The Wrong Kind of Subway Stop

The Wrong Kind of Subway Stop

You’ve been stopped on your subway ride home from work, or perhaps while you are running some errands.  An undercover officer, most likely dressed in plain clothes, has pulled you off the train car and holds you on the platform.  Maybe immediately, or maybe after some time has passed, you’re told that you’re being arrested for touching someone inappropriately on the train – and then you are charged with Forcible Touching, a Class A Misdemeanor in New York.  Not only is thispunishable by up to one year in jail, but you are now facing the possibility of having to register as a sex offender.


Even if this is your first arrest, you’re taken to the police station, processed, and eventually seen by a judge in criminal court to face charges.  It is even possible that a judge could set bail.  If you post the bail, and you are released – What are your next steps?

First and foremost, speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately.  While every misdemeanor charge should be taken seriously, due to the uptick in sexual offenses on the train, the District Attorney’s office often takes a harsh stance on these types of cases.


When you meet with an attorney, it is important to relay every detail of your train ride – even something that may not seem significant to you can be a helpful detail for your case.  What were you wearing when you were stopped? Were you holding anything in your hands? Do you recall being identified by the victim? Did you see someone take any photos on the train?  Do you know what any video surveillance would show?  Especially important – did you make any statements to the police?  It is very common for individuals to outright deny any wrongdoing, or to start explaining details to the police in an attempt to explain away the incident. DON’T DO THIS.  It cannot be stressed enough that you should not make any statements to the police because what you say can be used against you later by the prosecution.


After you go over the details of the incident, you and your attorney will have a better idea of what strategy is best for your case.  Perhaps your attorney will go after a potentially weak identification, claiming mistaken identification.  Or maybe what the police observed is not exactly what the “victim” said happened – inconsistencies in the allegations can weaken the prosecution’s case and strengthen yours.  Sometimes, you may not immediately know which approach is best, and your attorney may want to wait until discovery is provided to decide how to move forward.


The Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC has represented many individuals charged with this type of offense and can guide you through the best possible defense, and all of your options.  If you or a loved one have been arrested for this crime, contact the office for a consultation today.