When Do You Have a Right to an Attorney?

The right to an attorney is enshrined in the United States Constitution as one of the fundamental rights that every American has by birthright. After all, how can someone defend themselves in court if they aren’t given access to legal expertise, which they are unlikely to have themselves? But things are more complicated than they first appear, because there are two slightly different rights to an attorney, and the distinction can be important.

The right to an attorney is guaranteed by two constitutional amendments in the Bill of Rights: The Fifth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment. Though both amendments guarantee your right to an attorney, they have a couple of important distinctions between them. First is the difference in timing: the 5th Amendment right to counsel guarantees your right to a lawyer while you’re being interrogated in police custody; the 6th Amendment right to counsel, on the other hand, guarantees your right to counsel during the critical parts of a criminal prosecution.

However, there’s another, more significant difference: the 6th Amendment requires the court to appoint you a lawyer if you can’t afford one at the time of your arraignment (when you’re formally charged with a crime). The 5th Amendment requires police to allow you access to a lawyer if you already have one, but they aren’t required to provide you with one, because an arrest doesn’t necessarily signal the beginning of a criminal prosecution. Thus, you can be in a situation where you are legally entitled to have an attorney, but you aren’t yet legally entitled to have one appointed to you by the court. And if you’re being interrogated by the police, it can be very helpful to have an attorney present to advise you on your rights.

Those who have been charged with a crime can face serious legal consequences. A New York criminal defense lawyer, who is experienced in handling criminal cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you or your loved one has been arrested, contact the Suffolk County criminal defense attorneys at McGuire, Peláez & Bennett at (631) 348-1702.

Car Crash Occurs at Same Intersection Where Fatal Limousine Accident Took Place

The Suffolk Times reported that three people were hospitalized after their car was rear-ended by another vehicle at the intersection of County Road 48 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue. The site of the crash was also the same place where a fatal limousine accident occurred last year.

According to the article, a 23-year-old man driving a 2005 Nissan was heading westbound on CR 48 on July 31, 2016, at approximately 6PM, when he was hit from behind a 19-year-old driving a 2013 Nissan. Three passengers in the second vehicle suffered minor injuries and were treated at Eastern Long Island Hospital. No charges were filed.

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Construction Worker in Critical Condition after Toxic Fumes

Dangerous fumes at a Midtown renovation site caused three construction workers to fall ill on February 24, 2016.  According to a New York Fire Department spokesperson, one of the workers is in critical condition and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital.  The other two construction workers suffered minor injuries.

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What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?

A divorce is considered contested if either you or your spouse do not want a divorce, disagree about the legal grounds for the divorce, or disagree about what will happen with your children, your finances, or your property after the divorce.

Contested divorces generally necessitate the court to decide issues that you and your spouse disagree about. Because the judge presiding over your case will require detailed information to decide the issues you disagree about, your contested divorce will require you and your spouse to go to Court numerous times. A contested divorce can be very expensive because attorneys are typically paid by the hour.  In addition, these types of divorces can be very stressful for the parties involved, and the process can take months or even years to resolve.

Conversely, a divorce is considered uncontested if two factors are met. First, you and your spouse both want to get a divorce. Second, both you and your spouse agree about what will happen with your children, your finances, and your property after divorce.

An uncontested divorce provides a few advantages. An uncontested divorce is relatively inexpensive, less stressful on the parties, and typically can be resolved within several months. Continue reading “What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?”

Drunk Driver on Long Island Crashes through Neighbors’ House

A Lake Ronkonkoma man is facing a DWI charge after driving his vehicle into his next-door neighbor’s house on Sunday November 24, 2014.  According to authorities, the 20-year-old male was driving a 2010 Hyundai Sonata when he crashed through the neighbors’ front door.  The driver fled the scene, but police were able to easily locate him as it was quickly discovered that he lived next door.  Fortunately, all of the individuals inside the house escaped injury.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a dangerous and costly illegal offense.  Alcohol not only severely impairs your driving abilities; it also affects your judgment and coordination. If you are convicted of a DWI as a first offense, the consequences may be harsh. Common consequences include fines of between $500 and $1,000, up to 1 year in jail, a minimum of 3 years’ probation, and revocation of your driver’s license for at least 6 months. In addition, there are a number of other fines and programs that may be imposed on you by the court.

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