Queens Criminal Law Attorney

Criminal Court Matters

The New York Criminal Court is responsible for hearing cases charging misdemeanors, violations and various infractions. The court also arraigns individuals charged with felony crimes; however, once the felony case is indicted, it is transferred to State Supreme Court where it remains until the case is resolved by plea or trial. Criminal misdemeanor cases in Bronx County that are not resolved at the Criminal Court arraignment are then transferred to the Bronx Superior Court into the Criminal Division.

Although the New York City Criminal Court has jurisdiction over the entire City of New York, since November 2005 it oversees the administrative tasks of the criminal court functions in four of the five boroughs including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

There were approximately 600,034 filings made in criminal courts in 2009 from summonses, along with 358,325 arraignments and 392,660 dispositions. Given the volume of cases that the Criminal Court processes, it is open 365 days of the year, from 9am to 1am. After an arrest has been made, the individual will generally appear before an arraignment judge within 24 hours after arrest.

Queens Criminal Court Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, you may be understandably confused and worried. The New York Criminal Court System can be intimidating and overwhelming, regardless of the alleged crime for which you were charged.

Criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner can help you through this difficult process. With almost 20 years of experience in the criminal justice system, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, she aggressively defends individuals who have been charged with crimes in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx. Call today for a free consultation about your case, over the phone or in person.

With the complexity of the court system, having an attorney who can help you through the process is vital. Rochelle has a great deal of experience in working on cases involving probation violations, which is a serious offense due to the fact that the violation happened after the court trusted the offender enough to let them be introduced into society with the expectation that there will be no further problems. This violation of trust comes with dire consequences, so working with a qualified attorney will help you avoid the worst of the possible ramifications.

She also represents those who were given desk appearance tickets. Otherwise known as a DAT, this ticket may seem less serious considering that no arrest was made, but still comes with severe consequences if dismissed or ignored.

Rochelle also has helped many individuals who have been given a court summons. Although given for lesser crimes that do not require jail time, a court summons is still an official document that needs to be adhered to. Ms. Berliner will use her previous experience and legal knowledge to make this a quick and relatively painless process for clients.

New York Criminal Court Resource Center

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Preliminary Jurisdiction at Arraignment

The New York City Criminal Court has preliminary jurisdiction over all arrests processed in each of the five boroughs by local and state law enforcement agencies. It handles the vast majority of arraignments for petty offenses, misdemeanors and felony offenses in the City of New York. It assigns judges to hear cases in the five main courthouses, a citywide summons operation in Manhattan, two community courthouses, and a summons operation in Queens Borough Hall.

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Ticket to Hearing Summons Authorized Agencies

The New York City Criminal Court has trial jurisdiction over summons cases from the arraignment all the way through final disposition or trial. These cases involving a summons make up the majority of cases heard in Criminal Court. Some of the most common infractions involved include reckless driving, unlawful possession of marijuana, trespassing, disorderly conduct and consumption of alcohol on street.

The police officer will typically issue a summons for minor Penal Law violations or by police officers who enforce local laws such as the NYC Administrative Code.

In New York City, the following agencies are authorized to write a summons:

  • New York Police Department (NYPD)
  • Port Authority Police Department
  • US Park Police
  • NYS Park Police
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department (MTAPD)
  • ASPCA Police
  • New York Fire Department (NYFD)
  • NYC Sheriff's Office
  • CUNY Public Safety
  • NYS Court Officers
  • Amtrak PD
  • New York City's Board of Elections
  • New York City's Board of Education
  • Lefrak City Security

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Misdemeanor Criminal Court Cases in NYC

New York City's Misdemeanor Criminal Court has trial jurisdiction over all misdemeanor cases (except those initiated by indictment). Trial jurisdiction is defined as the initial court appearance, trial readiness, motion practice, pre-trial hearings and trial or final disposition. Although most of those cases are resolved short of trial, the Misdemeanor Criminal Court presides over approximately 500 trials each year, which includes both bench trials and jury trials. Some trials are conducted in the Court's All-Purpose (often called "AP") parts.

For cases in Bronx County, misdemeanors that are not resolved at the Criminal Court arraignment are ultimately transferred to the Bronx Superior Court into the Criminal Division. The Trial Parts of the Misdemeanor Criminal Courts also preside over the pre-trial motion hearings that must be resolved before the trial begins. The pre-trial motion hearings include:

  • Sandoval hearings;
  • Hearings on motions to suppress evidence;
  • Molineux hearings; and
  • Other types of evidentiary hearings.

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The Right to a Jury Trial in Misdemeanor Cases in New York

Not all individuals charged with a criminal offense are entitled to a jury trial. Instead, only those individuals facing a "serious crime" are entitled to a jury trial. All other misdemeanor and violation cases are resolved by a judge during a bench trial. For purposes of being eligible for a jury trial, "serious crimes" are defined as those cases in which the defendant can receive more than six (6) months in jail based on the statutory maximum sentence that can be imposed. Individuals who are facing six (6) months of jail time or less are only entitled to a bench trial in front of a judge that will render a "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict.

In more simple terms, if you are charged with a class A misdemeanor in New York City, meaning the class A misdemeanor is the highest charge on the Criminal Court Complaint, then you are entitled to a jury trial.  If the highest charge is a class B misdemeanor or a violation, then you are not entitled to a jury trial.

In Nassau and Suffolk Counties, you are entitled to a jury trial if you are charged with a class A or class B misdemeanor.

Felony Criminal Court has preliminary jurisdiction over felony cases. Felonies are typically arraigned in Criminal Court. Cases are usually adjourned to a Felony Waiver Part either for a guilty plea disposition or to await the decision of the Grand Jury on whether the defendant should stand trial on the felony charges. Felony cases are transferred to Supreme Court after a grand jury votes an indictment.

While Criminal Court does not have jurisdiction to hear trials on felony matters, a very large number of final dispositions on felonies are adjudicated by our Criminal Court judges sitting in Felony Waiver Parts. These judges are designated by administrative orders to sit as Acting Justices of the Supreme Court. These parts act as both Criminal Court and Supreme Court Parts, allowing the prosecutor and the defense counsel to agree in certain cases to waive the presentation to the Grand Jury and instead prosecute the case with a Superior Court Information (SCI). Cases disposed of by SCI make up a substantial percentage of all felony dispositions throughout the City.

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 New York Courthouse Locations

Courthouse Locations in New York

Queens Criminal Court
125-01 Queens Blvd
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Queens Summons
120-55 Queens Blvd.
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Midtown Community Court
314 W.54th Street
New York, NY 10019
Citywide Summons
346 Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Manhattan Criminal Court
100 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013
Brooklyn Criminal Court
120 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Red Hook Community Justice Center
88-94 Visitation Place
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Staten Island Criminal Court
67 Targee Street
Staten Island, NY 10304
Bronx Arraignments and Summons
215 E.161st Street
Bronx, NY 10451

Law Office | Queens Lawyer for Criminal Matters

Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner has helped many men, women, and minors in Queens and the greater New York City community fight to defend their future. She aggressively pursues dropped charges, minimized penalties, and favorable outcomes for her clients.

If you or your loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, contact her law office to discuss your legal options. Call or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consult ai ton to go over the details of your criminal case with Rochelle Berliner.