News and Notes

Driver arrested for strangling spouse reinstated

Posted by Daniel Ackman | Jan 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

A taxi driver was arrested and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, a class A misdemeanor. The criminal complaint stated the driver applied pressure to his wife's neck by forcefully squeezing. No other facts were alleged. The driver denied the charge and explained that his arrest was his wife's attempt to “get back at him” for engaging in a sexual relationship with another woman. 

The OATH ALJ recommended reinstatement, saying:

"Here, even presuming the criminal charges are true, as required by [TLC] rules, there are several factors that weigh in [the driver's] favor. First, the police report and the complaint are sparse in their description of the incident. Second, there is no evidence that the wife suffered any injury. Further, [the driver] provided clear and consistent testimony regarding the events that led to those charges and denied chocking his spouse. Indeed, despite any personal humiliation, he consistently and credibly testified that his marital issues stemmed from his infidelity, and he explained in detail the events of the day in question. Further, [the driver] also has no prior arrest or criminal convictions, has a stellar driving history as a licensee, and TLC presented no evidence that respondent has ever engaged in improper behavior towards a customer."

This is another example of how reinstatement is possible even in the face of an apparently serious criminal charge. In fact drivers win reinstatement about 70% of the time.

About the Author

Daniel Ackman

D​​an Ackman focuses on civil rights, administrative and constitutional class action litigation. Perhaps best known for representing New York City's taxi drivers in a series of civil rights class action lawsuits, Ackman's cases have resulted in a half dozen City practices being declared unconstitutional.

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