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Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer in New York (2024)

Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer in New York (2024)

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, you must understand your legal options and choose the right lawyer to defend you. A good criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case, so it’s important to ask the right questions when selecting an attorney. Here are some critical questions to ask a criminal defense lawyer:

  1. What Is Your Experience Handling Cases Like Mine?
    Choose a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to yours. Ask about their background and how many cases they have handled that are like yours.
  2. What Is Your Success Rate in Cases Like Mine?
    While it’s not possible to guarantee a specific outcome in any case, a lawyer with a high success rate may be more likely to achieve a favorable outcome for you.
  3. How Will You Defend Me in Court?
    Ask the lawyer to outline their strategy for defending you in court. This will help you understand their approach to your case and give you a better idea of what to expect.
  4. What Are the Potential Outcomes of My Case?
    It’s important to understand the possible outcomes of your case, including any potential penalties or consequences. A good lawyer will be able to explain the potential outcomes and help you understand your options.
  5. How Will You Communicate With Me About My Case?
    Regular communication with your lawyer about the progress of your case is crucial. Ask about their availability and how they prefer to communicate with clients.
  6. What Is Your Fee Structure?
    Ask about the lawyer’s fee structure, including any upfront costs or retainer fees. Take time to fully understand all costs associated with your case and how they will be billed.
  7. Can You Provide References From Past Clients?
    It’s always smart to ask for references from past clients. This can give real-world evidence of the lawyer’s reputation and how they have helped others in similar situations.
  8. How Long Do You Expect My Case to Take?
    Have a general idea of how long your case is expected to take. Ask the lawyer for an estimate, but keep in mind that cases can take longer than expected due to various factors.
  9. What Are Your Qualifications and Credentials?
    Make sure to ask about the lawyer’s qualifications and credentials. This includes their education, training, and any professional associations they belong to.
  10. Do You Have Any Conflicts of Interest?
    Choose a lawyer who doesn’t have any conflicts of interest that could potentially compromise your case. Ask about any potential conflicts before hiring a lawyer.

By asking these questions, you can better understand a lawyer’s experience, qualifications, and approach to your case. It’s important to choose a criminal defense lawyer you feel comfortable working with and who has a track record of success. Take your time and do your research to find the right lawyer for you.

Should You Tell Your Defense Attorney Everything?

As a general rule, be completely honest with your defense attorney about the facts of your case. This includes telling them about any involvement you may have had in the alleged crime and any potential defenses or mitigating circumstances.

Your defense attorney is there to represent you and advocate for your interests, and they can only do that effectively if they fully understand your case. Withholding information or being dishonest with your lawyer can hinder their ability to build a strong defense and may ultimately harm your case.

However, note that your communications with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege, which means they are confidential and cannot be disclosed without your consent. This means that you can speak openly and honestly with your lawyer without worrying that the information you share will be used against you.

It is also important to understand that your defense attorney is not there to pass moral judgment on your actions. They are there to provide you with legal representation and defend your rights. Trust and honesty are important components of the attorney-client relationship, and it is in your best interests to be open and honest with your criminal defense lawyer.


Q: Can My Defense Lawyer Be Present During Police Questioning?

A: Yes, you have the right to have an attorney present during police questioning. It is important to exercise this right, as anything you say to the police can be used against you in court. In addition, having a lawyer present can help protect your rights and ensure that you are not coerced or pressured into making a statement that could harm your case.

Q: Can My Defense Lawyer Negotiate a Plea Deal on My Behalf?

A: Yes, in some cases, your defense lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea deal on your behalf. A plea deal is an agreement in which you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. Your lawyer can discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of a plea deal and help you make an informed decision about whether to accept the offer.

Q: Can My Defense Lawyer Appeal the Outcome of My Case?

A: If you are unhappy with the outcome of your case, your defense lawyer may be able to file an appeal on your behalf. An appeal is a request for a higher court to review a lower court’s decision. However, it’s important to note that not all cases are eligible for appeal, and the process can be complex and time-consuming. Your lawyer can advise you on whether an appeal may be appropriate in your case.

Q: Can My Defense Lawyer Help Me Expunge My Criminal Record?

A: In some cases, your defense lawyer may be able to help you expunge your criminal record, which means sealing or destroying the official record of your arrest or conviction. This can help you move on from your criminal past and make finding employment or housing easier.

Contact the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, Today

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, seek legal advice as soon as possible. The experienced team at the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, has been defending clients throughout the state for many years. We understand the complexities of criminal law and are committed to protecting your constitutional rights and fighting for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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