Criminal Law

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First Line Defense

If you are facing allegations that you committed a crime you need first line aggressive criminal defense.  A prosecutor tries to build a case, as a defense attorney I try to take it apart and destroy it, as early as possible  It doesn't always have to be big pieces, sometimes knocking off a few small pieces will do a fine job as well.  The important part is to be aggressive and to stay aggressive from the arraignment to the verdict and beyond.

Criminal Case Progression

Standard Criminal Case Progression:

  • Arraignment  - Court will set bail or release on recognizance
  • Pre-Trial Conference - In City/County Court this is an opportunity to conference the matter with the DA and  Judge.  In Town Courts the DA ordinarily does not attend.
  • Plea Offer - Client is free to accept to reject any plea offer. 
  • Motions - If plea offer is rejected motions to dismiss and to suppress evidence are filed and the court makes a ruling and may order Hearings on the motions to suppress evidence.
  • Hearings - At evidentiary hearings witnesses are called (ordinarily police officers but not necessarily)
  • Order on Motions - The Court's ruling on suppression motions.
  • Trial
  • Sentencing - If the client accepts a plea bargain or is convicted at trial they will enter a sentencing phase where the Court will sentence them within a range set forth in Penal Law Article 70.
  • Appeal - Unless waived a criminal defendant has an automatic right to appeal their conviction.

Challenges to the Evidence

Illegal Search / Seizure:  This is probably my starting point in every case because if the initial search and seizure was illegal then the contraband has to be suppressed and the whole case is likely to collapse.  Search and Seizure in New York is essentially governed by two cases, People v. DeBour and People v. Hollman which set out four distinct levels of intrusion and what level suspicion police must have to engage in that level.


Involuntary Statements:  Most everyone is familiar with Miranda and its requirement that a set of rights be read to a suspect in custody before he or she can be questioned.  Those rights are:


“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”


There are two very important rights encompassed in that short statement.  The right to remain silent and the right to counsel and both  should be exercised more often.


Crimininal Investigations Division

If you, a friend or loved one is unfortunate enough to be invited to the criminal investigations division that is your cue to hire an attorney.  What a suspect faces is being locked in a 4 x6 room for hours on end with nothing but the occasional bag of chips to eat.  The suspect is often left alone in the room without a phone, magazine or anything to pass the time and this isolation can go on and off for hours.  It is all part of wearing the suspect down physically and mentally to a point where the suspect confesses.  Unfortunately, there is little concern that the reliability of the confession erodes over time.  If you want to cooperate and clear your name, fine, do it with a lawyer so that you have some control over the interview.

Protect Yourself

Facing Criminal charges is a life altering event and you need to take every precaution that every possible stone is moved in your defense.  When it comes to criminal defense no one  can guarantee you victory or any particular result but I will squeeze the case for every and any advantage I can find to aggressively fight on your side   I have been practicing criminal law and DWI for well over 20 years and I have the skills and experience to find the needle in haystack that may be the key to your case.


Contact Us for a Free Consult

Call (315) 422-2800 or email don@kellylawcenterpc.com