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Frequently Asked Questions

Know the Facts

    • You’ve been arrested for a crime in Queens, New York. What happens in the time between arraignment and your first Court appearance?

      Here again, if you’ve been arrested for a crime in Queens, New York, the intervention of experienced counsel is extremely important to assess the nature of the evidence against their client and the strength or weakness of the prosecution’s case. Additionally, if not done so already, proactive investigation should be conducted as soon as possible with respect to any available or potential defenses, witnesses, documentation, videos, etc.

      Too often, such available evidence and witnesses are lost due to the passage of time. Witnesses memories (especially alibi witnesses) fade and become less reliable over time.

      Prior to the first court appearance after the arraignment, counsel can ascertain which prosecutor has been assigned to the case and request a conference (telephone or personal) with such person to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a case as well as the possibility of an early resolution.

      Too often, no such discussions occur prior to the first (or even second) appearance in court after arraignment and unnecessary adjournments (especially where a client is incarcerated) occur with additional waivers of 180.80 and speedy trial rights.

      Sometimes, it can be a waste of time to engage in extended conferencing of a case if the offer made by the prosecutor is conditioned upon the acceptance of a sentence that is substantially higher than the minimum sentence required by the particular statute or level of crime. In such cases, it might be strategically sounder not to accept any such offer and allow the case to proceed to the Grand Jury and Indictment and Supreme Court where defense counsel can negotiate directly with a Supreme Court Justice (who is not bound by the prosecutor’s recommendation as to the sentence).

      Additionally, sometimes counsel can convince a prosecutor in a felony case that, even though the client wishes to fight the case, the case does not merit prosecution on the felony level and should be reduced to the misdemeanor level and referred to the Criminal Court for continued prosecution.

 

    • What is a Grand Jury?

      The stated purpose of the Grand Jury is to have a neutral body of jurors hear and review the evidence submitted to it to see if it is enough to warrant an Indictment and allow the Prosecutor to go to trial with felony charges.

      The Grand Jury proceedings are generally one-sided in favor of the prosecution. Their witnesses will normally testify without being confronted with cross-examination while defense witnesses are often subject to cross-examination with a confrontational tone and by a prosecutor bent on having the Grand Jurors disbelieve them. Despite this, in certain cases, it is sometimes a good strategy to have a client (or defense witnesses) testify in the Grand Jury.

      Here again, experienced counsel will weigh and balance many different factors in making any recommendation to the client who contemplates putting forth a defense to the charges in the Grand Jury, Many times, it is strategically better not to have the client testify in the Grand Jury and preserve the right to put forth a stronger defense at the ultimate trial. At such point ( the trial), counsel will have had a better opportunity (through investigation , discovery and pre-trial proceedings) to ascertain the strength and nuances in the prosecution’s case and be better prepared to address the allegations on a more even turf where prosecution witnesses are subject to cross-examination and the prosecutor has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

    • Do I have to speak to the police after an arrest?

      NO! And it is the recommendation of our office that you preserve your 5th amendment rights by STAYING SILENT. DO NOT TALK AT ALL.

      What many people do not understand is that you are NOT required to give any sort of statement to any law enforcement officer or assistant district attorney following your arrest. As explained in the Miranda warnings, you have the right to remain silent and you have the right to an attorney. You need to invoke these rights as soon as possible, as anything that you say can and WILL be used against you in criminal hearings and trial.

 

 

    • How do I find out information about my next court appearance?

      You can click on the following link: WebCrims Search for Court Appearance

      1. On the left hand side click “Defendant”
      2. Type in defendant’s name
      3. Once you select the correct defendant in the list, you will be able to view a summary of the incident and arrest, attorney information, sentence, and next court appearance. You will also be able to view all previous court appearances, if any, the charges, and any motions that were filed.

 

    • How do I contact the courthouse where my case is?

      The following is a list of Court information:

      Office of the Queens County Clerk

      Queens County Clerk’s Office – 88-11 Sutphin Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11435 (718) 298-1000

      Courthouses in Queens County:

      Queens County (Civil Court) 89-17 Sutphin Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11435 (718) 262-7100

      Queens County (Criminal Court) – 125-01 Queens Blvd. Kew Gardens, NY 11415 (212) 374-5880

      Office of the New York County Clerk

      New York County Clerk’s Office – 141 Worth Street New York, NY 10013

      Courthouses in New York County:

      New York County (Civil Court) 111 Centre Street NY, NY 10013 (646) 386-5600

      New York County (Criminal Cour) 100 Centre St., NY, NY 10013 (646) 386-4500

      New York County (Court of Claims) 26 Broadway, 10th Floor New York, NY 10004 (518) 432-3411

      Office of the Kings County Clerk

      Kings County Clerk’s Office 360 Adams Street Room 189 Brooklyn, NY 11201 (347) 404-9772

      Courthouses in Kings County:

      Kings County (Civil Court) 141 Livingston St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 (347) 404-9123

      Kings County (Criminal Court) 120 Schermerhorn St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 (646) 386-4500

      Office of the Bronx County Clerk

      Bronx County Clerk – 851 Grand Concourse Room 118 Bronx, NY 10451 (866) 797-7214

      Courthouses in Bronx County:

      Bronx County (Criminal Court) – 215 E.161st St., Bronx, NY 10451 (718) 618-310

      Bronx County (Civil Court) 851 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 1045 (718) 618-256

      Office of the Suffolk County Clerk

      Suffolk County Clerk’s Office – 310 Center Drive Riverhead, NY 11901- 3392 (631) 852-2000

      Courthouses in Suffolk County:

      Suffolk County (Civil Court) – 400 Carleton Ave Central Islip, NY 11722 (631) 853-7500

      Suffolk County (Criminal Court) – 210 Center Drive Riverhead, NY 11901 (631) 853-7500

      Office of the Nassau County Clerk

      Nassau County Clerk’s Office – 240 Old Country Road – Room 105 Mineola, New York 11501 (516) 571-2664

      Courthouses in Nassau County:

      Nassau County District Court 99 Main Street Hempstead, New York 11550 (516) 572-2355

      Nassau County (Criminal Court) 262 Old Country Road Mineola, New York 11501 (516) 571-2800

 

    • How do I bail someone out of jail?

      If granted bail, the Judge most likely will give a cash or bond alternative. Most of the time, families of a defendant cannot afford cash bail. Therefore, they often go to a bail bondsman to help them.

      A New York bail bond is essentially bail posted by a New York bail bond agent. The bond represents a promise by the bail bond agent to pay the amount of the bond if the defendant fails to return to court.

      A New York bail bond agent will charge a fee for posting a bail bond. The fees may vary from case to case and from bail bondsman to bail bondsman. A guiding rule is to expect the bail bond fee to be about 10 percent of the bail bond amount. For example, if Bail is $1,000.00 bond, you are responsible for $100.00, which is 10%.

      Also, the bail bond agent will almost always require some sort of security or collateral, such as a car or a house, for up to the full amount of the bail bond.

      Some bail bondsman in Queens County are below:

      Please note that our law firm does not prefer, nor suggests the use of any one particular Bail Bonds Service over the other.

      Empire Bail Bonds

      125-20 Queens Boulevard Kew Gardens, NY (718) 263-1000

      Ira Judelson Bail Bonds

      124-26 Queens Boulevard Jamaica, NY (718) 793-2333

      AAA Bail Bonds Inc.

      125-10 Queens Boulevard Kew Gardens, NY (718) 575-2663

      Vanguard Bail Bonds of NY

      125-10 Queens Boulevard Kew Gardens, NY (718) 793-3733

 

    • I am released on bail, what should I expect now?

      After you or a loved one is released on bail you should expect a next court appearance. YOU MUST ATTEND THIS COURT APPEARANCE or there will be a warrant issued for your arrest. The next court appearance can be for a number of reasons, such as: possible disposition, an offer, guilty plea, motion schedule, conference with Prosecutor and Judge, and investigation by the Prosecutor, etc.

      It is important to note that when you are released on bail, you must comply with all court orders, such as orders or protection.

      If you are on probation or parole, you must comply with all conditions or you will be re-arrested.

      Hiring an attorney is usually the first and best step to take once you are released on bail. An experienced attorney can explain what to expect, what to do, and how to proceed.

 

    • Why should I hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

      Being charged with a crime is one of the most life altering events someone can experience, no matter if they are guilty or innocent.

      Along with charges also comes social stigma. People who are charged or convicted with crimes are viewed in a certain way by society.

      More importantly, most people do not know what rights they have or fully understand them. It is essential to have these rights explained to you by a licensed and experienced attorney. You need to know what you are entitled to so you do not make mistakes and harm your defense.

      Preparing a defense starts at the arraignment. Everything you do after you are arrested has bearing on how your case will turn out. Hiring a lawyer as soon as you can is the smartest thing you can do. They will begin to prepare and mold your defense from the very second they take the case.

 

 

    • How does a lawyer charge / what will be my fees?

      Every law office is different in which fees they charge and how they charge them. Factors that lawyers consider are: severity of the charges, quality and quantity of the charges, evidence against you, prior conviction, and just the totality of the circumstances of your case. The lawyer will determine how much work needs to be done and what that work will entail and charge accordingly.

      As for how payment can be made, most lawyers take cash, check or money order. Credit cards are taken at some law offices, but will require an extra fee of around 3%.

      In criminal cases, lawyers charge was is called a “retainer”, which is a flat fee for what services will be needed. This does not mean that the initial retainer is the only fee you must pay. It is simply the initial fee and how your case progresses dictates how much money you will ultimately have to pay.

 

    • How is Mr. Cohen’s fee different from other attorneys?

      Mr. Cohen takes everyone’s individual financial situation into consideration. He only charges what he thinks is 100% fair to the client. He prides himself on this fairness and vows to work with each and every client to do what is just for both him and the client.

      Mr. Cohen charges a flat retainer for ALL legal services up until Hearings and Trial. He includes the Grand Jury in his fee unlike many other criminal defense attorneys.

      If your case goes to hearings and trial, a separate retainer is then prepared.

      Mr. Cohen accepts cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards (with the additional fee).

 

    • What can I expect at MY consultation with Mr. Cohen?

      At your consultation with Mr. Cohen, he will first explain to you in detail each and every element of what you are charged with. He will then ask you what really happened. He will listen to your side of the story while at the same time develop legal theories and defenses to help your case.

      After he has explained everything to you and heard what you have to say, Mr. Cohen will give you a road map. He will basically explain each and every step from then on to make sure you understand the criminal justice process.

      Lastly, he will answer each and EVERY question you have. His goal is for you to trust him and for you to leave his office with peace of mind.