The Criminal Court System

As soon as the police make an arrest, the State’s criminal courts open a file. However, the case formally begins when a person appears at their arraignment. The police may hold a person in jail until the arraignment or issue a summons that the person must answer. The arraignment is the first chance for the accused to hear the allegations being brought against them. Many important issues are also decided at this time, including the amount of bail and any pre-trial release conditions.

After arraignment, the court conducts follow-up hearings designed to allow defendants to discover, or obtain, all evidence that the prosecutor intends to introduce at trial. These hearings also allow for filing motions intended to exclude certain pieces of evidence or to disqualify potential witnesses. The Albany criminal lawyers at Tully Rinckey understand the importance of these pre-trial hearings in providing an opportunity to discredit the prosecution’s case.

Only after all these issues are decided will a trial take place. During this trial, the prosecutor has the burden to prove the individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense does not need to testify or even present evidence. Many defenses are centered on effective cross-examination of the State’s witnesses.

Potential Consequences for Criminal Charges

Every criminal charge must be taken seriously. However, the potential consequences vary greatly depending upon the seriousness of the charge. In general, accusations in criminal courts are separated into two categories—misdemeanors and felonies.

Misdemeanors are the less serious of the two. These are accusations that could result in no more than one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Within the class of misdemeanor are three sub-classes—A, B, and unclassified. The main difference here is the maximum available penalty. Class B misdemeanors reduce a potential jail term to three months and the fine to no more than $300. Unclassified misdemeanors result in jail terms of up to fifteen days.

Felonies are far more serious. Just like misdemeanors, there are sub-classes of felonies that determine the potential maximum sentence. The potential penalties range from lower level felonies with maximum sentences of four years to convictions that can result in life-imprisonment.

Our Albany Criminal Lawyers Are Ready to Help

Any allegation of criminal activity is cause for concern. Under New York law, minor misdemeanors carry a potential jail sentence for conviction. Additionally, even if someone is not sentenced to jail time they may still carry an offense on their criminal record. This can negatively impact many elements of everyday life – ranging from employment to housing opportunities. Our battle-tested Albany criminal attorneys could help prevent this from happening to you.

The attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC work with clients to help them understand the charges they face. Our team is comprised of former prosecutors, assistant district attorneys, and court judges. We know the legal system in-and-out, and use our experience to fiercely defend the accused. Contact us today to learn how we can put our knowledge to work for you.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, our team of Albany criminal lawyers can help. The criminal attorneys at Tully Rinckey handle cases ranging from the relatively minor to the most serious of accusations. Whether you are experiencing your first interaction with the court or are looking to avoid being labeled as a repeat offender, we work hard to increase your chances of a positive result.

If you are facing criminal charges in Albany, call us immediately. You can reach us via phone at 844-309-0409, or by e-mail at

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“We cant thank you enough for your diligent efforts to help our son. You always returned our calls day or night and answered any and every question any of us had. You have a quiet demeanor but boy can you be a “Shark” in the courtroom! We never have, and hope to never be again in this situation with our child, but if we ever need a Criminal Lawyer or know of anyone that does, you and your firm will be highly recommended! Again, Thank you!”

E.F. on Associate Derrick Hogan, Esq.

“It is with the greatest satisfaction that I am writing this in regards to the legal representation I received from attorney Derrick Hogan. I never thought I would be in the situation of needing an attorney for defense of a possible DWI conviction, but here I was; bewildered, embarrassed, and feeling like I let my family down. From the first time we spoke, I knew right away that Derrick was the person I wanted to handle my legal matters. He is honest, sincere and maintains open communication. He made me feel like family and I could tell that he genuinely cares about his clients and their situations. Derrick is very professional, yet personable. He explained to me that results were not guaranteed, but that the end results could end up favorably, which they did. I have learned my lesson and Derrick did not judge me or my situation. One thing I clearly remember is the comment Derrick made; “You are a GOOD Person, who made a bad choice!” That statement really resonated with me. He got the job done brilliantly and I will always look to Derrick in the future should I ever need guidance or proper representation. He made my case a lot more pleasant then I was anticipating and he was always there for my questions. He is truly an outstanding person and I will strongly recommend Derrick to others who approach me looking for legal representation. Tully Rinckey should be very proud to have such a fine attorney on their staff.”

C.G. on Associate Derrick Hogan, Esq.

“I was most fortunate to be able to hire Derrick Hogan on two separate occasions to fight tickets for us. I cannot even begin to tell you what kind of a professional we were dealing with. His character matched his ability as an attorney. Having to hire an attorney for an out of town situation was a very difficult decision to make. I feel so blessed with dealing with this esquire. Mr. Hogan handled us like a symphony. He was extremely kind, brilliant, confident, sincere, and worked very hard on our behalf. He takes great pride in his work and it certainly shows. I have never in my entire life worked with anyone this professional or more highly qualified. If you decide to hire Derrick Hogan, you will have made the decision to hire the best attorney possible. Sometimes driving a Lexus is a smoother ride than driving a Dodge. You would be getting a “Lexus” with this lawyer. I give him five stars; he is a superstar himself. What a pleasure for me to recommend Derrick Hogan. Derrick is the absolute BEST of the BEST.”

K.F. on associate Derrick Hogan, Esq.

“Tully Rinckey PLLC’s professionalism put me right at ease. They had all charges against me dropped! I truly felt they earned my whole retainer and they even sent me back what was not used. I did not feel overcharged by Tully Rinckey PLLC at all. Their hard work kept me from getting a criminal record that would have affected me for the rest of my life. For this I am grateful. I have never been in trouble in my entire life. Getting arrested, being put in jail and losing my job, changed me to the core. Because of all the hard work done by them, I have a new life to live. For that, I cannot ever thank them enough!”

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