Syracuse & Central New York Criminal Defense Attorneys

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If you are a first-time offender or, at least, hardly a hardened criminal, and you reside in Syracuse or other parts of Onondaga County in Central New York, the sympathetic criminal defense attorneys at Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC may be perfectly suited to your needs. First of all, we never prejudge a case. We always consider you “innocent until proven guilty.” Second, we know all too well how easy it is to make a one-time mistake and have the bad luck to get caught making it. Third, there is an advantage to using a local attorney who knows the ins and outs not only of federal and state law but of local laws and customs as well. Fourth, unlike most criminal defense attorneys, we make ourselves available with flexible hours and are reachable seven days a week. What could better prove our dedication to being responsive to our clients?

If you are frightened and uncertain about how the criminal justice system works, we will translate legalese into understandable language, clarify your options, and calm your fears. More than that, we will use both proven and innovative tactics to get you fully exonerated. Even if the evidence against you is strong, we are likely to be able to negotiate a plea bargain so that you can plead guilty to a lesser charge with a lesser penalty.

When you come to CDH Law, remember that we are committed to defending your rights. We will work tirelessly to clear your name and your record and preserve your freedom. When you are accused of, and arrested for, committing a crime, the smartest thing you can do is to promptly contact our office since the sooner we are involved in your case, the more helpful our intervention will be.

How Our Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you have been arrested, you may feel that you are trapped in a web of your own making, have been coerced or enticed into breaking the law, or are simply the victim of a horrifying mistake, such as being misidentified or falsely accused. Don’t worry! Whatever the case is, at CDH Law we have criminal defense attorneys who are well-schooled in both legal negotiations and defensive litigation. We are knowledgeable, adept, and fully capable of winning your case, whether we can get all charges dismissed at your arraignment or have to proceed to a courtroom trial. Our outstanding credentials should give you confidence in our strengths. Not only do we all have great Avvo and Google ratings, but two of our attorneys have received Super Lawyer awards.

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Criminal Defense Cases We Typically Handle

While our practice handles very serious cases, we also routinely handle cases involving lesser charges which may have serious, enduring consequences. These include the following:

Unlawful Marijuana Possession

Although possession of a small quantity of marijuana is designated a violation rather than a drug crime under New York State Penal Law section 221.05, it can still result in a fine of $100. If you have prior offenses, the fine will increase and you may have to serve as many as 15 days incarcerated.

In addition, If you are convicted of marijuana possession, you may become ineligible for federal financial aid to further your education and may be excluded from becoming a member of certain clubs or boards, or from obtaining certain professional licenses. Any of these eventualities may negatively impact your career plans and your standing in the community.

While there is much talk of marijuana legalization in New York, do not be fooled into thinking these charges are meaningless.  Police in Central New York will not hesitate to issue tickets and charge people with marijuana possession no matter how slight the amount.

Petit Larceny

Petit larceny is one type of theft, involving the stealing of under $1,000 worth of merchandise (for example, during shoplifting). This misdemeanor can result in a punishment of up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

If you think of petit larceny as “minor,” consider what would happen to your job, your family, your reputation, and all of your relationships if you had to go to jail for a year. Also, if you don’t have aggressive legal representation and receive a conviction for this offense, and then you are arrested again someday for the same offense, the punishments will likely be harsher because the courts and prosecutors will hold your record against you. Our theft attorneys can represent you today.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle

Driving a vehicle without a valid license or driving with a license that has been suspended or revoked may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the particular case. For a first offense, punishment ranges from a fee of $75 to $300 and may include 15 days in prison. As with most offenses, however, the punishment is increased if the arrest is for a repeat offense, or if this crime is combined with another offense such as DWI or reckless driving.

In the most extreme cases, if you are convicted of driving with a suspended license while intoxicated while having 10 or more suspensions, or while your license has been permanently revoked, you will be charged with a Class E felony and may be fined $5,000 and a possible jail sentence of 1 to 4 years.

Harassment in the Second Degree

Harassment in the second degree usually involves a physical fight that does not result in physical injury. Even when no one is harmed, it is against the law to hit, shove, kick, or punch another person with the intent to “harass, annoy, or alarm.” The charge also covers other types of irritating or frightening conduct, such as following a person in a public place in an attempt to intimidate or distress that person.

Why “Minor Offenses” Should Never Be Ignored

In the scheme of things, these offenses may seem minor but don’t make the mistake of thinking they won’t have serious effects on the course of your life. Being arrested alters your profile in more ways than you might expect. An arrest, even one that does not end in conviction, can appear on your permanent record, result in suspension or expulsion from college, or show up on a background check, interfering with potential employment. For all of these reasons, CDH Law makes seemingly minor offenses a priority. We work hard for you to keep your record clean and your reputation intact.

Contact Our Syracuse and Central NY Criminal Defense Law Firm

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Being arrested can be an upsetting, disorienting experience. Nothing will right the situation more quickly than having an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney at your side. If you are in Central New York and going through the disturbance of having your civil rights threatened by an arrest, contact us today. You will find our criminal defense attorneys to be well-prepared and reassuring. It will give you an immediate sense of security to receive advice from legal representatives who are as insightful as they are compassionate. Reach us by phone, email, or through one of the contact forms on our website.

Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC represents clients in Central New York, Syracuse, Monroe County, Jefferson County, Oswego County, Ontario County, and Onondaga County, including the towns and villages of Camillus, Cicero, Clay, Dewitt, Elbridge, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus, Onondaga, Salina, Skaneateles, Baldwinsville, East Syracuse, Fayetteville, Liverpool, North Syracuse, and Solvay.

Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.