Demonstrating a wrong-place, wrong-time scenario keeps NY business owner out of jail
Challenge: Our client is a married father and a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record. A former auxiliary cop, he is a successful businessman who owns and operates a cigar bar in Washington Heights, New York. While doing some work to the exterior of his business an ex-employee approached him for a loan. They spoke in our client’s car for a few moments, no financial exchange took place, and the former employee exited our client’s car and headed to a nearby park. Unbeknownst to our client, the former employee was being tracked by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and was apprehended shortly after leaving his car with pockets full of fentanyl glassines. The DEA agents then arrested our client after finding one fentanyl glassine accidentally left by the other man in his car.
Our client was terrified. He was caught completely off-guard by the arrest and was suddenly facing a five-year jail sentence for felony drug possession, though he had never engaged in any wrongdoing.
Solution: The DEA was convinced that our client was engaged in criminal activity. Even knowing that they were facing the top prosecutors in the top federal district in the United States, D’Emilia Law would not settle – we were determined to demonstrate and maintain our client’s innocence. Since it is extremely difficult to battle federal prosecutors because of their vast resources and power, our firm concentrated all its focus on exonerating our client. Paul D’Emilia wrote an extensive motion requesting that the case be dismissed in the interest of justice. By combining legal research, persuasive motion writing and constant communication with the U.S. Attorney we reached a successful outcome and total vindication for our client.
Result: After months of legal proceedings and negotiations, federal prosecutors dismissed all charges against the client, whose reputation and business remained untainted thanks to the defense prowess of D’Emilia Law. On the surface, the DEA had enough circumstantial evidence to sentence our client to years of prison time. But D’Emilia Law often gets to know their clients intimately and were able to prove that this man had unfortunately been conversing with the wrong person at the wrong time, and was completely oblivious to any malicious activity.
This result marks one of D’Emilia Law’s proudest achievements – though the odds were certainly against us, our in-depth defense work kept an innocent man from serving one day of a federal prison sentence.