Criminal Defense FAQ

How do I post bail?

Bail will be accepted in any of the following forms:

  • U.S. cash for the full amount;
  • Cashier’s/Tellers’s check, in any amount not exceeding the bail figure;
  • Bank money order, up to $1,000;
  • Federal Express money order, up to $1,000;
  • U.S. Postal money order, up to $1,000;
  • Travelers Express Company money order up to $1,000;
  • Western Union money order, up to $1,000;
  • GOV-PAY via debit/credit card

Note: While any individual money order or check listed above as having a $1000 limit may not exceed that amount, there is no limit on the number of money orders and/or checks that may be accepted in payment of the bail, provided their total together or in combination with cash meets the bail requirement exactly. (The Department does NOT “give change” in bail transactions.)

Where do I go to pay the bail?

If paying bail at the Brooklyn Detention Complex, the Manhattan Detention Complex or the Vernon C. Bain Center, make checks or money orders payable to the facility itself, regardless of where the inmate is housed.

If you are making bail at Rikers Island, checks or money orders must be made out to the Rikers Island Central Cashier (RICC is acceptable, there is no need to spell out), again, regardless of where the inmate is housed.

Checks or money orders made out to the Department of Correction are not accepted. The person posting bail must present personal identification and must provide the New York State Identification (NYSID) number of the person to be bailed.

What is The New York City Department of Correction (DOC)?

The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) provides for the care, custody, and control of persons accused of crimes or convicted and sentenced to one year or less of jail time.

The Department manages 15 inmate facilities, 10 of which are located on Rikers Island.  In addition, the Department operates two hospital Prison Wards (Bellevue and Elmhurst hospitals) and court holding facilities in Criminal, Supreme, and Family Court in each borough.

What is Rikers Island?

Rikers Island is New York City’s primary jail complex where inmates are awaiting trial in their ongoing case or are serving up to one year of jail time. All sentences above one year are served in prisons in upstate New York and may not be served on Rikers Island.

Rikers Island Inmate Information: (718) 546-0700

Most of the inmates in NYC Dept of Corrections custody are housed on Rikers Island, which has 10 jails that together can house as many as 15,000 inmates at once. The Rikers facilities include a jail for sentenced males, another for sentenced and detainee females, and a detention center for adolescent males (ages 16 to 18). The seven other jails on Rikers Island house adult male detainees.

A portion of the West Facility on Rikers Island contains specialized housing units for inmates with tuberculosis and other communicable diseases. Seriously ill inmates and those requiring intensive psychiatric observation are held in prison wards that the Department operates in Elmhurst General Hospital and Bellevue Hospital. The North Infirmary Command on Rikers Island houses detainees with less serious medical problems and persons with AIDS not requiring hospitalization, as well as high security inmates.

What is Brooklyn Detention Complex (BKDC) ?

A part of the NYC Department of Corrections facilities, built on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn in 1957, the single-cell jail can house 815 adult males, most undergoing the intake process or awaiting trial in Kings County (Brooklyn) and Richmond County (Staten Island) courts.

What is Manhattan Detention Complex (MDC) or “the Tombs”?

A part of the NYC Department of Corrections facilities. This lower Manhattan command consists of two buildings designated the North and South Towers, connected by a bridge. The North Tower was opened in 1990. The South Tower, formerly the Manhattan House of Detention, or the nickname “Tombs” was opened in 1983. The complex houses male detainees, most of them undergoing the intake process or facing trial in New York County (Manhattan).

What is Vernon C. Bain Center (VCBC) or “the Boat”?

A part of the NYC Department of Corrections facilities, located in the Bronx. It is a five-story jail boat built in New Orleans to DOC specifications, nicknamed “the boat” this facility houses medium to maximum security inmates in 16 dormitories and 100 cells. Opened in the Fall of 1992. It serves as the Bronx detention facility for intake processing.

How do I choose my lawyer?

Choosing a lawyer for yourself or a family member can be one of the most important decisions you make. It is a good idea to make a list of questions to bring with you during your consultation. It is also very important that you feel comfortable with your attorney who will be a strong defender of your rights.

What guarantee can be given for my criminal case?

It is important to understand the no criminal defense attorney can promise you an acquittal or a favorable plea-bargain with 100% certainty. Making such guarantees are unethical. Our firm will make payment plans if necessary to insure you are represented by a lawyer who will protect you from accepting a plea-bargain that could haunt you for years.

Our attorneys won’t be intimidated by the prosecution. We will investigate your case and search for flaws in the evidence. Depending on your charges will search for witnesses and arrange expert testimony when the facts allow on your behalf. We understand how the courts work and will prepare you for the process. We provide aggressive criminal defense representation and will argue for you in and outside of the courtroom.

What is a plea bargain?

The reality is that most cases are resolved before trial sometimes only minutes before the trial begins after grueling plea bargaining negotiations with the prosecutor. These plea negotiations are where the shark like skills of The Grigoropoulos Law Group will come into play for the best outcome. We have the master negotiators that you need to make sure your rights are defended and your interests are represented.

How do attorneys pick a jury?

The trial process can be very stressful as the outcome is near. Trial however is the chance to tell your story to an objective group of individuals who will then decide the outcome of your case.

Picking the jury is a critical step which can affect the outcome of your case. Our experienced attorneys will strategize through jury selection based on the facts in order to select the best potential jurors.

The first step of a jury trial us to pick the jury. This process is called Voir Dire. A group of potential jurors are brought into a court room, then typically the judge asks the entire group basic background questions to eliminate the impartial or biased jurors. Once the judge has turned over these potential jurors to the attorneys, the lawyers are then allowed to question 12 jurors at a time more extensively. And repeat the following process until the required amount of jurors are sworn in. After a short period of questioning by the judge, the lawyers then go to the judge and strike or eliminate their unwanted jurors. Depending on the total number of jurors needed which are either 6 or 12 (depending on the court and severity) and 2-3 extra backup jurors, called “alternates” Who sit through the entire trial as well. Depending on the amount of jurors needed, each lawyer may get up to six chances to eliminate jurors for any reason whatsoever. If one attorney feels that a juror is biased they can then ask the judge to eliminate that juror “for cause”. There is no limit to “for cause” challenges to eliminate jurors. The judge is the only decision-maker of whether a juror will be eliminated for cause.

What are opening statements?

After voir dire, The next step is the opening statements. The court will instruct the jury that opening and closing statements are only argument of the attorneys and do not constitute evidence upon which averted. Each side usually gets on the allotted amount of time for opening statements to set the tone for the trial to begin and for witnesses to be questioned.

What happens after opening statements in a trial?  & What is the timeline of a trial?

(both have the below answer)

After opening statements are concluded, the plaintiff’s on their case by calling witnesses favorable to their case first. The plaintiff attorney then directly examine each witness and the defense attorney is allowed to cross examine those witnesses attempting to discredit them or call into question their credibility. At the end of the plaintiffs case, after they “rest” The defense attorneys will then put on their case through the witnesses they believe support their defense.  These defense witnesses will be put on the stand and directly examined by the defense attorney and The plaintiffs counsel then gets to cross-examine witnesses in order to impeach them.

Once the defense concludes their case, the plaintiff is allowed to call rebuttal witnesses if necessary to rebut the witnesses who testified for the defenses case. All cases do not involve rebuttal witnesses and judges are typically strict about allowing this type of testimony. After all testimony and evidence have been presented and both sides rest, the next phase of trial is closing arguments or summations.

What are closing arguments or summations?

A closing argument is the final factual and legal argument made by each attorney on both sides of the case in a trial prior to allowing the jury deliberate on a verdict or judgment. The plaintiff goes first giving closing arguments followed by the defense. Generally, and civil actions, the plaintiffs attorney speaks first and the defendants counsel immediately follows. In criminal trials, the prosecution gives it’s summation, followed by that of the defense. In addition the plaintiffs counsel or the prosecutor is allowed time for everybody argument. The reason for this additional time is that the burden of proof is on the plaintive or prosecution therefore the plaintiffs attorney or the prosecutor is allowed to reply to the defense’s closing argument.  An experienced trial lawyer will put great emphasis on their closing argument or summation because it is their last chance to be persuasive and convince the judge or jury of their case before the deliberations begin.

Following the closing arguments, the judge will read jury instructions to tell the jury the rules for deciding the keys and the applicable law which they must apply to the evidence which was presented. This usually takes approximately an hour. Immediately after the jury instructions the jurors will retire to the jury room to begin their deliberations. The first step and beginning the deliberations will involve the jurors selecting a foreperson to head the jury.

What happens once the jury reaches a verdict?

Once the jury reaches a verdict, the parties are called into the courtroom where the verdict is red allowed by the four person. Did you reverted consists of a form of questions which the jury has answered. After the four person reads the verdict, either party has the right to ask the judge to “poll” the jury, which means the judge will ask each juror individually if they agreed with the verdict of the jury.

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