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Schenectady Criminal Defense Attorneys

Schenectady Criminal Defense Attorneys

Defending Against Serious Criminal Charges

If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime, it is critical that you contact an attorney right away. From the moment the prosecution begins its investigation, your future is at risk. Often, the prosecution will seek the maximum allowable penalties; you need a powerful criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and safeguard your freedom.

For over 125 years, E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy has been representing clients throughout Eastern New York and the surrounding areas. Our Schenectady criminal defense attorneys understand what is at stake and will swiftly work to develop a powerful legal strategy based on the specific details of your case.

If you have been arrested, remember that you have the right to an attorney. Call E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy today at (518) 284-3183 for a free and confidential consultation.

Understanding Your Legal Rights

Being accused of a crime or being arrested on criminal charges is a frightening experience. However, it is extremely important that you remember and exercise your rights.

Below, we have provided a brief overview of your most basic rights when it comes to criminal accusations, charges, and arrests:

  • You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Anything you say to the police or to the prosecution can be used against you. As such, we strongly recommend that you exercise your right to remain silent during any encounter with law enforcement. Note that you may be required to identify yourself in some situations, but you do not need to answer any other questions, including questions about where you are going, your immigration status, or what you have been doing. Instead, you may simply state that you wish to remain silent.
  • You Have the Right to Be Free from Unreasonable Search and Seizure: Law enforcement cannot search your personal property or belongings without a signed warrant. You do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle, home, or other personal property if the police do not have a valid warrant. You may ask to see the warrant if the police say that they have one. If they cannot produce a valid warrant, state that you do not consent to the search or seizure of your property or belongings. Note that an arresting officer is legally permitted to conduct a search of your person (“pat down”) if they suspect you may have a weapon.
  • You Have the Right to Leave If You Are Not Under Arrest: The police may detain you if they have reason to believe you have just committed a crime, are committing a crime, or are about to commit a crime. If you are detained by the police, you should ask whether you are under arrest or if you are free to leave. If the police do not ticket or arrest you, they are required by New York State law to provide you with a business card containing identifying information (except in some emergencies).
  • You Have the Right to an Attorney: Everyone who is accused of, arrested for, or charged with a crime has the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to be appointed one by the court. You should remain silent until you have spoken to an attorney; you do not need to explain yourself or provide any excuses. You should never sign anything or make any statements without an attorney present.

Knowing your rights and exercising them when necessary is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

The most important thing you can do if you are stopped by the police is remain calm. Even if you believe your rights are being violated, attempting to argue with or stop the police from what they are doing could lead to your arrest and additional criminal charges. Always keep your hands where police officers can see them and never run or touch police officers. Do not resist arrest, even if you are innocent. Be compliant and remember that you can make your defense later with the help of an attorney.

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Have Questions?

We Have Answers!
  • If I hire an attorney but do not want to go to trial, can I settle?
    In the course of preparing a case for trial, your personal injury attorney will work with the defense attorneys and insurance companies in an effort to secure a fair settlement for you and your family. The final decision to accept an offer of settlement or go to trial is yours alone to make.
    Contact us now to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.
  • If arrested, what steps can I take on my behalf?

    1. Do not discuss your situation with anyone except your attorney.

    2. Unless your attorney says otherwise, do not discuss your case with law enforcement.

    3. Request to have your attorney present if you are to be put in a lineup or subjected to testing.

    4. Remain calm and courteous. Allow your attorney to speak for you to ensure that your rights are protected and you are given all the benefits afforded to you under the law.
    Contact us now to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.

  • What is the difference between criminal procedure and civil procedure?
    When a crime has been committed, action is taken by a government agency against the person, persons, organization or other entity that violated the law. The first purpose of a criminal prosecution is punishment, which frequently consists of a fine or jail time. In a civil matter, the dispute is between two or more individuals or entities. The first purpose of a civil prosecution is obtaining compensation for the wronged person or entity. Settlement in a civil matter is generally an award of a money judgment. A criminal sentence is not imposed in a civil matter.
    Contact us now to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.