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FAQ: Criminal Defense

Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions

Our Attorneys Are Here to Fight for Your Rights

Facing criminal charges can be a scary experience, especially if it is your first time being arrested by law enforcement. If you have been accused of a crime, you will need the assistance of an experienced legal team to make sure your rights and interests are fully protected. At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, we are committed to helping clients resolve their criminal defense cases. Below, we give you a list of criminal defense questions that we are frequently asked by clients.

What Is an Arraignment?

Your arraignment is your first chance to enter a plea. You can enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty or no contest, you will go directly to a sentencing hearing. If you enter a plea of not guilty, bail will be set for your case.

What Should I Do If I am Arrested by Law Enforcement?

If you are arrested by police, do not resist. You only need to give them your name and identifying information. Do not answer any questions without first consulting with an attorney. Speaking to police without a lawyer present can result in you saying things that can be used to build a case against you.

Do I Need an Attorney for My Arraignment?

Although an attorney is not required for your arraignment, you should consult with one to get advice about which plea you should enter for your case.

What Are My Miranda Rights?

Police are supposed to read you your Miranda rights when they detain or question you. Miranda rights inform you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say to police can be used against you in court. If you were arrested without ever being read your Miranda rights, the information you divulge to police will be inadmissible in court.

How Should I Assert My Right to Remain Silent?

If police attempt to question you, politely tell them that you wish to use your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. You should also inform them that you do not answer questions from police without having your attorney present.

Do I Have to Give a Statement to Police?

You are not legally obligated to provide police with a statement. Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to remain silent during police questioning. You should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer before giving a statement to law enforcement.

What Happens at a Trial?

Before your trial starts, a fair and impartial jury will be selected. Before you present your evidence, you will have the opportunity to provide your opening statement. Both you and the prosecution will present evidence to the jury who will determine your sentence and whether or not you are innocent or guilty.

How Are the Charges Against Me Determined?

A prosecutor will review details of your case and the evidence against you to decide the charges you will face. Prosecutors also check your criminal record to see if previous crimes can increase the severity of your charges.

Should I Represent Myself?

If you are facing criminal charges, you should have an experienced attorney represent you in court. An experienced lawyer will know how to navigate the legal process and make sure that your interests are protected.

Does Law Enforcement Need a Warrant to Search My Vehicle or Home?

Law enforcement cannot legally search your home or vehicle without a valid warrant. Remember, if police are at your door, and they do not have a search warrant, you do not have to let them enter your home. Politely decline to a search and tell them you want an attorney present for further questioning.

Can Police Search My Smart Phone Without a Warrant?

If police do not have a warrant for your phone, they can only search it if you give them your consent. You do not have to give the passcode to your phone to an arresting officer.

What Should I Do If There is a Warrant for My Arrest?

If police have a warrant for your arrest, you should have your lawyer make arrangements to turn yourself in. The last thing you want is to be arrested at work or in front of your family.

Can I Refuse DUI Testing?

You have the right to refuse an officer’s request to submit to a DUI test. However, refusing DUI testing can result in penalties, such as expensive fines, losing your license, and additional criminal charges being filed against you.

Can I Get a DUI If I Only Had One Drink?

You can be charged for DUI for having just one drink. If your BAC exceeds 0.8% after one drink, and you are pulled over and tested by police, you can be charged with driving under the influence.

Do I Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

People who have been convicted of sex crimes must register as sex offenders with their local sheriff’s office. Failing to register as a sex offender can result in 10 years in prison.

Can Police Lie to Me?

In short, yes, police can lie to a person suspected of committing a crime. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney present if you are interrogated by police.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I’m Guilty?

Even if you are guilty of the crime you are accused of, you should still contact an experienced lawyer to defend your rights. A skilled lawyer can fight to have your charges reduced or even overturned.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I’m Innocent?

Don’t think that you don’t need a lawyer just because you are innocent. Prosecutors have extensive resources that they can use to gather evidence and build a case against you. Even if you are innocent, you will need a skilled legal advocate to make sure your freedom is protected.

What Is Spousal Privilege?

Spousal privilege protects confidential communications between spouses. This means that spouses can’t testify against the other.

What Crimes Are Considered Felonies?

There are a number of crimes that are considered felonies in the state of New York. This includes:

Before a crime is classified as a felony, the circumstances of the situation must first be considered by the court.

Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

The details of a plea bargain vary from case to case. In some situations, it might not be in your best interest to accept a plea bargain, while other situations it might be beneficial to you. You should speak to an attorney about whether or not you should take a plea bargain that has been offered to you by prosecutors.

Can I Expunge My Case?

Depending on the crime you were charged with, you might be able to have your arrest expunged from your criminal record. You should consult with our attorneys to determine if you are eligible for expungement.

Should I Talk to Friends and Family About My Case?

You should be cautious when talking about the details of your case, especially if you are still being investigated by police. To avoid giving the prosecution information that can be used against you, you should only talk to your attorney about your case.

What Kind of Questions Should I Ask My Defense Team?

Finding the right attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. You should ask your attorney about their experience with criminal defense cases and what type of legal strategy they will use to defend your rights.

How Will Your Law Firm Help with My Case?

Our law firm will review the details of your case and treat you with the respect and compassion that you deserve during this difficult time. We will aggressively defend your rights and do everything that we can to protect your freedom and future.

Do you need more information about criminal defense cases? If so, you should contact us at (845) 605-4330 to schedule your free case consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Dutchess County.

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