My criminal defense practice handles the defense of all types of misdemeanor and felony charges. I’ve been doing criminal defense work for the last 10 years, and before that, I worked in both the US Attorney’s Office and the District Attorney’s office. I have seen both sides of criminal law. The most common types of cases that we handle are those in which our clients have been accused of assault, driving while intoxicated, petty larceny, drug offenses, and weapons offenses.
What are the top Misconceptions People Have About Being Arrested for a Crime?
Many people think that after they’ve been arrested, their next court date will be for trial. A lot of people tend to think that cases progress as fast as they do on an episode of “Law and Order.” For better or for worse, it does not. There is a lot to be done before you end up in the trial phase. So, a lot of people have misconceptions about how fast the process works, and unfortunately, it can sometimes be a lot slower than they hope.
How do People Commonly Incriminate Themselves in Criminal Cases?
The most common way that people incriminate themselves is by giving statements to the police. If someone is being investigated, is in the process of being arrested, or has already been arrested, then under almost no circumstance should they give a statement to the police without counsel being present.
When do Miranda Rights Actually Come Into Play in a Criminal Case?
Miranda rights start once an alleged perpetrator is placed under custodial arrest. Once they are under arrest, the officers should formally read the Miranda warnings to them. However, there are many legal and factual arguments that impact when those Miranda rights actually come into play and when they are required to be given. Someone who is accused of committing a crime should not assume that they should have been apprised of their Miranda rights, because there are a lot of different elements that determine when those warnings have to be given.
How Does a Clean Prior Record Impact a Criminal Case?
Having a clean prior record helps a criminal case in a number of ways. For one, it helps when making a bail application to the judge that’s assigned to the case. Having a good job, a family, and people who depend on you goes a long way when you’re making an argument about whether or not a bail should be set and in what amount. If there are ties to the community, and if a person is generally responsible, then we have a better argument as to why that person should be released or why a low amount of bail should be set. It also helps in our discussions with the district attorney’s office when we’re trying to negotiate a plea deal on behalf of our clients.
What are the Differences Between Misdemeanor and Felony Charges?
Misdemeanor charges are less serious than felony charges. In New York, the maximum sentence on a misdemeanor is one year in jail. Felony charges can carry anywhere from over a year to life in state prison. A misdemeanor sentence can only be served in county jail, whereas sentences for more serious crimes are served in state prisons. When dealing with drug related matters, the weight/amount of the drug that is found will dictate whether the crime is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. In some instances, whether or not you have prior convictions can also influence the type of charge issued for a particular crime.
How do You Advise Clients That Want to Plead Guilty to Criminal Charges?
If a client wants to plead guilty to criminal charges, then I advise them to be patient; there is a reason for the process. If they hire a counsel that is familiar with the area of law and the players in the specific court where the charges are pending, then the way to get the best result is to trust in your attorney’s guidance and to let them advise you as to the best approach whether it be a plea negotiation or trial. Even if you are guilty, there are ways to minimize the repercussions of a guilty plea. You want to give your attorney every opportunity to explore those options with the district attorney’s office and the court.