Welcome to the Law Office of David Galison, P.C. Law Blog

Welcome to galisonlaw.com law blog. Our mission: to scour the universe for compelling stories in several related areas: DWI law, criminal law and and traffic law. Current changes in these laws offer broad interpretations, encompassing such recent news as the Leandra’s Law, and Jack Shea's law which eases restrictions on collecting blood in intoxication cases. We’ll write about industry news and legal trends, with a sprinkle of good old-fashioned gossip.

We’ll link to the best coverage of law and lawyers from around the Web, report some news of our own and look to you for contributions. We heartily invite your comments, tips and insights.

Along with my ruminations, this blog will include bits and bites from articles in the the New York Law Journal and Legal Newswires. Email me at david@galisonlaw.com.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


    The Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice has recently issued a letter to almost three hundred inmates informing them that the Nassau County Crime Lab may have made mistakes in connection with drug and alcohol charges they face. (See the letter below) The crime lab was ordered closed by County Executive Edward Mangano and is currently under investigation.

     The letter issued by Rice makes no mention of the fact that the lab has been shut down or that there is a possibility of criminal charges being filed against lab employees. Furthermore, the letter denies known deficiencies in blood alcohol testing, but admits that administrative errors in documentation and reporting have been uncovered. To this end, Margaret Fisher, a scientist at the lab has admitted to at least 9 known errors. The State Inspector General has recently issued subpoenas to County Executive Edward Mangano and former County Executive Thomas Suozzi in connection with the continuing investigation in which over 100 subpoenas have issued already. 

     For the time being the lab is closed and the door is locked with a key that is only held by the State Inspector General's Office and the head of Police Internal Affairs. In addition a video camera is mounted outside the lab to monitor the door just in case anyone should try to break in. 

     Just what impact the errors and deficiencies in testing and documenting will have on drug and driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases is as of yet unknown. However one thing is certain, the credibility of every test done by the Nassau County Crime Lab is questionable at best. 


     At the Law Office of David Galison, P.C., we strive to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are charged with the possession or sale of any drug, or are charged with any alcohol related driving offense in Nassau, Suffolk or Queens County, contact the Law Office of David Galison, P.C. at 516-242-4477 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your case. Visit our website at: David Galison, P.C.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nassau County Criminal Attorney David Galison, P.C., Publishes New Legal Website

Nassau County Criminal Attorney David Galison, Publishes Website Providing Nassau, Suffolk and Queens County Residents with Valuable Information for Those Facing Criminal Charges in New York State.

Criminal Attorney Nassau County
Nassau County Criminal Attorney David Galison recently launched a new web site,      
http://www.criminalattorneynassaucounty.com  This latest website is one of several informational sites which are part of the Galison Law Legal Web Network.

David Galison, Managing Partner of the Law Office of David Galison, P.C. says that the new site  was designed in an effort to answer the most common questions that someone facing criminal charges in New York State could have. It also answers many questions for clients who are hesitant to call a criminal defense attorney to ask relevant questions which may impact their existing legal situation.

Galison said, “The information provided on this new website gives potential clients an understanding of my personalized service that sets my law office apart from other law firms,” he explains. “I encourage clients to keep fully informed of their case's progress and to actively participate in their defense throughout all stages of the proceedings.”

One feature of the new site is the frequently updated criminal law blog that David Galison updates and contributes to several times a week. The blog includes commentary and articles written by David Galison and includes coverage of legal issues pertaining to the Nassau County Court system. The blog invites your comments, tips and insights.

David Galison regularly appears in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens County Criminal Courts. Mr. Galison is licensed to practice law in the State Courts of New York, Florida and Massachussets, as well as the Eastern District Federal Court.

David Galison is a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. In addition, Mr. Galison received the Dean’s List Award in Commercial Transactions.

For more information, visit http://www.criminalattorneynassaucounty.com or contact David Galison at 516-424-4477 or by email to david@galisonlaw.com.

About The Law Office of David Galison, P.C.:

At the Law Office of David Galison, P.C., it is understood that an arrest and conviction for any crime can affect the rest of your life. With such serious consequences on the line, every client receives personalized attention. Clients are kept fully informed of their case's progress and actively participate in their defense throughout all stages of the proceedings. It is the personal service that David Galison, P.C. provides to the client that sets the office apart from other law firms.

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Criminal Attorney Nassau County
The Law Offices of David Galison, P.C.
Attorney Answering to Criminal Charges in New York State.
Serving Nassau, Suffolk and Queens County, New York.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


There are very few experiences in life that are more dreaded or feared then being pulled over by a police officer.  With the ever increasing costs of auto insurance and the state fines and surcharges associated with moving violations a motorist’s anxiety level can go through the roof.  If you have consumed any alcohol prior to the stop multiply this anxiety by ten.

1. The Stop. A motorist is under no obligation to answer any questions for a police officer. If you are pulled over by an officer the only information that you are required to provide is your license, registration and insurance. 

(Listed below is suggested conduct for a motorist to follow if stopped.)

Place your car in park and turn on your interior lights.
Have your license, registration and insurance in hand before the officer arrives at your window.
Keep your seatbelt on during the stop so that you do not get ticketed for failure to wear it. Often          times an officer will not believe that you took off the seatbelt to reach your documentation, so keep it on.
Be polite, but do not volunteer information. If you are asked, “Do you know why I stopped you?” answer no. The police write down your answers to be used against you.
Keep your hands where the officer can see them at all times. 
Never argue or raise your voice to the officer.
If you receive a ticket accept it graciously and consult with an attorney.

2. Roadside Tests. A motorist is under no obligation to perform any roadside field sobriety tests. If you are asked to exit the vehicle, there is an extremely high likelihood that the officer has already determined to arrest you for DWI. On the side of the road there is no fair judge of your performance and there is no video of how you perform. The only judge of your performance is a police officer who often times is going to make overtime based upon your arrest. 

Performing field sobriety tests under less then ideal conditions can affect the validity of the tests. Consider the following before you agree to do any DWI field sobriety testing. 

Are you tired?
Are you Nervous?
Are you uncoordinated?
Are you overweight by more then fifty pounds?
Do you have any medical conditions that can affect your balance?
Are you wearing appropriate footwear?
Is the location of the testing appropriate for the testing?

o Is it well lit?
o Is it level?
o Are there distractions close by like passing cars, or pedestrians?

You have the right to refuse standardized field sobriety tests.  If any of the above conditions are present it can have a major impact on the results of the testing which will then be used against you in court. Keep in mind that at this point in the stop you are likely to be arrested. The question is whether performing standard filed sobriety test in the field (on the road) will help exonerate you, often times they will not no matter how well you really perform. People fail sobriety tests when they are sober. Sobriety tests are subjective tests unless they are recorded with audio and video so that they can be judged fairly by others.  With all the factors that can affect DWI sobriety tests on the roadside it is often better to refuse all testing.

3. Breath Testing. Every motorist who is arrested and charged with a DWI in New York, is required to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine to determine their alleged blood alcohol concentration or BAC. Though a person has the right to refuse this testing (and often times should), a knowing refusal will result in the revocation of their driver’s license for a one year period if proper refusal warnings are given by the officer. The question then becomes do you give a breath sample. 

In considering the decision on whether or not to give a breath sample you should be aware of the following:

The Nassau County Crime Lab was closed in early 2011 because of departures from the minimum standards of care necessary to run a police crime lab. The crime lab was responsible for mixing the simulator solutions that the breath testing equipment in Nassau County utilizes. 
Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County District Attorney pointed out at a morning news conference that she asked county executive Mangano to shut the lab down "because supervisory activity and potentially intentional personnel conduct relate not only to the drug chemistry testing performed at the lab but to the entirety of the lab."
In Nassau County it is police policy that no video will be made of your performance tests (Standardized Field Sobriety Tests) if you take a breath test. In other words if you want to have a video made of your testing so that your performance can be judged by a neutral person (a jury) rather then a police officer you must refuse a breath test. Essentially, if you want a video made to show your innocence you must give up your driver’s license!! That is ridiculous and unfair.
Breath testing equipment is not perfect and it can make mistakes.
Consider the factors listed below as a partial list of items that can affect the reliability of the breath testing machines:

o If a person has a fever it can throw of the machine.
o If a person burps, regurgitates or has acid reflux it can throw off the machine.
o If a person has dentures it can throw of the machine.
o If a person blows for too long it can throw off the machine.
o If the mouth piece is not changed it can throw off the machine.
o If the chamber is not properly purged it can throw off the machine.
o If the person has certain chemical compounds in their system in can throw off the machine. (Painters, Carpenters, Chemists, etc…)
o If the persons blood to breath partition ratio deviates from the median it can throw off the machine, not everyone is in the middle of a bell curve. 
o There police do not wait 10 - 15 minutes and then perform a second test to confirm the results of the first test. Unfortunately if you believe the machine has made a mistake and request a second test you will be denied.

Juries often are kept in the dark about just how many things can go wrong with a breath testing machine despite the best efforts of the defense attorney. Deciding whether to take the breath test or not is a case specific decision, and often times the best decision is not to take the test, especially if you do not trust the police.

4. Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST). In Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens County the decision to take SFST back at the station is a hard one. Often times you are being pressured to take tests that are not properly explained under conditions that would make anyone uncomfortable. As mentioned above in Nassau County DWI testing is not video taped unless you are willing to give up your license for a year! However, if you want the best evidence of your testing preserved you must refuse the breath test or no audio/video will be made. 

SFST testing is not an exact science and the results reported can vary on the same subject depending on who gives the test. All of the issues that can impact the roadside SFST testing listed above are present but add to that the pressure and nervousness of having been placed in handcuffs and told you are under arrest for the first time in your life. Under those conditions only you can decide if taking the tests would be fair and accurate. I believe that for the average person it is better to refuse the test as they are typically administered in an unfair and coercive manner. 

5. Call Your Attorney. Attorneys are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help you. Make sure that you have your attorneys name and phone number in your cell phone and in your wallet or purse. Do not speak or give a statement to the police without consulting with your attorney first. Be definitive.  Say “I want to talk to my attorney now.” And do not volunteer any information just wait with your mouth closed.

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At the Law Office of David Galison, P.C., we strive to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are charged with any driving offense from a speed contest to a red light ticket  to a DWI give us a call. Call 516-242-4477 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your case. Visit our website at for further informaiton: David Galison, P.C.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It has recently been reported that the Nassau County Police Department will fund the retesting of close to 3,000 drug cases due to the improperly run crime lab. The cost is conservatively estimated to be between $400,000 and $500,000. It is unknown how much more it will cost to pay the lab workers who re-test the drugs to appear in court and give expert testimony on contested cases.

With respect to DWI cases, it is anticipated that blood alcohol tests will also be resubmitted for testing in light of the recent acknowledgment that several blood alcohol results were mislabeled.

There have been no arrests yet in connection with the crime lab fiasco, but an investigation is currently under way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


On Monday March 7th, 2011 the Honorable Judge George Peck handed down his eagerly awaited decision in connection with the Erin Marino case. Ms. Marino had been convicted of aggravated vehicular assault for allegedly running into a minivan while being intoxicated by alcohol. The judges decision to throw out the conviction was based upon newly discovered evidence which disclosed improper testing at the Nassau County Crime Lab and possibly a cover up. At the time of the conviction in August 2010 it was not know how poorly the Nassau County Crime Lab was being operated. But when the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors placed the lab on probation, the Pandora’s box was opened and all the lab’s secrets came pouring out.

  • ·      The Nassau County Crime Lab has since been ordered closed indefinitely by the county executive.
  • ·      The Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice petitioned the court to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the lab but said petition was denied.
  • ·      The Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo then appointed State Inspector General Ellen Biben to investigate the lab.
  • ·      Retesting of prior lab results have come back as inaccurate and wrong.
  • ·      Blood alcohol samples have been mislabeled in DWI prosecutions.

Although the Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is known for being outspoken, she has remained silent in connection with the judges ruling. Perhaps even Ms. Rice can’t keep a straight face when arguing that the ruling is wrong, although it has been disclosed that the District Attorney’s Office plans on appealing Judge Peck’s decision.

How an argument can be made that the ruling is wrong by the same office that sought the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate a possible cover up and potential illegal activity is mindboggling.  As for Judge Peck’s decision, I applaud it. It’s encouraging to see that Judges in Nassau County will analyze the facts and apply the law.  When a judge protects the rights of the accused he protects all citizens. It was John Adams who defended the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre trial. Mr. Adams stated: "Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our inclinations, or the dictums of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."  The evidence is irrefutable the lab is closed!

Friday, March 4, 2011

140 MPH Race On The Long Island Expressway
Can You Say Traffic Ticket

Two motorists who were allegedly racing each other on the Long Island Expressway yesterday reached speeds of over 140 mph just before they crashed their vehicles in Suffolk County. One of the vehicles burst into flames upon impact when it a collided with a gas pump at a Gulf station in Islandia. Remarkably only one person was injured in the incident.

The drivers are facing the following charges:

  • ·      Unlawful speed contest
  • ·      Reckless endangerment
  • ·      Reckless driving
  • ·      Criminal mischief
  • ·      Unlawful fleeing of a police officer
  • ·      Speeding

In Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties speed contests are prosecuted harshly. Often times as in the case above motorists engaging in speed contests are prosecuted under both the penal law and the vehicle and traffic law. In addition to fines, state surcharges, drivers responsibility assessment act liability, possible license suspension or revocation, and points on their DMV abstract the motorist are facing significant jail time.  In addition the ability to drive in the future will be hampered by the cost of increased insurance premiums if an auto insurance carrier will even agree to insure them.

At the Law Office of David Galison, P.C., we strive to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are charged with the any driving offense from a speed contest to a red light ticket give us a call. Call 516-242-4477 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your case. Visit our website at for further informaiton: David Galison, P.C.

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