Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor offense or the most complicated crime, rest assured that Mr. Santoro will be thoroughly prepared and zealous in representing you.
If you are a “person of interest,” under active investigation or are in the process of being prosecuted for a felony or misdemeanor, you need a qualified criminal defense attorney prepared and knowledgeable to prepare your defense. Throughout all phases of your proceeding you are entitled to choose a lawyer to defend you. Attorney Jeffrey P. Santoro not only understands how to fight against substantive issues, but is also qualified to fight the procedural issues as well. (i.e. Did the police violate your constitutional rights against an unlawful search or seizure?). As a criminal defense attorney in Western New York, Mr. Santoro has the complete understanding of the criminal law, as well as the procedural requirements for the specific Justice or Town Court which is important to help your case.
The level of crime you have been charged with (violation, misdemeanor or felony) will determine the potential penalty to be imposed (fines, imprisonment or both). Mr. Santoro will help you understand the charges and penalties you are facing, as well as the likely result. Mr. Santoro has been successful in all stages of the criminal process, having had cases dismissed at the time of arraignment, through motion during the proceedings, and after trial.
If you are convicted of a crime (misdemeanor or felony) not only are you are at risk of serving a sentence of imprisonment, significant fines and surcharges, but you also face the possibility of having a permanent criminal record which will impact your current employment or future employability, being placed on parole or probation – which has strict limitations and additional punishments for failing to comply, and in some instances, may expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages.
At the time of your initial interaction with any law enforcement officer the officer, is looking for evidence to establish your guilt. So it is important to speak with a lawyer from the start to establish your defense.
Often people do not realize that their actions rise to a criminal level, believe that they can talk themselves out of the charge with the local law enforcement officer, or believe that they can act as their own attorney. Unfortunately, the law enforcement officer that has stopped you or is investigating the situation has often made up his/her mind as to whether or not there is going to be an arrest. At that point, the officer is just trying to get more evidence to strengthen their case against you. They are not trying to get evidence as to whether or not they can make an arrest — they've already determined they are going to make the arrest, it's just a matter of getting additional evidence or information against you.
Law enforcement officers have a large “bag of tricks” to get you to provide information, make statements or “voluntarily” hand over evidence when they actually have no basis for the intrusion against your constitutional rights. This is something the officer will never tell the suspect. They won't tell a suspect “we need to interview you because we are going to arrest you, but we're just trying to get more evidence against you”. No one would talk if they revealed this information. This is a grave mistake, and a lot of clients try to handle these situations themselves.
Once a law enforcement officer is investigating you for a crime, it's time for you to obtain professional help.