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If you have been arrested or are currently being investigated for a potential criminal offense, it is important to know what you are up against during the course of your case. When a client hires a Brooklyn criminal defense lawyer from our firm, we explain the criminal process in full to the person who has been charged with a criminal offense in New York. Knowing the state's criminal procedures can help you prepare for the road ahead since the criminal process can be confusing and overwhelming.
In New York, you can be placed under arrest by a police officer or a federal agent if they have an arrest warrant or probable cause to believe that you have committed a criminal offense. This arrest can occur as the result of an ongoing investigation or as the result of claims made by a witness or victim immediately after an alleged crime occurred. After an arrest, the police may read you your Miranda rights but often they do not. Most statements you make to the police, even if they did not read your Miranda rights can be used against you; therefore, it is extremely important that you do not make any statements to the police whether they read you your Miranda rights or not!
Depending on the level of the offense, the police will either issue a desk appearance ticket (DAT), meaning you will be released and told to come to court at future date or be taken into custody. Depending on where you were arrested, if you are being taken into custody, you will be taken to central booking to be processed. During this time, the police will acquire your personal information and, depending on the offense, you will most likely be fingerprinted and have a "mug shot" taken.
New York State law requires that after an arrest, you are arraigned before a judge within a "reasonable time." Typically, this arraignment takes place within 24 to 36 hours; however, the length of time depends on several factors, including the time and date of the arrest, the county where the arrest took place, and how busy the court calendar is. Many of the busy jurisdictions conduct arraignments 365 days a year and late into the night. Frequently, a defendant with a private criminal defense lawyer can be arraigned sooner than someone who has a public defender with multiple cases to arraign. Furthermore, an experienced lawyer at arraignments can often make the difference in a client being released or held on bail. Michael Mullen understands how critical arraignments are and he therefore personally conducts all of his clients' arraignments. He is available 24 hours a day for arraignments throughout New York.
After arraignments, the case will usually be adjourned several times for motions, discovery, and for potential plea bargaining. This portion of the case is also critically important. It is imperative that your attorney has both the appropriate amount of experience and enough time to properly handle this portion of the proceeding. Depending on the case, your attorney will need to properly investigate all the facts surrounding the incident. On multiple occasions, our investigator has been able to locate additional witnesses or uncover additional pieces of evidence that have led to a case being dismissed. In other cases, our firm has taken steps to present our clients in a more favorable light to the prosecutor, which enabled us to secure a more favorable plea bargain.
If a plea bargain is not reached, the case will be taken to trial. If there is one thing that attorney Mullen has learned in his more than 50 trials, it is that knowing how to try a case is essential to getting a favorable verdict. Properly trying a case is one of the most difficult skills to master in the legal profession. On multiple occasions, attorney Mullen has been asked by other criminal defense lawyers to handle some of their clients' more serious trials. If you need a tough and experienced trial attorney, call our firm today.