Practice Areas

White Plains Lawyer Skilled in Criminal Defense, Civil Rights, Injury, Immigration, and Business Litigation Matters

The Westchester attorneys at the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph PLLC are seasoned White Plains criminal defense attorneys, personal injury attorneys, commercial litigation lawyers, and immigration lawyers who have accumulated substantial experience helping Westchester residents fight felony or misdemeanor charges. Our attorneys also have decades of experience in representing personal injury victims in all types of accidents including car, truck, bus, motorcycle accidents, industrial and construction accidents and slip, trip and fall accidents. Our Westchester trial lawyers also represent people in police misconduct cases, personal injury claims, immigration matters, and business litigation. Our team is dedicated to providing aggressive representation inside and outside the courtroom.

Criminal Defense

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph handles a broad range of felony and misdemeanor cases, including those arising from charges of DUI, drug crimes, assault and battery, sex crimes, theft, domestic violence, prostitution, forged document charges, petit and grand larceny, weapons violations, driving on a suspended license, building code violations, public order offenses, and federal crimes.

Generally, more serious crimes are charged as felonies, which are can result in a sentence of at least one year of imprisonment. Felonies are divided into different classes, ranging from Class A felonies, which are the most serious and include homicide, to Class E felonies, which are the least serious and include repeat DUI. However, both felony and misdemeanor convictions can lead to significant social consequences, making it imperative that you consult an experienced Westchester criminal defense attorney.

For example, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) charges are common. If you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, you will likely be charged with driving while intoxicated. Defendants who are convicted will have their license revoked for six months and may face other penalties. People who are caught with a BAC of .18% or higher may be charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and may face a one-year license revocation and a minimum fine of $1,000. People who have more than one DWI may face much harsher penalties. For example, for a third aggravated driving while intoxicated charge within a 10-year period, you may face a jail term of up to seven years.

If you are charged with a crime, White Plains criminal defense attorneys will try to challenge the prosecution's effort to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. There are numerous procedural rules that the police and prosecution must follow in order to sustain a criminal charge. For example, with some exceptions, the police must have probable cause to conduct a search of your car, house, or person. If the court finds that the police did not have probable cause for a search, this finding may result in critical evidence against you being excluded. Even in cases where you are guilty, our criminal defense attorneys are skilled negotiators and have extensive experience in negotiating charge reductions as part of a plea bargain in the Westchester and Rockland Courts including White Plains, Armonk, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, Yonkers, Scarsdale, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Port Chester, Harrison, Rye, Bronxville, Ossining, Hastings, Greenburgh, and New Rochelle.

Police Brutality and Misconduct

Mr. Joseph has handled numerous civil rights cases arising from excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and other law enforcement misconduct. Under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, citizens may sue the police and others acting under color of law for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities that are set forth by the Constitution or laws.

Remedies available in Section 1983 claims may include compensatory damages, actual damages, and punitive damages. In some cases, you may also have a common law claim against the municipality, but there are strict prerequisites that you must follow under the New York General Municipal Law and a short window of time within which to notify the city of a false arrest, malicious prosecution and excessive force.

Personal Injury

Our White Plains personal injury attorneys advocate for victims of car and truck accidents, dangerously defective products, slip and falls, and construction accidents. Most personal injury cases arise out of someone's negligence. Generally, a plaintiff needs to establish the defendant's duty of care, the defendant's breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. You may need to prove additional elements, depending on the type of accident involved. For example, in a car accident case, you would need to prove that you suffered a severe injury, as defined by statute, to sue an at-fault driver. In a slip and fall case, you would need to prove that a property owner or occupier knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident. For Westchester construction accidents, there are strict labor laws that need to be complied with on all construction projects except owner occupied one or two family homes. A violation of these safety standards establishes that the general contractor or landowner is liable to compensate the injured worker.

Immigration

Our Westchester immigration lawyers handle deportation (removal) cases, work visas, and green card applications. In some situations, it may be appropriate to deal with the possibility of deportation by applying for asylum. Under immigration laws, you can apply for political asylum if you fear persecution or torture due to race, national origin, political opinions, sexual orientation, or membership in other vulnerable groups. We can also advise you on the immigration consequences of criminal charges. Our White Plains immigration attorneys also have significant experience in preparing immigration applications, including family visa applications and fiance and marriage visa applications.

Business Litigation

If you run a business, you will likely face the prospect of either bringing a lawsuit or defending against a lawsuit. Our firm provides knowledgeable representation to small businesses. We handle litigation involving contract disputes, commercial lease disputes, business torts, fraud, partnership dissolutions, RICO claims, and intellectual property cases involving copyright, trademark, or license infringement. Our law firm is one of the few law firms in Westchester County that accept commercial litigation cases on a contingency basis. This allows you to seek the damages you deserve without having to pay up front or incur hourly fees.

Consult a Civil Rights, Immigration, Injury, Business Litigation, or Criminal Defense Attorney in White Plains

If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, White Plains criminal defense lawyer Michael H. Joseph can advise you and represent you in court. Our Westchester personal injury attorneys also can serve you if you need an injury attorney or can guide you through the legal process of a civil rights claim, an immigration proceeding, or a business dispute. Our immigration and deportation lawyers can assist people in the Bronx, Queens, Yonkers, Ossining, Mount Vernon, Mamaroneck, Port Chester, Rye, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, White Plains, and New Rochelle, in addition to other communities throughout Kings, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Contact us at (914) 574-8330 or through our online form to schedule a free consultation.