A client was arrested twice and charged each time with possession of “A Felony” weight narcotics after police stopped and searched his car in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a community that was being aggressively investigated by the NYPD and the Kings County District Attorney’s office. Detectives claimed to have recovered a rock of cocaine “a little smaller than a baseball” from the client’s Lexus, along with $4,986 cash. Vigorous motion practice, unusual discovery demands, and a hard-line push to hearings and trial resulted in dismissal of every count arising out of both arrests. SGB also procured the return of the client’s car, the return of the majority of the client’s cash, and termination of the New York City Housing Authority’s exclusion of the client from NYCHA property.
A client was charged with sale of a controlled substance to an undercover officer. Stoll, Glickman & Bellina (“SGB”) tried the case, and lured officers into demonstrably perjuring themselves on the stand concerning the events that led to the client’s arrest. Midway through the trial, the District Attorney’s office was forced to dismiss the case on their own motion, and the Court ordered an investigation into the matter.
A client was at home when police entered his apartment with a search warrant and claimed they recovered cocaine, baggies, and a scale. A jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts.
SGB represented a client on two separate drug cases alleging sale of a controlled substance to an undercover officer. Each case involved “buy money” that was allegedly recovered. SGB tried the first case and the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts. The second case resulted in a hung verdict, after which the District Attorney offered the client a plea to a misdemeanor with a sentence of “time served.”
A client was stopped in a car from which police claimed to have recovered approximately three ounces of cocaine. After a hearing, SGB persuaded the Court to reject the officers’ versions of events as incredible. The judge suppressed the drugs, and dismissed all charges against the client.
Guns & Weapons
Police stopped a client’s car and claimed to recover a 9 millimeter semi automatic pistol from the trunk of the car. A jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts after trial.
A client was a passenger in a taxi that police stopped “to check on the driver’s safety”. Police found a black plastic bag containing a large quantity of marijuana, and a gun in the client’s waistband. SGB persuaded the judge, after a hearing, to reject the officers’ version of the circumstances surrounding the search, resulting in suppression of the drugs and the gun, and dismissal of all charges against the client.
A young man was accused of firing shots at police as they were arresting another individual on suspicion of a drug sale. Two police officers testified they saw the client firing at their fellow officers at point blank range; one officer was hit by a ricochet. Other officers claimed the client violently resisted arrest upon apprehension at the scene of the incident. A trial resulted in a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts, including possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.
A client was accused of punching his ex-girlfriend in the face hard enough to break her cheek bone, requiring surgery. The prosecution presented the ex-girlfriend, as well as her brother and her brother’s girlfriend, as eyewitnesses. A jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts, and the case was subsequently used as a training exercise for public defenders in Brooklyn.
Assault & Violent Crimes
Client was charged with Assault in the First Degree for allegedly slashing another person in the face and causing permanent nerve damage. The accuser testified at trial that he knew our client for twenty years and tearfully pointed him out in the courtroom as the attacker. After our vigorous cross examinations gave them reasonable doubt, the jury voted not guilty on all counts. The client was facing 15 years in prison but walked out of the courtroom a free man.
During an argument inside a store, our client was suddenly cornered by the owner and his son. Afraid he was about to be assaulted, client pulled out a knife and swung wildly striking one of the men in the face before he was able to run out of the store to safety. Client was brought to trial on charges of Assault in the First Degree. Even though we knew our client acted in self defense, the Court would not allow us to argue self defense because there was no evidence that our client was actually threatened by the store owner. Stoll, Glickman & Bellina developed a unique defense that allowed the jury to hear our client’s story without him even having to testify. Client was acquitted on all charges.
A club promoter was accused of drugging a woman’s drink at a club, then raping her when he drove her home. His DNA matched semen recovered from the complainant at the hospital, and cell phone tower locations tracked the client’s calls from the club to the complainant’s home, where he dropped her off at about 7:00 AM. The jury deliberated for less than 2 hours and returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts.
A popular Brooklyn pastor was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with a 14 year old girl, arising out of several alleged late night encounters with the girl in his car. On SGB’s motion, the Court dismissed all counts against the client, over the vigorous objection of the prosecution.
A young man was driving his friend home from a high school graduation party when he lost control of the convertible he was driving and crashed into a divider. His friend was ejected from the car and suffered injuries resulting in a coma. Another car collided with the vehicle, which was left on the highway. The client tested positive for alcohol and recent consumption of marijuana. SGB persuaded the Court, over the DA’s vigorous objection, to sentence the client to nothing more than a fine and outpatient drug and alcohol counseling, and to grant the client “Youthful Offender” status, meaning the client has no criminal record as a result of the incident.
Client was charged in Manhattan with his third drunk driving offense; a conviction would have resulted in state prison time, and almost certain deportation. Police claimed they found him passed out at the wheel of his car in the West Village. They claimed the engine was running and the car was facing the wrong way on a one way street. Police claimed he smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, was unsteady on his feet, and was hostile and combative. Video from the precinct showed him repeatedly cursing at the police, slurring his words and refusing to take a breathalyzer test. He was taken to the hospital where he urinated on himself and was diagnosed with “alcohol overdose” and “alcohol poisoning”. Careful exploitation of pretrial testimony and a close parsing of the medical records, along with expert medical testimony offered by the defense, allowed SGB to undermine the officers’ credibility and argue the defendant was not operating the vehicle, and was arguably not intoxicated by alcohol, which was an element of the offense he was charged with. After deliberating for about five hours, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of “not guilty”.
Robbery, Burglary & Larceny
A client was accused of burglarizing an apartment. The occupant’s neighbor, watching through a peephole, called 911 as the front door to the apartment opposite was jimmied open. The client was stopped by police on the next stair landing down, holding a “fanny pack” containing the occupant’s jewelry. The neighbor identified the client as the person he had seen jimmying open the door. The client faced 15 to life if convicted of a felony, due to his prior record. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all but a misdemeanor count of possession of stolen property, and the client was sentenced to just time served.
A client was accused of robbing a bodega at gunpoint. The client lived around the corner from the bodega and was a frequent customer. He was identified by the cashier who had been robbed, the manager who claimed to have watched over closed circuit video, and another customer who claimed to be there during the robbery. The jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all counts.
A client was accused of stealing a jacket from a store rack on the sidewalk, engaging in a tugging match with the store owner before slashing the owner on the face with a razor and running away. The client was stopped about a block away by police who claimed they recovered the bloody blade at the client’s feet. A jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” on all but the “B misdemeanor” of attempted possession of stolen property, resulting in a sentence of time served.
A client was convicted after a jury trial of possessing a gun on the street. On the very day the client was sentenced to jail time, SGB successfully persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Department, to “stay” the client’s sentence pending appeal, on the grounds the Court had improperly barred the client from presenting a character witness in his own behalf. The case was subsequently reversed on that very ground, and the client was later allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, with a sentence of probation.
Police and Correction Misconduct
A Rikers Island inmate was attacked by another inmate, causing the plaintiff to go into a coma. Under the theory that correction officers use favored inmates as deputies to enforce house discipline, SGB won a settlement of $500,000 for the plaintiff.
Police officers with a search warrant to enter one apartment, entered the nearby apartment occupied by two brothers and arrested them on felony drug charges. After spending five days in jail, the District Attorney dropped all charges. SGB won a settlement of $140,000 for the two plaintiffs.
A woman was transported by police to a City mental ward, doctors held her there for 14 days claiming she was a danger to herself or others. She did not agree and hired our firm. SGB won a settlement for $325,000 for being detained in the hospital for two weeks.
Campaign Finance & Election Law
The Campaign Finance Board found that a candidate for public office was required to re-pay the Board $300,000 the candidate had received in public funds. SGB took the Campaign Finance Board to court and won a decision stating that the candidate did not owe the Board one penny of the claimed obligation.