Criminal Defense: FAQ
Our NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer Has the Answers
Q: Should I have a lawyer for a bail hearing?
Q: What if I am being questioned by law enforcement?
Q: How do I know what defense lawyer to choose?
Q: Do I have to submit to a police search?
Q: What if the police committed a fraudulent search?
Q: Are the police allowed to lie during the investigation?
Q: If I am convicted, will it be on my criminal record?
Q: I've had bail set – will I be able to be released?
Q: After my case is over, will I receive the bail money back?
Q: What does double jeopardy mean?
Should I have a lawyer for a bail hearing?
Never enter a courtroom for any hearing without an attorney from our firm
by your side. The matter of bail can be negotiated. If you go to court
without us fighting for you, the bail set could be outside your ability
to pay and you could remain in custody for months or longer. We will make
every effort to get you released on your own recognizance, or to pursue
a bail amount that you or your family could manage.
What if I am being questioned by law enforcement?
Never answer any questions from law enforcement without legal representation.
There are countless cases in which pressure was brought to bear upon people
who have even confessed to crimes they were not involved in. If you are
being questioned, you can expect to be arrested within a short period
of time. The process of answering investigators must be carefully managed,
and we are here to fight for you, your freedom and your rights.
How do I know what defense lawyer to choose?
First: does the law firm have extensive experience and a proven court record?
Are they interested in you, your cause and will take the time and effort
to find a way to defend you? Not all law firms are equal in commitment
to their clients. At our firm, when we take on a case, we are fully dedicated
to finding the best possible route for the defense, and we will give your
case the focus and attention it deserves. You will always be treated with
respect, and we know how important the outcome of your case will be to
you and to your family, and we address it with the conviction and energy
Do I have to submit to a police search?
It depends on the circumstances. To complete a search of your home, the
police either need to have your explicit consent or a valid search warrant.
In some cases, law enforcement officers will be able to commit a search
with neither of these; however, for this to be true, they must have valid
reason to believe that a crime is being committed. This only refers to
your home, as the laws regarding valid searches differ for a car. If you
are legally pulled over and the police see something lying on your seat
that gives them reason to believe that you may have possession of an illegal
piece of property, they could have enough reason to search.
What if the police committed a fraudulent search?
If you have reason to believe that your rights were violated with an unlawful
search and seizure, you need to get the involvement of an experienced
lawyer. Any evidence that was seized should be thrown out and suppressed
– giving you a fair chance at protecting your legal rights.
Are the police allowed to lie during the investigation?
Most people make the mistake of believing that law enforcement legally
has to be honest. This, however, is not true. Unfortunately, police officers
are legally allowed to lie in order to complete their investigation. For
example, they may claim that they have incriminating evidence, witness
testimony or anything else to scare you into possibly incriminating yourself
during the interview. It is therefore to take everything that they say
with a grain of salt and do not say anything until you have an attorney present.
If I am convicted, will it be on my criminal record?
Yes, all convictions will be placed on your permanent criminal record.
Per New York Criminal Procedure Law §160.50, there are some circumstances
where a case can be sealed, however, these are highly specific and typically
only allowed when dismissed, not filed or otherwise not carried through
to completion. Some non-criminal violations may be expunged and some drug-related
crimes may be sealed upon the completion of DIVERSION or DTAP. In most
cases, however, you will be facing a permanent mark on your criminal record.
It is therefore extremely important that you get an aggressive defense
lawyer to protect you.
I've had bail set – will I be able to be released?
In most cases, bail will be set at a reasonable amount. After it has been
set, you have several options to pay it so that you can be released. If
you and your loved ones cannot afford it yourself, you can work with your
lawyer to post it or can work with an honest bail bondsman to get the
necessary amount. It is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney
to fight for a low bail figure – negotiating for a lower number
if the initial number set by the judge is unfair or out of your price range.
After my case is over, will I receive the bail money back?
So long as you appear at all court appearances, you will not have any problem
getting your bail back. Should you, however, flee or fail to appear, you
will essentially be forfeiting the money – even if you are determined
to be innocent. In cases where you are convicted, three percent of the
bail will be kept by the city.
What does double jeopardy mean?
Under American law, no person can be prosecuted for the same crime twice.
Therefore, if you are found innocent, you cannot have a case brought again.
There have been some exceptions to this, but they are rare.