Criminal Defense FAQ

An arrest is never an easy experience to go through. Having your freedom, finances, job and reputation on the line is scary for anyone. How you handle the immediate aftermath, however, could make the difference in how your case is resolved.

At Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys at Law, in Hackensack, New Jersey, we handle cases from serious violent felonies to traffic violations. We will fight to protect your rights and work hard to resolve your case in the best way possible, taking time to answer all of your questions, such as:

What Do I Do When Police Try To Question Me?

Protect yourself and ask for an attorney. The police may tell you that they are giving you a chance to tell your side of the story, but you may end up talking yourself into an arrest or making the case against you much stronger. An attorney can help determine when it is important to talk and when it is better to remain silent. Asking for an attorney or not talking about the case at all is not being uncooperative. Be polite. Be calm, but remember you have the right to remain silent and to consult with an attorney, and that is the smart thing to do.

What Should I Do If I Think I'm Going To Be Charged With A Crime Or Arrested?

The first thing you should do is call a criminal attorney. Make sure the attorney has a lot of experience handling criminal cases from beginning to end. You may have a friend who is an attorney who offers to help you, but you really want someone who specializes in criminal law because the choices you make in the beginning of the case can have an impact on how well the resolution will be in the end.

If you are arrested and you haven't consulted with an attorney in advance, be cooperative with the police when they arrest you and don't fight back, but make sure to ask to speak to your lawyer before making a decision about answering any questions. Don't resist the arrest or think you can talk yourself out of it. You won't be helping yourself and may make things worse.

When Should I Contact An Attorney?

If you know you are under investigation, do not wait to speak to an attorney. If you think the police may be investigating you or are about to charge you with a crime, an experienced criminal attorney can call the police or local detectives and get information for you. The lawyer will be able to start investigating the case immediately and may secure important evidence that will be helpful to your defense.

What Should I Do If There Is An Arrest Warrant For Me?

If there is an outstanding charge for you or you are about to be charged with a crime, it is common for a lawyer to arrange to have a client turn himself in to the police in order to save the client the embarrassment from being arrested in public. You don't want to show up for work and be handcuffed. You don't want to come home for dinner and be arrested in front of your kids. It's a good idea to speak to an attorney about a voluntary surrender if there really are charges that have been filed or are going to be filed against you.

Do I Have To Allow Police Into My Home?

When police are conducting an investigation, they may want to come into your home to look through your things. You do not have to allow them in unless they have a valid search warrant. Even if they try to be friendly, ask them to wait while you call your lawyer.

Should I Accept A Plea Deal?

It depends on the facts of your case and the strength of the state's proofs. It is very important to discuss the prosecutor's evidence and their lack of evidence with your attorney before making a decision about whether to plead guilty or go to trial. An experienced criminal lawyer knows a good deal and can fight to get the best outcome possible.

Most criminal cases do not go to trial, but make sure you completely understand all the facts of your case before working it out. Make sure that you are getting a fair resolution. You should only accept a plea deal after speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can negotiate on your behalf, secure evidence and locate witnesses. Our law firm will be ready for trial if prosecutors are not being reasonable.

Can I Talk To Friends And Family About My Case?

If you have not been arrested but learn you are under investigation, police may try to interview close friends, family members and co-workers. If you speak to any of these people, you may be unknowingly helping the prosecution. The only person you should talk to about your case is your attorney, with whom you have a bond of confidentiality.

Can I Expunge My Record?

For certain crimes and offenses, you may be able to have your arrest and conviction expunged. This could allow you to get your life back. Our lawyers can help you determine if you are eligible and guide you through the steps.

Contact Us For a Free Consultation

If you are wondering what to do if you have been arrested, the most important thing is not to panic. Then, ask to call a lawyer and reach out to us to discuss your case. Contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation