Rochester Criminal Defense Attorney
Legal Representation for Criminal Charges in Western New York
Need to speak with a criminal defense law firm regarding your arrest in Western New York? It is important that you act quickly to protect your rights and defend your freedoms. At King Law, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. With the representation of our experienced NY criminal defense lawyers, you may be able to obtain a favorable outcome for your case.
Our law office is proud to have established numerous positive case results for clients over the years and may be able to help you as well. Open communication, trusted legal counsel and informative defense by the firm have led to success at many courtroom trials. Firm founder Robert King has been recognized in the Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists for 5 consecutive years, a prestigious honor reserved for only 2.5% of attorneys in the state. The firm brings a high level of experience, tenacity, and proven results to each case.
Charged With A Serious Crime?
At King Law, we represent people that are charged with crimes or are suspects in criminal cases. Some people who think they may have committed a crime will meet with a defense lawyer to determine whether or not they did commit a crime, and may choose to hire a criminal lawyer in the event that law enforcement becomes involved.
The job of the criminal lawyer is to protect their client as well as they can. A good criminal defense attorney will go to great lengths to make sure a suspect or defendant is treated fairly, regardless of guilt or innocence. A criminal defense lawyer should be just that. You do not want a general practitioner, the biggest law firm you can find, or a family friend. Criminal defense has its own set of players, judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agents. You cannot afford to have someone learning on the job while your life is being affected.
The prosecution is going to come after you with a whole list of reasons as to why you should be convicted, and they might even try to scare you into accepting a plea bargain. With King Law on your side, you do not need to be afraid of their intimidation tactics. From infractions to felonies, our criminal defense attorneys do not waver when it comes to shielding our clients and doing everything we can to give them the strong legal defense they deserve.
When Do You Need a Criminal Lawyer?
The short answer is – if you think you might need a lawyer, it’s probably a good idea to at least call one and discuss your situation. King Law offers free initial consultations. Free consultations are typically 30 to 45 minutes and intended to determine whether there is a good fit between lawyer and client and determine what the next steps would be.
There are several instances when an experienced criminal defense lawyer is certainly required. Most common, if there is a misdemeanor or felony arrest. Misdemeanors and Felonies are serious crimes that by their very definition can lead to jail time. Even if jail is unlikely, criminal convictions have permanent consequences. It is important to try to avoid a criminal conviction if at all possible. Sometimes a person is arrested and given an appearance ticket. An appearance ticket is the law as an arrest from a legal perspective, the only difference is you see the judge at a future date, instead of being held in jail until a judge is available. If you receive an appearance ticket you still need a criminal defense lawyer.
You should also seek a criminal defense lawyer when you are aware of an open criminal investigation. Most often a person becomes aware of an investigation when a police officer, detective or investigator comes to their home. They will often give some version of “it’s not a big deal, I just need to get your side of the story.” We generally don’t recommend speaking to the police. They will oftentimes use the consistencies in your story to confirm the allegations against you, but ignore the portions of what you say that don’t help them. If you are going to speak to law enforcement it should be after careful preparation with one of our lawyers.
You may wish to consult with a lawyer if you believe you could become a suspect in the future. There can be an advantage for a lawyer if they can get ahead of an investigation. We are most likely to be consulted for cases without an active investigation involving drug conspiracy or sexual assaults.
Remember that the police can charge someone who they believe assisted or aided the principal defendant in a case. If you gave a loved one money or let them use your car and they committed a crime, then you could be facing criminal charges. The same is true if you let them hide out in your home to escape police. This is another reason to avoid delay when speaking to legal counsel.
How a Criminal Conviction Can Affect You
There is often an assumption that a criminal conviction is no big deal if you can avoid jail. And many judges will not order jail for misdemeanor offenses, especially if this is your first one. Many college kids picked up for criminal mischief or hazing figure that they can just accept the prosecutor’s plea deal and be done with it.
This attitude is a mistake. Jail is not the only penalty that a person will face. Any criminal conviction, even for a misdemeanor, will stay on a person’s record for the rest of their life. This means that it will come up years (even decades) down the road whenever a person applies for a job, tries to rent an apartment, applies for a loan, or submits an application for college. It is not unusual for employers to throw an application in the trash if they see that the applicant has a criminal conviction, regardless of how old it is.
To protect yourself, you need to mount an aggressive criminal defense. Now is not the time to hope that the prosecutor will take it easy on you because you are an upstanding member of the community. Instead, you need to do everything possible to avoid a criminal conviction.
Those with a felony conviction face the harshest consequences of all. In New York, felons lose several important rights, such as the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, and possess or own a firearm. Getting these rights back is a long, complicated process and best avoided in the first place, if at all possible.
What to Look for in Good Criminal Defense Attorneys
A criminal defense lawyer must have unique experiences to excel. Winning is very difficult – the police are not supposed to represent innocent people. In many places the police even have discretion about whether or not to arrest people that are guilty if they do not believe justice would be served by the arrest. The deck is usually stacked against a criminal defense lawyer at the outset. Many criminal lawyers never dig deeper than the initial information and move for a quick plea. This is usually a mistake.
A good defense lawyer must be able to win many different ways. The skills build on each other but are separate in my opinion. These specific areas a lawyer must be able to excel in to be the best are Investigation, Technical Legal Defenses, Negotiation and Trial.
Strong criminal defense begins with investigations. We do our own investigations and don’t rely on what the police give us. There is usually some favorable evidence out there. If there isn’t that is important to know also. We have had tremendous success with private investigators, subpoenas for phone records, subpoenas for video surveillance, Thruway driving records, and all forms of social media records. The evidence we uncover often proves that an incident did not happen the way it says in the reports.
Technical Legal Defenses
Technical legal defenses are typically brought by written motion to a judge. They include things like motions to dismiss for defective paperwork and motions to suppress evidence for illegal search and seizure. When successful, these motions result in evidence getting tossed out of court, which makes it that much harder for the prosecutor to secure a conviction. Imagine a drug case where the police cannot introduce the bag of cocaine. Or a weapons charge where the judge bars the introduction of the weapon. Suppressing evidence makes it that much harder for the police to show that our client is guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Technical legal defenses are the kind of thing you learn in law school and are really the bare minimum for competent criminal defense lawyers. Nevertheless, far too many attorneys overlook them. For example, they might avoid challenging a lineup as unduly suggestive before trial but argue bias to the jury. The tainted eyewitness identification comes in and, even worse, the defendant might not even be able to appeal the issue. That type of representation can harm a client.
Sometimes an experienced criminal defense lawyer can raise a technical legal defense in a more informal conversation with a judge or prosecutor and use it for leverage to force a favorable settlement. At a minimum, raising technical defenses the right way at the right time preserves them for appeal should the defendant lose at trial.
For many people the most important role of their criminal defense lawyer is negotiating a resolution to their case. It is important for a criminal lawyer to discuss the proof against the defendant, the potential defenses and likelihood of success. There is never a guarantee in trial, which leads to both sides wanting to settle most criminal cases. The skilled negotiator uses what they have learned to create doubt in the mind of the prosecutor, thereby forcing the best possible plea offer. A skilled defense lawyer may also use a tactic we refer to as a moral defense (not really a defense at all) which suggests to the prosecutor the defendant has learned from the situation and won’t do it again. A strong moral defense is supported by documentation. Things like drug treatment records, letters of support and proof of community service often help our application. A good negotiator has the skills to backup their negotiations – their reputation as a lawyer must force the prosecutor to take their positions seriously.
Trial is where a criminal lawyer wins or loses. At trial it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. Many criminal defense lawyers find it is the best strategy to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. We have done that. In our opinion the best defenses try to present their own evidence that actually tend to prove the defendant innocent. This trial strategy requires significant investigation, but has been very successful. Our lawyers have tried 75 Jury trials.
Jury selection is also a crucial aspect of any trial. Many jurors simply assume that the defendant is guilty and will go along with the prosecutor’s presentation of evidence. However, there are some potential jurors who will listen to the evidence fairly and use critical thinking skills to analyze whether the evidence tends to show guilt or innocence. We strive to find as many of these jurors as possible and get them on the panel that will hear a case.
Objecting to unfair evidence is another key part of any trial. Prosecutors often try to inflame jurors against the defendant and can use unfairly prejudicial evidence. For example, a prosecutor might try to show that the defendant hangs out with other criminals or has a history of criminal behavior. There is no place for this type of “guilt by association” evidence, but you need an attorney who objects to it appropriately, otherwise it could come in and sway a jury.
We believe that a solid criminal lawyer investigates a case fully. Our former experience as prosecutors taught us how to investigate and build a case. Now we build cases for criminal defendants. We then apply the facts to the law and create technical legal defenses. We have tried many cases and our adversaries know it. Because of our investigations, legal defenses and trial history, we negotiate from the strongest position possible.
Criminal Defense FAQs
No One Read Me My Miranda Rights; Does This Matter?
With every case, there are certain factors that may determine the overall outcome of your case. If you were not read your rights, there are a few things that the firm will look at: Did you make an incriminating statement? Were you interrogated while in police custody? If so, the statement may be kept out of court. In some situations, not being read your rights can act in your favor, but it is important that you speak with an attorney first.
The Police Didn’t Have a Search Warrant; Can They Still Use Evidence They Find?
Maybe not. The law regarding unreasonable searches and seizures is complex. Generally, police need a search warrant before they can search your home or person, but there are many exceptions. And a person can always consent to having their property searched. If you own a home with your spouse, for example, he or she can give permission, perhaps unwittingly. We closely analyze the facts of any search and bring appropriate motions to get evidence suppressed if we believe the police violated your Constitutional rights.
How Long Will The Criminal Process Take?
Each case is unique to the individuals involved, and an attorney can help you determine how long your particular situation may take. Scheduling is left up to the judge, and the court system can be slow. The average life of a case can be anywhere from six to nine months, with some exceptions. Working with a lawyer can help ensure that you have all proper paperwork completed on time and ensure that process is as streamlined as possible.
Why Should I Retain King Law for My Criminal Case?
At King Law, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands with our Rochester, NY criminal defense attorney. Several years ago we started having a “second chair” or second lawyer on our most serious cases. We had some great results working together. The simple fact is there are hundreds of decisions made by a criminal defense lawyer during a criminal case. Nobody gets every decision correct. We found that the second lawyer improved decision making. There was also the benefit of discussing strategic decisions with another lawyer. About a year ago we decided to put two lawyers on every single case. Our results have been outstanding. Two educated lawyers has meant better results, but also better service for our clients. There is always a second person to take a phone call or discuss strategy.
Don’t Take Our Word For It
Hear Directly From Our Past Clients
“If you want the best then Robert King is your man.”
“Mr. King changed the trajectory of our lives for the better vs. what could have been a terrible outcome.”
“He got an unbelievably great verdict in an impossible situation!”
No case is too complex for Attorney King. Some of our results include:
Assault in the First Degree – Dismissed
Aggravated DWI with .37 BAC – Reduced to a fine
Rape in the First Degree – Dismissed
Harassment & Child Endangerment – Dismissed
Possession of Heroin & Cocaine – Dismissed
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer at King Law to Protect Your Rights
Are you considering speaking with a criminal defense attorney regarding your case? Now is the time to contact King Law and retain the representation of an aggressive and highly experienced lawyer. The firm can investigate every element of your case to ensure that your rights were never infringed upon during the arrest or investigation.