When to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Have you or a loved on recently found yourselves in legal trouble?  If you have, it is time to consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer!

 

If you are based in Nassau County, a Nassau County Criminal Defense Lawyer is the perfect option. I am an experienced criminal defense attorney and have your best interests at heart, I am non judgemental, respectful, and most importantly here to help.  It might sound like an expensive option right now, but it could save you thousands down the line.

 

Regardless of your criminal history, even a onetime conviction can have a damaging effect on your life for years to come.  If you are under investigation for criminal activity it is vital you have an experienced representative by your side.   As a Nassau County Criminal Defense Lawyer with decades of experience, I have had a great deal of success with getting criminal charges reduced to the minimum.

 

At What Point Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

From the moment you are arrested the best course of action is to have an attorney.  Of course, at the time of the arrest this is not always practical.  But the message to take here is to ensure you get one as early as possible to best improve your chances of a successful outcome.  This is most important with those facing the more serious criminal allegations.

Generally speaking, after your arrest you will be let out and await a date on which your arraignment will take place.

What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is a hearing in which you will listen to what you are being charged with.  It is also your opportunity to please guilty or not guilty.  It is essential to have counsel at your arraignment as it can also be a time when you will first see the prosecutor.

Prior to the arraignment it is beneficial to speak to your lawyer.  It is your chance to find out what the charges you are up for mean, and what punishments they could result in if convicted and found guilty.

Having a criminal attorney to represent you can also offer emotional and personal comfort. Fighting charges can be a confusing, painful and lonely experience.  Having someone on your side can help you get through it and can be just as valuable as their legal assistance.

If you have been accused or charged, call a Nassau Country Defense Lawyer right away to discuss how I can help you!  Please note all consultations are confidential and free.

7 Reasons You Should Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have or will ever be arrested or charged with a crime, then you are probably aware that your future might be in danger. As you know that there are few who are on your side at this point and you are not sure who to trust but yourself. You might think it would be a good plan to not trust anyone and don’t spend extra money on getting someone to protect you in court. That would be a mistake, The only people that can properly protect you in court will be someone who is specialized in criminal defense cases and has a background in them. Therefore, the best course of action if you ever find yourself or are in such a situation is to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Here are some reasons why you should:

 

  • Legal Knowledge and experience

 

There are individuals that choose to appear in court on their own, without any legal training or experience, thinking they can go through the criminal court process. What they will actually do will be trying to figure out every step they should take next while the Prosecutors will always be one step ahead and take the advantage. Criminal defense lawyers are trained and have a better understanding of the law. Someone who has studied the law and has had his practice on criminal defense will be much more prepared and have a better structured system than you could have.

 

  • Controlling your situation

 

If you are facing formal charges, an attorney can help you keep your situation under control by maintaining your privacy and preparing for trial ahead of time. In some cases, prosecutors will have evidence that should be excluded from the case for various reasons. This evidence could have been obtained illegally or by hearsay. A lawyer will be able to have this evidence excluded or any other evidence that can hurt you in court. On the other hand, your lawyer will also work to have evidence to support your case.

 

  • Analyzing your case

 

When looking at your case, the attorney will speak with you, review the prosecutor’s evidence, and investigate your situation in order to thoroughly analyze your case compared to the law. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to give you an honest review of your situation, which will include your best and worse scenarios and help you to go through them.

 

  • Filling your case in time

 

The legal system is a very complicated one, and the only people that will know everything there is to know about it would be the same people that work in it. This is another reason you would need an attorney specialized in criminal defense as they also know when the deadlines need to be met and will also have a better understanding of these deadlines.

 

  • Minimizing your chances of conviction

 

A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to examine the facts surrounding your arrest and craft a strategy against the prosecution’s claims as well as recognize the weak points in a prosecution’s argument. Depending on the circumstances they will always look to see if there is any legal basis for having you case dismissed entirely or the charges reduced.

 

  • Possible reduced sentencing

 

If the evidence against you is very strong, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a deal known as a “plea bargain”, which results in a some of your charges to be dropped or reduced to a lesser offense in exchange for a guilty plea. This would result in a far lesser sentence than you would have originally received. At the same time, should the court find you guilty, a lawyer may be able to negotiate an alternative sentencing or even participation in a rehabilitation program to minimize the charges faced.

 

  • Emotional support

 

Although the criminal defense lawyer is not a therapist, they can be extremely helpful on an emotional level and help you go through this horrible experience, as they know better than anyone how these cases proceed. They will make sure you are in the best state of mind possible in order for the case to go smoothly. They will explain the reality of the situation to help you have a better understanding of what could happen, but at the same time a knowledgeable attorney will make sure that in court you will be treated with respect and dignity.

 

Top 3 Drug Offense Tips

If you have been charged with a wrong doing under the substances act, then here are a few tips as to what you should do.

 

  • GET YOURSELF A GOOD DRUG CHARGES LAWYER

 

Whether you are just being investigated in relation to a drug-related crime or have been charged already, you need to hire a reputable drug charges lawyer to handle your case. Apart from helping you with advice on the case, an experienced drug charges attorney has a lot of benefits to provide in regard to resolving your case. Each state or county has different grades of severity when it comes to drug laws. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will know exactly what tactics to use in such a case and will understand the court system well enough to be able to help you. Such a professional is in a much better position to resolve the case in your favor than a regular attorney.

 

  • MIND WHAT YOU SAY TO THE POLICE DURING INTERROGATION AND BE TRUTHFUL IN COURT

 

When the police arrest a drug-related suspect, they will try to extract as much information from you as possible to help the prosecutors win the case against you. Therefore, you should be very careful what you choose to say once you have been arrested. The best way to act in such a situation is to ask the police during your interrogation for your drug charges lawyer and refuse to answer any more questions. If, however they persist and push the interrogation further, say nothing, until you have consulted with your drug charges lawyer.

 

 

  • TELL THE COURT ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS GOOD CHARACTER AND HAND UP WELL DRAFTED CHARACTER REFERENCES

 

If you have previously done charity work or you have major achievements in your life you should provide the court with a proof of these. If you have any friends, family, or acquaintances that can provide you with a reference that can portray you as a good character that should not receive a harsh punishment, then the person writing the reference should give examples of those good things you have done.

A good example of such a reference could be:

 

“John Smith is very generous with his time and his money. I remember driving home and seeing our elderly neighbor struggling to remove graffiti from his fence. John went missing for a while and about 1/2 hour later I saw John with our elderly neighbor removing the graffiti from the fence with a scrubbing brush and cleaning equipment he had bought from the hardware store. John spent the next five hours with our neighbor until it was all removed. This is but one example of how generous John is to others.”

 

5 Things You Need to Know About DWI’s

You may or may not have been charged or convicted for DWI, but you may still want to find out what would happen if you find yourself in the situation of being found by the police while under the influence of alcohol. These are 5 things you need to know if you are DWI (driving while intoxicated).

 

  • If you are pulled aside by the police, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost is to keep calm and be polite and be cooperative with the police officers. At the same time, you are not obligated to answer questions such as how much you have had to drink, and you do not have to take a sobriety test. However, if you refuse to take a sobriety test the Department of Motor Vehicles will most likely administer penalties.
  • If you are convicted for the first time for DWI you will be given a permanent criminal conviction. In many instances, this criminal record will not be taken away after a certain period of time, it is going to always be there. Normally, if you are a first timer and this is your first offense, you can be given community service and fines instead of spending time in jail. Even though community service will keep you out of jail, you will still have to undertake a series of tests, go to a counselor to prove you are not addicted and the judge might require for you to have an ignition interlock installed on the car for a certain period of time, which might also require you to pay extra fees. In the state of New York, if this is your first criminal offense your license will be suspended for 6 months and the minimum fine is $500 along with surcharges.
  • The cost of a lawyer is always hard to predetermine as this is determined by the case’s own facts and circumstances. After the attorney has looked over all the facts and circumstances, the attorney will give you an option whether the case should be worked out as a plea or a trial. If it is worked out as a plea, then the fees would normally be lower, but if it is worked out as a trial the fees would typically be higher.
  • The timeline, like the cost of a lawyer is again set by its facts and circumstances, as every case is unique. Usually, a DWI case would take from 2 to 4 months to resolve. However, if the case and set of facts are complicated the case can take up to a year to be resolved.
  • Substances that can convict you for a DWAI are not only restricted to alcohol. You can also be charged for it is you are operating a vehicle after consuming legal or illegal drugs. These can be illicit, prescription, or over the counter drugs.

 

Whether you or your loved ones have or have not done committed a DWI, you must understand the severity of it and that this can affect your life permanently.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI?

Ever wondered the difference between driving under the influence and driving when impaired?  Nassau Country Lawyers have the scoop:

 

If you have not already guessed DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence whilst DWI stances for driving while intoxicated (and in some cases impaired).  These terms tend to mean the same thing, but can also have difference meanings depending on the state you are pulled over in.

 

Essentially DUI and DWI mean the same thing: that a driver is committing a crime by operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, so that they are endangering themselves and others.  The basic difference is:

 

A DUI refers to behavior, and a DWI refers to blood alcohol content (in most states you’re driving is charged as impaired if your blood-alcohol concentration is over the legal limit of 0.08)

 

IN BOTH CASES THE DRIVER IS BEING CHARGED FOR A SERIOUS OFFENSE WHICH WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE RESULT ON THEIR LIFE.

DUI and DWIS can be ordered if drivers are driving under the influence of the below:

  • Alcohol
  • Recreational drugs
  • Prescription drugs

 

DRUGGED DRIVING IS IMPAIRED DRIVING

An officer will most likely suspect drug use if you appear to be impaired by an arresting officer, but your breathalyzer test shows that you are not under the influence of alcohol.

In this circumstance, an officer holds the right to call a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to the scene.  The DRE officer will then carry out a series of tests to confirm if you have been using drugs.  If these series of tests prove that you have been using drugs whilst driving, then you will be charges with DWI or DUI depending on the state you are pulled over in.

Please note prescription drugs still count towards a DUI charge!

Can You Get a DWI When Sleeping in Your Car?

Depending on the circumstances in which you find yourself , you may be arrested or convicted for sleeping in your car while intoxicated. In the most desperate of situations you may have had too much to drink, your phone is dead, and you are unable to call a taxi or an Uber to pick you up and deliver you safely home. In a case of this kind you might think the safest option is to go to your car and have a nap while you wait to sober up enough so that you can drive safely.  Is it time to think again?

 

Depending on the way the police find you in the car and on the state of the car, they can draw a conclusion as to whether you did drive or had the intention of driving while under the influence. These are a few cases in which you can be arrested or convicted for DWI:

 

If you have gone to your car, drove for a bit and then realized you are too drunk to continue and needed to pull on the side of the road and sleep to sober up, then the police can understand the situation you are in as you might just be in the middle of nowhere and you could have only got there by driving.

 

Another situation could be you being in the driver’s seat and waiting for your car to warm up and just fell asleep, or just put your keys in the ignition and decided to go to sleep.

 

Whichever the reason is, if you are found in the driver’s seat with  the keys in the ignition you can be arrested or convicted for DWI. Some ways in which you could avoid being convicted would be if you are found in the back seat sleeping, with the keys either in your hands or in the trunk of the car to prove that your intention was not to drive while drunk.

 

Despite the precautions mentioned,  the general recommendation would be to not find yourself in such a compromising situation. This could still end up with you being arrested for sleeping in your vehicle while under the influence.

How Can A DWI Impact Your Life?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common criminal offenses. Many people with otherwise clean records have found themselves in the situation where their lives changed after being convicted for DWI.

 

DWI convictions have major consequences and can affect one’s entire life. Most of us are aware of the short-term consequences, including temporary driver’s license suspension, fees and fines, high insurance premiums, court-mandated community service, participation in drunk driving education programs, and even jail time.

 

A DWI conviction can result in your driver’s license being revoked even for a first conviction.  A DWI conviction makes it difficult to get to work or, if your position requires you to drive, may result in the loss of your job. Losing the freedom to drive your own car is also stressful. Without a license, running simple errands, enjoying family visits, and participating in familiar social activates will be challenging. You may also arrive late for work frequently, feel frustrated, and be less attentive when you finally get there. Your job performance may suffer, too.

 

Having had a DWI gives you a criminal record which can affect your chances on getting another job in the future, especially if that job requires driving. As an employer, you wouldn’t like to take the risk of hiring someone who was previously convicted for DWI.

 

At the same time if you are a student this can predetermine whether you do or do not enter university or college. On top of that, you may have to pay a higher insurance for few years after your driver’s license was reinstated, as you may be seen as a high-risk driver. The company may cancel your policy or charge you a higher rate to keep your insurance.

 

In some cases, an ignition interlock device may be attached to the convicted individual’s car. This prevents the person from driving without blowing cleanly into a breathalyzer. You’re unable to drive if the breathalyzer detects alcohol. Also, the cost of the IID—initial and ongoing calibration—is the responsibility of the vehicle owner.

 

Following a DWI arrest or conviction, you may have to worry about your professional and personal relationships. Your DWI may be publicized by local media and permanently stain your reputation. Co-workers, as well as your employer might lose their trust in you and depending on your company’s policy you might end up losing your job. At the same time your family and friends may start acting differently around you, being more concerned about your health and well-being, which will make you feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.

New York State Has Implemented Law Enforcement Drones

If you live in Nassau County you may be aware that from April 2018 the police force has been using drones for law enforcement.

 

In attempts to improve officer safety in New York, 18 aerial drones have been launched to reduce police reliance on helicopters and other air crafts. 

 

Said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “This state-of-the-art technology will improve emergency response, improve operational and cost efficiencies and increase trooper safety,”.  He went on to state, “We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers across this great state.”

 

The drones will be supplied by New York State Trooper Foundation.  The move to drones is expected to reduce police spending and save on police-manned helicopters and planes.  Other benefits include response time to incidents and a greater awareness during situational disasters.

Said State Police Superintendent George Beach “The aerial drone systems we are deploying bring substantial benefits to our troopers in the field and are representative of our ongoing efforts to provide the tools they need to deliver outstanding service to the public,”.

The online news channel, StateScoop interviewed the New York State Police office.  During the interview they were informed that the drones will not be used for surveillance or to patrol residents.  Instead they were informed that that police will only be using the drones for specific law enforcement missions including the below:

  • Crash reporting
  • Crime scene mapping
  • Natural disasters
  • Search and rescue missions
  • Traffic monitoring at large events