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What is Your Background in Handling Criminal Defense Law?

When I graduated law school, I went and clerked for a criminal court judge in New Jersey. I clerked in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Judge Austin, where we did a number of different things. We ran the drug court, the pre-indictment, and the pre-indictment calendar. We did appeals of misdemeanor convictions, and motions for post-conviction relief, which is when somebody has been convicted after plea, or after trial of a crime, and seeks to overturn that appeal due to a violation of a constitutional right.

From there, I worked for the Bronx County District Attorney’s office, where I handled everything from general misdemeanors, sex crimes, and child abuse cases, general felony crimes, like burglaries, robberies, assaults with weapons, weapons’ possession, drug possession, and distribution of narcotics. It was a broad based experience there.

How Does Your Experience With the Prosecutor’s Office Benefit Your Criminal Defense Clients?
Having a person who has been a former prosecutor representing clients is extremely helpful, because you have an insight in the way that prosecutors evaluate cases. The factors that go into a prosecutor’s decision and to what to charge, what to offer, and whether or not to take the case to trial and if they really want to have an expedited plea, or what is the best way to resolve a case from the prosecutor’s side.

We use that to our client’s advantage in determining how to proceed with every case, whether it is a case that you have to take to trial or a case where you will find a way to get a reasonable or beneficial disposition for your client early on. We know the way a prosecutor views the strength, and the weakness of each case. It also allows you to do the same thing with your client. What is the ability to evaluate the evidence from the viewpoint of the prosecutor?

What are the Common Types of Criminal Cases that You Handle?
The common cases we handle, are domestic violence, driving while intoxicated, narcotics possession and, or distribution. We have seen robberies, trespassing, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, petty larceny, and assault.

What are the Top Misconceptions People Have About Being Arrested for A Crime?
The biggest misconception is they do not have to talk to the police. They do not have to explain themselves, or say anything. They do not have to talk to the prosecution. There is no obligation on the person accused of a crime to say anything at all. They have absolutely no obligation except to show up to court. It is the only thing they are required to do. They do not have to present any evidence, and they do not have to present their side of the story. If they can, and there are times when it is beneficial to do so, but there are other times when it is about picking holes in the prosecution’s case, and that can be enough. You can sit back, and not say a word, and still prevail for a beneficial result. that is probably the largest misconception that I have seen.

How Do People Commonly incriminate Themselves Before or After They Have Been Arrested?
In my experience I can tell you that anything you say to a cop, they will find a way to use it against you. If you want to provide an explanation as to why the alleged crime occurred, or provide some context, or some backstory, or have the cops see it from their perspective. It is definitely best to be quiet, and not say anything. Trying to explain yourself is generally not going to help you. For example, if you say, “I only had a couple of beers and I drove a couple of blocks,” that is not going to help you.

That is something, which will not be favorable if your case goes to trial. So thinking that you have to say something, or wanting to say something is probably the biggest mistake most people make. Be polite, people should actually be polite, and respectful, but should respectfully decline talking to any law enforcement.

Read on to find out about Handling Criminal Cases. Call the law offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE initial Consultation at 914-574-8330 and get the information and legal answers you are seeking.

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