The New York Criminal Law Blog

July 2010 Archives

John Lennon's Killer Up For Parole

The 30th anniversary of the day Mark David Chapman shot Beatles member John Lennon is soon approaching. While many Beatles fans would probably like to see the John Lennon's killer behind bars for the rest of his life, Mark Chapman claims that John Lennon would have forgiven him.

William Rapetti Acquitted in Crane Collapse Case

It's been over two years since that 20-story high crane came crashing down on Manhattan, killing seven people and injuring another 24 victims. Rigging contractor William Rapetti was charged with 20 criminal counts, including seven counts of manslaughter over the incident. However, Associated Press reports that a judge acquitted the contractor of all charges last week.

William Rapetti was the only person to face criminal charges over the incident, where prosecutors argued that the man did a recklessly inadequate job of securing the nearly 200-foot crane. Yet New York criminal defense attorneys argued that the reason for the unsteady crane was because of engineering decisions and shoddy welding; which were not his responsibilities.

Rapper Ice-T Arrested in New York, Expresses Anger on Twitter

Rapper Ice-T certainly has a heated temper, but perhaps he shouldn't get into a huge outburst and next time just hire a New York criminal defense lawyer when he's in trouble with the law.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports that the rapper was pulled over on the West Side of Manhattan  by an NYPD officer after he was seen not wearing his seatbelt. Yet after the stop, the police officer says that he found Ice-T was driving with a suspended license and with expired auto insurance. Hence, the man was arrested and taken to the 10th Precinct in Chelsea.

Man Sentenced After Admitting to Poisoning Wife

A New York man named David Steeves pleaded guilty last month to second degree murder after he admitted to lacing his estranged wife's coffee with cyanide. The crime is disturbing to many New York residents, but criminal defense attorneys in this case were able to ensure that the defendant's rights were protected and that his side of the story was voiced in the trial.

Associated Press reports that the defendant David Steeves was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison yesterday. The man agreed to plead guilty to the second degree murder charge only after he was assured that his two sons would not be present for his sentencing. His two sons are ages 17 and 15 and wrote in letters to the judge that their father deserved no mercy. Many New York criminal defense attorneys might say that the man was lucky to avoid a first degree murder charge and conviction.

Lawrence Taylor Pleads Not Guilty in Rape Case

Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Lawrence Taylor pleaded not guilty yesterday to several criminal charges, including charges of third-degree rape, engaging in oral sex with a minor and third-degree criminal sexual act. The former football player was arraigned in Rockland County Court yesterday and is due back in court on August 24 to set a trial date.

Reuters reports that the former New York Giants linebacker has been accused of paying a 16-year-old runaway girl $300 for sex. Lawrence Taylor reportedly admitted to engaging in sexual acts with the girl, but claims that he was told that the girl was 19 years old. But ignorance of a minor's age is not a defense to a third-degree rape charge.

NJ Supreme Court Overturns Conviction For German Marquez

German Marquez was charged with driving while impaired in the state of New Jersey after he was pulled over in Plainfield and showed signs of impairment. The man was also charged for failing to take a breath test, but criminal defense attorneys argued that he was not made aware of the consequences of not submitting to a breath test because the DUI (also known as DWI in New York) suspect did not understand English.

USA Today reports that German Marquez was convicted of both criminal charges, but thanks to an experienced criminal defense attorney, the New Jersey Supreme Court overturned the conviction on failing to take the breath test. The defendant's attorney, Michael Blackler, stated that German Marquez only spoke and understood Spanish and that DUI/DWI suspects should be informed of the consequences of refusing to take a breath test in a language that they understand. The issue of language has become a prominent issue in the criminal justice system for both New York criminal defense attorneys and New Jersey attorneys.

Method Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

The hip-hop star Method Man had to hire a New York criminal defense lawyer after being charged with tax evasion. Apparently the record producer was charged for failing to pay state and personal income taxes from 2004 to 2007. The New York Post reports that the rapper owed about $106,000 to the State Commissioner of Tax and Finance.

Luckily New York criminal defense attorney Peter Frankel was able to help the hip-artist out a lot, as the man was only sentenced to a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to tax evasion. With a conditional discharge, a person's record is wiped clean of the charge as long as that person stays out of trouble.

It's common for law enforcers to see an increased number of drunk drivers on the roads on 4th of July weekend. However, one particular accident on Monday has certainly captured the attention of many New Yorkers because of severity of the incident.

The New York Daily News reports that 30-year-old Dave Richards was driving with a reported blood-alcohol level of .19 on Monday, which is more than twice the legal limit. The Bronx man was blind, but was allegedly driving while he was impaired in the wrong direction on the Long Island Expressway. This caused a vehicle explosion when two cars collided near the 164th St. exit in Flushing, Queens.

Chris Simms Busted For Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

The backup quarterback for the Tennessee Titans has gotten himself into some legal trouble and may soon need the help of a New York criminal defense attorney. New York Daily News reports that the football player was arrested yesterday for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana.

Driving while impaired by marijuana is a misdemeanor charge in New York that carries a maximum $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. While the fine could be considered pennies for an NFL athlete, it's probably to Chris Simms that he avoids jail time.