Criminal Defense

Getting arrested is never a good experience. However, if you are arrested or think you may be arrested you need to have an experienced lawyer defending your interests. Former NYPD Sergeant David Duhan is a criminal defense attorney who has the criminal justice system experience, street smarts and court skills necessary to protect your rights from the beginning of your case to its conclusion. Whether you are arrested for a violation, misdemeanor or felony, it is crucial that you have competent legal representation.

The Law Office of David E. Duhan is located two blocks from the Queens Criminal Court. He can appear at an arraignment on short notice and on weekends. It is beneficial to a criminal defendant to have the lawyer who will be defending you throughout your case representing you at your arraignment.



An offense means conduct which is punishable by a term of imprisonment or fine.

A Violation is offense punishable by up to fifteen days in jail and/or a fine. It is not a crime.

A crime is a Misdemeanor or a Felony.

A Misdemeanor is an offense for which punishable by up to one year may in jail.

A Felony is an offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year may be imposed.

No. Odds are that if the police want to "talk to you" you are the subject of an investigation and will soon be arrested. Once you learn this you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. It is always better to error on the side of caution. If it turns out the police do not intend on arresting you, great, but if they do this is the best time for damage control and protection of your rights before you make any statements or admissions that can be used against you.

The arraignment is where the criminal defendant is formally charged with a crime. It will be the first appearance in the case before a judge. At the arraignment a judge will decide whether to release a defendant simply on his promise to come back to court to answer the charges or a judge will set an amount of bail that will have to be posted before the defendant can be released.

Yes. Your first step ought to be to hire an attorney for the arraignment. An attorney could make the difference as to whether you will be released at the arraignment or remain incarcerated.

On average a criminal defendant is arraigned within 24 hours after the arrest.

Yes. If your family member has a bail set and you have the money available at the arraignment, they will be released immediately instead of having to return to court with the money. This could save your family member hours of being confined.

Sometimes when you get arrested for certain misdemeanors the police will not "put you through the system", meaning you won't get held overnight for an arraignment within 24 hours of your arrest. Instead if you qualify for a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT), you will be processed for a few hours in the precinct and be issued a DAT and be allowed to leave with the understanding that you must return to the Criminal Court for your arraignment.

Getting a desk appearance ticket means that you have been arrested. You have just been given the courtesy of appearing on your own for your arraignment as opposed to waiting in jail for 24 hours to see the judge.

Yes. You need a lawyer because you are being charged with a criminal offense. Although desk appearance ticket cases in New York City tend to be cases of less seriousness than others, they still represent potential criminal convictions and jail time. The fact of the matter is that your freedom and your reputation are at stake.

A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant, a judge, and a prosecutor, in which the defendant admits guilt, usually in exchange for a promise that a particular sentence will be imposed.

A conviction is a finding of guilt of an offense, following either a guilty plea or a trial verdict.

A sentence is a punishment imposed by a judge following a conviction.

Probation is a sentence that does not involve jail or prison, but requires compliance with certain conditions for a specified period of time under the supervision of the Department of Probation.

A conditional discharge is a sentence allowing for release from jail without supervision by the Department of Probation, but which requires compliance with conditions set by the court.

A person who has been convicted of a crime may get this certificate so they don't have certain restrictions because he or she was convicted of a crime. Examples of these restrictions may include giving up property or not being able to have certain jobs. You need to apply to the Court to get the Certificate. An application for this certificate is available from the Clerk's Office.

For a detailed explanation of the criminal justice system in New York State please follow the below link:

Please contact my office, if you have additional questions concerning criminal defense related matters.