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Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Defense

Answers from a Queens Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal cases are often confusing and stressful to the accused and to those who are unfamiliar with the laws in New York. As a former prosecutor and practicing criminal defense attorney in Queens, Attorney Kevin P. O'Donnell has extensive knowledge and experience with criminal law.

Our firm understands that after an arrest, you may have numerous questions about your charges and what you can expect moving forward. To help you right off the bat, we have provided answers to some of the questions that we are often asked. Some of the questions to which you can find answers include the following:

  1. Do I have to agree to a search by the police?
  2. If I am convicted, will it stay on my criminal record?
  3. What is double jeopardy?
  4. Should I talk to the police?
  5. What are "Miranda" rights?
  6. What is a grand jury?
  7. What is a "white collar crime"?

Criminal Defense – Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to agree to a search by the police?

There are certain circumstances where you need to submit to a police search in New York. If the police are looking to complete a full search of your home, there needs to be a search warrant. If there is not a warrant and you did not give your explicit consent, then the search is not allowed. There are exceptions to this; however, and with valid reason that a crime is being committed, a search may be conducted without a warrant or consent. If you have questions about a unique search and believe that you may have been the victim of an unlawful search, feel free to contact us. We can help you determine whether or not the search performed was legal.

If I am convicted, will it stay on my criminal record?

If you are convicted for a crime, it will appear on your criminal record. The convictions are generally on your record permanently, but as with every rule, there are exceptions. Under New York Law §160.50, you may be able to have your record sealed if:

  • The case was dismissed
  • The case was not filed
  • The case was not carried to completion

To learn more about whether or not your case has the potential to be sealed, contact us and we would be happy to discuss this matter with you. Keep in mind, most cases do remain on your criminal record permanently. This is why it is imperative to fight against conviction with full force. Immediately after an arrest, you need to seek help from a criminal lawyer in Queens.

What is double jeopardy?

Double jeopardy is something that exists in the United States to make sure that an individual is not prosecuted for the same crime more than once. This means that if you are found innocent in your case, the case cannot be brought against your again.

Should I talk to the police?

In the Unites States, you are not required to talk to the police. This means that you do not have to answer their questions without having your lawyer present to protect your rights. It is advised that you do not talk to the police to prevent an accidental confession or an instance where you can incriminate yourself by accident. To be safe, wait to speak to the police when you have an experienced attorney by your side. We can protect your freedom and avoid any mistakes in the case.

What are "Miranda" rights?

When you hear the term 'Miranda Rights,' these apply to any statement that you make to the police that may later be used in your case. The things you say to the police can be used against you in court and you need to be made aware of that. The police are required to inform you that you have a right to counsel and you have the right to remain silent. If they fail to do so, the things that you say may be suppressed in the case and may not be used against you.

What is a grand jury?

A grand jury is just a group of people that investigate the crime. They are the ones who will listen to testimonies, examine evidence and documents and then they return an indictment. An indictment is technically a charge or prosecution that usually becomes the formal charges in the case. The grand jury is called together by the prosecutor and they then consider the evidence in the viewpoint of the prosecution. You need to team up with a criminal defense lawyer if your case is being investigated by a grand jury. If the jury decides that there is enough evidence to press charges against you, the prosecutor may pursue a conviction and you need a strong defense.

What is a "white collar crime"?

The term white collar crime is used to describe a certain type of crime. The crimes that fall under this title are generally committed by individuals high up in professions and careers. A certain type of conduct involved in a crime is what makes it fall under this category of crime. These crimes generally lack the involvement of violence, but contain elements of deceit or fraudulent activity. The end goal in these crimes is some sort of financial gain or business advantage.

Have further questions?

If you have further questions regarding criminal law or your case, contact us right away. Our defefnse attorney can set up a free case evaluation and discuss the charges you are facing.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


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Law Office of Kevin P. O’Donnell
Queens Criminal Defense Attorney

125-10 Queens Boulevard, Suite 15
Queens, NY 11415. (888) 715-1735| Local Phone: (718) 285-9355.
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