Do Most Criminal Cases Go To Trial Or Do They Settle?

The vast majority of cases resolve with a plea bargain prior to trial. It is rare that criminal case goes to trial. Typically, less than ten percent, maybe five percent of cases actually go to trial. However, our Westchester criminal defense lawyers do have extensive trial experience and have an excellent track record at trial.

How Do You Advise Clients That Want To Plead Guilty And Move On?

Our White Plains criminal defense attorneys know that there are times when pleading guilty makes sense, especially when a favorable plea deal is being offered. Our NYC criminal defense lawyers are not recommending just pleading guilty, but a negotiated pleas can often result in a reduction of charges and a guarantee of no jail. So often a negotiated plea deal makes sense. This decision is still an important decision that you are making. You need to consider the immediate consequences in terms of what the court is going to render, but also collateral consequences, such as consequences that can come into play, like potentially immigration, schooling, or employment. Those are some of the more serious collateral consequences. People need to consider these options prior to pleading guilty. Therefore, while there are times where it makes sense to have a quick resolution to the case, you still should take the time, and see what the best offer is.

Typically, there are going to be some mitigating factors that our White Plains criminal defense attorneys will present to the other side, or to the judge to try to articulate why a lower sentence or lower offer is appropriate. If you go in unrepresented, and say I want to plead guilty, you are not going to get the best and most favorable disposition if you had taken the time to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney and determine all the factors.

How Do Prior Convictions And Criminal History Affect A Criminal Case?

Prior convictions do come into play with criminal cases, especially when the prosecution is determining whether to charge somebody with a felony, or a misdemeanor as well as to determine what type of offer to make to someone. Generally, it is the job of your defense attorney to make the other side, or the prosecutions evaluates the case before them on its own merits, and try to not hold the person accountable for prior decisions that have happened in their life, and more or less evaluate the case on its basics.

It can come into play when the prosecution or the judge is determining what the appropriate sentence is, and if they are determining how to proceed with the case. Those are typically when those factors come into play.

Are Alternative Punishments Or Diversion Programs Available In New York?

Yes, alternative, and diversion programs are available in New York. Typically, if you are talking about a nonviolent offense, jail is something that you have a chance of avoiding. If it is an offense where there has been maybe an allegation of stealing, you can do what is called restitution, which is where you return the items of value taken or the monies taken. That is factored into the sentence. If you plead guilty on a misdemeanor, you can do community service, or maybe some social services. If there is some sort of treatment that would be beneficial to a person, that would be another option.

If it is a drug case, there are treatment programs that are offered in lieu of jail time. Judicial diversion is a great program, which if you complete it, you can have even felony level charges, such as selling drugs dismissed. For prostitution related crimes, participation in certain educational programs can often lead to a dismissal or reduction in charges. 

Obviously, for more serious crimes, even felony level crimes, probation is something that is an option. Probation is probably the most serious consequence outside of jail. Even in lieu of probation, there are a number of other options. There can be community service, or restitution, and drug treatment programs. Alternatively, you can go into therapy, or a program outside of court that addresses any underlying issues that led to the alleged criminal defense. Therefore, there are a number of various options that people can do in lieu of jail.

What Should Someone Look For When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney? What Are Some Red Flags?

I think you want a criminal defense attorney who has experience in the area, and you want somebody who is familiar with the procedures  of the local Courts and the potential range of offers. Generally, a good criminal defense attorney needs to be aware of how a case proceeds, and what the necessary steps are in a case, and how they can best position their clients to receive the most beneficial outcome. You want somebody who, at the end of the day, if the case needs to be tried, is ready, willing, and able to do so. Therefore, for criminal charges in Westchester County, you definitely want an experienced White Plains criminal defense lawyer and for cases in New York City, particularly Manhattan, you want an experienced Manhattan criminal defense lawyer.

You are going to want an experienced White Plains or NYC criminal defense lawyer who has familiarity with the court system; how the different court systems operate, and the best way to navigate the intricacies of the criminal justice system, which can be a little daunting for the layperson. In terms of red flags, I would say that the opposite, be aware of anyone who is relatively inexperienced, and is not so familiar with talking to judges, or prosecutors, and is not familiar with the way that the court proceeds, and the different offers. Was it a good offer? Was it a bad offer? Was it too high? Was it an inappropriate offer? Somebody who is green. Those are the red flags.

What Sets You Apart In Handling Criminal Cases?

Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers and Manhattan criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience and have a good reputation for being able to sit down with our clients, and figure out what our client’s goals are, and figure out how we can adjust our representation, and mold our representation to achieve those goals. It is important to have a sense of where you want to end up on a case from the start, so you can gather the evidence to refute the prosecution’s case. We want to sit down with our clients, and figure out what type of issues are important to them.

Obviously, they are going to be apprehensive when they come into our office at first. Our White Plains criminal defense lawyers always want our clients to feel comfortable, and our criminal defense attorneys try to get a sense of who our clients are as people, and what they want to see happen, and then be able to communicate to them what we can do for them, and achieve their goals. I would say that is really, what sets us apart.

Read on to find out about Criminal Cases Going To Trial. Call the law offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation. You can reach our White Plains criminal defense attorneys at (914) 574-8330  or our Manhattan criminal defense attorneys at 212-858-0503 and get the information and legal answers you are seeking.


FOR WESTCHESTER CALL : 914-574-8330 

FOR NYC CALL : 212-858-0503




Tel: 914-574-8330


18 West 33rd Street
Suite 400
New York, N.Y. 10001

Tel: 212-8580503



Driving While Intoxicated

We Can Minimize The Damage To Your Life

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A Youthful Indiscretion or Impulse Action Doesn't Have To Result In A Criminal Record

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Not Every Fight Is An Assault 

Rape and Sex Crimes 

No Judgment, Just Solid Representation

Patronizing A Prostitute

Our Attorneys Are Here To Get You Out of This Situation- Not Judge you 

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 Our White Plains criminal defense attorneys and NYC criminal defense lawyers believe that the Second Amendment applies. 


As parents ourselves, our White Plains & NYC criminal defense lawyers are committed to keeping your child out of jail and avoiding any criminal record. 


Its the World's Oldest Profession For A Reason 


 If You Are Undocumented And Did What You Had To Do- Our White Plains Criminal Defense Lawyers & NYC Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Do Everything Possible To Avoid Negative Immigration Consequences
The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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