Brooklyn Criminal Defense Lawyer

Brooklyn Criminal Defense Lawyer

Brooklyn, New York Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged for any crime can be a scary, life-changing experience, no matter how minor or severe the charge. There are a variety of consequences that come with a criminal conviction in New York state that can affect you and your loved ones for years to come. An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best asset in this situation.

Brooklyn criminal lawyer Michael Vitaliano is fully aware of what is at stake for you. He and his team understand that this is a stressful time, and they are here to help you through the Brooklyn, New York criminal court process. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime, it is critical that you do not wait to retain an attorney. The sooner you speak with a qualified defense attorney, the sooner they can start working with you on your case.

Brooklyn Criminal Lawyer

Prosecution Turned Defense

Experienced criminal defense attorney Michael Vitaliano previously served as a criminal prosecutor for a range of high-profile cases with crimes involving drug trafficking, homicide, illegal firearms, burglary, robbery, and DWI. He brings the knowledge gained as a prosecutor to the side of the defense and leverages his experience in your favor. With Michael Vitaliano on your side, you’ll have an inside perspective on how the prosecution functions. You can be confident that your case is in good hands.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/ Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Many states separate the terms Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). DUI charges typically refer to driving under the influence of alcohol, whereas DWI is used when someone is under the influence of illicit drugs or other narcotics. However, in New York, they are all blanketed under the term DWI. In the state of New York, there are five different DWI offenses that you can be charged with, including:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The most common DWI charge occurs when the operator of a vehicle has consumed enough alcohol to have a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08% or higher. The BAC limit is lowered to 0.04% if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Penalties for a first-time DWI include up to a $1,000 fine, a mandatory six-month license suspension, and the potential to spend up to one year in jail. Even if your BAC is under 0.08%, it is important to remember that you can still be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired.
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). If the police can provide compelling evidence that your intoxication compromised your ability to operate a motor vehicle properly and safely, you can be charged with a DWAI. In this situation, your BAC may be lower than 0.08%. If you are convicted of a DWAI, you can expect to pay a fine of up to $500, have a 90-day driver’s license suspension, and spend up to 15 days in jail.
  • Drug DWAI. Similar to a standard DWAI, a drug-DWAI charge is filed when a vehicle operator’s ability to safely drive has been impacted by any amount of drug use. This comprises any and all drugs, including those you may be legally prescribed by your doctor. Consequences for drug-DWAI offense convictions are up to a $1,000 fine, a mandatory license suspension of six months or more, and up to a year in jail.
  • Combination DWAI. A combination DWAI is charged when a driver is unable to safely operate a vehicle because of a combination of drugs and alcohol. This can include any type of drug or alcohol and any amount as long as the prosecution can prove that it impacted your ability to safely drive. Penalties for combination DWAI are fines up to $1,000, a minimum mandatory license suspension of six months or more, and up to one year in jail.
  • Aggravated DWI. An aggravated DWI is an elevated version of a standard DWI. Individuals are charged with an aggravated DWI when their BAC levels are 0.18% or higher. However, if a passenger in your vehicle is 15 years old or younger, you can be charged with an aggravated DWI even if your BAC is under 0.18%. Consequences for an aggravated DWI conviction are fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, a driver’s license suspension for a minimum of one year, and up to one year in jail.

New York state takes DWI crimes incredibly seriously and will prosecute you with severe penalties. It’s critical that if you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI, you retain professional counsel from a Brooklyn criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable and experienced legal team is your best hope for a decent outcome.

Drug Crimes

Attorney Michael Vitaliano isn’t afraid to take on cases involving high-level drug crimes. If you have been charged with drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, or possession with intent to sell, you could be facing serious, lifetime consequences if you are convicted.

Having an experienced Brooklyn criminal law attorney on your side can make or break your defense. If you or a loved one has been charged with offenses relating to high-level drug crimes, the time to act is now. You must retain an attorney as soon as possible so that they can begin to collect evidence and build you a strong case.

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White Collar Crimes

Many individuals mistakenly think that white-collar crimes are simple financial crimes. People may also assume that because of the nature of these crimes, they don’t carry severe penalties with a conviction. It is true that white-collar crimes typically revolve around the financial sector, but it’s absolutely false that they don’t come with hefty consequences. Being convicted of a white-collar crime can have serious, lifetime implications for both you and your family.

At The Vitaliano Law Firm, Mr. Vitaliano represents Brooklynites in a wide variety of white-collar crimes, including:

  • Bribery. Offering money to an authority, like a police officer or government official, for special treatment is illegal. Bribery in the “first degree” is considered a felony offense in the state of New York.
  • Fraud. Any type of deception or intentional misrepresentation of documents used to achieve financial or personal gain. You can defraud businesses, governments, and other people. Depending on the amount or type of institution you defrauded, you can be charged with a felony, and penalties can include large fines and time in prison.
  • Tax Fraud. Tax fraud refers to the intentional attempt to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or to evade paying taxes altogether. Businesses, individuals, and organizations can all be charged with tax fraud, whether it is failure to file, conspiracy to commit fraud, or falsified documents.
  • Ponzi Schemes. This type of investment fraud uses funds from new investors to pay earlier investors. The scheme organizer will usually promise to invest the money in an organization or business to make high profits at very low risk. However, before the newer investors see any return on their investment, the fraudster either flees or is caught running the scheme.
  • Money Laundering. When an individual “washes” money obtained in an illegal manner, it is referred to as money laundering. Most commonly, money is gained from drug sales or gambling rings but then claimed as profits from a legitimate business. It may be charged as fraud, embezzlement, or in some cases, a drug crime.
  • Insider Trading. This occurs when individuals engage in trading or buying a stock based on information that has not been released to the public. Penalties can include up to 25 years in prison and fines up to $5,000,000 for individuals.
  • Wage Theft. Requiring employees to work off-the-clock, making illegal deductions, or modifying time clock punches in the employer’s favor are a few examples of wage theft.
  • Identity Theft. Identity theft is a type of fraud where another person’s information is taken without their permission and used for personal gains. This may include using their credit card information to shop, withdrawing money from their bank account, or opening new credit card accounts in their name.

If you or a loved one has been charged with any type of white-collar crime in Brooklyn, it’s essential that you retain an experienced attorney immediately. New York state prosecutes white-collar crimes with just as much aggression and tenacity as DWIs, drug crimes, or violent crimes. Attorney Michael Vitaliano served on the side of the prosecution and can leverage that knowledge in your defense against a white-collar crime charge.

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Racketeering is a form of criminal activity in which perpetrators establish a scheme or organized operation, known as a racket, designed for profit. Racketeering typically involves some sort of extortion or fraud. Most individuals are familiar with the form of racketeering known as the protection racket. This was commonly used by the mafia until federal law made it easier to prosecute offenders. In a protection racket, the mafia would send someone to vandalize a small, local business and harass the owner. The mafia would then offer protection to the business owner in exchange for payment. If the business owner tried to stop payment, it was not uncommon for them to be threatened or intimidated.

In the 1970s, the United States passed legislation designed to make the persecution of individuals and organizations involved in racketeering easier. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) contains a list of 37 illegal racketeering activities. If they are found guilty of these activities, an organization or individual can end up paying hefty fines. In some cases, individuals and members of organizations can face jail time for their actions. In addition to protection rackets, crimes commonly prosecuted under the RICO act are:

  • Numbers Racket: Illegal gambling activities or participation in an illegal, unauthorized lottery system.
  • Fencing Racket: Individuals and organizations engaging in the reselling of stolen goods and merchandise.
  • Puppy Mills: Illegal backyard breeding operations and/or other forms of organized unethical treatment of animals for profit.
  • Labor Corruption: Using one’s union authority or office for illegal personal gain.

If you have been charged with racketeering, it can have very serious penalties. It is critical that you retain an experienced Brooklyn criminal law attorney immediately.

FAQs About Brooklyn, NY Criminal Law

How much does a good criminal lawyer cost in Brooklyn, NY?

The cost of a good criminal lawyer depends entirely on your own situation. In some instances, like in the case of a straightforward DWI, an attorney may charge you a flat rate. When it comes to complex defense cases, it is likely that your attorney may charge at a set hourly rate.

What to look for in a good criminal defense lawyer in New York?

When you’re consulting with an attorney in order to find representation, there are a few things you can look for that indicate they are a good criminal lawyer. You’ll want to make sure they have proven experience successfully handling cases similar to yours and that they have the availability to answer your questions when you need them. Most importantly, you should make sure that they have a solid defense strategy in mind.

What does a Brooklyn criminal attorney do?

A good criminal lawyer will be prepared to question the prosecution’s evidence, establish an alibi for you, and present quality evidence in your defense. Most importantly, your attorney should work with the court system and the prosecution to discover options for alternative or divisionary penalties you might face.

What are the most common crimes in Brooklyn, NY?

Property crimes in the forms of theft and vandalism are the most common in Brooklyn. The third most common crime in Brooklyn is drug crimes, including both low-level and high-level crimes. Assault and robbery are the most common violent Brooklyn crimes but have the fourth and fifth-highest rates overall.

Contact Our Law Group to Talk to a Brooklyn Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense in Brooklyn, it’s imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. With years of experience in criminal defense, attorney Michael Vitaliano has the knowledge and expertise to work towards the most favorable outcome for his clients. Contact us for a free consultation today.