  motion.  The hearing court had found that counsel had no strategic reason for filing the motion when he did and that had counsel kept accurate records and filed the motion ten days later, it would have been granted.  Accordingly the client was entitled to have the indictment dismissed.
On April 6, the New York County Criminal Court vacated G.C.’s guilty plea and petit larceny conviction, which had triggered deportation proceedings against him, on the grounds that G.C. was given inaccurate immigration advice. G.C. then pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal trespass in satisfaction of the accusatory instrument against him. G.C. is no longer deportable as a consequence of his state criminal convictions. Scott H. Henney represented G.C. in this matter.
Decided on April 4, 2019
Our client D.G. was convicted at trial of violating Agriculture & Markets Law § 353 for allegedly harming his dog.  The indictment alleged that D.G. personally injured his dog, and, at trial, his attorneys argued that his uncle had been responsible.  The trial court instructed the jury on many more theories of potential guilt than alleged in the indictment, including that D.G. could be guilty if he permitted another person to injure the dog.  On appeal, our office argued that the trial court’s instruction constructively amended the indictment.  Although the issue was not preserved, the Appellate Division reached it in the interest of justice and reversed the conviction.  Alexandra Mitter represented D.G.

On April 2, the Bronx County Supreme Court vacated CAL client H.M.’s 20-year sentence for first-degree manslaughter and resentenced him as a youthful offender to one-and-a-half to four years, effectively ordering his immediate release. H.M. was only 16 years old at the time of the crime and eligible for youthful offender treatment, but the court failed to consider it at the time of his initial sentencing. At resentencing, the court was presented with substantial mitigating evidence along with proof of H.M.’s remarkable success while incarcerated, both warranting his adjudication. Ben Wiener and Allison Haupt represented H.M. on his C.P.L. § 440.20 motion and at his resentencing.

On March 22, the Bronx County Supreme Court vacated CAL client G.J.’s first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery convictions, both B felonies, on the grounds that G.J. pleaded guilty to those crimes without being told that, in light of those convictions, he would be deported. G.J. then pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted second-degree assault, a non-deportable E felony, in satisfaction of the indictment against him. Scott H. Henney represented G.J. on appeal, which resulted in G.J.’s case being remanded to the trial court, and during the trial court proceedings.
On March 19, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department, held that the trial court erred in finding that our client, S.H., had no standing to move for the suppression of the weapon for which he was charged with possession simply because it was recovered from the ground.  The Court further held that the trial court erred when it precluded defense counsel from cross-examining a police officer with respect to a settled federal civil case against him for false arrest.  The Court therefore remanded S.H.’s case for a new determination of the suppression issue and for a new trial.

On February 28, the Appellate Division, First Department, held, vacated CAL client A.T.’s conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon.  The unlawful possession of ammunition provision provides that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person not authorized to possess a pistol or revolver within the city of New York to possess pistol or revolver ammunition[.]” No appellate court in New York had addressed whether the italicized language meant that the People had the burden of proving that defendants charged under this provision did not possess pistol or revolver licenses, or whether defendants were required to offer proof that they had licenses in order to defeat the charge. The First Department agreed with us that the plain text of the provision and New York law governing statutory construction required the People to prove that A.T. was not authorized to possess a pistol or revolver within New York City, which the People had not shown in A.T.’s case. A.T. was represented on appeal by Scott H. Henney.