Criminal Defense FAQs

You might be worried about a written notice from a government regulator, a subpoena you received, a visit from an agent or investigator, or a dissatisfied business partner who threatened to report you to the authorities. If you suspect or know that criminal charges are being filed against you, here are a few considerations:

Am I Under Investigation?
You’ll usually be the last to know. State and federal law enforcement build investigations for months - sometimes years - using tools like grand jury subpoenas. It’s easy for them to obtain your bank statements, transaction records, or phone call and texting history. They might contact your associates, friends, and sometimes even you while undercover. The police routinely obtain court orders to track cellphones and cars used by the people they investigate. However, getting out ahead of an upcoming criminal charge has many advantages, chief among them your preparation for a good defense.
I Received a Subpoena - Do I Need an Attorney?
There are different types of subpoenas. Sometimes the government is solely interested in speaking with you as a witness. They may tell you this in an e-mail or phone call, but remember that investigators do not need to be truthful. Other times they may be looking for documents or records in your possession that no one else has. Maybe you serve some capacity in your job that requires you to testify as a custodian. But no matter what, you need to speak with an attorney before you respond whatsoever, even if the subpoena is signed by a judge.
What Will Happen if I'm Arrested?
The good news is that close to 85 percent of New York City's criminal cases will not subject a defendant to bail or detention, under recent reforms. That said, most defendants who are arrested will usually spend up to a day in Central Booking, even if they surrender with an attorney, before a judge reviews their case in court at an Arraignment. If the charges brought against you resulted from an investigation, you may be arrested pursuant to a warrant, and an attorney can assist you in making this process as smooth as possible. This is usually the first opportunity your attorney has to speak with the prosecutor and the judge about you and the charges you're facing. This is one of the most important steps in a criminal court case, and the next may not come for months. Your representation at this stage is critical, as it can affect the direction of your case significantly.
I've Already Been Charged - What Happens Next?
Depending on the charges and the court, you have the right to a speedy prosecution and to discover what evidence was gathered. In state courts, prosecutors will be required to provide discovery to your attorney within months. Federal prosecutions are more complex, and discovery may not be complete for much longer. This is also the best time for your attorney to make strong demands and arguments on your behalf in order to negotiate a favorable resolution for you. The more time passes, the less flexible your options become. If you were assigned an attorney initially, it’s important that you demand updates early and often, and consider any alternative representation now rather than later.
What Should I Do Know?
Don’t discuss your case or your suspicions with anyone until you’ve consulted with an attorney. It’s entirely legal for investigators to lie to you or even pretend to be someone else. Stop whatever conduct is at issue. You might be under observation, even if you’ve already been charged. Think about what platforms or institutions you use which the government could be monitoring. Book a consultation with me.

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