The peaceful (and sometimes unpeaceful) protests during the weekend of May 30 and May 31 surrounding the killing of George Floyd, reminded me why I became a criminal defense attorney.
While not all police officers are racists many are. Here is how I know first hand. In the early 1970’s I was an Assistant District Attorney working as a prosecutor in the Citywide Office of Special Narcotics in Manhattan. I was assigned to try a case involving a “sixty something” year old black man accused of selling a small quantity of cocaine to an undercover narcotics officer while i worked as a painter at a garden apartment in Brooklyn. I was suspicious about his guilty. All of the officers involved had identical stories without any deviations in their testimonies. I found this unusual. The defendant was convicted. After the jury verdict I joined the narcotics officers for a drink at a nearby “watering hole” frequented by prosecutors, defense attorneys and police alike. We sat at a small table and while drinking, the officers started boasting about how they “set up this N—— ” and that he deserved the harsh punishment he would receive under the narcotics laws in effect at the time. I reported this conduct to my superiors, wrote to the parole board after sentencing and waited. Nothing of substance happened. Not long after this event I left the Office of Special Narcotic and became a defense attorney. This was over 50 years ago and still resonates.
Follow up: In my blog dated February 27, 2020 I related the story of my client who has been denied visitation rights with his natural son based on the unfounded allegations leveled by his wife who claims that he sexually abused his step daughter. The step daughter has recanted any complaints against my client. The family court has been closed since March and my client has still not been able to see or visit with his son. I am anxiously awaiting for the family court to reopen so I can rectify this injustice
In this age of the #metoomovement many men are accused of sexual abuse. In my most recent case I am representing a man accused of sexually abusing his step daughter. A false accusation can ruin a persons life. The complaint against my client was filed in the Nassau County Family Court which routinely hears sexual abuse cases. It was filed by her mother who is the wife of my client. When first reported to the authorities my client was forced to vacate his home, lose visitation with his natural son and forced to get a new apartment. The step daughter was interviewed by the Nassau County Special Victims Unit. Here’s what she said: She made no sexual abuse disclosures. She claimed her deceased grandmother sees the sexual abuse from heaven and reports it to her living aunt, who in turn, tells her mother. She also said that her initial report to the police about being drugged by my client was a lie. She has no recollection of abuse. Rather than dismiss the case as Unfounded it has been adjourned to early March for further interviews. Meanwhile my client has suffered psychologically and financially. HOPEFULLY THE NONSENSE CONCLUDES IN EARLY MARCH.

I represented a client charged with a major felony. Rather than accept a plea bargain, which would have required substantial jail time, my client chose to have a trial. There I sat at the defense table waiting for the trial to begin. Moments before the District Attorney began presenting his case, I was handed a thick package of “discovery” material which included Grand Jury testimony, Police Reports, Police Logs and Arrest Reports. I actually was given only a few minutes to determine if any of the “discovery items” contained information which would prove helpful to my client. This was not only prejudicial against my client but also affected his ability to decide whether or not to accept a “plea bargain”. It was reported by the New York Times that the Discovery Rules in New York State “have long been some of the most restrictive in the nation.” New York State’s Discovery law remained behind the times for over 40 years. Every time legislation was introduced to change the rules, the District Attorneys’ in New York argued that providing defense counsel with witness information would put those witnesses in danger of harassment or violence. However, when Democrats gained control of both chambers in the State Legislature, the road was open for new Discovery rules to be enacted.

The new rules which went into effect in January of 2020 eliminate the need for defense attorneys to file requests for Discovery and require that a wide range of information including Grand Jury testimony and Police reports, be turned over automatically 15 days after an indictment. The new rules also require the defense counsel to turn over some evidence to the prosecution. The new rules “level the playing field” and allow defendants and their attorneys to make wiser decisions about whether or not to proceed to trial or accept a plea deal.

“Fair is Fair” under the new rules.

Additionally, in April, 2019 New York State passed sweeping criminal justice reform that eliminates money bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanor and nonviolent felony defendants. Many groups and individuals voiced grave concern about “bail reform” expressing fear that early release posed a threat to the community. As of January 22, 2020 Governor Cuomo announced that these provisions will be once again be reviewed. Stay tuned.

Driving while intoxicated denotes driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Even if there are plenty of people avoiding drinking and driving by taking other options such as calling a taxi, riding the bus or relying on another driver, there are still plenty who are charged with a DWI. Once caught, you will need a good legal representative.

Looking for a Nassau DWI attorney could be like picking a piece of chocolate from a candy store. Look at the yellow pages of your telephone book, make an internet search or read community papers and you can find a lot of DWI lawyers. But most people don’t worry about how to look for a lawyer but it is how to choose one.

Except for the rich and famous people who can just easily call up a DWI lawyer from anywhere, a common person should find a lawyer within the location where the DWI happened. How to look and where to look for a Nassau DWI attorney will also vary according to the severity of the charge that was given when a person is caught. For instance, if somebody was killed or injured because of a drunken driver, a manslaughter attorney specializing in DWI may be needed.

Alternatively, if you were not caught up in an accident and were simply charged at a random spot check, then although the charge is grave, you haven’t caused an accident or have someone injured, you don’t really need a DWI specialist.
Obviously, the first method for looking for a Nassau DWI attorney is to ask someone who was already charged with such and had positive results with the lawyer. Another method is by reading articles at a local newspaper about cases of DWI where the results of the trial were given.

In case you are charged outside the state you are living in, it would be a good choice to hire a lawyer from such area since every state has a different sets of laws and strategies in defending you. It is also important to look for a competent lawyer who is specializing with DWI.

If you were not able to look for a DWI attorney from public information or from asking for referrals, you can now start looking at your telephone book. Plenty of DWI experts have full-page ads so it’s easy not to miss any of them. When you see an ad, take note of their website address and find as much background info about the firm. Be sure to have a list of probable lawyers and call each office regarding professional fees, free consultations and how quickly you can meet them for the first consultation.

Get a personal consultation with Jeffrey Bettan, an experienced criminal defense attorney who is willing to provide you a careful and insistent representation. His office is located at Garden City, New York. He currently serves Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the five NY Burroughs and nearby areas. He has more than 30 years of experience with criminal defense for cases including DWI, sex crimes, divorce and more.

I am representing a 16 year old boy charged, by his association with a group of other youths, with multiple counts of Murder, Robbery, and Assault. He was present, along with 30 to 100 others, in the surrounding area where a murder took place. He was arrested at 4:45 am at JFK Airport and brought to the 104th precinct for questioning. At the time of his arrest, he had a valid plane ticket to visit his ailing father in the Dominican Republic.
At the precinct, he was questioned for over 10 hours. The detectives attempted to read him of his Miranda rights when the boy told them he did not speak English. They then located another detective who spoke fluent Spanish and, 4 hours after his arrest, he was read his Miranda rights in Spanish. The boy responded that he understood his rights and agreed to talk with the detective. He was given a bagel to eat and some water to drink. The entire interview took place over 10 hours. During those 10 hours. the boy gave confessions, which were later repeated to two Assistant District Attorneys in the interview room.
A hearing was conducted to determine whether the confessions made by the boy were voluntarily given. According to the detectives, the boy never asked to speak to a lawyer, or call a parent or other family member, so that a lawyer could be retained for him. The detective also testified that none of the boy’s family members, or an attorney called the precinct.
When I cross examined the detective, he admitted that the boy had indeed asked to call his mother but the detective refused to allow him access to a phone!!!! He claimed he knew the boy’s mother was en route to the Dominican Republic but did not know if the boy’s mother had a cell phone!!!! The detective never gave the boy the opportunity to call any other family members or friends.
The Judge watched the taped interview and, in a thoughtful decision, concluded that the boy did not voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently waive his right to remain silent. The Judge reasoned that although the boy stated he understood his right to remain silent, based on his demeanor and behavior, the boy did not understand the importence of the rights he was giving up. The Judge went on to explain that during the entire 10 hour interview not a single officer made any effort to let the boy’s family members know that he was at this precinct being questioned. The Judge also said that in the videotape of the interview, the boy appeared nonchalant and seemingly unaware of the significance of the confessions he was making. While he was alone in the interrogation room, he played air basketball – dribbling an invisible basketball and shooting into an imaginary basket on the walls. The Judge concluded considering all of the circumstances of the case it would not have been difficult for the police to provide this boy with the opportunity to reach out to any other family member in order to let them know where he was.
The Judge also concluded that law enforcement unfairly took advantage of this youthful defendant under these circumstances and that this boy did not knowingly and intelligently understand his Miranda rights. Consequently, the District Attorney cannot use any of the boy’s confessions at the trial.

Whether you work for a trucking company, moving operation, or delivery service, your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is necessary for your job. Earning your CDL in New York isn’t easy. You must pass a written test to receive your commercial learner permit and pay an application fee. Then you need to complete practice hours with a CDL supervisor, and finally, pass a road test. Yet, after all these requirements you could lose your CDL in a flash following a Long Island traffic ticket.

As a Long Island traffic lawyer, I regularly speak with CDL holders that are surprised by the impact their traffic ticket or moving violation could have on their license and employment. Will you Long Island traffic ticket hinder or impede your CDL? These are five instances that should raise concern.

#1: Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Whether you are driving a commercial vehicle or your personal car when an accident occurs the worst thing you can do is flee the scene. In New York, leaving the scene of an accident, even if you aren’t at fault for the original accident is a moving violation. More specifically, leaving the scene is a moving violation punishable by suspension of your CDL.

Plus, it becomes far more difficult for a Long Island traffic lawyer to build your defense to a separate moving violation or traffic ticket, if you didn’t stay at the scene and speak to the police.

#2: Excessive Speeding in Any State

What happens if you hold a CDL in New York, but receive a speeding ticket in another state? Typically, a single speeding ticket doesn’t result in a suspended license, whether issued in New York or elsewhere. You do want to pay careful attention to the number of points this ticket will add to your license, but a Long Island traffic lawyer encounters few, if any, drivers facing suspension for one or two speeding tickets.

However, there is a big exception. Excessive speed, usually going 15 miles per hour above the speed limit or more, is considered a serious traffic violation. The CDL rules in New York say a commercial driver can lose his or her CDL for 60 days if convicted of two or more serious traffic violations in any three-year period. Excessive speeding tickets are a serious traffic violation no matter what state issues the ticket, so speak with a Long Island traffic lawyer if you are facing a second violation.

#3: Unsafe Lane Changes and Tailgating

What are the other citations considered serious traffic violations in New York? Two of the most common are unsafe lane change and tailgating.

In my role as a Long Island traffic lawyer, I discuss the specifics of traffic tickets and moving violations with CDL holders each and every week. More often than not, commercial drivers have an excuse or good argument for committing an unsafe lane change or tailgating. Want to work with a lawyer willing to hear your side of the story before it’s too late? Let’s talk today.

#4: Refusing to Undergo a Blood Alcohol Test

Simply by driving on the roads in New York, you’ve agreed to undergo a chemical test to determine sobriety or intoxication. Of course, there are some caveats. Law enforcement must have reasonable cause to request the blood alcohol test and can’t impede your rights. However, if procedure was properly followed you must submit to the blood-alcohol test requested.

Refusal to take a blood-alcohol test in New York carries its own steep consequences, including the loss of your CDL for an entire year.

#5: Using a Commercial Vehicle to Commit a Felony

Our practice at Jeffrey Bettan, Attorney at Law includes representation for traffic tickets, moving violations, and criminal defense. In instances when a CDL holder is accused of using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony is one time when all of this knowledge coincides. As both a Long Island traffic lawyer and Long Island criminal defense lawyer, our practice can represent you in all charges.

In some instances, the conviction of committing or aiding a felony is intertwined with the administrative proceedings to revoke your CDL, but not always. Our team can take your case either way!

To schedule an initial consultation with top Long Island traffic lawyer, Jeffrey Bettan, call our Nassau County office at (516)-642-6636.