If you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor in New York City or anywhere on Long Island, get the legal help you need at once by contacting an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney. Every criminal case is different, so don’t make any decisions without first having advice from a good defense lawyer. In fact, when you’re arrested, politely exercise your right to remain silent and insist on your right to have an attorney present during questioning.

Most criminal cases are never tried by a jury because they are settled by plea bargaining, but if your case makes it to trial, your right to remain silent extends right into the trial court. You are never required to testify if you are a defendant, and you have the right to avoid self-incrimination. One of the general instructions jurors receive is that they are not to interpret a suspect’s silence as a sign of guilt. Still, most jurors are curious; they’d like to hear the defendant tell his or her side of the story. When you’re on trial, if you can render a calm, articulate, and comprehensive account of what happened, you can genuinely help yourself with a jury. However, if you are perceived as tense, edgy, or defensive, your testimony could hurt you.

A cross-examination can be devastating, especially in serious felony cases such as homicide or sex crime trials. Prosecutors are trained to be clever, aggressive, and relentless; their pointed questions can defeat even a thoroughly prepared suspect. If you have a prior conviction, it may also prejudice jurors against you, no matter what you say or how you say it.

So, if you’re on trial, should you testify? Again, every case is different, so you’ll need to discuss it with your attorney and seriously consider your attorney’s advice. If you’re facing criminal charges in New York City or on Long Island – now or in the future – put your case immediately in the hands of a trustworthy Long Island criminal defense attorney.

If They Had A Case, They Wouldn’t Need Your Testimony

Many people think that when the police start asking questions, that somebody is going to jail. In New York, as in every other legal jurisdiction, people are not required to answer questions from police or investigators. In many cases, the police start asking questions in order to gather evidence of a crime, often relying on the suspect to incriminate him or herself by making a statement or answering a question. Under our system of law, individuals have a right not to incriminate themselves, and also have the right to have an attorney present during questioning by police to ensure that any answers or comments are not self incriminating. 

A big part of an investigator’s job is to fish for information. Many times, individuals answering questions may not even realize that they are offering information that can later be used against them. This is why it is important for people to understand why they should not answer any questions from investigators regarding lawsuits. Attorney Jeffrey Nadrich, who specializes in hernia repair mesh complications recalls the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit where one of the company’s baby powders was accused of causing cancer in it’s users. Many Johnson & Johnson employees were asked to comment however company policy did not allow employees to speak to the media about the ongoing lawsuit. This by default worked in favor of Johnson & Johnson because it prevented any leaking of information or opinions on the topic that were not first approved by the company. Thus, Johnson & Johnson prevented self-incrimination by it’s employees.

If the police actually had any evidence of a crime, then they could move forward with a prosecution without the suspect / defendant saying a single word. In other words, if the police and state want to prosecute, suspects of criminal offenses in New York should not be afraid to make the police and the state do their jobs and prove the suspect’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Role of Attorneys in Criminal Cases

New York criminal defense attorneys are trial advocates whose only job is to ensure that a person’s rights are maintained through the legal process and to make sure that the state proves its case against a suspect beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state fails to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defense attorney will argue for the suspect’s freedom on the grounds that the state has failed to present the evidence necessary for a conviction.

Before going up against a New York prosecutor, suspects of crimes are encouraged to contact a New York criminal defense attorney for guidance and representation. Getting an attorney early on will ensure that the suspect’s rights are not infringed and that the suspect is treated as fairly by the system as possible.

Before Contact with an Attorney is Made

Generally, attorneys are hired after a person has been accused of and arrested for a crime. During the period between an arrest and getting legal counsel, suspects of crimes in New York are advised to never speak to police regarding the charges or accusations. In most cases, it is a person’s own statements that end up hurting them the most.  Even though the statements may seem simple and innocent enough, police are not trained to dissect facts and apply rules of law, they are trained to follow a checklist, of sorts, basing their decision to make an arrest based on certain words (in many cases, not even full sentences), which are reported to them. To avoid any confusion as to the role that a suspect played in a crime, the suspect should instead only answer questions or make comments through experienced and competent legal counsel.

In fact, talking about a criminal case to anyone other than your attorney is never a good idea. A friend or family member could be interrogated by a prosecutor about your statements, so it’s better to refrain entirely from talking about your case. Don’t make your friends choose between loyalty and perjury.

When you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, the choices you make during your first contact with the police can often mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. If you are charged with any crime in the New York City area, protect yourself and your rights and speak at once to an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney.