Facing a criminal charge can be a time of uncertainty. You might wonder what exactly you’re facing and how to best defend yourself from the charges against you. There are lots of legal terms that you may not understand, and the legal process can be confusing. While it’s true that a criminal charge is a serious matter, there are things that you can do to prepare a defense and represent yourself in the best possible light.
Some of the most common criminal offenses are assault, larceny, sex offenses, and driving offenses such as drunk driving. Each crime in New York falls into a class. These classes start with A-I felonies for the most serious offenses. Class E felonies are the least serious felony offenses. A person convicted of a felony offense may receive many years in prison.
Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felony offenses. The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail. There are also class B misdemeanors. These offenses bring a maximum of three months in jail. Below that there are class violations. These are considered the lowest levels of crimes, and the court may not impose more than fifteen days in jail for a violation.
Possible penalties for a criminal violation
Usually, our clients that face Long Island criminal charges worry about jail time the most. Even if you’re convicted, there are things that we can do to help you minimize your exposure to jail time. Beginning treatment for anger management or a substance abuse issue is a way to show the court that you’re willing to make positive changes in your life. It’s also important to comply with any bond conditions that you’re given while your case is pending in the courts.
In addition to jail time, it’s common to receive a sentence of probation. The court can order probation in cases where they don’t order the maximum amount of jail. If they place you on probation, it’s your chance to show the court that you deserve to stay free from incarceration and that you can comply with the terms of probation.
The court orders anyone convicted of a criminal offense to pay fines. The fines get bigger as the offenses get more serious. Any type of drug trafficking offense usually carries large fines. If a victim suffered harm, you may also have to pay restitution.
Depending on the nature of the charges against you, you may have the option to participate in a recovery court. New York is a nationwide leader in the development of problem-solving courts. The goal of recovery courts is to treat offenders rather than simply punish them.
If you’re given the option to participate in a recovery court, it’s usually an attractive option. In Long Island and throughout New York, the terms of participation in a recovery court are a little bit different in each location. Usually, it’s up to the state’s attorney to determine the exact terms of participation.
In many cases, your agreement to participate in recovery court comes with a very attractive plea agreement. In drug court, you can expect intense substance-abuse monitoring. You also have access to a wealth of resources and options in order to obtain the best possible treatment for any substance abuse issues. You can work with your Long Island criminal attorney in order to determine if drug court is your best option.
The state has to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. You’re innocent until proven guilty to the satisfaction of a jury. It’s important to remember that a jury decides your guilt or innocence and not the state’s attorney. Jurors tend to hold the state to a very high burden of proof.
That means that it’s important to review the case to determine if the state’s evidence fails. Crimes are made up of parts called elements. These are all of the things that the state has to be able to prove in order to convict you of a crime. A Long Island criminal lawyer can help you review the case thoroughly to see if the state failed to gather evidence of any element.
In addition, if the state gathers evidence in violation of your constitutional rights, you can ask the court to throw out the evidence against you. This might be an unreasonable search and seizure or it might be questioning you without reading you your rights or continuing to question you when you’ve asked for an attorney. It’s important to work with a Long Island criminal lawyer because they can help you determine when it’s appropriate to file a motion to suppress evidence.
We work for you
If you’re facing a criminal charge in Long Island, we invite you to give us a call. We’re comfortable in the courtroom, and our training and experience means that we have a way to evaluate your case for the best possible plan of defense. We consider ourselves the teammate of our clients as we work together in order to obtain the best possible outcomes in court. Call us today so that we can start preparing your best defense.