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Case Results

Drug Crimes

People v. SD


Drugs and weapons charges dismissed against client after it was demonstrated that the arresting officers illegally entered the home of the client and conducted a search of the residence which resulted in the recovery of the items. The officers were seeking to arrest the client’s boyfriend on a traffic violation warrant. Prior to the case being presented to the Grand Jury, Mr. Watford was able to convince the prosecutor that the outstanding warrant needed to be a felony warrant in order to permit the police to forcibly enter the residence of a third party and that there were no exigent circumstances that justified the entry or search of the premises.

People v. TN


All drug charges dismissed against client who was arrested while employed at an IVY League University after he signed for a package containing a large amount of marijuana while working at the dormitory. The delivery of the package was a controlled delivery orchestrated by law enforcement officers. Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate that it was common practice for the client to sign for packages for residents. Prior to presenting the case to the Grand Jury, Mr. Watford convinced the District Attorney’s Office that they would have difficulty proving that his client knew that the package that he signed for, which was addressed to a student/resident, contained the illegal drugs.

People v. AE


All charges drug dismissed against client who was arrested in a friend’s apartment and charged with A-1 felony drug possession. At the arraignment, Mr. Watford was able to convince the judge to release the client on her own recognizance (ROR). Mr. Watford was also able to convince the District Attorney’s Office to dismiss the charges due to the fact that the client was merely visiting the apartment for the first time and had no knowledge whatsoever that drugs were stashed throughout the apartment.

Diversion from Criminal Prosecution

Mr. Watford has also been successful in having numerous felony drug cases, where the client was charged with possession of controlled substance with intent to sell, diverted to drug treatment court which ultimately resulted in the felony charges being dismissed upon completion of drug treatment.

Sex Crimes

People v. JC


Rikers Island guard admits to sexually assaulting female inmate, avoids jail time Read More...

People v. ED


Client charged with forcible rape by ex-girlfriend. Mr. Watford was hired after client plead guilty to a felony and before he was sentenced to probation. Mr. Watford successfully argued to have plea vacated due to the fact that client was not advised that he would be deported based upon his guilty plea. Thereafter, Mr. Watford filed a motion to dismiss all charges for violating the client's right to a speedy trial which was granted after the complainant repeatedly failed to appear for trial.

Domestic Violence

People v. ES


Client was arrested for allegedly calling and threatening his ex-girlfriend over the phone. After obtaining and reviewing the telephone records of the parties involved, Mr. Watford was able to prove that the client never called the complainant as alleged. Mr. Watford was able to convince the District Attorney’s Office to dismiss all charges. In a rare turn of events, the ex-girlfriend was arrested and charged with several felony offenses after she admitted to the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case that she fabricated the allegations.

People v. DW


Client found not guilty after trial of domestic assault. Mr. Watford was able to prove that the client was justified using force to prevent his ex-wife from forcibly entering his house without permission or authority from the client.

People v. GS


Charged in Criminal Court with violating Family Order of Protection by calling the complainant solely for the purpose of obtaining work uniforms. Mr. Watford obtained and produced various court records demonstrating that the client was granted access to the residence by the Family Court judge for the purpose of retrieving his property on three (3) occasions prior to his arrest. Upon presenting the documents to the District Attorneys Office they agreed to dismiss the charges.

People v. MJ


Client charged with assaulting his brother-in-law who was upset over client’s prior domestic violence incidents with complainant’s sister. The arresting officers and DA office refused to believe that client was defending himself after being ambushed by the complainant. Mr. Watford visited the crime scene with the client and obtained video surveillance recordings which proved, that unbeknownst to the client, the complainant was hiding, waited for the client and initiated the fight. After submitting the video to the prosecutor all charges were dismissed.

People v. VP


Client was a victim of domestic assault, however, the perpetrator/complainant falsely reported that client assaulted him. At the client's arraignment, Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate, via photos of the client's injuries, that she was in fact a victim of domestic violence. The arraignment judge released the client ROR and refused to issue an order of protection against her. Mr. Watford provided the District Attorney's Office with the photos and witnesses which led to all of the charges subsequently being dismissed.

Assault

People v. SP


Client was charged with Attempted Gang Assault in the First Degree. Four months later, during an adjournment period, the District Attorney attempted to reduce the charges off calendar to misdemeanor assault and other related charges. At the appropriate time, Mr. Watford successfully filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the client's speedy trial rights were violated when the District Attorney's office failed to comply with Criminal Procedure Law when they did not follow the proper procedure for reducing a felony to a misdemeanor off calendar.

People v. NL


Client charged with stabbing an individual with knife outside of the apartment building where he lived with his brother. Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate that his client came to the aid of his brother who was being assaulted by several individuals who initially assaulted the brother at a different location and then followed the client’s brother to his building and continued the assault. Mr. Watford was able to obtain video surveillance recordings from the location where the assault on the client’s brother originally began which showed the client’s brother getting assaulted and fleeing from the location. Mr. Watford provided the video to the District Attorney’s Office which led to the charges being dismissed against client without the case being presented to the Grand Jury.

Assault refers to the intentional or reckless threatening of a person to another and is considered a criminal offense. Anyone facing an assault charge can get help and guidance from an assault defense lawyer in New York, NY.

Theft, Robbery, and Mistaken Identity

People v. KG


Client was charged in Brooklyn with robbery after the group of individuals who committed the robbery ran from the scene. The client credibly testified in the Grand Jury that minutes earlier he had just returned home from work and walked to the store to purchase take out food for dinner. As the client was walking from home and in the direction of the restaurant, the perpetrators and the complainant ran towards client. The Grand Jury believed the client’s testimony that when the complainant stopped him and accused him of being with the perpetrators, he was walking towards the complainant while the perpetrators were running away from the complainant. The client was the first person that complainant saw and stopped. All charges dismissed by the Grand Jury based upon mistaken identity.

People v. SH


Client accused of robbing and threatening the complainant with a razor blade in the Bronx. Client was identified by the complainant in a photo array and line up. The client testified in the Grand Jury that it was a case of mistaken identity and that he had an alibi. Mr. Watford was able to have the client’s mother and girlfriend testify as alibi witnesses in the Grand Jury that the client was his mother’s home with his girlfriend at the time of the robbery which occurred at 6:00 a.m. at allocation several miles away from the mother’s home. The Grand Jury dismissed all charges.

People v. CG


Client along with four (4) co-defendants were accused of robbing the complainant of her purse in Midtown Manhattan. The client and the co-defendants were approached and stopped by the arresting officers and immediately identified by the complainant on the street. During the pre-indictment investigation stage of the case, Mr. Watford was able to convince the District Attorney’s Office that the complainant was mistaken when she identified the client and his four friends as the alleged 5 perpetrators. After the District Attorney’s Office conducted their investigation, all charges were dismissed without the case being presented to the Grand Jury.

Weapons Charges

People v. MT


U.S. Park Police officer charged with weapons possession and menacing for allegedly displaying and threatening to harm his problematic teenage son. Found not guilty after trial.

People v. TN


Client arrested for felony weapons possession charges and menacing charges for allegedly threatening several individuals/complainants after they broke into his apartment and attempted to illegally evict him while he was away at work. The arresting officers searched the client and the apartment and failed to recover any firearm. However, a firearm was recovered from the trash compactor room in the hallway of the building which the complainants identified as the weapon the client allegedly possessed. Mr. Watford demanded a DNA analysis of the weapon which did not contain any DNA that matched the client’s DNA. On the morning of trial, all charges were dismissed.

People v. PB


Felony gun possession charges dismissed, where during prosecution of the case, it was discovered that the arresting detective's credibility was questionable. The gun was recovered in a car with 4 occupants and never processed for fingerprints or DNA evidence. During the prosecution it was also discovered that the arresting detective had several allegations and lawsuits filed against him for false arrest and fabricating evidence. Consequently, the DA never produced the arresting detective to testify at the pre-trial suppression hearing which ultimately violated the client's right to a speedy trial.

People v. TW


Client, an Air Force Veteran who resided in Virginia, was charged with illegally possessing five (5) firearms in NYC and was believed to be a firearms trafficker from Virginia. The District Attorney’s Office was originally seeking ten (10) years prison. Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate that all of the firearms were legally purchased by the client while he was an active member of the service. Mr. Watford filed a motion to dismiss in the interest of justice, all weapons charges which required mandatory prison time, due to the unique circumstances related to the client transporting the weapons with him during his visit to NYC. The judge granted the motion and dismissed all felony weapons charges.

People v. CW


Client was charged with felony gun possession and facing a potential mandatory prison sentence of 16 years to life. At the suppression hearing, Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate that the arresting officers illegally seized the client without reasonable suspicion when the officer grabbed the client who refused to allow the police to enter the house after he answered the door. The officers subsequently kicked in the door and illegally pursued the client who allegedly threw an unidentifiable object which the police said was a firearm. After the hearing, the judge reviewed the memorandum of law submitted by Mr. Watford and granted the suppression motion.

People v. GW


A NYC Correction Officer was charged with misdemeanor weapons possession for allegedly shooting a BB gun which shattered the window of the complainant’s car. At the suppression hearing Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate that the arresting officer’s search of the client’s car was illegal. The arresting officer admitted during the hearing that he searched he client’s vehicle minutes prior to the complainant arriving at the scene and identifying him as the perpetrator. The judge suppressed the BB gun and the all charges were dismissed.

People v. CS


Client arrested for allegedly possessing a gravity knife. Mr. Watford demanded inspection of the knife because it was a knife that was available for purchase at Home Depot. During the inspection of the knife while at the District Attorney’s Officer, Mr. Watford requested that the arresting officer demonstrate how the knife opened via gravity. After the arresting officer was unable to open the knife via gravity, in the presence of the prosecuting attorney assigned to the case, Mr. Watford was able to convince the District Attorney’s Officer to dismiss all charges.

Mitigation Memorandums


Mr. Watford has represented numerous clients who have been arrested for possessing loaded firearms and charged with felony weapons possession which, in most cases, requires a mandatory prison sentence. Based upon an investigation of the client’s background and character history, Mr. Watford has a proven track record of preparing mitigation memorandums which detail the unique circumstances surrounding the client’s arrest for weapons possession. The mitigation packages are then submitted to the District Attorneys and Judges and Mr. Watford has conferences with the judges and Supervising District Attorneys. Mr. Watford has been able to successfully resolve numerous cases with non-jail dispositions using this method.

DWI

People v. TC


Client arrested for DWI. At the pre-trial hearing, Mr. Watford demonstrated that his client drove to the precinct in order to have the police assist him in removing his intoxicated female companion from his car who refused several requests by client to exit. Mr. Watford played the videotape from the precinct which demonstrated that the client was not intoxicated and that the arresting officers violated his rights by refusing to honor the client’s request to call his attorney and that client did not refuse to take the breathalyzer. At the conclusion of the hearing, Mr. Watford was able to convince the judge to persuade the District Attorney’s Office to dismiss the case via ACD despite the client having a case of unopened 40-ounce bottles of beer in his trunk.

People v. WM


NYC Correction Officer was charged with DWI and allegedly menaced the complainant with his firearm. Mr. Watford was able to get the misdemeanor criminal complaint dismissed for a violation of the client’s right to a speedy trial under NYS law. When the District Attorney tried to proceed forward with the remaining traffic infraction of Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol, Mr. Watford pointed out to the judge that the remaining traffic infraction was defective under the NYS Criminal Procedure Law. The judge dismissed the remaining charge.

People v. MB


Within a four (4) month period, Client was arrested and charged with Aggravated DWI on two (2) separate occasions in the same county but two (2) different towns. On both arrests, the client’s Blood Alcohol Content was .32 - which was four (4) times the legal limit of .08. Mr. Watford drafted and submitted a mitigation memorandum to both judges which provided a detailed history regarding the client’s stable background and mental health issues which caused his alcohol dependency. The District Attorney’s Office was seeking jail time and Mr. Watford was able to convince the judges in both cases to sentence him to a non-jail disposition (probation) which permitted the client to continue receiving outpatient alcohol and mental health treatment.

Civil Service Disciplinary

DOC v. F.E.


Correction Officer was charged with abandoning control room post to confront an inmate who had refused to provide pedigree information, failing to anticipate a use of force, using excessive force, and filing a false report. At trial, Mr. Watford was able to demonstrate that the officer left the control room because he was unable to communicate with the inmate through the window slot. He did not contact a supervisor because believed he could use interpersonal skills to obtain the information. It was not until the inmate struck the officer did the situation quickly escalate. The trial judge found the officer’s testimony, which was corroborated by the video, to be credible. She found that the officer exercised reasonable and prudent judgment under the circumstances and the use of force directive. and ALJ recommended dismissal of the charges.

DOC v. E.L.


Correction Officer charged with leaving her residence while on sick leave without permission and without having logged out with Health Management Division. At trial, Mr. Watford was able to prove that the Captain from the Absence Control Unit (ACU) never entered the building beyond the lobby to access the Officer’s apartment. The Captain testified that he knocked on the Officer’s apartment door and after receiving no answer left the ACU notice of violation. Mr. Watford demonstrated at trial that the apartment referenced in the Captain’s testimony did not exist. The Employer, NYC DOC, failed to prove that the Officer committed misconduct. Dismissal of the charges recommended.

DOC. v. Q.O.


Correction Officer charged with being disrespectful to a supervisor, failing to submit a complete and accurate report, failing to wear a tie with his uniform, and failing to secure the “A” station door. At trial, Mr. Watford was able to show that the supervisor's testimony contained numerous inconsistencies and was not worthy of belief. The trial judge ruled that the employer, NYC DOC, failed to prove that the Officer committed misconduct. Dismissal of the charges recommended.

DOC v. H.B.


Correction Officer was charged with allegedly assaulting her niece during an off-duty incident which allegedly occurred when the niece was living with Officer’s mother. The trial judge found the complainant to be impertinent, impudent, defiant, and defensive at trial, all of which detracted from her credibility. At trial, Mr. Watford demonstrated that the complainant lied about how she received her injuries which occurred a couple of days prior to the alleged incident and were the result of her biting her lip and getting hit in the face with a volleyball. The ALJ recommended dismissal of the charges against the officer.

DOC v. P.G.


Correction Officer and Correction Captain were charged with failing to perform their duties properly, thereby allegedly allowing an inmate to slash a civilian employee. The captain escorted a restraint status inmate with three non-restraint status inmates to the commissary, and while going through the magnetometer, the restraint status inmate bolted toward the gym. At trial, Mr. Watford was able to prove that the inmate pushed passed the Correction Officer, entered the open gym door, and slashed a civilian maintenance worker who had previously sat on the jury that convicted the inmate of a triple homicide whereby he was sentenced to three life terms. The trial judge credited officer’s testimony that he opened the gym door to release two inmates who were leaving the area, that he did not have the door open for a long period of time nor did he leave it unattended, and that the inmate physically pushed past him before he could react. The trial judge recommended dismissal of all charges.

DOC v. W.H.


Mr. Watford represented the first correction officer who was not terminated for claiming “99 Exemptions” on his Federal and NY State tax forms in order to receive extra take-home pay in anticipation of receiving a large retroactive salary check. Mr. Watford was able to prove that the officer filed amended tax forms after receipt of the check and began repaying tax installments prior to his arrest. Additionally, Mr. Watford presented evidence that the Grand Jury failed to indict the officer and the criminal charges were dismissed. The trial judge found these corrective actions by the officer sufficiently mitigated the penalty so that termination was not warranted. The judge recommended a sixty (60) day suspension without pay as the most appropriate penalty.

DOC v. E.H.


Two Correction Officers were each charged with submitting false and/or misleading reports with respect to a use of force incident which occurred in their facility’s punitive segregation unit. All staff charged reported that the inmate sucker punched one officer which precipitated the incident. The trial judge credited the testimony of the officers after Mr. Watford demonstrated that although the time-lapse cameras did not record the punch, the reactions of the staff clearly proved that the inmate initiated the incident and that the use of force was reasonable and justified. All charges dismissed.

DOC v. E.V.


Correction Officer was charged with using impermissible force on an inmate where it was alleged that he dumped the inmate out of a laundry cart while in an elevator. The officer testified that he attempted to pull the cart out of the elevator when the elevator doors opened. At trial, the judge found the officer’s testimony credible and Mr. Watford demonstrated that the DOC Investigator’s conclusion that the officer deliberately lifted the cart with the intent to dump the inmate was unsupported by the investigative report and viewing of videotape of the incident. All charges dismissed.

Civil Service Commission Appeals

DOC v. P. C


NYC DOC sought termination of Correction Officer at OATH trial in double inmate slashing case. At trial, Mr. Watford prevented the termination of the officer and convinced the Civil Service Commission to reduce the Commissioner’s penalty of 60 days suspension to 30 days. Client received 30 days back pay.

DOC v. H. L.


At the underlying OATH trial, the ALJ concluded that a Correction Officer sold drugs to an undercover police officer. The Correction Officer was subsequently terminated. On appeal, Mr. Watford convinced the Civil Service Commission to reverse the termination and reinstated the officer on the grounds that the evidence at trial was insufficient to identify the officer as the seller of the drugs. During oral argument, Mr. Watford demonstrated that the trial judge erroneously relied upon facts that were not in the trial transcript.

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