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New York Criminal Law Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I do if I’m arrested?

A: If you have been arrested, you should remain silent and not say anything to the police officers or in their presence. Your Miranda rights, the rights given to you typically after you are arrested (i.e. “you have the right to remain silent…”), afford you the right to remain silent and advise you that anything you say can be used against you. Sometimes officers will neglect to read you these rights because they don’t intend to elicit a statement from you or for other reasons. Regardless of whether you have heard your Miranda rights, you should always keep silent until you have the opportunity to speak with your lawyer. Only an experienced New York criminal law attorney can properly advise you of your rights and how to proceed after your arrest.

Q: Do I have to let the police search my car?

A: Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers can search your vehicle if they have probable cause. Probable cause is a legal term and requires a legal analysis that would be difficult for you to perform in the time a police officer stops you. That being said, if you are stopped by the police, you should keep your responses to a minimum because police officers may trick you into admitting something that you did not do or that is inaccurate. Never physically resist an officer, but you can say “Officer, with all due respect, I do not consent to this search.” Your conversation with the officer should end there. If you are later arrested and the officer tries to use something found in the search, your lawyer will work to get that evidence excluded in the event the search was unlawful.

Q: What is arraignment?

A: Arraignment is the formal process by which you are charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. This process is before a judge, and you have the right to be represented by counsel. The district attorney will go through the charges against you, identify witnesses, and relate the version of the facts against you. The court will ask you how you plead (you should always discuss this with an attorney prior to answering). If you are pleading not guilty, then you may be able to be released on bail or released on your own recognizance while your trial is pending.

Q: Should I take a plea or go to court?

A: You should always discuss any plea offer with your attorney prior to accepting it. A plea bargain will sometimes seems like a good option because it might be for a lesser charge. You must remember that as a criminal defendant, you are always presumed innocent until proven guilty. Entering into a plea is an admission of guilt. So, before you admit to something, it is best to discuss the pros and cons of accepting a plea with your attorney.

If you have been arrested in Goshen, the Hudson Valley, New York City, or anywhere in New York, you need to speak with an experienced New York criminal law attorney. The attorneys at Dupée & Monroe, P.C., are experienced criminal law attorneys who will help you after you have been arrested. They will discuss your options and your rights. Contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C for quality criminal law legal advice after you have been arrested.

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