Q. I notice that Ezra C. Levy never worked in a prosecutor’s office. Isn’t it better to retain a former prosecutor?
A. A common misconception is that former prosecutors have any influence on their former offices. This is simply not true. Moreover, a former prosecutor will be more likely to believe the police or alleged victim’s allegations than a career defense attorney. Finally, in criminal trials, the most impactful questions are the ones posed during cross-examinations. Very few prosecutors are taught how to cross-examine, and far too few have any experience in doing so effectively. Conversely, career defense attorneys have been honing on this craft since day one of their careers.
Q. How much do you charge for a consultation?
A. I offer free 30-minute consultations.
Q. Are your consultations confidential?
A. Yes, anything stated in the consultation is covered by the attorney-client privilege, even if you chose to retain someone else.
Q. The police contacted me to clear up a complaint against me. What should I do?
A. Unless dealing with victims, police rarely contact people they are not looking to arrest. If you or a loved one receive such a call, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Q. How early in a case should I retain an attorney?
A. It is advised than an attorney be retained as early in the process as possible. Understand that even if you later substitute a retained attorney for a public defender, any decisions or statements made by the public defender on your behalf can be relied upon by the prosecution and can constitute party admissions. Additionally, the early your attorney can begin working on your case, the better.
Q. The police did not read me my rights. Doesn’t that mean the case must be dismissed?
A. No. The police only have to read you your rights if they intend to obtain a statement from you once you are no longer free to leave.
Q. Why didn’t the police release me and give me a desk appearance ticket? After all, they promised to do so if I cooperated and gave a statement?
A. The police are allowed to lie in order to trick you in a confession. They might have succeeded. This is why it is important to NEVER speak to law enforcement without an attorney.
Q. Why are the charges on the Criminal Court complaint different than the ones the police told me I would be charged with?
A. The District Attorney, and not the police draw up the Criminal Court Complaint. The District Attorney will determine the charges they think they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt after speaking to the arresting officer and possibly, the complainant.
Q. Why did the charges change after the case was indicted?
A. The initial charges that appear on a Criminal Court complaint are only a preview of what the prosecutor may prosecute a defendant for. The charges that appear on the indictment is the only charges that count.
Q. Can the victim dismiss the charges?
A. No, once a complaint is made to the police and an arrest is made, only the District Attorney can dismiss charges. Oftentimes, they will continue a prosecution even when the complainant wants to “drop the charges.”
professional, friendly, amazing lawyer, polite
Ezra was very helpful and very respectful. I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a lawyer! He is very professional and at the same time makes his clients feel "at home". I am very pleased and satisfied with his service.
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- New York State Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers