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What Does a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer Do? 2024

What Does a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer Do? 2024

Quality representation is essential to a defendant’s chances in a criminal case. A criminal defense lawyer can use their experience, knowledge, and cleverness to give their clients a chance against what can otherwise feel like a system pitted against them. If you or someone close to you is being criminally charged, then you are going to want to hire a New York criminal defense lawyer you can trust. Before you can know how to evaluate your options, though, you’ll want to understand what your lawyer is supposed to do for you.

What Does a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

Talk With Defendant

The first thing a defense attorney will usually do is talk with the defendant about the situation and get an understanding of their experience in regard to the crime in question. They will often also be as transparent as they can with the client with regard to the process and expectations. That dynamic should also continue through the full legal process.

Investigate Case

One of the more substantial parts of the defense attorney’s process is investigating the case. They will need to rely on experience and ingenuity to examine every possible source of information that may help them build a defense. Their job is to leave no stone unturned.

Consider Evidence and Develop a Strategy

After gathering evidence, a criminal defense attorney will need to begin developing a defensive strategy. These are often multi-faceted approaches to defending their client. They will need to anticipate what the prosecution may put forth as evidence and try to understand any possible weaknesses in their case. They may also want to develop something like an alternative explanation for what happened as well, something that is plausible enough to give the jury reasonable doubt about what occurred.

Plea Bargaining

After examining all evidence and considering every possible measure of defense, the defense lawyer may feel that it will be difficult to get their client through a trial with a not guilty verdict. At this point, they may discuss the possibility of a plea bargain. The defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution on their client’s behalf for a deal that is acceptable.

In Court

If the case does go to trial, then the lawyer will represent the defendant and act on their behalf. They will, with the prosecution, be responsible for selecting the jury for the trial. When the procedures start, they are responsible for defending their client against the accusation. If the prosecution is able to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt, the defense lawyer will attempt to plead with the judge for lighter sentencing. Finally, after the trial, the criminal defense lawyer will offer appeals if possible. From start to finish, a criminal defense lawyer is expected to put forth their most earnest effort into representing their client.


Q: What Can You Expect From a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A: The first thing that you should expect from a criminal defense lawyer is honesty. You don’t want a lawyer who is going to sell you on something that they can’t deliver. This is particularly important when it comes to the issue of a potential plea bargain. You want a lawyer who is going to be clear and direct about your chances in an open trial and what you can expect in possible sentencing if you were to be found guilty. This provides the context that you need in a potential plea bargain situation. You also should expect your lawyer to represent you with diligence and attention to detail. Most aspects of a strong defense are built around the details. If you feel your lawyer is not detail-oriented, then you may want to move on.

Q: Should a Defendant Tell Their Lawyer Everything?

A: There are different ideas on this subject. In some cases, defense lawyers want to make sure they know every detail. The law is extremely nuanced and technical. Sometimes there are improper procedures or other details that can help with a defense. Other defense lawyers are in a different camp of thinking. They don’t necessarily want to know whether you committed the crime or not. Often, they want to make sure that any subconscious biases or ethical concerns don’t inhibit their ability to make the strongest case they can in favor of their client. It’s wise to discuss with your lawyer what they want in that situation.

Q: What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for Me?

A: If you are accused of a crime, a criminal defense lawyer acts as your advisor, negotiator, and representative. They will investigate your case, looking for every possible avenue of defense. They will advise you as to where things stand. If it looks like a plea bargain may be a worthwhile option, they will negotiate on your behalf. Finally, if the case goes to trial, they will exhaust every option available while representing you through sentencing and appeals when necessary.

Q: What Is the Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case?

A: In a criminal case, the prosecution is responsible for the burden of proof. They must present evidence and make the case that the crime occurred. This is because the principle in courts is the idea of innocent until proven guilty. The prosecutor will need to demonstrate what crime occurred and how the defendant is guilty. It’s the job of the defense attorney to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and show how it is flawed. This can be everything from demonstrating inconsistencies and gaps in evidence to offering an alternative explanation.

A Defense Lawyer Can Make the Difference

The role of a defense lawyer is a tremendously important one. The job that a defense lawyer does can have life-changing effects for their clients. That’s not something that we take lightly. We know that our clients would fight with every legal means available to them, and our job as their representative is to do the same. From investigation to appeal, if needed, we treat every aspect of our client’s case with attention to detail and use our experience to argue on their behalf with the same determination that they would. If you are ready to have us take a look at your case and possibly represent you, contact us today.

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