New York Criminal Attorney’s Tilem & Campbell scored a major victory in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday when prosecutors agreed to dismiss all charges in a Kings County felony gun possession case. Peter Tilem, Senior Partner at Tilem & Campbell and former prosecutor in the Firearms Trafficking Unit at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office handled the case for the client.
The case started back in August 2006 with a felony gun possession arrest in Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct. Police from the 75th Precinct’s elite Anti-Crime Unit claim to have stopped the vehicle the suspect was driving for not wearing a seatbelt directly in front of his apartment building. They further claim that his license was suspended and that he didn’t have identification on him. The police claim the suspect’s wife offered to go up to her apartment to get his identification and that when she didn’t come back down they went upstairs to find out what happened.
Police further claim that when they arrive on the suspect’s floor they smelled the odor of Marijuana (spelled marihuana in the New York State Penal Law) and that when the suspect’s wife opened the door they observed marihuana in plain view. The suspect’s wife then consented to a search of the entire apartment. Police claim to have found a pistol in the apartment.
Mr. Tilem relentlessly fought the case by attacking the credibility of the police and the warrantless search of the apartment. In the end after suppression hearings were completed Mr. Tilem discovered that the police officers were interviewed by the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board and that the interviews were tape recorded. Those tapes had not been turned over to Mr. Tilem who obtained copies and convinced the Court to allow him to reopen the hearing and cross-examine the police officer with his prior taped interviews.
When the case was finally ready to go to trial yesterday, the King’s County District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss the case because they felt they could no longer prove the case. According to Mr. Tilem’s review of the case, there were just too many inconsistencies revealed during the cross-examination of the Police Officer at the suppression hearing.
The client, who originally was offered a plea bargain of 1-3 years in State Prison when he was represented by a Court appointed lawyer was ecstatic walking out of Court yesterday. Yesterday the Judge dismissed all charges including the charge of Driving with a Suspended License and sealed the record of arrest. The client was needless to say ecstatic walking out of Court and ending his nearly two year nightmare with the New York Criminal Justice system.