It is rarely beneficial to be overconfident when it comes to the law and our justice system. Aaron Carter, The less-successful brother of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, was recorded on camera bragging that he will never get a DUI just five days before the Georgia police pulled him over and arrested him on DUI and marijuana charges. His girlfriend, Madison Parker, was in the car with him at the time and was charged with possession of marijuana and obstruction of law enforcement officers. Maybe the has-been pop star should have knocked on wood after he made such a bold claim. Or at least gotten somebody else to drive. The Law Offices of Steven J Pisani specialize in DUI, traffic, and criminal defense. Call our Denver office today for a free consultation at 303-635-6768.
Page Six, Linda Massarella, 7/16/2017
The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts has ruled that a documented “pattern of racial profiling of black males in the city of Boston,” makes an instinctive reaction to flee reasonable. “We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop. However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or consciousness of guilty,” the decision reads. The law goes a long way to protecting common-sense reactions but fails in its scope. Why is this only limited to black males? Surely, given recent events of police shootings and unlawful civil forfeiture, everyone has an instinctive reaction to flee. Earlier, this office wrote a blog about a woman who had plead guilty to Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance after a flawed roadside chemical test read that her Advil was Crack Cocaine. Surely she now has an instinctive miss-trust of police. How about the Police in Mesa County who used a S.W.A.T. team to raid the wrong house? Surely that family has reason to flee from the police. The decision is a step in the right direction but is flawed and inherently racist. All peoples should have this protection. Fleeing the cops should not be used to demonstrate guilt or for reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in the field of Criminal Defense. We know that not all cops are out to protect society. If you have been wrongfully charged with an offense don’t hesitate to give our office a call.
Cite: Kenya Downs, PBS, 9/22/2016
I have often have I heard this phrase from prosecutors: “Sorry but the officer watched the video of a crime in commission but then accidentally deleted it.” This is exactly what happened in Chicago recently. The manager of a Burger King restaurant has spoken to a Grand Jury about his experience with police immediately after the shooting of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald. The Burger King where the manager was working had surveillance tape footage of Laquan minutes before the shooting that would have shed light on the incident. The Manager relayed his story that minutes after the fatal shooting, officers stormed the Burger King and demanded the access codes to the surveillance footage. There the officers stayed for 2 hours examining the monitor on which the footage was stored. When they left, 89 minutes, including the crucial minutes before the shooting, were mysteriously missing. Anita Alvarez of the Illinois state attorney’s office stated: “We have looked at those videos and… it doesn’t appear that it’s been tampered with.” Later, Michael Robbins, the attorney for McDonald’s family told reporters: “It is curious. If they got there and turned it on and found that there was no video, what were they looking at for two hours?” Robbins said that some bystanders who witnessed the incident were not interviewed by police, and on the contrary, were told to leave upon threat of arrest. On 12/1/2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has officially dismissed Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy citing lack of public trust in the police leadership. Laquan was shot 16 times in a Southwest Chicago side street last year. The story of Laquan McDonald raises questions about police misconduct. There is no evidence to prove that these officers deleted the Burger King video to cover their tracks. However, it is disturbing that once again video evidence was erased, accidentally or intentionally, by law enforcement officers whose duty it is to preserve such evidence. If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime or feel that evidence is being withheld in your case, you need a skilled attorney to represent your interests. Call the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani today for a free consultation.
Cite: Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 11/28/2015
In what seems like a common occurrence, another black male was shot and killed by a police officer during a minor traffic stop. Samuel Dubose, the victim, was stopped by University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing for not having a front license plate. During the course of the stop, Mr. Dubose started the car. Tensing had his left hand in the car window and when the car started to roll, he reached for his gun and shot Mr. Dubose. Luckily, Officer Tensing was wearing a body camera and the entire incident was caught on tape. No law enforcement officer in Hamilton County had ever been indicted on murder charges while on duty. Officer Tensing will be the first. Incidents such as this have received more and more exposure in recent years. It begs the questions as to whether there has been a spike in these occurrences, or if they have just gone unreported. In any case, this is not the first, and will not be the last incident of an officer killing a man in what should have been a routine traffic stop. If you have been wrongly accused of a crime, our The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani may be able to help. Call us today for a free consultation. We specialize in the field of Criminal Defense and will work hard to represent your interests.
Cite: Richard Perez-Pena, The New York Times, July 29, 2015
Emmanuel Gutierrez, 19, has plead guilty to one count of aggravated motor vehicle theft. Gutierrez was working at a downtown hotel when he stole to keys to a car belonging to the family of John Adsit. John Adsit is a Denver police officer injured during a student protest near east high school. He was critically injured when a car careened into him. John was part of the bicycle patrol monitoring the protest by East High students. Gutierrez was sentenced to four years in prison for aggravated vehicle theft but will have the opportunity for a sentence reconsideration in November. The hearing is set for Nov. 25th where the judge will consider changing his sentence to four years’ probation. The Law Offices of Steven Pisani specialize in the field of criminal defense including motor vehicle theft. Call our office today for a free consultation.
Cite: Anthony Cotton, The Denver Post, 6/29/2015
The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar has been working to pass HB-15-1303, sponsored by Representative Melton, which will end the mandatory minimum sentence for 2nd degree assault on a peace officer.
The current felony law for this crime carries, upon conviction, a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years in prison, up to 8 years. This mandatory minimum sentence applies even when there is no serious bodily injury and no weapon was used.
HB15-1303 simply removes the mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years and instead aligns this offense with other class 4 felonies. It does not change the level of crime (class 4 felony). This will allow a judge can take into consideration the circumstances of the individual case.
Research shows that mandatory minimum sentences are not effective tools for the prevention of crime. Mandatory minimum sentences prevent courts from imposing a sentence that is individualized to the defendant and based on circumstances of the crime. For instance, a defendant that is accused of spitting on an EMT while being attended to, and for this they are facing a mandatory minimum of 4 years. In practice, these minimums are often used to suppress a defendant’s right to trial by forcing a plea bargain because going to trial and losing is too risky.
There is significant opposition to this bill from prosecutors, law enforcement, EMTs, and firefighters. This bill would not reduce the protections on these first responders, it would just give defendants more opportunity to scrutinize the evidence against them and would allow judges to determine appropriate sentences for specific actions. We need to act now to make sure our client’s voices are heard. Click here to look up your local representative in the Colorado State House.
On behalf of The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC posted in Drug Crimes on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
When authorities believe that a suspect is in possession of an illegal substance, a warrant is often issued in order to search for and seize the substance. This could lead to their arrest and drug charges. A defendant facing serious charges could endure criminal penalties that could significantly affect their personal and possibly professional life.
Six search warrants were recently served by the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force following a long-term investigation of a suspected meth distribution occurring in Larimer County. With the help of other enforcement agencies, the warrants were served and 14 arrests resulted.