Law Office of Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma

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There are more than 42,000 people in New York who have to register as sex offenders — about the population of Poughkeepsie. Sex offender registration can affect every aspect of a person’s life: where he lives, where he can travel, how he is treated by his neighbors, the community and even the police. But the system for determining risk level is flawed, producing predictably inaccurate results based on a “Risk Assessment Instrument” that was last…
ZMO Law PLLC and the Law Offices of Daniel A. McGuinness PC represent the family of Miguel Richards, a 31-year-old Bronx man who was shot and killed in his own bedroom by New York City Police Department patrol officers in 2017. A few things about the case are undisputed — and appalling. Miguel’s landlord called the police after he had not heard from Miguel for a while. Then he broke into Miguel’s bedroom. Two officers,…
Some points from my experience defending violent crime and debunking police lies can help understand what happened in Washington yesterday without falling back on hollow judgments about how awful other people are. First, as the climate scientist Jim Lovelock told me when I was ten years old, tribal warfare is in our DNA. It is a sickness that has always been part of the human condition and affects us all whether we know it or…
Tune in to a webinar on December 3 for an overview of New York’s sex offense laws and the harsh consequences of a sex offense conviction. The program, organized by the New York City Bar Association SORA Working Group and Committee on Criminal Justice Operations, will provide a broad overview of the problems created by the Sex Offender Registration Act, the Sex Assault Reform Act, and New York State’s civil commitment laws. Among other things,…
Criminal cases in federal court are driven by mandatory minimum sentences. Drugs, guns, child pornography and sex trafficking (among others) all carry mandatory minimum sentences which used to mean that, if the government has the evidence and won’t let you plead to a lesser crime, you do the time. That just might have changed today with the advent of United States v. Zullo, an important decision handed down today by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.…
A year or so working as a reporter at 220 E. 42nd Street around 1993 completely changed my life. It was part of nearly four years I spent on the staff at the Daily News, once one of the largest-circulation publications in the world but already in the midst of a long, slow decline. I was honored to have met most of the “oddballs and brilliant people” that my sometime client, mentor, and extraordinary professor…
The Law of Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma and Law Offices of Daniel McGuinness filed an Amended Complaint in federal court today detailing harrowing allegations of severe, pervasive, routine, and tolerated sexual abuse by prison guards against six women. According to the allegations in the complaint, women have been raped by guards all over the state — from Lakeview Shock Incarceration Center near Lake Erie, to Taconic Correctional Facility just north of New York City. Prison rape by…
We are pleased to announce that the governor of New York has granted a sentence commutation to our client, Teara Fatico, reducing her sentence in connection with a 2011 burglary by two years. She will be eligible for release on parole in January 2021. Ms. Fatico had cooperated with the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute her then-boyfriend, who was the mastermind of the crime. Even though she testified in the case, her sentence…
Amid calls to abolish the police — which would likely make most of us safer in most situations — the New York State legislature has enacted a welcome reform: on Friday, the measure to repeal Civil Rights Law 50-a was signed into law. That means cowardly cops can no longer hide behind this phony privacy law to keep people from finding out about discipline against them. This officer appears to be advising his fellow officers…