A New York City Criminal Attorney Explains the Criminal Process
New York criminal lawyers must work within the confines of the criminal process in order to aid and assist your case. Procedures must be followed by all parties involved. Law enforcement and agents of the courts have procedures they must follow, as well as, your own attorney. The criminal justice attorneys at Law Office of Bukh & Associates, PLLC understand just how important this is. Many a criminal case has been “won” due to poor procedure on the part of law enforcement or the district attorney’s office. Many a criminal case can be lost simply by the defendant waiving or forgetting their rights.
Your criminal case can begin with any of the following:
- Traffic stop
- Police Search
- Investigation and Questioning
By the time you read this article it may be too late to advise you that at no point are you required to “speak” to a police officer. In fact, remaining silent is always your best option. You have two very important rights during all phases of the criminal process: 1) the Right to Remain Silent, and 2) the Right to Have an Attorney Present. Exercise these rights at all times. The police are allowed to lie to you to gain a confession. They may tell you that they have evidence that they do not have, they may tell you that someone else already implicated you, they may even tell you that they will “go easier” on you if you tell the truth. You have every right and reason to ask that an attorney be present when questioned. Remember, even if the police officer is an honest and reasonable human, they are still human and may remember something you’ve said incorrectly. This is why it is best to allow your attorney to speak for you.
Once the police feel that there is enough evidence, IE. “probably cause” they will arrest you. Remember that you have the Constitutionally protected Right to Remain Silent and the Right to Have an Attorney present. You must ask for an attorney to be present during this process to protect your rights and future case. Once you’ve been arrested they will take you to the police station for booking wherein, you will be fingerprinted, your vitals collected, jewelry removed, and placed into temporary incarceration awaiting the arrival of your New York City criminal attorney.
The next phase in the process is the ARRAIGNMENT phase where your attorney will enter your “PLEA“. Typical pleas are: “guilty”, “not guilty”, and “not guilty by reason of mental defect or insanity”. This is another place where it is very important to have a good New York City defense lawyer by your side that actually cares about winning your case (as opposed to charging hours to your case). The right plea is necessary for the ultimate success of your case. At the arraignment bail may be set, denied, or the accused is released on his or her own recognizance if the court feels that he or she will show up for their next court date.
Pleas and Plea Bargaining
PLEA BARGAINING occurs when a prosecutor will suggest or accept plea agreements in order to speed the process along.
Your trial by law must be “speedy”. The US Justice System prevents prisoners languishing indefinitely and court cases must be brought to trail no later than 6 months for a felony or 90 days for a misdemeanor. The accused may choose a jury trial, as is their right, or a bench trail. Your New York City criminal attorney can advise you as to which type of trial is in your best interests.
Post-trial, if convicted, comes the SENTENCE. Depending upon the judge, the type of crime, previous criminal history, etc. the sentence will be decided. It could include fines, jail time, probation, time serviced, suspended sentences, or community service.
An APPEAL happens post-conviction wherein the defendant has a right to have his case reconsidered based upon “legal error”. For example, there was not enough evidence to convict, mistakes in jury instructions, or Constitutionally-protected rights were violated.
Having the right NYC criminal lawyers is essential in every step of the way.
Your attorney must be working aggressively and diligently on your case to expose and exploit procedural errors, to find areas for dismissal, and to guide you to making the best decisions in the interest of your case. Call us 800-601-0207. We are available 24/7.
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