1. Always demand a lawyer and keep your mouth shut until your lawyer arrives. Do not believe that you will be in a better position if you answer questions asked by the police. Remember, you have the right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent. If you give up those rights you can expect to be convicted and possibly go to jail.
2. Always be on time for your court appearances even if your attorney is not. Remember, it is you who is charged with a crime. If you are not in court when your case is called you can expect that the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are arrested for not showing up in court you can expect that you will have to pay a very high amount of bail or that you will not be permitted bail and will be sitting in jail until your case is over.
3. Finally, in the New York Sate system there are three types of acts controlled by the NYS penal law. The worst is a felony. A felony is defined as a crime for which you can be sentenced to a term of one year or more in jail. Then there is the misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is defined as a crime for which you can be sentenced to a term of up to one year in jail. Finally, if you are convicted of what is defined as a violation you will not have been convicted of a crime. If you are convicted of a felony you will forever be a convicted felon and must answer questionnaires by admitting that you have been convicted of a felony as well as that you have been convicted of a crime. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor you must answer questionnaires by admitting that you have been convicted of a crime. If you are convicted of a violation you have not been convicted of a crime and do not have a criminal record. Unless you agree to unseal them, all convictions for violations must be sealed. You answer questionnaires that you had not been convicted of a crime.