Stages of Criminal Case

Stages of a New York Criminal & DWI / DUI Case for NYC and Long Island

1. Arrest

Have You Been Arrested?
A person is under arrest in New York at any time that a reasonable person believes that he or she is not free to leave the custody of the police.  This means that you may have been arrested for a criminal or DWI / DUI offense whether you were or were not placed in handcuffs.  Many times the New York State or City police will not even tell you that you have been arrested for a criminal offense.  However, as long as you believe that you cannot voluntary walk away from the police without being placed in handcuffs, you have been placed under arrest.  Even if you voluntary walk into a New York State or City police station to answer questions, if you reasonably believe that you cannot stand up and walk out freely, you have been placed under arrest. 

Should I speak with the Police? Do The Police Have to Read Me My Rights?
In every criminal or DWI / DUI case, after you have been arrested, the police cannot ask you any questions unless you are read your Miranda Rights and you fully understand those rights.  However, if the police never ask you any questions, you are not entitled to have your rights read to you. 

If you have been arrested or believe that you are about to face criminal or DWI / DUI charges do not speak with the police.  Anytime you say anything to the police, write anything for the police or sign a statement written by the police, that statement will be used against you at the criminal trial.  It is extremely rare that something you say will prevent you from being arrested.  If you do not want to make a statement to the police you can simply refuse to answer any questions or ask to have your lawyer present.  Whether or not you have hired a criminal or DWI / DUI lawyer, the police cannot ask you any questions regarding the criminal or DWI / DUI case, if you request your lawyer.
   
If I Have Been Given a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.), Was I Arrested?
Yes.  If you have been given a Desk Appearance Ticket that means that you have been arrested for committing a criminal offense, but, you were released and given a date in the future to come to Criminal Court to face your criminal charges.  While every person that is arrested would rather be given a Desk Appearance Ticket rather than go through the system (central booking), a Desk Appearance Ticket will only be issued on misdemeanor criminal arrests for something other than domestic violence after the police determine that you do not have any outstanding criminal arrest warrants and believe that you will return to Criminal Court voluntarily to face your criminal charges.

2. Arraignment

Are You Facing Criminal Charges?
After you have been arrested by the New York State or City police on misdemeanor or felony criminal or DWI /DUI charges, the District Attorney’s Office (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau or Suffolk) determines whether there is sufficient information to believe that you have committed a criminal or DWI / DUI offense.  If the District Attorney’s Office believes that you have committed a criminal or DWI / DUI offense, it will draft a Criminal Court Complaint listing each of the criminal or DWI / DUI charges and the facts describing your criminal conduct.

Can I get Released on My Own Recognizance or Will Bail be Set?
After the Criminal Court Complaint is drafted you will see a judge, who will officially inform you of the misdemeanor or felony criminal or DWI / DUI charges you are facing.  After the judge listens to your criminal or DWI / DUI defense lawyer’s application, the judge will then decide whether to release you on your own recognizance (R.O.R.) or set bail.  The decision is usually based on the seriousness of the criminal or DWI / DUI charges and whether the judge believes that you will return to court.

3. Grand Jury

Will My Criminal or DWI / DUI Case Be Presented  To the Grand Jury?
Anytime that someone is facing criminal felony charges, or misdemeanor charges that the District Attorney’s Office believes should be elevated to a criminal felony offense, the District Attorney’s Office must present all of the available evidence to the Grand Jury.

What Power Does the Grand Jury Have Over My Criminal Case?
The Grand Jury must listen to all of the evidence presented and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the accused committed the criminal felony offense.  If the Grand Jury believes that there is sufficient evidence to believe that accused committed the criminal offense the Grand Jury will issue an indictment of the criminal offenses supported by the evidence.  If the Grand jury believes that there is insufficient evidence to believe that the accused committed the criminal offense, the case will be dismissed.

4. Pre-Trial Investigation

How Will New York Criminal Defense Attorney Jason A. Steinberger Handle My Case?
Jason A. Steinberger believes that the best way to fight your case is attack it from the very beginning to ensure that all of the information to help you still exists, is available and is fresh in witnesses’ memories.  Attorney Jason A. Steinberger understands that where exculpatory information is gathered early enough the District Attorney’s Office will dismiss the criminal charges and criminal case against you or offer you a non-criminal resolution.

5. Pre-Trial Motions and Hearings

What Pre-Trial Motions Will New York Criminal Defense Attorney Jason A. Steinberger File in My Criminal Case? 
Every person accused of committing a criminal offense in New York has the right to have the New York State and City Police Departments and the District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk, prosecute the criminal case pursuant to the laws of New York State.  Anytime the New York State or City police take a statement from an accused, take property from an accused or subject the accused to a police arranged identification procedure, motions should be filed to preclude the evidence from being introduce at trial or have the Court order a hearing to determine the admissibility of the evidence.

  • If statements were improperly taken by the police – Jason A. Steinberger will file motions to prevent the District Attorney’s Office from using that statement against you at trial.
     
  • If property was taken from you – Jason A. Steinberger will file motions to prevent the District Attorney’s Office from introducing that property as evidence against you at trial.
     
  • If the police arranged an identification procedure and someone identified you as the person who committed the crime – Jason A. Steinberger will file motions to prevent the District Attorney’s Office from having that person identify you in court.  

6. Trial

Jason A. Steinberger understands that the threat of a criminal or DWI / DUI trial makes people uneasy.  This is why Mr. Steinberger always works to obtain the best possible resolution of your Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau or Suffolk case without having to go to trial. 

However, because every client must decide what is best for him or herself, and the decision is made to fight the criminal or DWI / DUI case at trial, Jason A. Steinberger will always be prepared to rely on his resources as a former New York State Criminal Prosecutor and Former Adjunct Law Professor at Hofstra University School of Law to bring about the best resolution at trial: Not Guilty.