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All Statements Made by Mentally Ill Defendant Suppressed

After a two-week Suppression Hearing involving testimony from police officers, detectives and a psychiatrist for the Defense and a psychiatrist for the Prosecution, all statements made by our client, who was charged with Arson and Assault, were suppressed as a matter of Law. Knowledge of the Law and extensive preparation in presenting Psychiatric testimony, resulted in the Constitutional Rights of our client being upheld. When an incriminating statement is made by a defendant in police custody, the Prosecution has a “heavy burden” of proving that the statement was voluntarily given. In the case of a mentally ill Defendant, more than a simple recitation of the Miranda Warning is required: New York’s highest Court has set forth that “The People must establish that the Defendant grasped that he or she did not have to speak to the interrogator…” In the case at bar, Addabbo and Greenberg attorney’s Todd Greenberg and Caitlin Young were able to prove that although the Defendant responded “yes” to a waiver of his Miranda Warning, that, in actuality, he did not “grasp” the meaning of those warnings. The Court held, in suppressing all statements, that “…clearly the Defendant suffers from a mental illness and appears, based upon the People’s own witnesses, that he was suffering from some form of illness in the way he reacted to law enforcement officers that basically was described by both officers who testified regarding the Defendant’s bizarre behavior”. Mr. Greenberg’s extensive courtroom experience was key in eliciting the proper testimony that the Judge relied on. Ms. Caitlin Young, Esq., prepared a detailed and well written legal brief that highlighted the factual issues and the Law, which ultimately the Court adopted. No matter how bleak your situation is, the lawyers of Addabbo and Greenberg will fight for you and bring forth all issues that will help achieve the best resolution. At Addabbo and Greenberg, we have handled numerous cases involving mentally ill defendants and are familiar with issues involving such clients in the Criminal Justice System. Call us at 718-268-0400 or visit our firm’s website at