D’Emilia Law’s successful defense kept an FDNY hopeful from a felony conviction and jail time for weapons and assault charges
Challenge: Our client was a young man with aspirations of joining the FDNY. He initially hired us to defend him for a traffic violation. He called us weeks later, however, for a far more serious matter.
The client had been involved in an altercation while at a McDonald’s in midtown Manhattan. Following an argument with the cashier, he allegedly jumped over the counter and threatened the employee with a knife. He was arrested shortly afterward.
The client was genuinely remorseful for his actions and asked us to represent him in an effort to avoid jail time and keep his record clean, since his professional future was also on the line. We had tried several weapons and assault charges stemming from similar scenarios during our decades as prosecutors. We knew how complex these charges could be.
Solution: D’Emilia Law considered multiple strategies over the following weeks. We ultimately felt that it would be in the best interest of the client if we could persuade the district attorney to allow us to plead to a non-criminal disposition, a disorderly conduct violation.
We generally avoid guilty pleas and prefer to put the burden of proof on the state. What many people do not realize, however, is that a violation is not a crime, and is not reflected on a client’s record. By entering into this strategic plea, his professional future would not be jeopardized. This defense tactic was critical for the client, as he was fully committed to training for the FDNY and serving among New York’s finest.
Result: The prosecution agreed to our solution and accepted the plea. All criminal charges were dismissed, and the client plead guilty to the violation. He participated in community service. Our client was also successfully reinstated to the FDNY candidate list.
This was one of D’Emilia Law’s most successful defense outcomes and solidified our approach to client service. The young man had hired us for an unrelated matter that was still pending and, because we handle all cases with the same direct attention, he used his one call from jail to contact us. That demonstrated his faith in our advocacy and vindicated our philosophy that all clients deserve to be treated like family. Our successful defense kept his future intact and he is now a valued member of the FDNY.