I have been contacted by police, what should I do next?
If you are under investigation for a crime you should NOT speak to police or make any statements. Police may ask you to come to the station or come to your house. They may tell you a variety of things to elicit statements from you. Such as: we just want to get your side of the story, we just have a couple of questions so we can close the file, we just want to clear your name. A criminal defense attorney can represent you during an investigation. Statements you make to police almost never help your case and will almost always hurt you. You should remain silent and invoke your right to speak with an attorney before you make any statements to police.
I have an Arraignment court date. What will happen at Arraignment? Should I have a lawyer there?
Yes, you should have a lawyer at an Arraignment. At Arraignment you will enter a plea, generally of Not Guilty. The judge will then decide if you should be released or go to jail. The judge will also decide conditions of release, such as: bail, No Contact Orders, Alcohol monitoring. The Arraignment court date is your first chance to make a good impression with the judge and prosecutor. Things that happen at Arraignment can effect the rest of your case, and generally do. You should have an attorney at Arraignment.
I am not a U.S. citizen, will a criminal conviction have immigration consequences?
The crossover between immigration and criminal law is one of the most complex and technical areas of law today. Depending on the crime you are charged with and your current immigration status, you could be facing immigration consequences if convicted of a crime. A “crime of moral turpitude” (CIMT) can have immediate consequences as serious as deportation. I am well versed in the immigration consequences of various criminal charges and can discuss these with you during your initial consultation. You and your family's immigration status will be taken into consideration during my representation of you. A charge as minor as shoplifting (theft 3rd degree), DUI, Domestic Violence or Sex crime could lead to immigration and visa consequences. I am experienced in this field and capable of getting you the best result possible.
I am unhappy with my current attorney or public defender, can you help?
Yes, If you are currently represented by a private attorney or public defender then you do have the right to change representation. I am frequently contacted by people that are represented by attorneys. I am happy to talk to you about your current situation and how I can help.
I want to plead guilty, do I need an attorney?
Even if you plan on pleading guilty you should consult with an attorney. An attorney can assist you with pleading guilty to a reduced charged or a reduced sentence. Just pleading guilty to the original crime you were charged with could lead to the judge imposing significant penalties and jail time.