What happens when a person gets arrested? The individual must make sure that he does not say anything to the police that could be used against him in criminal court. He must also retain the services of a New York City criminal defense attorney immediately. Why? Because many individuals end up getting convicted because, after being arrested, they made statements or confessions to the police. Cooperation with law enforcement should never be done without your NYC criminal defense attorney by your side. A criminal attorney will help you prepare before you are questioned by the authorities. After a person gets arrested, he must appear in criminal court to be arraigned. Normally, fewer than 24 hours will pass from the time of arrest to the time of arraignment. At his arraignment, the judge will inform the defendant what charges have been made against him. The judge will also ask the defendant if he wants to plead guilty or not guilty. Most people plead not guilty. However, bail is the most important issue at an arraignment.
Will I have to post bail in order to be released from custody? This depends on a number of factors, including the effectiveness of your attorney in communicating to the court the reasons why you should be released without having to post any bail or with a low bail. Relevant factors include the seriousness of the charges against you, the evidence against you in the possession of the prosecutor, and any prior criminal record you may have.
If bail is set, how can I get released? You will be released as soon as bail has been paid and the facility at which you are held confirms that the bail has been posted. An experienced defense attorney will help you to put together the necessary assets to post bail, or to work with an honest and reasonable bail bondsman to post a bond.
What if the bail set by the judge at my arraignment is too high for me to make? One of the most important things an experienced criminal defense attorney can do for you is attempt to convince a judge that the initial decision on bail was unfair, or unjust, and that a lower bail amount, sometimes combined with other assurances, such as surrender of passport, waiver of extradition, or electronic monitoring, are enough to secure your return to court when required.
Are there many different types of charges? Yes. Lower level offenses are called violations or misdemeanors. When a conviction for a crime carries with it a possibility of more than one year in prison, it is called a felony. The more serious the crime, the greater the penalty or punishment will be, depending on the individual case. A criminal defense lawyer in New York City will be able to help you to understand the different charges and the options you have.
INTERSECTION OF CRIMINAL LAW AND IMMIGRATION LAW
Criminal issues in the context of immigration are of great importance. There are many ways in which immigration and criminal law intersect. For example, if a non-citizen, or alien, is facing a criminal charge, she needs the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer to explain to her the potential immigration consequence of any possible plea agreement. This is because a criminal conviction will most likely affect an individual’s ability to seek asylum, or adjustment of status, or cancellation of removal, or naturalization.
Often an alien will plead guilty to a crime without realizing that the conviction can lead to her being deported from the United States. This is why, before a person pleads guilty, she should consult an experienced immigration attorney who is familiar with the criminal laws and procedures. She needs the attorney’s insight concerning how seriously her conviction will affect her immigration case or status and what the solution(s) would be. If the person has already pleaded guilty, one solution may be:
– Seek to have the plea agreement vacated;
– Seek to have the conviction reduced, for example, from a felony to a misdemeanor.
In the event that an alien’s conviction cannot be vacated or reduced, before the USCIS, or in Immigration Court, the alien may need to apply for a waiver. When a waiver is sought, the alien must submit a copious amount of documentation to support his or her waiver application. Please see the Practice Area on Waivers.