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Last Updated on: 6th December 2023, 10:58 pm
Oh No – I’ve Been Charged with Assault on Long Island! What Should I Do Now?
Getting arrested and charged with a crime like assault can be an incredibly stressful and scary experience. As someone who was just accused of assault in Long Island, you’re probably feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. Don’t worry – this article will walk you through the key steps to take if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
Get a Lawyer ASAP
The very first thing you need to do is get yourself an experienced criminal defense attorney, stat! Seriously, call one right now – don’t wait. Having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side from the very start can make all the difference in how your case unfolds. A good Long Island assault lawyer will advise you on the law, guide you through the process, and fight aggressively to get you the best possible outcome.
When looking for a lawyer, read reviews and ask people for recommendations. Make sure to find someone with significant experience specifically handling assault charges in your area. Once retained, be totally upfront and honest with your attorney so they can best defend you. Legal counsel is an invaluable resource, so use them as much as you can and follow their advice to a tee.
Don’t Discuss Your Case with Anyone
Other than your lawyer, do not talk about your criminal case with anyone – not even close friends or family. Anything you say about what happened can potentially be used against you, so play it safe by keeping quiet. Be especially careful about what you post on social media, as that creates a public record prosecutors can access.
If witnesses, police, or others ask you about the incident, politely refer them to your attorney. Let your lawyer handle all case communications. Loose lips sink ships, so keep personal details confidential for now. We’ll revisit what to disclose later on if it becomes strategically helpful.
Review the Evidence and Formulate a Defense
Now it’s time to sit down with your assault lawyer in Long Island and objectively look at the evidence against you. Carefully examine any police reports, videos, photographs, medical records, witness statements, and other documentation. This evidence will reveal the prosecution’s side of the story and point to potential holes or inconsistencies.
Based on the specifics of your situation, you and your attorney can then develop the best defense strategy. Were you acting in self defense? Can eyewitness accounts be discredited? Is the extent of injury being exaggerated? Was important context left out? Look critically at the facts to construct arguments undermining the charges.
An effective legal defense may also involve seeking character witnesses who can speak to your integrity, introducing evidence of mitigating circumstances, or even taking a case to trial if appropriate. Your lawyer will advise the smartest path forward.
Consider Plea Bargain Options
Upwards of 90% of criminal cases end in plea bargains rather than trials, so this is likely something your assault lawyer will discuss. Often prosecutors will offer reduced charges or lighter sentencing recommendations in exchange for a guilty plea. This avoids the time and expense of a trial.
The decision of whether or not to accept a plea bargain is an extremely complex one with major implications that must be evaluated carefully with counsel. Factors like potential penalties, long-term consequences, chances of success at trial, and more weigh on this call. Get your lawyer’s take on all options.
Stick to Your Conditions of Release
While your assault case winds its way through the legal system, you’ll be out free on bail under certain court-imposed restrictions known as conditions of release. Typical requirements involve check-ins with pretrial services, drug testing, surrendering passports, avoiding victim contact, refraining from crime, and not leaving the state.
Strictly following all your conditions of release is critically important, as any violation could land you back behind bars. This shows the court you are taking the matter seriously. Make sure you are crystal clear on every expectation of you. Some even prohibit things as mundane as drinking alcohol or visiting bars. Better safe than sorry – stick to the straight and narrow.
Be Patient and Take Things Step by Step
Lastly, remember that the legal process often moves frustratingly slowly. The path from arrest to a final disposition of your case could take many months. Try your best to be patient and tackle one hurdle at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by the big picture.
Lean on your support networks, take care of yourself physically and mentally, and follow your lawyer’s advice every small step of the way. Stay positive and don’t lose hope! With an experienced assault attorney fighting for you, there is a strong chance of getting charges reduced or even fully dismissed.
You’ve got this! Just take a deep breath and control what you can control. We’ll get through the assault accusations together, I promise. Call me anytime if you have any other questions or just need to talk. Everything’s going to be okay