Long Island Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorney Handling Long Island Cases

Phone: (212) 619-3900 Info@LawFletcher.com

Nassau Misdemeanor Court

Like all criminal matters in Nassau County, your case will start in one of the arraignment courts at 99 Main Street in Hempstead. At this court appearance you will be formerly charged with violating certain sections of the law, will be given the opportunity to enter a plea, and bail can be set in your case. Bail is usually an amount of money that you have to pay to the court to be able to go home. Unlike felony cases though, your case will remain in the Hempstead courthouse for its entire duration.

long island criminal lawyer

After your arraignment your case will be sent to a specific court part where it will be presided over by a judge for the life of the case. Parts 1-4 are located on the second floor of the building and are all purpose parts, meaning they handle all types of misdemeanors. Parts 5-12 are located on the third floor of the building. Parts 7 and 8 are specialty DWI parts and only handle DWI cases. Parts 9-12 are for other matters. There are other specialty courts as well in Hempstead including Veteran's Court, Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, and Adolescent Diversion. These specialty courts meet on certain days of the week and are aimed towards treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Once your case is sent to a specific part you can expect to have the same judge for the duration of your case. Criminal cases in Nassau County are handled differently than in New York City. While cases in NYC can be set for trial as early as the second or third court date after arraignment, judges in Nassau County are very willing to give attorneys and ADAs the time and opportunity reach a negotiated disposition. Don't be surprised if you go to court three or four times and it seems as though little is actually moving with your case.

Another difference in Nassau County is that the judges will be involved in how your case gets resolved. In NYC courts, due to the high volume of cases, judges will only be involved with your case when your case is called on the record. In Nassau though, when your case is called there will first be a conference at the judge's bench between your attorney, the prosecutor, the judge, and the clerk. In this manner, the judge becomes intimately familiar with your case and will give his/her opinion as to where the case should be heading. These procedural differences in how cases are handled make Nassau County a very unique criminal justice system.

Nassau Felonies

All cases in Nassau County start off the same way regardless of the seriousness. Whether being charged with a felony, misdemeanor, or violation, your first court appearance will be at 99 Main Street in Hempstead for an arraignment. The arraignment is the proceeding where you are informed of the charges against you. You will be given the opportunity to enter a plea and bail will be set on your case. You may also be appointed legal aid if you are unable to afford an attorney to represent you.

After the arraignment your case will be sent to the felony screening part, commonly known as Part 9, in Mineola. There are two courtrooms in the felony screening part: Part 9P, which is on the first floor for defendants with private and 18b attorneys, and Part 9L, which is downstairs and for defendants represented by Legal Aid. There is no other difference between the two parts. The purpose of the felony screening part is to determine the path of your case. Your case could be converted to a misdemeanor, in which case it would be sent back to the Hempstead courthouse. Your case could be sent to County Court where it will remain as a felony and be overseen by a specific judge. It is also possible negotiate a plea deal while your case is in the felony screening part. Due to a policy implemented by the Supervising Judge, cases are only allowed to remain in the felony screening part for up to 4 months. If after 4 months your case has not been resolved and the DA office refuses to convert the case, your case will be waived to the Grand Jury.

If your case is not resolved in Part 9 or converted, your case will end up in felony court. Your case will be given to a judge who will preside over your case and you case will have an prosecutor that will handle your case. From this point forward your case will be handled as a felony and the speed at which your case moves will depend on the judge. Some judges will allow time for plea negotiations, while others will insist that the case move forward and the DA office will attempt to indict your case. Regardless of the speed at which your case moves, your case will either be resolved through a negotiated plea deal or by trial.

The Nassau Prosecutor. The current head District Attorney of Nassau County is Madeline Singas. While the District Attorney is an elected position, District Attorney Singas took over as Acting District Attorney when the former District Attorney, Kathleen Rice, left the position vacant after her election to Congress. DA Singas is a career prosecutor, serving in both the Queens and Nassau County District Attorney's Offices. Prior to becoming the District Attorney, she was the Nassau County District Attorney's Office Chief Assistant District Attorney and the chief of the Special Victim's Unit.

Suffolk County Criminal Defense Attorney

Suffolk Misdemeanor Court

Like all criminal matters in Suffolk County, your case will start in the arraignment court at the District Court in Central Islip. This court is located in room D-11 on the first floor. At this court appearance you will be formerly charged with violating certain sections of the law, will be given the opportunity to enter a plea, and bail will be set in your case. Unlike felony cases though, your case will remain in the Central Islip courthouse for its entire duration.

After your arraignment your case will be sent to a specific court part where it will be presided over by a judge for the life of the case. The number of the courtroom will tell you the location in the court house. For example, part D-46 is on the fourth floor while part D-52 is on the fifth floor. There are other specialty courts as well in Central Islip including Veteran's Court, Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, and Adolescent Diversion. These specialty courts meet on certain days of the week and are aimed towards treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Once your case is sent to a specific part you can expect to have the same judge for the duration of your case. Criminal cases in Suffolk County are handled differently than in New York City. While cases in NYC can be set for trial as early as the second or third court date after arraignment, judges in Suffolk County are very willing to give attorneys and ADAs the time and opportunity reach a negotiated disposition. Don't be surprised if you go to court three or four times and it seems as though little is actually moving with your case. Generally, time is the defendant's friend.

While judges will not be as involved in your case as in Nassau County, they won't be as disengaged as in the city either. Judges become very familiar with their case load and will have an opinion on how your case is disposed.

Suffolk Felonies

All cases in Suffolk County start off the same way regardless of the seriousness. Whether being charged with a felony, misdemeanor, or violation, your first court appearance will be at the District Court in Central Islip for an arraignment. There are a few exceptions, such as minor offenses committed in the East End. The arraignment is the proceeding where you are informed of the charges against you. You will be given the opportunity to enter a plea and bail will be set on your case. You may also be appointed legal aid if you are unable to afford an attorney to represent you.

After the arraignment your case will be sent to County Court in Riverhead. From here your case will either be resolved through a negotiated plea deal, or the District Attorney's Office will attempt to indict you. In order to indict you the DA office will present its case to the grand jury. The grand jury consists between 16 and 23 members and 12 votes are required for an indictment. The threshold is only probable cause, which is very low and results in indictments more often than not. Once indicted your attorney will have the opportunity to demand discovery, make motions on your behalf, and try and negotiate a favorable disposition. If a negotiated plea can not be reached, your case will be set for hearings and eventual trial.

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