Articles Posted in New York City

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A New York Robbery Lawyer discusses the details of a court case that illustrates the difference between first and second degree robbery.

A, B, and T were brought before the court on charges of first degree robbery. B and T were found guilty of the charges while A was acquitted (found innocent). B and T submitted an appeal to the Court of Appeals for a review of the case.

According to reports, on March 6, 1964, M, a taxi driver, was driving along Bronx River Avenue, in the Bronx, when he was hailed by T, A, and B. Tillman sat behind him while B sat in the middle and Anderson, on the right side. M said that he saw T reach over and take his money changer. T was holding a gun. Then, one of the other men grabbed his throat. During the struggle, M said he also saw B holding a gun.

A was found innocent of the robbery charges. M explained that he did not see do anything during the whole incident and that he did not have a gun. T was charged with the Sullivan Act, a gun control law, but was later found innocent. B was also found innocent of illegal gun possession because of a lack of evidence. No one could really say if B was just holding the gun, if he owned it, or if it actually belonged to Mangum.

In the end, both T and B were found guilty of first degree robbery.

After reviewing the facts of the case, the Court of Appeals announced that it agreed with the decision of the Trial Court. The evidence establishes “without a reasonable doubt” that a first degree robbery had indeed taken place.

The expert explains that first degree robbery is the illegal taking of another person’s property with the use of a deadly weapon, and with the help of another person. Both are present in this case.

Justice Benjamin Rabin however, did not agree with the majority. He believes that given the fact of the case, the charge against T and B could have been second degree robbery. He explains that if there is evidence that the people on trial are not guilty of the the crime charged, but guilty of a lesser crime, then the lesser crime should be charged.

How could T and B not be guilty of first degree robbery? Justice Rabin explains that since Brown was found innocent of illegal possession of a gun, the only way he could be involved in the crime was if he was the man who grabbed M’s throat. But even M was not sure who actually grabbed his throat. Assuming that it’s not B, then it would be possible for T to be the only man who committed the robbery.

Also, T was found innocent of illegal gun possession. That removes the deadly weapon element. Assuming that he was alone in committing the robbery, then the second element is also removed. Therefore, the jury could have found Tillman guilty of second degree robbery. The New York Robbery Lawyer defines this as robbery with the use of force.

Justice Rabin notes that because the second degree robbery charge was not included, then the jury could only choose between finding T guilty of first degree robbery, or finding him innocent.

Although, neither of the parties appealed to have second degree robbery included as a charge, Justice Rabin’s belief is that the original judgment could have been unfair to both B and T. He says that the Court still can decide on a retrial if it wants to, and that it should.
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Although a lot of people joke about lawyers being a hassle to work with, when push comes to shove, the right lawyer can mean the difference between guilty and not guilty. Your lawyer should speak for you and say what you want to say. But what happens when a lawyer and his client are not of the same mind? A source tells of such a criminal case.

On February 10, 2005, Jack W was convicted of two counts of 1st degree robbery. He appealed to have a retrial and to be given a different lawyer, on the basis that his lawyer, Joseph D, did not represent him properly. Washington said that he did not authorize his lawyer to admit in court that he was guilty of 2nd degree robbery.

According to reports, W was arrested on September 2003 for participating in a robbery. He and others showed their handguns to the store manager and successfully took money from him and from a customer who entered the store.

During the trial, the first lines of D’s presentation was that Washington did not dispute that he participated in the robbery and that he would not ask the jury to excuse him for that. He asked the jury to consider instead that he was guilty of 2nd degree robbery instead of first degree robbery.

According to a rep, 1st degree robbery is robbery with the use of a deadly weapon. Second degree robbery, on the other hand, is robbery with the use of non-deadly force. Second degree robbery is a lesser offense and has a lighter sentence.

The first witness that D called in was the store manager. The questions that he asked were all related to the guns. According to reports, it was after the cross examination that Washington and D began to argue.

Washington announced to the court that he was innocent and that he did not agree for D to say that he was guilty of 2nd degree robbery. He also said that he had told his lawyer “not to try my case like that”.

D said that given the evidence showing that W was involved in the robbery, he didn’t want to waste his time proving otherwise. Instead, he wanted to focus on his opponent’s weak point, which was that there was no proof that the guns were loaded.

The Court of Appeals note that this is an effective strategy. Given the overwhelming evidence, including DNA tests, there seemed to be no doubt that W would be proven guilty of 1st degree robbery. By admitting that W indeed participated in the robbery but that there was no proof that the handguns were loaded, D had a chance of making the jury decide that his client was guilty of robbery not in the 1st degree but in the 2nd degree.

The Court of Appeals however, also notes that the question here is not if what D did was effective, but if he had the authority to admit in court that his client was guilty of any criminal charges.

D claimed that he told W of the strategy that he would use. He showed him what he was going to say in court and that although W was not happy with it, he did not stop him from using it.

The Court said though that this does not mean that W allowed him to admit he was guilty. Our New York Lawyer says that there are certain things that a lawyer is allowed to decide for the client but there are also certain things that he cannot do without the permission of the client. Admitting guilt is one of these.

The Court of Appeals explained in its decision that W was always very consistent in saying that he was innocent. Even when faced with a heavier sentence, he still maintained that he was not guilty. The Court decided that what D did was unfair to W and biased. It accepted W’s appeal and decided on a retrial with a new lawyer.
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Court cases are very interesting in that the verdicts that the courts come up with for similar situations can be very different. Our source tells of one case where a pair of men robbed someone but were given different sentences.

In September 2, 2004, Frank M was found guilty by the Trial Court of 2nd degree robbery. His alleged accomplice, S, was charged with 3rd degree robbery. M appealed to the Court of Appeals for a review of the sentence. He found it unfair that he would receive a heavier sentence than S when they were both charged with the same crime.

According to our expert, 2nd degree robbery is when a person takes another person’s things by force, and with the help of another person. Third degree robbery, is when a person uses force to take another person’s things. Third degree robbery is a lesser offense than 2nd degree robbery and has a lighter sentence.

This is the story of what happened. Ernesto M, the victim, was selling ice cream from a Mr. Softee ice cream truck near 466 East 185th Street in the Bronx. S approached him and asked for an ice cream cone. As he was serving S, M heard the back door of his truck close and when he turned around, M was there, holding a knife. S was already gone.

Montoya realized that he had seen M and S even before he had parked in that particular street and that he had felt them stalking his ice cream truck. M asked for money and M gave him all he had, which was $300. Then he left.

Montoya said he saw M and S meet up at the corner of 185th Street and Washington Avenue and informed the police of what happened. The police later caught both M and S in a nearby park. They found the knife with
M and $61 with S.

Given these turn of events, the Trial Court found M guilty of 2nd degree robbery. They fount Serrano not guilty of 2nd degree robbery but guilty of 3rd degree robbery. M claimed that it was unfair that the Court would find him guilty of 2nd degree robbery, in which case S helped him to accomplish the crime, but would find S not guilty of the same thing. The Court of Appeals agrees with this point.

However, as happened in this case, after the verdict was said but before the jury was dismissed, the lawyers of both M, S, and the defense approached the judges of the Trial Court. S asked that the verdict be changed as it was unfair. The defense disagreed and the Court dismissed the jury. The lawyers of M and S did not oppose this.

According to our source, this is important because according to law, if either side finds the verdict to be unfair, it should be placed before the jury so that they can decide again. This should be done before the jury is dismissed. However, as neither Maldonado nor S opposed the decision to dismiss the jury they could no longer appeal to have the verdict changed.

Furthermore, the Court of Appeals found that even though Serrano was the one who asked that the verdict be changed, the decision not to have the case placed again before the jury was strategic and in their best interests. M, on the other hand, lost his right to complain of the unfairness of the verdict when he agreed to have the jury dismissed.

Thus, the Court of Appeals affirmed the criminal decision of the Trial Court.
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It is common for a lot of robbery cases to be accompanied with a crime of murder. It is truly devastating to learn from a competent observer how numerous criminal cases such as this bombard the neighborhood of New York. A case that can serve as a good example for you to further understand how brutal robbery cases can turn out to be is the case of Jesus P. The victim, George G was on his way to his apartment building after seeing a movie, was approached by Jesus P with Robert F.

According to the details gathered by a study, the two suspects approached G to ask whether he lives in the building. But before he could even answer, he was already thrusted with a knife by P which was handed by F. Refusing to surrender, P did not stop pushing on the weight of the knife to further hurt the victim. When they found out that it was only a few dollars that they can get from G, they decided to let him go and leave with the money. But G was still stabbed the second time before he was totally let free.

According to a friend, this case is truly very simple. P and F assaulted and robbed G. But the thing that P was fighting for is the involvement of the assault weapon which is the knife. He is pleading for lesser sentence and conviction saying that he did not own the knife and that is was of Ferguson. And basing on the scenario that happened, it was Ferguson that handed him the tool; and hence he is making it appear that it could be that he was only triggered by his friend to harm G.

The use of tools to threaten as part of a robbery crime is very common even when it is just minor cases as observed by a source. P was very consistent with his intent to prove in court that his main intention may be to really rob someone that night but not to the point of harming them. He admitted that he was capable of robbing anyone even without the use of the knife that Ferguson made him use on their victim. P may have appealed for his convictions on robbery on the first degree and two counts of assault in the second degree plus the possession of weapon as misdemeanor.

Out of all these, there was only one that was recognized as valid by the appellate division of the court. And that is the inclusion of the weapon during the crime. It was proven that the knife was really the possession of F and that it was properly analyzed that he could never have done the assault if the tool was not handed to him. Many voted to dismiss the third conviction that was set upon his head eventually.
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Robberies can happen anywhere from subway trains, on the streets, and even inside your own apartments. A competent source recalls a robbery case which happened on May 4, 1984 at around 10pm. It involved Lyman Green along with Harold Vizian who came into the apartment of John Matlock in Long Island. Vizian was a former boarder of Matlock and as they entered, he offered him immediately an item to sell at $35. But after inspecting the vise, the victim said that he was not interested to buy it even if the price was lessened.

According to further research made by another expert, Matlock told the two to leave already but they refused and instead assaulted him as they demand for money. Vizian was the one who closed the door and just watched Green and Matlock argue. This was the point when Green threatened Matlock with a pen knife which he got from the victim’s own pants. As they were struggling, Green ripped off Matlock’s pockets to get his wallet and then eventually ran out of the place. Vizian already left the place by this time.

When both Vizian and Green were called by the police, they were both given the same level of conviction and charges. But the trial judge demanded that there should be further investigation on the case and the two should be judged separately which led to the acquittal of all charges for Vizian. The rep agreed on this decision as well for it was proven that Vizian did not commit any kind of robbery during the scene. He was there when the altercations happened but he was not directly involved. The only argument that the other side was pushing for is that Vizian may have been contributory to the opportunity given to Green to rob Matlock.

As per another study made by a prominent study, the thing that was questionable was the part of the story when Vizian even closed the apartment door to somehow make things private inside. This could be a probable action leading for Vizian to allow such a crime to happen. This could lead for him to be convicted of the crime of being an accomplice instead. But overall, the court did not see the presence of Vizian as a negative element to the entirety of the crime.

In short, the solidity of the presence of Vizian is established but he is not directly convicted to the crime of robbery that only Green committed. He may have been accessory to the crime by just actually being there but it was not to the extreme level of consideration. Overall though, there is an accountability to which Vizian must take responsibility of. Things could have turned out differently if he did not just stay on and watched the entire altercation happening before deciding to run off. This could be a great learning lesson for most of us when we find ourselves accidentally trapped in such situations.
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