Getting arrested for a crime can be very stressful and may impact your job or destroy your relationship with your family. It is important that you take the steps necessary to hire an experienced defense attorney to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome with your case. Criminal Charges always carry the possibility of incarceration so it is best to hire an attorney early in the process. After you are arrested you will be brought before a judge for an arraignment. At the arraignment the judge will set bail or may release you without bail (on your own recognizance). You will then be required to return to Court for a pretrial conference.
If you have been arrested in Western New York (WNY) for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Drug Offenses, Assault, Grand Larceny (theft), Burglary, Shoplifting, Possession of Stolen Property, Robbery, Fraud, Sex Offenses (SORA), Harassment, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Menacing, Hazing, Stalking, Prostitution, Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Trespass, Criminal Mischief, Forgery, Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Violations of Probation, and other offenses, please contact me to discuss your case.
Most criminal cases will be resolved by entering a plea to a lesser charge. Sometimes it is possible to get a sentencing commitment from the Judge before you agree to the plea bargain to ensure that that no jail time will be imposed at sentencing. Other plea bargains by their very nature do not result in jail time such as an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). An ACD is when your case gets dismissed after you lead a law abiding life for six months to a year.
It is important to hire an attorney familiar with Motion Practice. Sometimes your attorney can file a motion with the Court to dismiss your case outright because of a constitutional violation to avoid a conviction. Be sure to hire a lawyer that is equipped to file the appropriate motions and recognize when your rights have been violated.
If your case is not resolved by plea bargain or by dismissal, your case will be set for trial. The defendant may choose whether to have a Judge hear and decide the case (Bench Trial), or may have a trial by jury. At the trial the defendant has a right not to testify or may take the stand and be questioned in defense of his or her case.
If you have been convicted of a crime either by trial or by plea, you will be sentenced by the judge. Prior to sentencing in a criminal case the probation department will do a pre-sentence investigation and make a recommendation to the Court on whether a jail sentence is appropriate. The Judge is not required to follow the recommendation, but often does.
Call Stephen K. Underwood, Esq.
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