White Plains Criminal Lawyer/
A good White Plains criminal attorney can make the difference between doing significant prison time, receiving a lighter sentence or having charges dropped. Choosing a defense attorney may be one of the most critical decisions you make in your life. That’s why it’s so important to select an attorney who will give you the best defense possible.
Michael Litman is an aggressive and experienced criminal lawyer who knows his way around a courtroom and has successfully defended hundreds clients. He takes the time to get to know you and research the events leading up to your arrest. Then he formulates an exceptional strategy to defend your innocence.
The Best Defense Possible
There are a lot of criminal defense attorneys to choose from in White Plains, NY, but all attorneys are not created equal. You want an attorney with a winning record, a sharp legal mind, and a dedication to his clients. You want an attorney with significant courtroom experience, not someone new to the game. Take the opportunity to get to know attorney Michael Litman better.
Contact Michael at (917) 554-8231 for a free initial consultation about your case.
What Are the Things to Look for in a White Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Spend some time on their web site and read client reviews. How’s their client service? Are their current clients satisfied? How many years have they been in practice? Where did they go to law school? Do they take the time to really listen? These are the kinds of questions to ask when you’re deciding on a criminal defense attorney to represent you.
How Do Prosecutors Build a Case?
Prosecutors want to appear tough on crime, which means they want to get convictions. Be careful about what you say, and don’t speak to anyone, including the police and the prosecutor. Your words can be used against you in court, and these can be twisted and taken out of context. Prosecutors look for weaknesses in your case by reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses and poring over police reports. The mind of a prosecutor begins formulating a strategy on Day 1. So you need a White Plains criminal defense lawyer who can both defend you strategically and also prevent you from making any unintended mistakes.
What Types of Cases Does a White Plains Criminal Attorney Handle?
White Plains criminal attorney Michael Litman handles a wide variety of criminal cases and can represent you aggressively, including in the following types of cases:
Michael has years of valuable experience and knows how the legal system works in Westchester and the surrounding counties. He has represented clients in almost all of the courthouses around Westchester County, and is familiar with the practices of the judges as well as the District Attorney’s Office. Michael uses his knowledge of the judges and the prosecutors to craft the best defense individual to each case. For a skilled criminal attorney who can build the best defense possible on your behalf, contact Michael at (917) 554-8231 for a free initial consultation about your case.
Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
White Plains criminal lawyer Michael Litman understands that sometimes a person is just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He is sympathetic, and he listens to his clients as they recount the events leading up to their arrests. Michael knows that just because you were present when a crime was committed, that in no way proves you are guilty. You could have been an innocent bystander when the crime was committed by another person, the witnesses could be lying, or police may have engaged in misconduct when they arrested you. There are many sides to a story, and Michael listens closely when you tell yours.
What Are Some of My Potential Defenses?
An experienced White Plains criminal lawyer knows that certain defenses are more effective than others, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Following are some, but not all, potential criminal defenses:
- Accident – If a criminal act is caused unexpectedly and unintentionally
- Mistake of Fact – If a person honestly and mistakenly believes a fact that would have justified an act that is otherwise criminalized. For example, you might have entered a house under the belief that you had permission, so your entry might not constitute trespassing or burglary.
- Duress or Necessity – If a person genuinely and honestly believes that their life is in danger and reacts according to this fear, committing a crime in the process
- Intoxication – If involuntarily intoxicated or drugged when a crime was committed
- Police Misconduct – If police tamper with evidence, plant evidence, secure a confession by coercion or other misconduct
- Self Defense – If the victim threatened, attempted to commit or committed an act that put the defendant in imminent threat of harm
What’s the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?
Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors and therefore carry much heavier penalties. Conviction of a misdemeanor can result in a year or less in jail, a fine, some type of community service and/or probation. Conviction of a felony can result in more than one (even many) year in state prison, hefty fines, loss of civil privileges like voting and driving, and various other penalties. Typically, repeat offenders also incur heavier penalties.
A White Plains Criminal Attorney Is Your Best Advocate
When the stakes are high, you don’t want to leave your defense to any attorney you happen to stumble across on the internet or on TV. It is important to have an attorney who can craft a plausible and persuasive theory of events that refutes the prosecutor’s version of what took place.
Choosing a criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you ever make. The right skilled and experienced criminal attorney could mean the difference between years of prison time, a reduced sentence or even a not-guilty verdict. Choose wisely. To speak to a skilled criminal attorney who can build the best defense possible on your behalf, contact Michael Litman at (917) 554-8231 for a free initial consultation about your case.
Can I Be Released from Jail Pending a Trial?
Yes, in most cases, a judge will either release you on your own recognizance (ROR), or set a monetary bail amount. If this is your first criminal charge, and it is a low level offense, you may be eligible to be ROR’d. If a judge sets monetary bail, then you can be released from custody after your arraignment and before your trial, as long as you can afford the bail amount. In certain very serious criminal circumstances or if there is a risk that a defendant will flee a jurisdiction, a judge might not grant bail and will remand a defendant to jail to await his or her trial. Bail is “good faith” money that provides the court with collateral to ensure that the defendant returns to court for future proceedings. If a defendant fails to appear at a future court date, the money is forfeited. If a defendant does not have the financial resources to afford cash bail, he or she may use a bail bonds service to post the bail for a lower fee plus collateral.
Plea Bargaining Strategies
Many cases never make it to a courtroom trial, and that’s why it is so important to have an experienced criminal attorney who can negotiate on your behalf. A plea bargain, or settlement agreement, is sometimes preferred by defendants who are willing to enter a guilty plea to a lesser charge with a more lenient sentence. Defendants typically approach a plea bargain in one of two ways. Either a defendant can exploit weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, when the evidence is not strong; or a defendant can provide compelling reasons for the prosecutor to reduce the charge and give a better plea bargain offer.
Criminal defense attorney Michael Litman is equally skilled at going toe-to-toe with a prosecutor in a courtroom trial or at negotiating a more lenient sentence on behalf of his client though plea bargaining. In the end, it is up to a defendant which route he or she chooses to go, and Michael stands beside his clients every step of the way. If you want to learn more about your defense options, contact Michael Litman at (917) 554-8231 for a free initial consultation about your case.
A Defendant’s Constitutional Rights
A good White Plains criminal lawyer will know how to defend his client based on rights under the U.S. Constitution that are guaranteed to every citizen. Some of your constitutional rights include:
- The Fourth Amendment (applicable to states through the 14th Amendment) prohibits police from conducting an “unreasonable search and seizure” to gather evidence.
- The Fifth Amendment protects a defendant who has been tried and acquitted of a crime from being tried a second time for the same offense. This is known as protection against “double jeopardy.” Additionally, it prevents a defendant from being compelled to testify against himself, also known as “taking the fifth.”
- The Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to a public trial in which their guilt or innocence is determined by an impartial jury. It also gives defendants the right to confront his or her accusers in court and to call witnesses on behalf of their own defense. Additionally, it mandates that a defendant have the assistance of counsel in a criminal case.
Remember: An Arrest in White Plains Is Not a Conviction
Before getting stressed, frightened or contemplating a rash action, remember that an arrest is not a conviction. You are innocent until proven guilty. An arrest is only that – an arrest. It is a starting point and is a long way away from the final outcome. There are many steps between an arrest and sentencing, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports and other first-hand written accounts, employing expert witnesses if needed, finding flaws in a prosecutor’s case, and examining whether there was any misconduct by police. Beyond this there is a right to an appeal.
As soon as possible after an arrest, contact a White Plains criminal attorney who can make the most of every step in the process to prove your innocence and avoid a severe sentence, fines or other penalties. Contact the Law Office of Michael D. Litman at (917) 554-8231 to discuss your options and to begin building a defense strategy. The initial consultation is free.
Don’t Settle for a Public Defender
You may be appointed a public defender by the court, if you financially qualify, but this is often not a good option. While they can be competent attorneys themselves, public defenders are often overworked, and have far too many cases to handle, thereby preventing them from giving each defendant much time or attention. You want to be more than a number and more than a name on a file folder. That’s why hiring your own White Plains criminal attorney is important. You want a lawyer who has time to listen to you, time to strategize an effective defense, and time to subpoena witnesses and examine evidence on your behalf.
You Deserve the Best
If ever there was a time to settle for second best, this is not it! The criminal attorney you choose now can determine the course of the next years or decades of your life. There is no room for cutting corners or settling for less when your future and the future of your loved ones is at stake. The difference between an acquittal, a shortened sentence or a harsh conviction means the difference between spending time at home and at your job, or spending years behind bars.
Contact Criminal Attorney Michael Litman for the Best Defense Possible
White Plains criminal lawyer Michael Litman has been defending clients charged with criminal offenses since 2007. He founded the Law Office of Michael D. Litman in 2014, to focus on the criminal defense needs of the citizens of White Plains, Westchester County and the New York City Metro area. We have the knowledge and the experience to help with all of your criminal and DWI defense needs. If you have questions or need to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us today. Our firm will work with you from your arrest all the way through to trial.
For answers to your questions or to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at 917.554.8231.