25 Sep 23

What questions should I ask when interviewing criminal lawyers in New York?

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Last Updated on: 25th September 2023, 05:38 pm

What Questions Should I Ask When Interviewing Criminal Lawyers in New York?

Finding the right criminal defense attorney is crucial for navigating the complex legal system in New York. Interviewing potential lawyers allows you to get a sense of their experience, skills and case strategies. Here are some key questions to ask during initial consultations with criminal lawyers in New York:

Experience and Background

  • How long have you been practicing criminal law in New York?
  • What percentage of your caseload focuses on criminal defense?
  • What types of criminal charges have you defended against?
  • How many jury trials have you taken to verdict in criminal cases?
  • What is your success record in getting charges reduced or dismissed?

You want an attorney well-versed in New York criminal statutes and court procedures. Asking about their experience with specific charges and trial record helps assess their skills.

Legal Expertise

  • What experience do you have with cases similar to mine?
  • Are you familiar with the prosecutors and judges in the jurisdiction of my case?
  • How do you stay up-to-date on changes in New York criminal law and procedure?
  • Are you able to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against me?

Choose a lawyer knowledgeable about the charges you face and the local courts. Look for one who proactively finds ways to strengthen your defense.

Case Strategy

  • How would you approach defending my case if I hire you?
  • What pretrial motions might you file on my behalf?
  • When does it make sense to take a case to trial versus seek a plea deal?
  • If convicted, how would you advocate for me at sentencing?

Understand the lawyer’s game plan for fighting your charges at every phase. Make sure it aligns with your goals.

Communication Style

  • How responsive are you to client phone calls and emails?
  • Will you keep me informed of case developments along the way?
  • Do you explain legal issues to clients in easy to understand language?

The right attorney will clearly communicate, explain legal concepts, and keep you in the loop.

Fees and Billing

  • Do you charge hourly, flat fees, or other fee structures?
  • What is your upfront retainer fee and when is it due?
  • How can we keep legal costs affordable in my case?

Never hesitate to discuss fees and billing details – it’s your money and your right to understand the costs.

Reputation and Credentials

  • Are you rated by legal associations like the Better Business Bureau?
  • Can you provide references from past clients I can contact?
  • Do you maintain malpractice insurance?

It’s wise to verify a lawyer’s standing through ratings, references, and credentials like insurance.

Personal Rapport

  • Are you someone I can trust with sensitive information about my case?
  • Will you treat me with respect and understanding during this difficult process?
  • Do you make clients feel comfortable opening up about private matters?

Consider rapport and your gut feeling – you want a lawyer you can trust completely.

Key Takeaways

When interviewing criminal defense lawyers in New York, key questions to ask include:

  • How much experience do you have in criminal law and with my charges?
  • Are you familiar with the prosecutors and courts in my jurisdiction?
  • What is your strategy for fighting my charges?
  • How clearly do you communicate with clients?
  • What are your fees and billing practices?
  • Can you provide references and credentials?
  • Do I feel comfortable opening up to you?

Taking time to thoroughly vet lawyers gives you the best chance at selecting skilled counsel you can trust.


  1. Hiring a Lawyer
  2. Selecting Criminal Defense Counsel
  3. 10 Important Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer
  4. Choosing a Lawyer
  5. Hiring a Lawyer