Staten Island Criminal Defense
Why hire a Staten Island criminal defense firm that will treat you like a number when the attorneys at The Blanch Law Firm do what is best for clients as individuals? We get to know you and your case so we can present a fully tailored defense. Because we use a team approach, we are able to cover every aspect of your case, no matter how serious it is. We have considerable experience handling violent crimes, white collar crimes, drug crimes and misdemeanors. We find that one of the most important assets in a criminal case is a well-informed defendant. If you know and understand what is going to happen during the criminal process, the process will be that much easier. In general, here are the steps in an arrest:
Once charges are filed, police will take you to or order you to appear at the appropriate courthouse for arraignment. At an arraignment, which is mandatory, a judge or other personnel read the charges to you and provide you with a copy of them. If the judge decides that bail is required for your release, it is set at the arraignment. In some serious cases, bail is denied and you are taken to jail to await trial. In other instances, bail is set and must be paid before you can be released.
State court arraignments on Staten Island take place at the Richmond County Criminal Court at 67 Targee Street between Frean and Purroy Streets. For public transportation from the Ferry Terminal, take the S74 bus to Broad Street and Gordon Street or the S78 bus to Broad Street and Thompkins Avenue. The courthouse is about four blocks from either bus stop.
Those filed by a federal government agency such as the FBI or DEA — require arraignment by a federal judge. Staten Island is part of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The courthouse is at 225 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn. The following subway lines stop in the vicinity of the federal courthouse: the 2 and 3 trains stop at Borough Hall and Clark Street; numbers 4, 5 and the M and R stop at Court Street/Borough hall; and the A, C and F trains stop at Jay Street/Borough Hall.
The arraignment marks the beginning of your case. From that point forward, The Blanch Law Firm works diligently to tailor a strong defense. Among the tools we use are pre-trial motions that help control what happens in the case. Over the course of several months, we may file any number of motions in effort to reduce or dismiss the charges that we must defend. Our attorneys also use pre-trial motions to target evidence that was not obtained legally and eyewitness or expert testimony that might not meet legal standards.
A key to our success at trial is knowing all of the facts of a case. We wish it was as simple as the prosecutor willingly turning over every piece of evidence. Instead, we typically file open-file discovery motions to ensure we are aware of every document, witness statement, video recording or other piece of evidence. We unearth every possible bit of evidence so that we can produce a winning defense strategy.
• Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. on April 25. That convicted murderer Tyrell Smith, 27, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for shooting Daequan Wilson, 20, four times during an argument in 2012. Smith was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on each charge. Smith has a previous New York County conviction for first-degree attempted robbery and a conviction in Kings County for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
• In January, the Richmond County District Attorney and New York City Police Commissioner announced the arrests and indictments of 21 individuals following a 16-month investigation into the possession and sales of controlled substances. The operation, dubbed “Silent Hill,” targeted included a youth sports referee charged with dealing crack at one of the games he was officiating, as well as inside a Home Depot store; a cast member from the Style Network reality TV series “Jerseylicious;” and a woman accused of dealing in Great Kills Park and near a Graniteville playground and school.
• The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York announced in September that a Staten Island resident, Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism. Shehadeh was accused of devising a plan to travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan in order to join al Qaeda or the Taliban. After he was denied entry by Pakistani officials, Shehadeh told investigators from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that he had traveled to Pakistan in order to visit a university. However, as established by the evidence at trial, the true purpose of Shehadeh’s trip was to wage violent jihad against United States military forces. Following his trip, Shehadeh attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army, but was denied because of his previous trip to Pakistan.