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Case Results

Rochelle Berliner's Criminal and Civil Case Results

Disclaimer: The following is a partial list of the case results achieved by Rochelle Berliner as a criminal and civil attorney. It is important to note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Every case is different and must be approached using the specific facts and merits of the case. No attorney can promise specific results for your case. However, Rochelle Berliner strives to pursue the best possible outcome for each client.


New York Criminal Defense Cases

New York Civil Rights Violation Cases


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Drug and Narcotics Cases

Charge: Felony Narcotics and Marihuana Possession
Result: Case Dismissed
Date: 2010
Case: People of the State of New York v. I.J.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Mary O’Donoghue
County: Queens
Details: Client was arrested in an apartment pursuant to the execution of a search warrant. Narcotics and marihuana seized from two of three bedrooms inside the apartment. Client found sleeping in the third bedroom where no contraband was found. District Attorney charged client with felony possession of narcotics and marihuana on the theory of “constructive possession.” District Attorney later reduced felony charges to misdemeanor charges. I made a motion to dismiss all of the charges on the ground that the Criminal Court Complaint was facially insufficient in that it failed to show how client “constructively” possessed the narcotics and marihuana. Motion granted and case dismissed by the court.

Charge: Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree
Result: After suppression hearing, plea to misdemeanor.
Date: 2007
Case: People of the State of New York v. H.B.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Joseph Grosso
County: Queens
Details: Client arrested and charged with sale and possession of cocaine. At the pre-trial suppression hearing, I skillfully cross-examined the arresting officer and the judge determined that he was not a credible witness. Judge suppressed the drugs. District Attorney offered client a plea to a misdemeanor.

Charge: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (Sale of Cocaine)
Result: Case dismissed
Date: 2008
Case: People of the State of New York v. Jose Colon
County: Queens
Details: Client was charged with selling cocaine to an undercover police officer inside a local bar. Client’s brother and two friends were charged in the same transaction. When I met client, he told me that he was innocent and that he had a video recording from inside the bar to prove his innocence. I immediately met with him and reviewed the recording and saw that client had not made any drug sale or had any contact with anyone other than his brother and some friends inside the bar. In fact, client never moved from one spot the whole time he was in the bar, which was about two hours. I brought a copy of the recording to the District Attorney’s Office. Five months after his arrest, the case was dismissed and two of the three undercover officers who were inside the bar that night were indicted on charges that they falsified a drug sale against my client, his brother and two friends.


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Theft and Burglary Cases

Charge: Grand Larceny
Result: Client pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2015
Case: People of the State of New York v. A.D.
County: Queens
Details: Client was charged with stealing more than $6,000 from an employer.  I was able to convince the District Attorney to let the Client plead guilty to the non-criminal offense of Disorderly Conduct once restitution was made.  This plea was significant because Client is not a U.S. citizen.

Charge: Burglary in the Second Degree
Result: Convicted of misdemeanor Criminal Trespass
Date: 2013
Case: People of the State of New York v. J.W.
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with a home invasion burglary. After a long struggle, I was able to convince the prosecutor that there was no intent to commit a crime in the home, and that client needed to address an alcohol problem. Prosecutor agreed to monitor client in a one year program and upon successful completion of the program, his felony charge was dismissed.

Charge: Robbery in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
Result: After jury trial, acquitted of all charges
Date: 2012
Case: People of the State of New York v. Y.S.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Kenneth Holder
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with two others for the robbery of a victim in her home. Client never entered the home with the co-defendants. I successfully objected to the prosecutor’s improper argument that client was a “look-out,” and because prosecutor could not prove that client knew a gun was hidden in the car, client was acquitted of all charges.

Charge: Attempted Robbery in the First Degree
Result: After jury trial, convicted of lesser charge of Attempted Robbery in the Third Degree
Date: 2012
Case: People of the State of New York v. T.W.
Judge: The Honorable Judge James Griffin
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with attempting to rob a liquor store while displaying what appeared to be a gun. I was able to elicit at trial that the complaining witnesses were did not perceive that the item being displayed was a gun. Client was convicted of the lesser charge of Attempted Robbery in the Third Degree, saving him from a long prison sentence.

Charge: Burglary in the Second Degree
Result: Case Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal (scheduled to be dismissed May 2011)
Date: 2010
Case: People of the State of New York v. J.S.
County: Queens
Details: Client arrested and charged burglarizing the home of a neighbor. The neighbor alleged that client damaged and banged down the door of the neighbor's apartment, entered the apartment and damaged property. After discussion with the District Attorney, case was reduced from a violent felony to a misdemeanor trespass. After acquiring the 911 tape, presenting witness statements to the District Attorney, conducting a pre-trial suppression hearing and advising the District Attorney that the alleged victims subsequently had been arrested for crimes against the landlord of the apartment building, case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and is scheduled to be dismissed and sealed in May 2011.

Charge: Burglary in the Second Degree and related charges
Result: After jury trial, convicted of misdemeanor possession of stolen property
Date: 2008
Case: People of the State of New York v. W.A.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Barry Kron
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend, destroying some of her property and taking other property. At trial, the ex-girlfriend was a credible witness. I showed that all the time that she claimed to have been afraid of my client, she was writing him love letters while he was in jail. My client testified at the trial and said that the ex-girlfriend gave him the cellular phone which she claimed that he stole. The jury did not believe the ex-girlfriend, but did convict my client of misdemeanor possession of stolen property.

Charge: Robbery in the Second Degree
Result: case dismissed
Date: 2007
Case: People of the State of New York v. P.A.
County: Queens
Details: Client arrested and charged with robbing a woman on the street. Woman made a positive identification of client. Client informed me that he did not commit the crime and had an alibi for which there was a video recording. I brought the tape to the District Attorney’s office to be reviewed and witnesses for the District Attorney to interview. After seven months of discussions and persuasion, the District Attorney was satisfied that the tape was legitimate and dismissed the charges.

Charge: Grand Larceny
Result: client sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison.
Date: 2009
Case: People of the State of New York v. A.J.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Thomas Farber
County: New York (Manhattan)
Details: Client was charged with embezzling almost $700,000 from a business where she worked. Case was rock solid against my client. The District Attorney wanted my client to get 4-12 years in prison if she pled guilty. I arranged for a forensic social worker to prepare a pre-pleading report for the District Attorney and the judge. After reviewing the report, the judge agreed to sentence client to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison. She spent only 13 months in prison and was released on October 2010.

Charge: Grand Larceny
Result: clients are paying restitution and will be sentenced to a misdemeanor
Date: 2009
Case: People of the State of New York v. R.M. and V.C.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Rena Uviller
County: New York (Manhattan)
Details: Clients were charged with embezzling over $50,000 from a business where they worked. Case was rock solid against my clients. From the moment they were arrested, I pleaded with the District Attorney’s Office to offer my clients a misdemeanor plea rather than a felony plea. I brought my clients to meet with the District Attorney; I met with and had several telephone conversations with the District Attorney handling the case as well as a supervisor. Finally, the District Attorney agreed to let my clients plead guilty to a felony with the understanding that once they paid off the restitution, they would be able to take back their felony plea and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Clients are currently making monthly restitution payments.


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Violent Crime Cases

Charge: Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
Result: Client pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2014-2015
Cases: People of the State of New York v. J.W.; People of the State of New York v. T.C.; People of the State of New York v. W.R.; People of the State of New York v. M.C.; People of the State of New York v. K.W.; People of the State of New York v. M.S.
County: Queens

Details: Queens County is very tough on gun possession.  In each of these separate cases, my clients were charged with the class “C” violent felony of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree when declaring their legally owned and registered firearms at Laguardia Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport on their way back to their home state.  In each of these cases, I was able to convince the District Attorney to lower the charge to the non-criminal offense of Disorderly Conduct.

Charge: Robbery in the First Degree, and related charges
Result: After a bench trial, acquitted of all charges
Date: 2015
Case: People of the State of New York v. J.T.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Evelyn Braun
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with a nighttime robbery on the street.  With the assistance of a top-notch expert psychologist in the field of identification and memory, I was able to convince the court that the police had arrested the wrong man.

Charge: Gang Assault in the First Degree
Result: Five years of probation as a Youthful Offender
Date: 2014
Case: People of the State of New York v. J.M.
County: Queens
Details: At the age of 14, my client was charged, as an adult, with Gang Assault in the First Degree in connection with an alleged fight between two gangs.  After spending several months in a juvenile correctional facility, I was able to convince the court to send my client home and to intensive counseling with his family.  There were a few obstacles along the way, but with my help and the huge support of the judge and his loving family, my client made it through the counseling and made a complete life turnaround.  My client graduated high school with honors, got a driver’s license and has aspirations for the future.  I consider this case to be one of my greatest successes, and one especially satisfying because I helped this troubled adolescent find the path to what I hope will be a great future.

Charge: Felony Domestic Violence Incident
Result: Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2015
Case:People of the State of New York v. W.H.
County: Queens
Details:Client was charged with a felony strangulation of his wife, and other related charges, during a domestic dispute.  Ami Kim and I investigated this case heavily, and armed with additional facts, we were able to convince the District Attorney to allow the client to plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct, thereby leaving him with no criminal record.

Charge: Assault in the Second Degree
Result: Convicted of Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2014
Case: People of the State of New York v. T.S.
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. I was able to convince the prosecutor to allow client to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and a non-criminal violation. Upon completing an anger-management program, the misdemeanor was dismissed.

Charge: Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, which, under a specific subsection, is a felony in New York as of March 2013
Result: Convicted of Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2014
Case: People of the State of New York v. M.C.
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with possessing a gun at LaGuardia Airport. I was able to negotiate dismissal of the gun charge and a guilty plea to Disorderly Conduct, a non-criminal offense.

Charge: Enterprise Corruption
Result: Convicted of Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2013
Case: People of the State of New York v. A.S.
County: Queens
Details: Client charged in connection with a large-scale car theft ring. I was able to convince the prosecutor that my client had no knowledge that his activities were part of a criminal enterprise and was able to negotiate a plea to Disorderly Conduct, a non-criminal offense.

Charge: Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Assault in the Second Degree
Result: After jury trial, acquitted of the weapons charges and convicted only of assault
Date: 2013
Case: People of the State of New York v. M.B.
Judge: The Honorable Judge John Latella
County: Queens
Details: Client charged with his friend with possession of weapons found in friend’s home in a drawer and in a bathroom hamper. I was able to convince the jury that client did not know there were guns in the home and the jury subsequently only found client guilty of assault. Client was sentenced to the minimum under the law for the assault.

 

Charge: Assault in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
Result: Full acquittal on all charges after a jury trial
Date: May 2011
Case: People of the State of New York v. L.E.
Judge: The Honorable Judge James Griffin
County: Queens
Details: Client and his brother were charged with shooting the complainant in the face with a small caliber gun and stealing the money from his pocket. With the assistance of a private investigator, two eyewitnesses were identified who described the perpetrators, but the descriptions did not physically match my client or his brother. The complainant also consistently described two perpetrators, but after 8 days and several police interviews, told the police there was a third perpetrator and identified my client. At trial, I cross examined both the complainant and detective in charge of the case, so the jury was not confident in the complainant's ability to accurately identify the perpetrators. The jury acquitted my client of all charges.

Charge: Assault in the Second Degree (felony)
Result: Client pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct
Date: 2011
Case: People of the State of New York v. D.H.
County: Queens
Details: Client was charged with hitting a neighbor over the head with a bottle. After my first discussion about the case with the District Attorney’s Office, the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. I interviewed several eyewitnesses and spoke to the District Attorney on several occasions to explain our position. Ultimately, the District Attorney offered my client a plea to Disorderly Conduct, which is a Violation and not a crime. Client has no criminal record from this case.

Charge: Assault in the Second Degree
Result: Client attending a two-year program
Date: 2009
Case: People of the State of New York v. D.C.
County: Queens
Details: Client was charged with assault against her one-year old child. Case was weak but District Attorney was determined to prosecute. After many discussions with the District Attorney, I was able to work out a disposition where my client pled guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor with the understanding that if she completed a two-year program to address the issues of anger management, parenting and drug use, the felony would be withdrawn and she would be left with only a misdemeanor conviction. Client has done extremely well in the program and is scheduled to complete the program this summer. Through the Family Court, she has custody of her child again. This was the absolute best disposition for everyone involved in this case. Sometimes, as an attorney, one must look beyond getting the lowest jail sentence and look at the big picture - what is best for everyone.

Charge: Attempted Murder
Result: After jury trial, convicted of misdemeanor assault
Date: 2007
Case: People of the State of New York v. G.E.
Judge: The Honorable Judge John Latella
County: Queens
Details: Client arrested and charged with the attempted murder of the alleged victim. At trial, I successfully attacked the credibility of the alleged victim and another prosecution witness. I also introduced expert testimony from a physician who testified that the injuries sustained by the complaining witness were completely inconsistent with what he claimed happened. Client testified that it was merely a fist fight between the client and the alleged victim. Jury acquitted client of attempted murder and related charges and convicted of simple misdemeanor assault, to which the client actually admitted at trial.

Charge: Menacing
Result: Case dismissed
Date: 2010
Case: People of the State of New York v. S.K.
County: Queens
Details: Client arrested and charged with holding a knife to the complainant’s stomach and threatening the complainant. After several lengthy discussions with the Assistant District Attorney, including: a review of the 911 call placed by my client (not the complainant); the complainant’s email communications prior to and subsequent to the alleged incident; and the complainant’s behavior with the police, District Attorney agreed to adjourn in contemplation of dismissal. Case has been dismissed.


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Driving While Intoxicated / DWI

Charge: Driving While Intoxicated as a Felony
Result: 5 years probation (keep reading)
Date: 2015
Case: People of the State of New York v. V.S.
County: Queens
Details: It was Client’s 6th felony DWI arrest.  The prosecutor and the judge wanted the client to serve time in prison - again.  After getting the client into an intensive outpatient treatment program and setting up a long term plan for treatment, I was able to convince the judge to allow the client to plead guilty and to stay in treatment.  The client was sentenced to 5 years of probation with continued treatment and monitoring.  Client is doing VERY well.

Charge: Driving While Intoxicated
Result:Client pled guilty to improper lane change
Date: 2015
Case: People of the State of New York v. W.D.
County: Kings
Details: Client charged with misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated.  Ami Kim was able to convince the District Attorney to allow the client to plead guilty to the non-DWI traffic infraction of improper lane change, thereby leaving the client with NO criminal record.

Charge: Driving While Intoxicated
Result: Case dismissed
Date: 2012
Case: People of the State of New York v. E.M.
County: New York
Details: Client charged with driving while under the influence of marijuana. Because there was no way for the prosecutor to prove that client was impaired by marijuana, I was able to get the case dismissed under the speedy trial statute.


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Other Criminal Cases

Charge: Rape in the First Degree
Result: Case Dismissed prior to indictment
Date: 2006
Case: People of the State of New York v. S.D.
County: Queens
Details: Client arrested and charged with the rape of a relative. Client was able to post bail. During the pendency of the case, I spoke extensively with the client and his family and fully believed in the client’s innocence. I pressed the District Attorney to further investigate the charges. Over the course of several months, at my urging, the District Attorney determined that our position was correct - there was no rape. Case dismissed.

Charge: Enterprise Corruption, Insurance Fraud and related charges
Result: Sentenced to 30 days jail (served on weekends) and five years probation
Date: 2009
Case: People of the State of New York v. A.G.
Judge: The Honorable Judge Ronald Hollie
County: Queens
Details: Client and others arrested pursuant to a lengthy wiretap investigation involving car accidents and medical clinics and charged with Enterprise Corruption, Insurance fraud and related charges. Client alleged to have taken part in a scheme to falsely submit insurance claims for medical tests and procedures that were never performed as well as inflating costs of procedures. Case involved hundreds of thousands of dollars. Client alleged to have been high up in the organization. After three years of litigating and negotiating, I was able to avoid a state prison sentence for my client. He was permitted to plead guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail (which he was able to serve on weekends) and five years of probation.

Charge: Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree (felony), Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Fourth Degree, Possession of a Knife, Possession of Marihuana
Result: case dismissed
Date: 2010
Case: People of the State of New York v. E.B.
County: Queens
Details: Client from out of state came to New York with a friend who was driving a stolen vehicle. Client did not know that the vehicle had been stolen. Car was stopped by police, who found a knife and a small amount of marihuana in the car. After running the plates, police discovered that the car had been reported stolen. After several discussions with the District Attorney’s Office in which I provided information about my client and the circumstances of his presence in New York, the District Attorney was able to verify the truth of my client’s information. The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and was dismissed six months later.


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Civil Rights Violation Cases

Charge: False Arrest, Malicious Prosecution, Excessive Force
Result: case settled - $18,000
Date: 2015
Case: C.P v. City of New York, et.al., United States District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn)
Details: Client, a federal employee, was arrested and assaulted by police while trying to purchase gasoline in November 2012, several days after Hurricane Sandy.

Charge: Malicious Prosecution
Result:
case settled - $30,000
Date:
2012
Case:
J.F. v. City of New York, et. al., United States District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn)
Details: Client was falsely arrested for Driving while Intoxicated.  Client was sitting in client’s own vehicle; the car was not running and the keys were not in the ignition.  Client was acquitted by a jury and we sued the city to compensate client for financial and emotional damages.

Charge: Police Misconduct
Result: case settled for $300,000
Date: 2010
Case: Jose Colon and Maximo Colon v. City of New York, et. al. 09-CV-0008 and 09-CV-2009
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn)
Details: see People v. Jose Colon, above

Charge: Excessive Force
Result: verdict for the Plaintiff in the amount of $462,000
Date: 2009
Case: Weizmann v. County of Suffolk, et. al. 07-CV-5369
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip)
Details: In the course of arresting my client for a misdemeanor, two Suffolk County police officers humiliated him verbally and brutalized him physically, causing a punctured lung, six broken ribs and a fractured collarbone. After trial, the jury found one of the two officers liable for my client’s injuries and awarded a total of $462,000, including $25,000 in punitive damages.

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