Ask a Criminal Lawyer Buffalo NY: In felony criminal cases when does discovery begin?

The Tabashneck Law Firm provides passionate criminal defene with Buffalo Criminal Attorneys who fight for clients in criminal cases

 

Under CPL 240.20(1), when the accused is facing criminal charged by a felony complaint, and the District Attorney has not yet indicted on the criminal charges, defendant is not entitled to discovery. Even in capital cases, this rule applies with equal force.

That being said, just because the prosecution is not under an obligation to provide discovery, there is absolutely no reason the criminal lawyer should not seek all available information, even remotely relevant to the case. So long as the action can be defended ethically, the criminal defense attorney for the accused should strongly consider moving forward with zealousness.

Oftentimes, the prosecution will refuse to provide information until the indictment is filed. This absolutely should not discourage Buffalo criminal attorneys for the accused from investigating the criminal case. The criminal defense attorney buffalo ny should reach out to all witnesses, conduct background checks, and take any and all measures to find out any information which could possibly assist in the defense of the accused.

Once the accused is indicted on the criminal charges, however, criminal defense attorneys must be provided with discovery, including so called Brady Material, in time for criminal defense lawyers to make proper use of it in the criminal case.

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Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo NY

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Ask a Buffalo DWI Lawyer: Can the police search your car after pulling you over?

The Tabashneck Law Firm provides passionate criminal defene with Buffalo Criminal Attorneys who fight for clients in criminal cases

The Fourth Amendment to the US and NYS Constitution prohibits the government from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, police cannot search your car without obtaining a warrant, your consent, or absent other exceptional situations that create the automobile exception to the warrant requirement.

Now before searching your car, police will obviously need to pull you over. In order to conduct a legal traffic stop, police must have either probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

PROBABLE CAUSE

Once probable cause is established, police have the legal right to pull you over. For instance, where police believe you violated the Vehicle and Traffic Law, police may pull you over.
On a more general level, you may wonder what is probable cause?

Probable cause is defined under New York Law as “reasonable cause to believe a person has committed an offense exists when evidence or information which appears reliable discloses facts or circumstances which are collectively of such weight and persuasiveness as to convince a person of ordinary intelligence, judgment, and experience that it is reasonably likely that such offense was committed and that such person committed it.” CPL s. 70.10(2). See also People v. Russell (2005), CPL s. 140.10.

Putting aside the complicated language and the tendency of criminal lawyers to make concepts more complicated than necessary, the quotation above simply means f police see you commit any traffic infraction under the New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (e.g., failure to use turning signal), then they have established probable cause necessary under the law to pull you over. Alternatively, if probable cause is not clearly established, the criminal defense lawyer for the accused should make a motion to suppress any evidence recovered based on the fact the search was in violation of the suspect’s rights under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

REASONABLE SUSPICION

Criminal lawyers buffalo ny must also pay close attention to the events which transpired before the police stopped the individual’s car. Under New York law, police may also stop your car if they have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity by you or others in the car (i.e., committing a misdemeanor or felony). Reasonable suspicion is defined as “the quantum of knowledge sufficient to induce an ordinarily prudent and cautious man under the circumstances to believe that criminal activity is at hand.” People v. Cantor (1975). Thus, to establish reasonable suspicion, police just need to say that they saw you or a passenger in your car committing a crime.

As you can see, it is relatively easy for police to legally stop you while you’re driving a car in the State of New York.

The Tabashneck Law Firm provides passionate criminal defene with Buffalo Criminal Attorneys who fight for clients in criminal cases

 

You may ask a criminal lawyer buffalo ny if you were legal pulled over, can police officers search your car, or will such a search be deemed in violation of the Fourth Amendment following a criminal lawyers application for a suppression hearing?

Criminal defense lawyers buffalo ny must emphasize, first and foremost, that police can always ask you for your consent allowing them to search your car. In fact, often times that is what they do! Obviously they will not ask you “do you give us consent to search your car?” They will ask you to step out of the car or to open your trunk. If you fail to say that you “refuse” or that you do not consent to the search, you have given them consent. Once the defendant provides consent, criminal defense lawyers may struggle to find a compelling argument to suppress the evidence recovered as long as the consent was not coerced.

However, as buffalo criminal attorneys are aware of, if you do not consent, they must end their probe. If they search your car anyway, they are committing an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment. In that case, the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer should make a motion to suppress the evidence so it cannot be used against you in your criminal case at trial.

Aside from consent, the best criminal lawyers in buffalo ny must be very familiar with the many other ways police may obtain the right to search a person’s vehicle. For instance, defense lawyers are familiar with the exception that applies where, at the time of the stop, police have probable cause to believe the vehicle contains fruits of the crime or contraband. Under this exception, police may search the car without obtaining a warrant. In this situation, so long as the facts align to the rule of law,

A Criminal attorney buffalo ny must be able to point out that the search arising from probable cause is known as the automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement. So, let’s say you were pulled over for failing to use a turning signal and officers smell the scent of marijuana coming from your car at the time of the stop, they have probable cause to search your car for more marijuana. “What about the trunk?” you may ask. This includes the search of your trunk because it is reasonable to assume that marijuana can fit into and be kept in the trunk.

ASK A BUFFALO DWI LAWYER ABOUT A SEARCH INCIDENT TO AN ARREST

Police can also search the car incident to your arrest. This is another exception to the warrant requirement known as a search incident to an arrest. KEEP IN MIND that the law pertaining to the search incident to an arrest is different from the law in situations where probable cause exists. So let’s say you were pulled over for a simple traffic violation – which gives no probable cause to search for weapons, drugs or other evidence of a crime inside of the vehicle – and your driver’s license turns out to be suspended or revoked, you will be arrested, invoking the limited right to search incident to your arrest. At the time of your arrest, police may search the interior of your vehicle incident to your arrest if you, the arrestee, is still inside the car, unsecured and may gain access to the interior of the vehicle. This includes the search of closed containers (e.g., purses, backpacks, etc.) in your vehicle if police believe that you are armed, posing a danger to them or to the public and/or attempting to destroy evidence. But, once you exit your car, officers cannot search any containers in your car to search for weapons or other evidence of crime because you no longer pose a threat of reaching for weapons or destroying evidence.

Criminal lawyer buffalo ny know the search incident to an arrest is limited to your wingspan, which includes your clothing and anywhere in the car where you are able to reach. Keep in mind that an arrest may be custodial. In other words, you do not have to be handcuffed to be arrested. Once you are detained and have no right to leave, you are under custodial arrest. Unlike many other jurisdictions, New York does not give officers the right to search the trunk or any containers (e.g., purses, backpacks, etc.) incident to an arrest UNLESS they have reasonable suspicion of illegality such that you are armed, posing a threat of danger to them or to the public and/or attempting to destroy evidence.

Let’s say you are arrested (and this is when you should strongly consider hiring a criminal attorney buffalo ny)for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and indicate no threat of danger to the officers. As they arrest you, officers find a pack of cigarettes in your wingspan (can be in your pocket or in the cup holder) and begin to go through your cigarette pack and find crack. A good buffalo criminal lawyer should get the evidence of the crack thrown out  because the search of the “container” in this case is unlawful. A DWI arrest without reasonable suspicion that you are armed, posing a threat of danger to them or to the public and/or attempting to destroy evidence does not give New York police the right to illegally search any closed containers in your wingspan at the time of your arrest.

Criminal lawyers buffalo ny must be prepared to argue in court regarding the legality of the police search. Defense counsel must make the point that for police to conduct this type of search legally, the arrest must be lawful, the search must be justifiable such that it is conducted for preservation of evidence and safety of the police officers and public, and the search must be limited in geographic scope such that police officers only search your wingspan. Remember, in NY officers cannot search containers in your wingspan unless they reasonably suspect that you are armed, posing a threat of danger to them or to the public and/or attempting to destroy evidence. Again, if reasonable suspicion is not present, then defense lawyer must move to suppress the evidence recovered so it cannot be used against you in the criminal case.

The Criminal law is complicated. If you are looking for lawyers in buffalo ny free consultation and facing criminal charges or in the middle of a criminal case, such as a dwi cases, contact a criminal lawyers buffalo ny,  buffalo dwi lawyer, or  criminal attorney buffalo ny

Ask a Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo NY: Is there a difference between fines and criminal restitution?

 

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For many crimes, fines and criminal restitution are common punishments. Depending on the situation, you may face one or both, in place of or in addition to prison time.

What is criminal restitution?

Restitution is payment to victims of a crime. Generally, in New York, where the the victim suffers a financial loss, restitution will be awarded. The payment is intended to make the victim whole again and prevent you from benefiting from your crime.

Several examples include: paying the value of destroyed artwork; covering the costs of medical care for someone you punched; paying the funeral costs of someone who died as a result of your negligence; returning stolen items; or paying back their value.

Victims may be persons businesses, and even the public in cases like welfare fraud. For crimes against society, you’d likely pay the value of your fraudulent activity to a state restitution fund.

What are criminal fines?

A fine is money paid to the government as punishment for your crime. The amount of the fine is unrelated to the victim’s financial loss. They are common in all kinds of crimes, from infractions to felonies.

In New York, a judge may sentence you to just a fine or may combine it with other punishments like community service, probation or jail time.

For minor crimes—infractions and many misdemeanors—just a fine or a fine plus community service is common, especially for a first offense. For more serious crimes and repeat offenders, common sentences include a fine plus jail time. Depending on your situation, you might be able to plea bargain for a fine plus probation.

Will you get a fine or have to pay restitution?

In many cases you’ll have to pay both a court fine and restitution to your victim. Sometimes, this will depend on the arguments advanced by your criminal defense lawyer. For serious criminal charges, the criminal law may require the defendant to pay fines, restitution, and jail time. Clearly, the outcome of your case depends on the strategy suggested by your criminal defense lawyer. Your specific punishment will depend on many different things, including what the criminal law says, the facts in your criminal case, and any plea deal you make

It’s usually a good idea to talk with a Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo Ny before making a plea in your case. A criminal attorney buffalo ny can evaluate your case to see if you can avoid a conviction. If not, the criminal defense lawyer buffalo ny can negotiate to get you the best deal possible.

The Criminal law is complicated. If you are looking for lawyers in buffalo ny free consultation and facing criminal charges or in the middle of a criminal case, such as a dwi cases, contact a criminal lawyers buffalo ny,  buffalo dwi lawyer, or  criminal attorney buffalo ny

Ask a Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo NY: “How does a jury work in a criminal case?”

 

The Tabashneck Law Firm provides passionate criminal defene with Buffalo Criminal Attorneys who fight for clients in criminal cases

 

During the trial, the jury listens to and examines all of the evidence presented. Although jurors have historically not been allowed to ask questions during the trial, some jurisdictions do actually permit juror questions.

While some courts may allow jurors to take notes, the majority of courts do not allow  this practice. Jurors may not discuss the case with anyone else, even other jurors, until deliberation begins.

Before jury deliberation, the jury receives instructions on the law related to the case and the implications of guilty or not guilty verdicts. Jury instructions may also tell jurors how to deal with certain types of evidence or testimony presented during the trial.

Jury instructions also help jurors understand the standards they must reach to convict defendants. The evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants committed the crime.

In most states, the jury instructions are a standardized set of guidelines, also called pattern jury instructions, with the name and circumstances of the case filled in. The judge or Criminal Attorneys buffalo ny  for both sides may be able to add additional instructions to cover issues specific to the case.

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Jurors are not permitted to read, watch, or listen to outside news or discussion about the trial, such as newspaper, website, or TV coverage. They may not conduct their own research into the circumstances of the case or into the law.

In exceptional cases, if the jury does not  an agreement at the end of the first day of deliberations, they may be required to stay in a hotel until the case is over, where their access to outside news and information is restricted.

Jurors are not allowed to accept money or other benefits from any parties in the trial or in exchange for their votes.

After Criminal Lawyers in Buffalo ny make the closing arguments, jury deliberations begin. Using the instructions given by the judge, the jury evaluates the trial evidence.

The jurors discuss whether the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty or not guilty of each of the charges. They may ask for clarification of law or evidence during the deliberations.

Criminal Lawyers in Buffalo New York know the jury’s decision must be unanimous; Oregon and Louisiana are the only states where non-unanimous criminal verdicts are allowed, and even then there are some restrictions on how they may be used.

If the jurors cannot agree on a verdict, the jury is considered “hung” and the case is declared a mistrial. Mistrial cases may be tried again later with a different jury, or the prosecutor may decide not to bring the case again, in which case the charges are dropped and the defendant goes free.

Contact a Criminal attorney in buffalo ny, criminal attorneys in buffalo new york, Criminal Lawyers in Buffalo Ny or a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Buffalo New York for more information.

Ask a Criminal Attorney in Buffalo NY: What happens if I get arrested while on parole?

 

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First, just because an individual is arrested while on parole does not guarantee the Senior Parole Officer will violate him or her. The Parole Officer must do a thorough investigation, including, speaking to witnesses–police officer, store security, a complaining witness—and based upon that, make a determination as to whether there is enough evidence to sustain a charge.

In the scenario described above, there are three potential “technical charges” the individual can be violated for: (1) breaking the law; (2) staying out past curfew; and (3) and possibly not reporting police contact to his or her Parole Officer

Cases are conferenced between the Parole Officer and the Senior Parole Officer and it is determined whether it is necessary to issue a warrant because either the individuals is a danger to the community, himself, or he is in violation of his parole conditions.

Criminal Lawyers in Buffalo New York should remember that alternatives to incarceration may be considered later in the process, however, at this point the individual is taken into custody, generally, all other alternatives should have been exhausted and sanctions should have been imposed.

The Tabashneck Law Firm provides passionate criminal defene with Buffalo Criminal Attorneys who fight for clients in criminal cases

 

Criminal attorneys in buffalo ny must know that if the Senior Parole Officer decides to issue the warrant, the parolee is taken into custody, and held in jail. As noted elsewhere, a preliminary hearing must occur within 15 days from which the warrant is lodged, and If the parolee waives the preliminary hearing, he or she must have a final hearing within 8 business days of the lodge of the warrant.

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