Donald E. Kelly has been successfully representing clients for the past 22 years and in 2018 has established the Kelly Law Center where he primarily represents clients on criminal defense matters.
Although not a native to Syracuse Don transplanted here in 1987 and has remained through law school and beyond. Don is looking forward to his new firm aggressively representing clients in criminal law cases throughout Syracuse and Central New York.
Don has been recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in upstate New York, has a perfect 10.0 rating on the legal website AVVO and has been selected by Superlawyers as being in the top 1% of criminal law attorneys in Upstate New York.
Don has won suppression in Major Narcotics Cases and Dismissal of Murder Charges. Call Now and put Don's Experience to work for You.*
*Past Performance does not Guarantee Future Results.
Call Don at (315) 422-2800 -- if he is available you can have a telephone consultation immediately. If not we will schedule a mutually convenient time as soon as possible. In the mean time you can familiarize yourself with our very competitive fees below.
There are many different types of people who enter my office seeking representation and each bring their own unique set of challenges Very seldom are two cases alike and the thing that separates them is not always whether the charge is a DWI or a Petit Larceny or whether it is a Felony or a Misdemeanor. More often the categories below have a greater impact upon how a case is handled from arrest until its ultimate disposition.
Many of the clients who come to me on criminal matters have never been arrested before and do not know what to expect. It is stressful for anyone charged with a crime but it is hardest the first time around. For those who know that they have done something wrong I work with them to make the experience as painless as possible by laying out exactly what is going to happen in Court and what they can expect in the long run. There are no guarantees but usually we forge a favorable resolution.
If statistics are accurate that means that one out of every ten criminal defendant that enters my office is innocent of the charged offense. In such instances there are only two options, get the DA or the Court to dismiss the Case or go to Trial. There should never be a plea bargain on a case where you are factually innocent regardless of how many years you are threatened with by the DA. This case is a fight from beginning to end and every step in between.
Others have had more experience with the criminal justice system and their cases are trickier, especially when they when they are factually innocent and may be facing life in prison as a persistent felony offender. Of course, innocent is still innocent and the same rules apply, but when there is some guilt to the charged offense often times we must negotiate with the DA to seek the least painful resolution of the case.
The exclusionary rule can save the day. In those cases above where the client did possess something illegal, usually drugs or weapons, the first line of defense is to seek to exclude that illegal item from trial based upon illegal police conduct in obtaining the illegal contraband. If that contraband is excluded from trial then there is no proof that the client possessed the contraband and the case is dismissed. For Example (I cannot use names as the cases are sealed):
Client was a passenger in a car that was stopped at a roadblock in the University area, during the stop the police smelled marijuana giving them probable cause to search, which they did and they found narcotics sufficient to charge my client with a class A-I felony. During the suppression hearing the officer said he was just told to go to the roadblock at lineup. The drugs were suppressed because although roadblocks are permitted for specific purposes the officers must know that purpose.
Vehicle stopped for DWI and police searched vehicle finding multiple weapons and narcotics in trunk. Police claimed that search was an "inventory" search pursuant to the tow of the vehicle, however, I successfully challenged based upon the fact that they did not create a usable inventory form the vehicle and were simply searching the vehicle for contraband.