One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system is holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged.
In New York State, criminal charges exist in three categories: violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. While violations are not criminal charges, and therefore do not end up causing a criminal conviction, it is important to understand that a misdemeanor or felony can result in a criminal conviction and must be taken very seriously. Some common offenses include: DWI/DUI, assault, robbery/larceny, drug related charges, traffic violations, etc., all of which this office handles regularly, including orders of protection. With our experienced and aggressive team by your side, you will receive vigorous and strategic representation from start to finish.
A misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record can have a significant impact on your life even after the case is over. It can affect your ability to get a job, access certain services, or apply for certain types of licenses. Charges are typically differentiated based upon the possible sentencing. If you are convicted of a violation, jail time is possible for up to 15 days, while a misdemeanor is any charge which can expose you to incarceration for less than a year in a local county jail, and a felony conviction can expose you to state prison for more than a year (sometimes much more).
The thought of prison can be daunting. However, this is just one of many possible outcomes pertaining to criminal matters. We understand the importance of each case being tailored to the individual client and charges they are facing. Remember, you have a presumption of innocence. As a result, it is important to know that it is the obligation of the prosecutor/district attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed a crime. It is incumbent upon our firm to make sure the prosecutor is meeting that burden and to ensure all your rights are being protected.
Far too often, clients come to us after they have already made statements to the police which can be used as evidence against them. For this reason, our law office stresses the importance of securing immediate legal representation. Remember, you have the right to remain silent. You are under no obligation to speak to law enforcement if you are being arrested. By simply exercising your right and saying you want an attorney present, any statements or questions asked after the fact can be thrown out and no longer used against you.
Our law office prioritizes your liberty and future above all else, so we strongly recommend that before you make any statements to law enforcement, you consult with our firm to help determine the strength of the prosecutor’s case, provide you with additional information and recommendations, and walk you through the legal process. It is important to note, whether or not you agree with the arrest, you must follow procedure in a respectful manner. We want to avoid an additional charge being brought against you for resisting arrest or obstructing governmental administration. When in court, our firm will have the opportunity to be heard on all issues surrounding your arrest.
Following an arrest, the next step in the process is arraignment. An arraignment is simply an appearance in front of a judge who will make you aware of your rights, the charges against you, and a determination of bail. Arraignments are often scheduled by a desk appearance ticket, which is a document that notifies you when you have to go to court. In some cases, you will immediately face a Judge and be arraigned within hours of your arrest. It is then the job of your attorney to submit a notice of appearance, which will officially make them your attorney of record and allow them to defend you from the very early stages of the process. Although circumstances in cases vary, we always strive to get you the best outcome possible. Whether we end up negotiating a plea deal or going to trial, we will explain the process and be there with you every step of the way. Where it is warranted, our office has several tools available to challenge the prosecutor’s case such as hearings, motions, inspection of evidence, and finally a trial. Remember, you are presumed innocent!
If you have any other questions regarding criminal matters, or you have a friend or loved one dealing with a criminal case right now, please feel free to give our office a call. We treat all cases with our full attention and compassion knowing this may be a very difficult time for you. We understand that many in this situation may not be able to afford the costs associated hiring an attorney, but we are one of the few law offices that offer very tailored and individualized payment plans. As always, our consultations are FREE and we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation regarding your case or financial circumstances. For further information as to your specific situation, please feel free to click the links above to view their dedicated pages. We look forward to working with you and fighting for your interests!
"Mr. Fried and his staff were impeccably professional and knowledgeable. They were patient and answered all of my questions, and I received prompt responses to all calls and emails. I also appreciate how well they explained the legal proceedings of my case to me. Thanks to their efforts, my case was resolved with a favorable outcome. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of service I've received and would absolutely recommend this firm."
— Y. Chun
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