Guide to Finding New York Criminal Defense Lawyer

Guide to Finding New York Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Guide to Finding New York Criminal Defense Lawyer
A New York criminal defense lawyer is essential to proving your innocence and defending your good name when are you are accused or arrested for a crime committed in New York.  There is a wide variety of New York criminal defense lawyers available for each section of the criminal code, even white collar crime that tends to be a major legal issue in New York City.  A New York criminal defense lawyer will be familiar with the New York criminal code and will argue on your behalf for your innocence or negotiate plea bargains and lesser punishments for criminal offenses.
What is the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers?
The NYSACDL is a statewide organization of New York criminal defense lawyers that work to protect the rights of criminal defendants and advocate for their rights in the justice system.  This association maintains a legislative agenda to reform the criminal code to protect the rights of criminal defendants and also promotes Continuing Legal Education classes to brief member lawyers of new developments to the criminal code.  Members of this and the New York Criminal Bar Association are some of the best New York criminal defense lawyers that are backed by the resources of these organizations and relevant professional relationships that will assist you through your criminal case.
How do I know my New York criminal defense lawyer is legitimate?
Since bar association membership is not mandatory, there is no readily available, surefire way of ensuring that your New York criminal defense lawyer is legitimate.  You can check with the lawyer and determine if he or she is a member of a bar association.  You can then verify active membership in that bar association directly.  Alternatively, you may ask to examine the lawyer credentials, including certification of admission to the Bar in New York.  All lawyers must have attended law school and passed the bar to practice law in New York.
Finding a New York criminal defense lawyer
A lawyer referral and information service is a useful tool to find a New York criminal defense lawyer, although you may also use this site to find a skilled legal professional that will take your case.
The New York State Bar Association maintains a low cost lawyer referral service that will even waive the typical referral fee of $35 for accident cases.  The lawyer referral service will not cover referrals to New York City lawyers, as this is left up to organizations such as the New York City Bar Association.  
The New York County Lawyers Association and the New York City Bar Association combine to provide the Legal Referral Service, which can refer New York City residents to a lawyer in a number of specific areas, with subdivisions in criminal for drug, white collar and other areas of criminal law.  There is no cost to use this service and all participating lawyers are prescreened to determine their suitability.  The lawyer will charge up to $35 for a half hour consultation.  This screening process for this service has the lawyer explain to a panel their experience in the specific field of law they are applying to receive referrals including details on clients represented and verdicts won.  After the screening process, the individual using the lawyer referral service can be assured that they will receive quality representation.
How do I prepare for my consultation?
Any time you meet with a New York criminal defense lawyer, you must be completely honest and conceal nothing.  Bring an account of all facts of the case including possible witnesses and evidence that can be used against you, to your knowledge.  You want the New York criminal defense lawyer to be as prepared as possible to defend you at trial.  Incomplete information will compromise your case and there is only so much a New York criminal defense lawyer can do at that point to prove your innocence or secure a favorable plea bargain.
Research fees before the consultation, if such fees are available.  You must be aware of how much you are willing to spend on your criminal defense.  This determination will define your negotiations with the New York criminal defense lawyer and the nature of services you will receive.  Remember that any fees are estimates or ranges and will not reflect your actual experience.  Criminal trials can drag on, depending on the circumstances and fees will be accrued via retainer, finding expert witnesses and paying court fees.
What will I pay for the services of a New York criminal defense lawyer?
Factors affecting your case usually include the length of the trial and severity of the charges against you.  Disputed cases are long and as such, will be more expensive.  Some lawyers will also mandate a retainer account in addition to another fee arrangement, such as hourly billing.  Ensure you receive all fees in writing to avoid potential overbilling or deceptive fees on the part of the lawyer.  The retainer is an advance payment for legal services and is billed at the discretion of the criminal defense lawyer.  This retainer can be filled at the discretion of the New York criminal defense lawyer so this will become a pricy arrangement if not carefully negotiated with the lawyer.
Hourly fees are not recommended for criminal defense cases due to the number of hearings and legal preparation that will need to be done during the process.  Hourly fees are high as a lawyer’s time is valuable and you may be able to reap the most utility out of your legal representation through other payment agreements.
Take advantage of free consultations when they are available to discuss potential fees and payment arrangements with New York criminal lawyers.  The above fee arrangements do not consider court costs, which are also paid by the client.  You may be able to arrange low cost and extended payment for legal services at the discretion of the attorney or law firm.
Free and pro bono services are also available, the most popular being public defenders.  All other free services will be limited both in scope and availability.  Defending juvenile offenders or indigent persons are popular services provided by legal pro bono organizations.  There will also be criminal defense clinics where you can receive free legal advice, but not legal representation.  You will generally have to take the services of a public defender if you cannot afford a lawyer, but you may be able to receive quality representation from a pro bono New York criminal lawyer if your case is compelling enough and you meet the set eligibility requirements.
What are questions to ask New York criminal support lawyers?
How does my case relate to New York state and local laws?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
If I am a juvenile defendant, what are the chances I will be tried as an adult?
Should I take a plea bargain arrangement to lessen the charges against me?
When dealing with a criminal defense matter in New York, one may be tempted to use the services of a public defender or spend as little as possible on legal representation.  This is not always the best strategy.  Criminal defense lawyers in New York are motivated to protect their clients from prosecution and will work to prove your innocence or secure a plea deal that lessens the severity of the punishments against you.  Criminal defense lawyers in New York will specialize in a number of varied fields in including white collar criminal defense and drug crimes offenses.  This specialized experience may mean the difference at your criminal trial and may criminal defense lawyers in New York will be willing to work out payment plans for clients that demonstrate sufficient need.

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