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Jose Gabriel Santiago

Jose Santiago’s Answers

33 total

  • What are the possible but realistic punishments for this charge using a public attorney and is a private attorney recommended?

    I was just recently arrested at the Electric Zoo music festival in NYC for being caught with possession of a very small amount (about 0.2 grams) of MDMA. I have never been arrested or in trouble before and have no warrants. My arraignment date has...

    Jose’s Answer

    As my colleagues have pointed out, there are great public defenders and great private attorneys (there are also crappy public defenders and crappy private attorneys). When the officer issues you a DAT (desk appearance ticket) it was based on his or her "training and experience as a police officer" that the recovered contraband was in fact an illegal drug. The DAs office will have to send the recovered evidence for to the drug lab to confirm that it is in fact an illegal drug. A good criminal defense lawyer may be able to have this case reduced - if not dismissed via ACD - to a non-criminal offense based on your lack of criminal history. There are many factors and you need to speak to an attorney, preferably prior to your arraignment.

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  • Can a police officer give me a traffic infraction on my property?

    I was a block away from my house. I came to a stop sign and adhered to it. I made a right at said stop sign. Half a block awY I pulled In to my drive way when a officer pulled up near my drive way and asked for my credentials lic & registration. H...

    Jose’s Answer

    As my colleagues have answered, the answer is Yes. Going through a Stop Sign is not a crime, but a traffic infraction. The police officer had to have observed you committing the infraction in order to issue you the summons (unlike a crime where he or she may arrest you upon being informed by a third party that you committed the crime). If he or she observed you committing the infraction, he or she can serve you with the summons even on your driveway.

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  • I want to know if I can change my court date for a misdemeanor 220.03 charge because of lack of money for a lawyer.

    I had a court date in 6/15/15. I needed to postpone the date, due to a family situation. I did this with a letter to the judge. It was approved and I went to court in August. The Judge told me I needed a lawyer. My next court date is 10/1/21015. ...

    Jose’s Answer

    Obviously, as my colleagues have pointed out, you should not miss the court date or you risk a bench warrant being issues for your arrest. Advise the court of your financial situation and brig proof of your income. The judge will screen you to see if you qualify for assigned counsel. If not, the judge will likely give you another chance - likely a final chance - to hire an attorney and adjourn the case for a month or so. You should definitely seek legal counsel. Although cost is a factor, you should make sure that you feel comfortable with your attorney and that you trust his or her judgment. Research the lawyer before you hire him or her. More expensive does not mean you have a better lawyer; nor does an inexpensive lawyer mean you have a bad lawyer. You have to feel them out and do your research. Get second or third opinions if you need to.

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  • Must an employer pay a wage that is above minimum wage but promised verbally?

    I was recently transferred in my company and with the transfer I was promised a wage increase of 4 dollars an hour. This agreement was made verbally. When I reviewed my paystub I was given only 3 dollars more. My manager did not advise me of this ...

    Jose’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues that it will be difficult to prove the "promise" of a pay raise and that the "promise" was binding. Keep in mind that New York now requires at the time of hire and when a change in pay rate is made that the employer provide you with a "Notice of Pay Rate" that includes information such as your hourly rate, overtime rate, pay day, etc. Before changing positions, it may be a good idea to ask for an updated Notice of Pay Rate prior to the change.

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  • I was a contract employee. i worked for 7 days and left the job . Employer hasn't paid me for 5 days. what are my options?

    Employer is refusing to reply to my e-mails.

    Jose’s Answer

    Whether or not you were a "contract employee" is subject to a legal analysis. Some employers attempt to circumvent DOL and/or IRS requirements by attempting to label a worker as an "independent contractor" as opposed to an employee. If I were you I would contact your local department of labor and file a claim. If your previous employer did misclassify you, the DOL investigator should be able to assist you in getting your wages paid to you.

    If you were in fact an independent contractor, then as one of my colleagues mentioned before, you may have to file your own civil lawsuit in small claims court (depending on the amount of wages owed) in order to recover the moneys owed to you via the contract that was breached. Good luck!

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  • How does an EEOC "no probable cause" determination impact my employment discrimination case?

    I just received a "No Probable Cause" letter from the EEOC dismissing my employment discrimin case. They also gave me a Right to Sue Letter. In the letter it says how the EEOC has limited resources and cannot focus on all cases. Also, last month, ...

    Jose’s Answer

    The EEOC has 180 days to investigate a charge of discrimination. At the conclusion of the investigation, the EEOC must decide to either prosecute your claim for you, or issue you a Right to Sue letter so that you may bring a private lawsuit against the Respondent employer. It is very rare, in my experience, for the EEOC (especially the NY Regional Office) to take on a case. The EEOC is swamped, and in my opinion, takes on cases that are either press-worthy cases or the discriminatory practices complained of affect a large group or class of individuals, not just a single employee. The fact that the EEOC issued a you a No Probable Cause finding and a Right to Sue (RTS) letter is of no surprise. You now have 90 days from the date you received the letter to file a claim, otherwise, you may lose the chance to file a federal claim and may be stuck with NY and/or NYC causes of action (if they apply to your case). You should definitely speak to a Labor & Employment lawyer to determine if you have a case and if it is worth going forward. Good luck!

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  • I was fired for what was described to me verbally as talking badly about other security guards and supervisors and security dir.

    These were discussions with other security guards and the conversations were two way so it could fall under the context of "congregating and/or gossiping with other Security officers on duty" listed as a violation in the company's Security Officer...

    Jose’s Answer

    As mentioned by my other colleagues, New York is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer can fire you for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it in not an unlawful reasons (i.e. fired because you are a woman). That being said, you mentioned a "Security Officer Guide." Is it a collective bargaining agreement - contract between your union and the employer? If you are a member of a union, that may be what the guide is. If you are a union member, then you should go to your union ASAP and explain what happened so that the union can look into the incident and possibly file a grievance on your behalf. Good luck!

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  • I'm an owner being sued for $50,000 for negligence of hiring a mover. The customer said he threated her 2 weeks after the mover.

    I was a private contractor for U-Haul in which I was running a friends and family operated moving company 3 years ago. The customer has me going to trial in October for this case. I don't understand why the judge is going through with this case, b...

    Jose’s Answer

    You need to speak to an attorney right away. There may be several issues such as (1) was the individual an employee or independent contractor (2) whether his actions were within the scope of his employment? Hiring an attorney will potentially save you a lot more money than a money judgment against you would.

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  • Occasionally being Touched inappropriately by my boss at the work place.

    Occasionally My boss touches me inappropriately and makes sexually suggestive comments towards me. at the office. i let him do it because I want to keep my job. Lately i've been very distant from him because I'm hoping it wil just stop but I am af...

    Jose’s Answer

    As my colleagues indicate above, it appears that you may have a claim for sexual harassment and hostile work environment against your employer, under federal and state law. In addition, depending on what you mean by touching you "inappropriately," you may even be able to press charges against him for harassment. You should speak with an employment attorney as soon as possible in order to properly assess your situation.

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