PERSISTENCE AND DEDICATION TO OUR CLIENT FREES INNOCENT MAN
November 22, 2017
This case illustrates why it is important to retain a private attorney immediately upon being arrested. Our client, a twenty-three year old man, was arrested as he stepped off a plane at JFK Airport returning home from China after visiting his family. He was charged as a Fugitive from Alabama and immediately detained in an Extradition Proceeding. It was alleged that he was charged with Theft of Property in Alabama, allegedly occurring on September 17, 2016. In an Extradition Proceeding, the only issue for the New York Courts to decide is whether the person arrested is the person wanted in Alabama. Guilt or innocence of the Crime is not inquired into. However, the definition of a “Fugitive from Justice” is that the person under arrest in New York was present in the demanding state (Alabama) at the time the crime was committed. Our client appeared at his arraignment in Queens County with a Public Defender who advised him to waive his Right to a Writ of Habeas Corpus and to consent to be sent to Alabama. Once that occurs, Alabama would have to pick up our client in Thirty (30) days and can ask for a sixty (60) day extension, while the arrested person remains in jail. Four days after the Waiver, the client retained Criminal Defense Attorney Todd Greenberg who immediately attempted to withdraw the Waiver on the ground that the client had indisputable evidence that he had never set foot in Alabama! Mr. Greenberg spoke to family members, obtained employment records and proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that his client was never in Alabama. Despite that evidence, the Judge refused to allow the withdrawal of the Waiver and denied Mr. Greenberg’s application to release his client. While Mr. Greenberg was preparing a Writ of Habeas Corpus and an Appeal to a higher court, he met with the Assistant District Attorney in charge of Extraditions and pleaded on behalf of his client that an innocent man was being held in jail and that despite the Court’s failure to allow the withdrawal of the waiver, the Queens District Attorney’s Office should look into this matter immediately. In the interest of Justice, and based on Mr. Greenberg’s representations, Assistant District Attorney George Farrugia exercised due diligence, investigated the matter, and, on Veteran’s Day, a holiday, came to court himself to urge the Court to release our client so that he may travel on his own to Alabama to straighten this matter out. Our client was released and Mr. Greenberg has contacted the Alabama Authorities to convince them that they have a Warrant for an innocent man. The Queens District Attorney’s Office went out of its way to procure Justice for our client for which we are very thankful. Call Criminal Defense Attorney Todd Greenberg at (718)268-0400 or reach us at www.QueensLaw.com for the best result in your case.