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Criminal Law

I, or someone I know, was just arrested, now what?

What happens when I see the Judge?

What is a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)?

Do I need a private lawyer for a DAT?

What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor?

I am facing Federal charges, what do I do?

Why should I hire a lawyer?

What if I was falsely accused?

What If I was wrongly convicted?

The Prosecutor is offering me a deal, do I take it?

What is at stake when I am charged with a crime?

How long will this process take?

The Police Called Me





Q: I, or someone I know, was just arrested, now what?

First and foremost lawyer-up!

Anything and everything you say can and will be used against you.  You have a right to a lawyer.  Exercise that right and get a lawyer who will fight for your rights at every turn.  Do not speak with the authorities until after consulting with your attorney. 

As a former prosecutor, I know the psychological value of immediately obtaining a private lawyer has on the prosecution.  Your rights and freedom are at stake, you need a strong and experienced lawyer on your side.

After you have been arrested, you will be processed.  This includes being fingerprinted and giving “pedigree” information.  Pedigree information is your name, date of birth, home address, and other personal identifying information. 

After this occurs, depending on the severity of the crime you are accused of, you may be given a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) or see the judge within a 24 hour period.  It is vital that you are represented by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney from the very beginning.  Early intervention will allow an experienced lawyer to properly represent you. 


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Q: What happens when I see the Judge?

Seeing the judge for the first time in a criminal case is called and arraignment.  At this point, the judge will determine if bail is to be set on you and you will discover the charges you are facing. 

It is at this moment when a skilled and experienced lawyer may be able to make the argument which allows you to walk out of that court room on your own recognizance (ROR).  It is crucial to your freedom that you have a lawyer who is willing to fight for your rights.

Depending on the charges you are facing, you may be offered a plea deal by the prosecution immediately.  You need an experienced attorney who is able to properly advise you of all the consequences of such a deal.  


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Q: What is a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)?

If your arrest resulted in a DAT, your first court date will be a few months away.  You should treat a DAT seriously, you are still being charged with a crime.  The top penalty in a DAT could result in a year in jail.  


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Q: Do I need a private lawyer for a DAT?

You are still being charged with a crime and need experienced and competent representation.  With a DAT, have the advantage of time to search for a lawyer who you like and who will represent your best interest.  You still need someone who has experience and will fight for you. 


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Q: What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor?

A felony is any crime which is punishable with more than one year in jail.

A misdemeanor is any crime which is punishable with one year or less in jail.

Both need to be treated with the utmost seriousness.  There are significant collateral consequences that an experienced  lawyer may properly advise you about.


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Q: I am facing Federal charges, what do I do?

A Federal case is extremely serious.  The federal system is far different from the state one.  It is important that you immediately get an attorney who will represent your best interest. 

You must have a competent and knowledgeable attorney in your corner.  


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Q: Why should I hire a lawyer?

In any criminal matter very freedom and future are at stake.  You should have a lawyer who has experience and truly cares about what you are going through.  You should have a strong lawyer in your corner; who will fight for you at every turn; your own monster in your court.  


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Q: What if I was falsely accused?

If you believe you were falsely accused, you want someone who will hold the prosecution to the high standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  You want a lawyer who will not pressure you into taking a guilty plea, just to make it go away.  You want someone who will flush out the truth of your innocence. 


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Q: What If I was wrongly convicted?

If you were falsely convicted, or took a guilty plea under false pretenses, you need a competent and skilled attorney who will take up your cause.  Conviction is not the end of the road.  There are many options still available to someone who has been wrongly convicted.  An experienced attorney can advise you on those options. 


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Q: The Prosecutor is offering me a deal, do I take it?

Not without knowing and understanding all the consequences that comes along with that deal. You should have proper advice from a competent attorney as to whether or not to take a plea offer.  It is very likely a skilled lawyer can get you a better offer then the initial one being given.  


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Q: What is at stake when I am charged with a crime?

Your very freedom and future are at stake. 

In many instances, simply being accused of a crime is enough to significantly impact your life.  Having an experienced and strong attorney who will fight for you is important to beat back this stigma. 


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Q: How long will this process take?

The criminal justice system is not swift.  The process for any criminal case can take anywhere between a few months to a few years.  A skilled attorney can advise you on your option and push for you to have the trial you are entitled to.


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Q: The Police Called Me

If you have been contacted directly by the police, you are in need of an experienced lawyer to discovery what is going on.  If you are the subject of a police investigation, the content of your conversation with the police may be used against you.  A knowledgeable attorney will be able to discover what it is that the police want from you.  

If you are going to be arrested, you need a lawyer who understands the process and will walk you through it.

Do not wait to retain a competent attorney.  The earlier the intervention, the better I may protect your rights. 


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The Law Office of Jacob Z. Weinstein, PLLC serves clients throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island, and Nassau County.



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545 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017
| Phone: 646-450-3484

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As a former prosecutor, I fully understand the power law enforcement has. As a trial attorney, I know the law seems very scary.