Joseph R. DeMatteo
Joseph DeMatteo brings a unique quality to the practice of law. He approaches each of his clients with compassion and respect. He takes the time to listen carefully so that he can properly understand his client’s needs and objectives. Joseph also takes time to explain to each client, in plain and honest language, how the legal system works and what to expect. He collaborates closely with each client to develop the best game plan possible under what are often difficult circumstances. Joseph does everything in his power to help you avoid a conviction, jail and other negative consequences that come with being charged or convicted of a crime. Joseph has 35 years of experience in the criminal justice field that he will put to use for you.
As a former supervising prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (1986- 1997), Joseph learned how the criminal justice system works from the inside out. He learned how prosecutors think about their cases and what might lead to a good plea bargain, or an effective defense at trial. Joseph also learned how prosecutors and police investigate their cases, and where weaknesses can often be found. While working at the District Attorney’s Office, Mr.. DeMatteo prosecuted both street crime, organized crime and white collar crime. As a prosecutor, Mr. DeMatteo tried over 40 jury trials, over 10 bench trials, presented hundreds of cases to the Grand Jury, and conducted hundreds of hearings, making Mr. DeMatteo a skilled and experienced trial attorney. Mr. DeMatteo also conducted a number of long term grand jury investigations while serving in the Rackets Bureau, as well as when he was Chief of the Asian Gang Unit.
In 1997, Mr. DeMatteo left the District Attorney’s Office to begin a private criminal defense practice. Since that time, Mr. DeMatteo has defended hundreds of individuals facing all types of criminal charges. As lead defense counsel, Mr. DeMatteo has conducted numerous jury and non-jury trials in both state and federal court and has obtained several acquittals. He has negotiated hundreds of favorable plea bargains for his clients, and obtained many outright dismissals. Joseph has also represented individuals and corporations in the course of long term investigations, both state and federal, often resulting in no charges being brought.
As a passionate advocate for Criminal Justice Reform, Mr. DeMatteo has recently started a practice focused on helping people overcome the challenges presented by having a former conviction. Joseph believes that after an individual serves their sentence, whether it be jail or probation, that they should be permitted to continue life with a clean slate. To help people with convictions achieve this, Joseph has become an expert on New York’s sealing and expungement laws, as well as the statutes providing for Certificates of Relief from Civil Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct. Joseph’s practice in this regard is state-wide.
Joseph welcomes you to call his office for a free consultation.
- State Court Criminal Defense
- Federal Court Criminal Defense
- Sealing an Old Conviction under CPL §160.59
- Certificates of Relief from Civil Disabilities
- Certificates of Good Conduct
- Correcting erroneous RAPP sheet entries
- Administrative and Licensing Law
- Assault & Battery
- Criminal Appeals
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Drug Crimes
- Drug Conspiracies
- Professional Discipline
- Professional Licensing
- White-Collar Crime
- New York, 1987
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1996
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1996
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1999
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
- J.D., American University, Washington College of Law, 1986
- B.A., Syracuse University, 1983, Magna Cum Laude
- Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Criminal Courts Committee,
- Criminal Advocacy Committee, 2003-2006
- New York Criminal Bar Association
- New York State Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
- Columbian Lawyers Association of the First Department (President, 2010-2011)
- Assistant District Attorney, New York County, 1986-1997
- Rackets Bureau, 1992-1994
- Chief, Asian Gang Unit, 1994-1997
- Of Counsel, Tanner Propp LLP, 1997-2000
- Partner, DeMatteo Bernfeld, LLP, later Bernfeld DeMatteo and Bernfeld, LLP, 2001 to present.