Should I represent myself in a criminal case?

Although it is your constitutional right to represent yourself there are inherent benefits in hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. Dealing with law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts in complicated and often daunting task. In addition, criminal law is very techinical. Most general practice attorneys would attempt to represent a criminal client for these reasons.

Should you represent yourself in a criminal case?

Are lawyer results guaranteed?

No. GUARENTEEING RESULTS VIOLATES THE RULES OF professional misconduct. THE RULES strictly bar a lawyer from making a misleading communication and any guarantee of a particular outcome is clearly a misleading communication.
ALTHOUGH WE WILL GIVE YOU OUR BEST PROFESSIONAL OPINION, WE WILL NEVER GUARENTEE ANYTHING. YOU SHOULD BE SKEPTICAL ABOUT ANY ATTORNEY WHO PROVIDES YOU A GUARENTEE.

Are lawyer results guaranteed?

When should i call Criminal Defense Attorney Joel Silberman?

The sooner the better. As soon as you know that a criminal charge has been made or is likely to be made you should retain the services of an experienced criminal defence lawyer. This will help ensure that our offices investigators can begin the process of interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence and coordinating with the authorities. In some instances, this early work can help prevent charges from being lodged at all.

when-should-you-call-criminal-defense-attorney-joel-silberman

Sometimes the Best Defense is a great Offense!

If I am innocent, why do I need a lawyer?

Unfortunately, yes. The standard for law enforcement to charge someone is probable cause. Probable cause is a much lower standard than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard that is required to convict someone. As a result of these varying standards it quite possible to be charged with an offense despite the fact you are might be innocent. It is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defence attorney to navigate this high stake process.

Sometimes the Best Defense is a great Offense!

The Right to Evidence Disclosure in Criminal Discovery

a prisoner

When a person is accused of criminal charges, the justice system has procedures and protocols in place that govern the way in which the accused is determined to be guilty or not guilty. In addition, there is a rule that makes the person who has been formally accused of a crime entitled to disclosure of the evidence and information. This evidence or information is known as discovery and the defendant has the right to receive it before trial.

Types of Discovery

Discovery material may include police personnel records, medical records relating to injuries, any criminal records of witnesses, recordings of police interviews of victims, defendants or witnesses, and photographs of the alleged crime scene. A police report is typically the first item of discovery that a criminal defense attorney receives. It will contain the names of any victims and witnesses as well as their statements. It will also have observations from the police officers and other important information regarding the incident.

In addition, under the Constitution, the prosecution must disclose exculpatory evidence within its possession or control to the defense. Exculpatory evidence is evidence that tends to contradict the defendant’s guilt or supports a lesser punishment.

Defense attorneys submit a request asking for the aforementioned evidence. If the evidence is not handed over to the defense attorneys intentionally or unintentionally, it is a violation of the law.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will understand the complexities that come with a criminal case. If you or your loved one has been accused of a crime, hiring a criminal defense attorney will help you and your case.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime, speak to our experienced criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling criminal cases. Our criminal defense lawyers will diligently work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Five Tips for Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged or arrested for DUI, your top priority should be finding an experienced attorney who will fight for you and your loved ones. However, choosing a DUI lawyer can be difficult with so many lawyers to choose from. Your choice can either make or break your case.

Here are five tips to help you navigate the myriad choices and help you choose the best DUI attorney for you:

Experience: Find an attorney who has experience in handling DUI cases and has worked in the jurisdiction where you were arrested. This will work to your benefit because he or she will fully understand DUI defensive tactics. In addition, they will understand the system better and may be acquainted with the judge and district attorney on your case.

Credentials and Accreditations: Choose an attorney who is qualified and has sufficient knowledge in the field. Ask for the lawyer’s credentials and accreditations. This information will demonstrate the caliber of the lawyer.

References: Select a lawyer who offers references. A top-notch attorney should have acquired several clients that are willing to tell you how their case went and how effectively the attorney participated in their case.

Avoiding Attorneys Who Have Been Disciplined: If the potential lawyer has been disciplined by the bar, move on to another choice. A disreputable attorney is the last thing you want.

Cost: Determine the attorney’s fee. While it is not advisable to choose a lawyer based on price alone, you will need to make sure you can cover all the expenses. Ask about it up front, along with any available payment plans.

If You Need an Experienced DUI Lawyer, Contact Us.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

What to Know Regarding DUI Sentence Enhancements?

The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are severe. However, there are added circumstances that can make the penalties even greater with a DUI sentence enhancement. A drunk driving sentence enhancement can include higher fines, longer license suspension and, in a growing number of states, mandatory jail time.

DUI Enhancement Factors

Although DUI laws vary from state to state, here are some of the factors that can trigger DUI sentence enhancements:

Prior DUI Conviction – Most U.S. states have increased penalties for any driver with repeated drunk driving offenses. Some states enhance the sentence for a DUI for a conviction within the past 5 years; other states enhance the sentence for a conviction within the past 10 years. Many states will enhance the sentence for any previous conviction irrespective of how long ago it was.

High Level Blood Alcohol Concentration – `Most states are beginning to adopt laws that increase penalties for drivers who have high blood alcohol levels at the time of their arrests. Some states place that level at 0.15 while others have greater enhancements for a BAC above .20.

Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test – If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you may be subject to more penalties. In some states, refusal means immediate revocation of your license whereas in other states, it can lead to jail time.

Child Endangerment – If you were arrested driving under the influence with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Accident Without the Appropriate Auto Insurance – If you cause an accident while driving under the influence and do not have the required auto insurance, your penalties will be greater.

Bodily Injury – If your accident is due to DUI and you cause injury to someone else, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Other Factors – Other circumstances that can make you subject to sentence enhancement for a DUI conviction include:

  • No valid driver’s license
  • On probation for another crime
  • Having an open container of alcohol
  • Having multiple previous convictions
  • Having an ignition interlock device on the vehicle

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Overview of a DUI Case and What Happens When It Goes to Trial

Facing a DUI charge can be an overwhelming experience. You may have many concerns such as whether or not you will be able to retain your driver’s license, how long it will take for your case to go to trial and what potential legal penalties you may face. Therefore, if you have been charged with a DUI, it is in your best interest to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for your rights.

Every DUI case is unique and has a distinct set of circumstances. However, the legal process is largely the same. Courts generally govern the entire process from the initial charge to the time when your DUI case goes to trial.

Below is an overview of the different stages of a DUI case and under what circumstances the case may go to trial:

Summons and Complaint: This is a document that states the charges against you. It will also include the date you are required to appear in court. Your lawyer may decide to move this date forward in order to give you additional time.

Arraignment: This is a formal procedure where the presiding judge will advise you of your rights, obligations and possible penalties associated with the DUI charge against you. During this period, you will enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial Discovery: During this stage, your attorney will review all documents produced by the State regarding your case and determine if your legal rights have been violated. The prosecutor is the representative of the State in a DUI case. Under the law, the State must give your lawyer all relevant material and evidence that it has gathered against you, including:

  • Narratives
  • Police reports
  • Video recordings of the sobriety tests and/or arrest
  • Witness statements
  • Audio recordings
  • Photographs
  • Scientific documents pertaining to the DUI breathalyzer machine
  • Any other evidence produced by the State in your case

Status Conferences: This is where the prosecutor and your DUI lawyer meet and talk about discovery or other issues related to your case. In addition, they may also talk with the judge about your case.

Pre-Trial Motions: This motion is made by your attorney in order to seek specific relief in your case. For instance, your attorney may file one or more motions that involve issues regarding suppression of evidence, production of discovery, and dismissing or prohibiting testimony. These motions are usually made orally before the court.

The Trial: This is the stage when you case goes to trial. This happens if your case was not resolved or dismissed before the trial or the district attorneys were unable to offer a reasonable plea resolution. Your trial will be held in the Municipal Court district where your DUI ticket was issued. Typically, your case will go before a single municipal court judge. The prosecutor will present evidence and possibly call witnesses for the State. Your attorney will provide evidence and introduce witness testimony in your defense. The presiding Judge will listen to both parties and make a determination as to your guilt or innocence.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you hire a highly skilled and experienced DUI attorney. At the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, our DUI defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle any DUI matter. We build the best possible defense on your behalf in order to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Back to top

Submit your Feedback

      Sending...
x