WESTCHESTER, NY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Our firm has represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases, including those charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) – read how we got this client’s Felony DWI dismissed. We will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Call us today for a free consultation at (917) 554-8231. Remember, the consultation is free of charge, so you have nothing to lose by getting some help learning about your legal options.
Attorney Michael Litman will help explain the entire process to you and make you feel comfortable about your case and the charges you’re facing. We are here to answer all your questions and help to achieve the best possible result.
The Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC is focused on the needs of our clients and is dedicated to fighting to defend their rights. We realize how scary being charged with a crime can be. Especially if this is the first time you’ve been charged, you may not even realize that you can defend yourself. It’s our job to protect your rights and give you the tools you need to get the best possible outcome.
Even if we can’t get the charges against you dropped or dismissed, we can often get them reduced to a lesser charge. Depending on the seriousness of the charges against you, a reduction in their severity could mean saving years of your life. Get an attorney who knows how to help you.
WHAT MAKES ME PROUD AS A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
As a criminal defense attorney, the one thing that makes me proudest is the difference I’ve been able to make in the lives of those I have been privileged to serve. Here are some things a couple of my past clients have said about the service they’ve received from me [ Client Testimonials ].
When the founding fathers set up the framework for our country, they put in place a groundbreaking idea — that every citizen has rights. We are here to defend those rights. One of the reasons it’s so important for you to get the right criminal defense attorney is because the right attorney will understand how your rights apply to your situation and what difference that can make in the outcome of your case.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FIGHTING FOR YOU
If you’ve made a mistake or been unfairly accused and find yourself in trouble with the law, don’t give up. Get the best criminal defense lawyer possible on your side with help from the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC. We are happy to discuss your case and offer a free initial consultation. Let us fight for you. Once again: the consultation is free and the right defense can make all the difference in your case. You owe it to yourself to at least check and see what you can do to defend yourself against your charges.
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Criminal Defense - Know Your Rights
No matter what you’ve been charged with, you are guaranteed certain rights; and as criminal defense attorneys it is our job to make sure those rights are defended. No matter whether you have been charged with a major crime or a minor one, no matter whether you’re guilty or not guilty, you have rights that need to be defended.
Under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you have a number of rights that the government must respect, no matter what the charges against you may be. These rights help to protect citizens against being treated arbitrarily by the government and ensure that the legal system works as fairly and transparently as possible. Here are some of the most important rights citizens are granted under the Constitution:
- A Speedy Trial: This means you have the right to have your trial take place within a reasonable amount of time after your arrest. There are some valid reasons why a trial can be delayed, but a trial cannot be delayed purely in order to give the prosecution an advantage.
- A Public Trial: Defendants have the right to a public trial because it ensures that the legal system remains transparent and open to correction by the public. It makes sure the correct procedures are followed and keeps the legal system functioning as impartially as possible. There are some circumstances where a defendant may opt for a trial that is closed to the public; but, as a rule, the right to a public trial helps ensure the quality of the legal system.
- An Impartial Jury: For most criminal charges, defendants have the right to a jury trial. This means the defendant has the right to be judged guilty or not guilty by a group of jurors who have been chosen for being unbiased. The right to a jury trial doesn’t apply in the case of more minor charges (those that have a possible sentence of less than six months) or juvenile cases.
- A Notice of Accusation: As the defendant, you have the right to know what you are being charged with. The police are not allowed to arrest people without bringing charges against them and informing them what those charges are.
- The Assistance of Legal Counsel: As a defendant, you have the right to be defended by a qualified attorney, even if you don’t have the means to pay for one. That being said, if you can afford to pay for your own legal counsel, it’s generally a good idea to do so.
These rights are extremely important, and we make sure that they are protected throughout the entire defense process. If you have been subjected to unfair practices by the authorities, we will make sure the authorities are held accountable. We also make sure that our clients are fully informed of their rights.
At the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC, we serve defendants facing a variety of charges, including DWI charges, drug charges, weapons charges, assault charges, larceny, burglary, identity theft, and sex crimes. Click the link below if you want to learn more about your rights and the legal process in general, or send us an email or call us at (917) 554-8231 to set up your free consultation.
The Impact of a Criminal Record
People who have been charged or convicted of a crime can face many consequences as a result of their criminal background. Many of these consequences are related to our legal system, such as time served in jail or prison, steep fines, community service, probation and any other punishments handed out by the state. However, there are also many other types of consequences that a person might encounter.
When you are charged with or convicted of a crime, you will be denied many opportunities that most of us take for granted. These are considered “collateral consequences” of criminal charges. In some ways, these consequences can have effects that are just as difficult to overcome as the potential penalties you are facing. Your criminal record will be subject to scrutiny in many walks of life, including...
- Employment – When you are searching for a job, your background will be reviewed by potential employers. The existence of a criminal record can greatly impact your ability to get the job you are seeking. Your record could prompt you to seek a job offering far less lucrative opportunities. In some cases, your current employment could be affected by the charges made against you. If you have served prison or jail time, you will face added hurdles when looking for gainful employment, as you will have been out of the workforce for the duration of your sentence.
- Education – If you are applying for entrance into a college or university, your application can be denied because of your record. Some institutions are more discerning than others, so you might be forced to seek educational opportunities that fall short of the goals you would be able to obtain had it not been for your criminal background. You might also face expulsion from your current educational program.
- Loans and Financial – Applying for a loan or other forms of financial assistance can be more difficult for people that have criminal records. Not only could you be denied financial opportunities you would otherwise be granted, your finances will also be impacted by the fines you must pay as punishment for any crimes you have been convicted of. If the charges against you have resulted in termination from your job or affected your income, these challenges will be even more difficult to navigate.
- Housing – Just like educational and financial opportunities, housing can be denied because of a criminal history. This is particularly true if the charges against you involved violent crimes or drug-related crimes. In addition to the direct impact a record could have on housing opportunities, the financial consequences of your charges could have an indirect impact on the housing available.
In addition to these collateral consequences of criminal charges, you might also face judgments from co-workers, members of your community and even your loved ones.
These challenges highlight one of the many flaws of our criminal justice system. The consequences of a criminal record make it more difficult for a person to reintegrate themselves into society. One of the main objectives of our system is to reform those who have committed a crime, yet the system seems to create more obstacles for those seeking redemption. It’s this shortcoming that leads to high recidivism rates in the United States.
Though these limited opportunities can greatly affect one’s life, they are not a given. An experienced attorney will work on your behalf to mitigate the negative consequences of the charges against you. If there is any way to have the charges against you lessened or dismissed, your attorney can be instrumental in curbing the damage done by the charges you are facing.
Michael D. Litman will review the charges against you to determine the best course of action. Let us hear your story and review the details of your case to help you find the right path forward. Contact us today by calling (917) 554-8231 or filling out our online contact form.
If You’ve Been Charged with a Crime, Knowing What to Do Next is Critical
Once the authorities have placed you under arrest for committing a crime, you need to remember two important things. First, talking at length to the authorities will only do your case harm. There is nothing you can say to have them undo your arrest. Far too many people keep talking to the police when they are under no obligation to do so.
The authorities will likely keep asking you questions, even after you have been arrested. They will elicit as much information as you are willing to give. It is critical that you let them know you will not speak to them. Once you have been placed under arrest, do not answer questions or speak at length to the authorities.
Your biggest priority is contacting your attorney, so they can begin work on your case. A good criminal defense begins as soon as possible. Your lawyer will immediately get to work on your behalf, dealing with the authorities and making sure that your rights are protected. They will field any questions the police might have for you. Their experience will be invaluable in the hours following your arrest.
When you have been charged with a crime, tell the police that you want to speak to your lawyer. Beyond that, anything you say will be leveraged against you. Your attorney will then advise on what you should and shouldn’t do.
To speak to an experienced New York criminal defense attorney who will respond immediately to your call, contact Michael D. Litman by calling (917) 554-8231 or filling out our online contact form.
What to Avoid After Being Charged with a Crime in New York
As you can see, speaking to the police after your arrest can have very damaging affects on your case. But that’s not the only thing you should avoid once you are charged with a crime. In the days, weeks and months following your arrest, you should also avoid speaking about your case to anyone.
1. Keep Quiet: One of the biggest mistakes people make when charged with a crime is to talk about their situation with friends, co-workers and family members. You don’t want to put these people in the awkward position of having knowledge about your situation. They might be called as witnesses against you if you divulge sensitive information to them. It’s for their benefit as much as your own that you refrain from speaking at length about the charges against you.
2. Avoid Social Media: Another big mistake to avoid is saying anything about your legal troubles on social media. Never post a statement or even a casual reference to difficulties to your social media accounts, as those posts will almost certainly be reviewed by prosecutors if the charges against you are serious, or if your case is going to trial. Even posts that are not directly related to your situation can be interpreted in unforeseen ways. It is in your best interest to stay away from social media entirely until your case is resolved. Don’t give the authorities any advantage by posting something unnecessary online.
3. Don't Miss Court: When you have been arrested for a crime, make sure you attend all your court appearances, treatment appointments and pay any fines you owe in a timely manner. Avoid letting any appearances, hearings or deadlines pass you by. Your attorney will be able to offer you reminders, and they will likely do their best to make sure you are present for all court appearances or other important dates. However, the task of being present and on time is ultimately up to you. Missing important scheduled court appearances will greatly hurt your defense, and may result in a warrant being issued by the court.
4. Listen to Your Lawyer: Remember that any advice given to you by your criminal defense lawyer should be followed closely. Your attorney is your first and last line of defense, and they will help you best position yourself for the most favorable outcome possible. Don’t forgo their advice.
We Look for Every Advantage in Your Case
- There are several ways that criminal defense attorneys help their clients. First, we will review your arrest to ensure that your rights were observed by the authorities. If there were any oversights or breaches of the law on part of the police, we will make sure they are found. We will then go to work on building your case based on the specifics of your situation.
- No two defenses are the same. Every case we handle requires special consideration and a dedicated plan of action. We base our strategies on years of experience and a deep knowledge of the law. If there is a way to have the charges against you dismissed, we will pursue that path. In some cases, charges against our clients can be lessened, sometimes as the result of a plea deal we reach with prosecutors. Whatever we determine is the best course of action, we will always make sure to proceed with your consent. We work for you, and we base our approach to your case on your wishes.
- In the period following your arrest, we will keep you informed on our progress. We will answer any questions and address concerns you might have. Our clients also know that they can count on us for legal advice throughout the process. We keep in close contact with our clients, so they can be sure that they are always informed about where their case stands and what they can be doing to maximize their chances of a favorable outcome.
- Everyone deserves the rights given to us by our legal system. Unfortunately, too many people accused of a crime either don’t know their rights or they fall prey to common mistakes that dramatically hurt their defense. We do everything in our power to make sure that our clients are treated fairly and are given every opportunity to overcome the challenges they are facing.
Our clients come to us during one of the most difficult periods in their lives, and we make sure that we give them the legal representation they are entitled to. Your criminal defense lawyer is your best ally when facing the many consequences of a criminal charge. We value the relationships we have with our clients, and we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for their case.
We know the challenges you are facing. Our clients' testimonials speak to our dedication to the people we represent. However, we know that you want to find out how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so that you can meet us and learn more about our services. Michael D. Litman wants to hear more about your situation and provide you with an initial assessment of your case.
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Criminal Defense Articles
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