On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in vehicular assault or homicide on Friday, October 25, 2019.

Despite how often their testimonies are used in court, we do know that witnesses’ memories are often inaccurate. This sometimes means that those memories change over time or that people just were not able to form accurate memories as the event occurred, even if they think that they did so.

One reason that they may have an inaccurate memory of the event is a phenomenon known as the “weapon focus effect.” Researchers have known about this for a while, and it continues to have an impact on these cases. Essentially, it just means that witnesses to a crime that involves a weapon will often spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at the weapon itself. This can lead to problems with actually identifying the person holding that weapon.

When asked to pick the person out of a lineup, it’s easy for an outsider to assume that the witness could do it quickly. They were in the room. This person supposedly captured the attention of anyone else in that room. It’s a very memorable event. When they decide who the perpetrator was, the jury believes them.

The reality, though, is that a witness may spend just a fraction of the time looking at the perpetrator and making mental notes about their gender, age, skin color, identifying marks, height, weight, hair color, and all the rest. They’ll just come away with a very general sense of who the person was — a middle-aged white male, for example, rather than a 40-year-old white man with brown hair, a thin beard and tattoos on the backs of his arms. This can impact their ability to accurately identify the person later, and it leads to mistaken accusations by the people who should be best able to make those identifications.

If you’re facing serious charges and there are issues like this with the witness testimony, it’s crucial to understand your defense options.

By : First Page Attorney | October 25, 2019 | Vehicular Assault Or Homicide


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in violent crimes on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

For years, legal professionals have used forensic science to prosecute criminals who have committed violent crimes. Sadly, the science used to prove suspects’ guilt has also been used to incriminate innocent people. Many cases are built around the results obtained from certain forensic testing methods of evidence found at the crime scene. The problem lies in the fact that some testing methods have not been scientifically validated to yield accurate or reliable results. These tests include the following:

Shoe print comparison

Hair follicle analyzing

Tire print analysis

Comparative bullet lead analysis

Reading of burn marks in arson cases

While some of these tests at one time were thought to provide accurate findings, newer research shows that they can provide wrong results in some cases.

According to the Innocence Project, misused forensic science was involved in 45% of cases that were overturned after DNA evidence proved the person convicted of committing the crime was actually innocent. In some cases, the way the scientific results were presented to the jury or judge were thought to be misleading. Lab technicians and scientists may make errors when conducting certain tests, leading to bad results as well. Yet, these results may be presented in court as accurate and reliable findings.

In addition to bad results obtained from the misuse of forensic tests, lab technicians and scientists may intentionally mess up the testing to alter results. All of the test results presented in court have a direct impact in the incrimination of the suspect on trial. When the person is innocent, it may contribute to their wrongful conviction.

By : First Page Attorney | October 15, 2019 | Violent Crimes


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC on Monday, October 7, 2019.

When is a drug not really a drug? That question arises when agencies convene to criminalize possession of substances like kratom around the nation.

Many people may have no idea what kratom is. But for many more others, kratom is the substance that allows them to live their lives without an addiction to illegal opioid-based drugs. Read on to learn how New York classifies kratom use.

Still legal, but under fire

Under present laws in the state of New York, kratom use remains legal. However, that doesn’t mean that you will be able to buy some in your local bodega or head shop.

A series of raids on smoke shops and other retail outlets that sold kratom has had a chilling effect on some merchants who would rather cease selling the popular product than face a police raid. The problem stems from the illegality of other products like bath salts being sold in these shops. Sometimes, the police also seize the kratom products that are ostensibly being legally sold in the retail outlets.

By the time the dust settles, the inventory has been seized, opened, tested and is unsuitable for resale once it’s determined to be a legally-sold herbal supplement not under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s that agency that has been hard at work to criminalize the use of kratom (and thus, make criminals out of those who legitimately use the substance to keep their chronic pain at manageable levels).

What about the users?

If you get arrested for possessing kratom, that’s a charge that can definitely be dismissed. The problem may lie in the officers alleging that the substance is something other than what it really is. By the time it is correctly identified through testing, you may already have been placed under arrest.

The good news is that a competent New York City criminal defense attorney can facilitate the charges being dropped in such a case, thus freeing you to go on living your life. As in many arrests, having a dedicated and diligent attorney working on your behalf can expedite the release process.

By : First Page Attorney | October 7, 2019 | Uncategorized

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I am attorney Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., and my firm is located in downtown Brooklyn near the Borough Hall and Jay Street stops. The Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC, offers free initial consultations to individuals living within all five New York City boroughs. You can reach me at any hour of the day or night, regardless of the complexity of your issue.

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