Barket Epstein Files Class Action Suit Against City of New York, NYPD For Violating Bail Reform Law

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Lawsuit seeks monetary damages and an injunction to ensure NYPD stop this illegal practice

New York—June 15, 2020 – Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, a boutique criminal defense and civil rights firm with offices in New York City and on Long Island, today filed a class action lawsuit against the City of New York, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and a series of individual police officers on behalf of a growing class of constituents.

The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn’s State Supreme Court, alleges that New York City, through the NYPD, has violated and continues to violate the Bail Reform law by falsely imprisoning a particular class of people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with blood alcohol concentrations below 0.08. These people, under the new law, should have instead been given a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) and an immediate release.

Many have been detained until arraignment, which violated their state and federal rights to due process, and in more recent cases, potentially exposed such persons to COVID-19 as a result of being detained in confined environments where social distancing is impossible.

The case, brought by Steven Epstein and Alexander Klein, Esqs., of Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, on behalf a growing group of men and women, seeks monetary damages and an injunction from the NYPD continuing this illegal practice.

“This is yet another example of the over prosecution of New York City residents charged with DWI based simply on the crime charged and with reckless disregard for the circumstances surrounding each person’s case,” Mr. Epstein, a nationally renown DWI expert, said.

“Unfortunately, while bail reform was passed to ensure that people are not unnecessarily jailed, a large population has nevertheless been arrested and imprisoned in precincts and jails across the five boroughs by the NYPD,” Mr. Klein said. “This practice of false imprisonment violates express statutory law of New York State, as well as the due process rights of its victims.”

“The majority of men and women represented in this class action lawsuit are first-time offenders. The experience of spending days or even nights locked in precincts, or worse, in notorious jails like Bronx Central Booking or Manhattan’s ‘Tombs,’ has been frightening for the victims and their families,” Mr. Klein continued. “Further, we also believe that those who were detained under these circumstances since mid-March might have been exposed to COVID-19, which added an additional, unnecessary, layer of fear. It is our sincere hope that those who have experienced this come forward, and that the NYPD discontinues this illegal practice immediately.”

For more information on joining this Class Action lawsuit, please reach out to Alexander R. Klein. He can be reached via email at, or via telephone at (516) 745-1500.

Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP is recognized throughout the nation as a leader in criminal defense, personal injury law, appellate, commercial litigation and civil rights issues. With more than 200 years of experience and a team of former prosecutors, public defenders and judges, BEKAL is uniquely capable of representing clients in an array of complex legal matters. The firm has offices in Manhattan, Garden City and Huntington, New York. Follow us on Twitter @barketepstein and LinkedIn.