A criminal prosecution is an unfamiliar and intimidating experience for most people. There is so much at stake: the possibility of being convicted and incarcerated, the stigma of a criminal conviction, loss of employment or loss of one’s professional license, revocation of a driver’s license and potentially years of probation or parole supervision. If the person is not a United States citizen, a conviction can lead to the person’s detention and deportation from the United States – even if they are lawful “permanent” residents of the United States. When facing criminal charges, it is of critical importance to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible stage in the proceedings, if possible, before an arrest is even made. With 23 years of criminal defense experience, attorney George A. Terezakis, and his attorneys are well qualified to safeguard you or your loved one through this difficult experience.
Our offices are centrally located a block from the Nassau County Court, in Mineola, New York, and ¾ of a mile from the First District Court in Hempstead, New York. Our office also defends individuals facing criminal prosecution in Suffolk and Queens Counties.
Our firm has successfully defended clients charged with crimes running the gamut from misdemeanors such as driving while intoxicated, shop lifting or petit larceny, assault and drug possession, to much more serious felony charges such as murder, gang assault, robbery, rape, drug sales, possession and sale of firearms, kidnapping and allegations involving child sexual abuse.
Our firm approach is comprehensive and proactive. Early intervention is emphasized in order to try to avoid formal charges, to prevent the taking of a statement by police and to arrange voluntary surrender and release under bail when an arrest cannot be avoided. We work with experienced private investigators to locate favorable evidence and witness statements, and assist in evaluating the strength of the evidence against the accused.
We frequently refer clients to skilled professionals for alcohol, substance abuse, domestic violence or other psychological counseling. This treatment approach can help a client avoid a future of continued involvement in the criminal justice system, and can also result in the dismissal or substantial reduction of the charges. While all steps are taken to have the charges dismissed or substantially reduced, if a favorable disposition cannot be negotiated, our office is well prepared to defend the charges at trial, if necessary. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to accept a negotiated plea bargain, or to go to trial, is a decision which must be made by the client based upon the facts of the particular case, and after carefully reviewing the matter with experienced defense counsel.
When the accused is not a United States citizen, it is of the utmost importance that defense counsel be aware of the immigration consequences flowing from a given conviction. Unfortunately, too frequently, even experienced defense attorneys negotiate seemingly favorable plea agreements without first considering the immigration consequences of a conviction. Our attorney’s experience defending non-citizens in deportation-removal proceedings, and expertise in the field of criminal-immigration law, means the immigration consequences of any proposed disposition are always considered before a decision is made in the criminal case. By considering the immigration consequences first, a plea can often be negotiated which will not trigger deportation, or which will preserve the client’s eligibility to apply for relief from deportation before the Immigration Judge.
When a favorable disposition cannot be negotiated, the client needs to be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to go to trial. Only the client can decide what is more important to him or her: limiting the risk of going to jail or taking all steps necessary, including trial, in order to avoid deportation and separation from one’s family and friends. There is no need to hire an immigration attorney to advise you regarding the immigration consequences of a given conviction when our firm represents you, since our attorneys do this for every one of his clients as part of their representation.
Mr. Terezakis is an experienced litigator who frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars sponsored by bar associations across the country, especially in the area of criminal convictions and immigration consequences. Criminal defense attorneys regularly come to us to provide detailed analysis of immigration consequences of plea agreements for non-citizen clients.