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Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer in NYC (2024)

Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer in NYC (2024)

If you were recently charged with a serious crime, choosing the right criminal defense attorney could be the most consequential decision of your life. Having experienced legal counsel could mean the difference between a favorable outcome to your case or serious penalties. Defendants often feel like they are lost when searching for legal representation, so it is important to understand common mistakes to avoid when hiring a criminal defense lawyer in NYC.

Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer in NYC

Mistake No. 1: Going With the Most Affordable Attorney

It is reasonable to have concerns about the cost of legal representation, especially when you are also facing immediate costs such as bail, court fees, and other expenses related to your case. The short-term costs of hiring a lawyer should be weighed against the long-term cost of having a serious criminal conviction on your record.

A criminal conviction for a serious crime could come with immediate jail or prison sentencing and steep fines. An experienced criminal defense attorney can capably defend the rights of their clients.

With the right attorney, you could have your charges dropped. Even if signing a plea bargain agreement is ultimately in your interest, your lawyer can negotiate a favorable agreement that allows you to put the ordeal behind you.

Mistake No. 2: Not Researching the Attorney’s Background and Area of Focus

Failing to investigate an attorney’s experience, area of focus, and success record can lead to hiring someone who may not be the right fit for that specific case. There are many areas of law that attorneys practice. Probate, family, and criminal law are just a few of the more common types of law that an attorney can focus on.

Even within the field of criminal law, which is expansive, criminal defense attorneys may focus on certain types of crime over others. White-collar crime, for example, is very different from violent crimes, like assault and homicide. If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights in court, consider their past cases and current areas of focus.

Mistake No. 3: Ignoring Experience

Once you find a criminal defense attorney, you will still want to consider how many years they practice and how much time inside a courtroom they have spent. Some criminal defense attorneys may focus on appeals or other areas of law that do not require time inside the courtroom.

When hiring a criminal defense attorney, years of experience matter. All attorneys graduate from law school and pass the bar exam in the state where they practice, but each case is unique.

You will want to find an attorney who has represented many clients who faced similar criminal charges to your own. An experienced attorney will be better suited to finding novel defense strategies that work in your favor.

Mistake No. 4: Lack of Personal Connection

Having a good rapport with your attorney is more important than you may think. A criminal case may last several months or longer, and the professional relationship you have with your attorney could help your case.

When you feel comfortable with your attorney, you are more likely to provide them with all the information they need to defend you. You will also be more willing to trust their advice and counsel.

Mistake No. 5: Not Checking References and Reviews

Past clients are often vocal about their experiences with certain attorneys. You can check online reviews and social media reviews for honest feedback about particular attorneys. Lawyers often post reviews on their websites as well. If an attorney does not share feedback from past clients on their website, that could be a potential red flag.


Q: What Is the Mistake of Fact Defense in Criminal Law?

A: A mistake of fact could be a mistaken belief or a mistake about a factual element of a criminal case. When a criminal defense attorney can make an argument that a mistake of fact supports their client’s innocence, the courts may consider that evidence as long as it is a reasonable argument.

Q: What Is a Dilemma That Is Often Faced by Defense Attorneys?

A: One dilemma that is often faced by defense attorneys is whether to recommend that their client go to trial or take a plea bargain offer. Going to trial could allow a jury or judge to hear the evidence before them. A trial could ultimately exonerate a defendant, but there are no guaranteed outcomes to a trial. For example, a jury may bring their own biases to the case, even when the evidence suggests that the defendant is innocent.

Q: What If a Defense Lawyer Knows That Their Client Is Guilty?

A: Every client has a right to a fair trial. One of the roles that defense attorneys have in the criminal justice system is ensuring due process. Lawyers are also tasked with protecting the important constitutional rights of all defendants. The burden of proving guilt falls on prosecutors. Without the important role of defense attorneys, the rights of U.S. citizens and residents would be weakened.

Q: Why Do Lawyers Need to Defend Even the Worst Criminals?

A: Some crimes are considered more heinous than others. Homicide and rape, for example, are universally considered deplorable acts. However, all defendants have the same rights to a fair trial and due process, regardless of the specific crime in question.

Defendants have been falsely accused of even the most serious crimes and later exonerated of those accusations. Seeking true justice requires that all defendants have access to legal counsel.

Schedule Your Criminal Defense Consultation Today

By following the tips in this article, you can confidently work to find your new attorney. One of the most consequential decisions you’ll make while facing criminal charges is finding the right attorney who has the experience to defend you in court. With sound and competent legal counsel, you could have the penalties you are facing reduced.

Don’t delay finding the right match for your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, our attorneys bring comprehensive and compassionate legal representation to our valued clients. We explore every legal remedy possible to help our clients experience favorable outcomes in their cases. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

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