Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, and Investigations

 

Criminal Defense

I previously served as a prosecuting trial attorney in both New York and New Jersey. I have been a criminal defense attorney for almost two decades handling a wide range of criminal cases. Most of my time is spent advocating before a judge or jury, so I know my way around the courtroom. Indeed, I have advocated in courtrooms from Albany to Philadelphia.

Under our system of justice, an individual charged with a crime is presumed innocent. I never ask a client if he or she is guilty unless, and until, they tell me that they are interested in a plea bargain. I may suggest, upon my review of the facts, that a plea bargain might be in a client's best interest. Other times a case might be resolved by what we call motion practice. That is, a motion is filed because the client has been subjected to an unlawful search and seizure. If the court rules that evidence was seized unconstitutionally, the evidence is suppressed and the case often goes without the evidence. Otherwise, the accused has the option of having his or her case decided by a judge or jury.

Sometimes a person will ask how I can stand, particularly as a former prosecutor, handling many of these cases. Usually, the person asking that question will squawk the loudest when they get a ticket for something like overtime parking. My answer is that since I was not a witness to the alleged crime, I never really know whether a person is guilty. But I can tell you that there is never anything as frightening as representing a person at trial that I reasonably believe is innocent. We know, particularly from DNA evidence that, many a person has been sent off to jail, or worse, when they were actually innocent.

I can say with a clear conscience that none of my clients that I believed to be innocent has been convicted of an offense for which they were charged. Indeed, I would not allow a client to plead guilty to an offense if they claimed they were innocent. Since I am in the courtroom regularly, I am confident that if a case cannot be resolved by plea bargain, I can effectively assist the client through trial.