A Brooklyn family law attorney is helping couples who were convicted of statutory rape in Brooklyn, New York, by convincing them that the law applies to them.
Sue Hirschfeld, who represents clients in the criminal justice system in Brooklyn and New York City, said that the practice is common in Brooklyn where the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office prosecutes crimes like rape and domestic violence.
Hirschfeld said that she has seen a few clients come in with the message that they can get married in Brooklyn in order to avoid a felony conviction.
In her book, ‘The Lawyer’s Wife,’ she said that clients are encouraged to take the advice from her and apply the law, which is why the law does not apply to them in Brooklyn.
“I’m very much concerned about these clients, because I know they are suffering and they want to get a divorce,” Hirschfield said.
She said that some of her clients have been given the impression that the court can make an exception to their marriage if they have been convicted of rape or sexual assault.
But she said they are not being told that they cannot marry in Brooklyn because they were convicted in Brooklyn for a crime that did not happen in Brooklyn as the result of their criminal conviction.
“In Brooklyn, the law allows you to marry and you can get a civil divorce, but in Brooklyn you have to have been a resident in the county for at least five years,” Hichrifff said.
She said the reason for the misconception that a Brooklyn court can’t make an exemption is because there are only three possible scenarios: If you are convicted of the same crime and you live in the same county, if you are a resident of Brooklyn for five years or if you were convicted for an offense in another county.
The three possible outcomes are, depending on which of those scenarios you are in, you can still get married or you can be charged with a crime in the other county.
“They don’t tell them that, and they can’t see the law.
It’s the same in New York,” she said.
But the law is still in effect in Brooklyn even if you’re not in the city and you are not a resident, Hirschfeld said.
So, she said she tries to convince clients to take her advice.
“If they can come up with the $1,000, you have a better chance of getting a divorce if you can,” she added.
For her clients, Hichlstein said that when she is in the office she gives them a copy of the Brooklyn law to read and the reason they have to apply it is because it was written specifically for people who are living in the Brooklyn area and they are required to have lived in Brooklyn at least for five consecutive years.
“I tell them, this is a New York law.
This is your Brooklyn law,” she explained.
This story was provided by My Brooklyn, a nonprofit news organization that covers crime, justice, and policing.