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Questions to Ask When Hiring a New York City Criminal Lawyer

 

Questions to Ask When Hiring a NYC Criminal Lawyer

Getting arrested or charged with a crime in New York City can be a scary thing. The legal system here is complex, and the penalties for some crimes can be severe. Having the right New York criminal defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference. But how do you go about finding the best attorney for your situation? Asking the right questions during your initial consultation is key. Here’s some advice on what to ask and look for when hiring a NYC criminal lawyer.

Do they specialize in your type of case?

Not all criminal lawyers are created equal. Some focus on certain types of crimes or practice areas. For instance, a lawyer who mainly handles white collar cases like fraud or embezzlement may not be the best fit if you’re facing assault or drug charges. Find someone who regularly deals with cases similar to yours. Ask the lawyer how much experience they have with your crime specifically. You want someone who knows the common defenses and strategies inside and out.

What’s their track record of success?

A lawyer can boast all day long about their skills and expertise. But you need to see proof that they regularly get good results for clients facing charges. Ask for specific statistics on their win-loss rate at trial. Also request examples of past cases where they got charges reduced or dismissed. If the lawyer has impressively high rates of acquittals, reduced sentences, or dismissed charges, that’s a great sign.

Do they have experience handling cases in your county?

Each county or borough in the NYC area has its own unique courts, judges, prosecutors and processes. Brooklyn criminal courts operate differently than those in Queens or Manhattan. It’s a major advantage for your lawyer to be familiar with the players and procedures in the exact courthouse where your case is being heard. Ask if they have worked extensively in your specific county’s criminal justice system.

Who will be handling most of the work?

Some law firms have you meet with the lead attorney initially but then pass your case down to less experienced associates. Ask upfront who will be doing most of the actual work, research, court appearances, etc. You want to make sure it’s the competent lawyer you interviewed with, not an inexperienced underling.

How quickly do they respond to inquiries?

Your lawyer should be readily available to answer your questions and concerns. During your consultation, make note of how quickly they return calls or emails. An attorney who takes days to respond may not give your case the attention it requires. Look for someone who gets back to you within 24 hours or less.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Do you feel comfortable with them?

At the end of the day, your gut instinct matters. You need an attorney you feel you can trust completely and be open with about every aspect of your case. If something feels off about the lawyer’s personality or approach, it may be best to look elsewhere. But if you leave the meeting feeling confident in their abilities and reassured, that’s a great indicator.

What are the fees and billing structure?

Defense lawyers use various models – hourly, flat fee, payment plans, etc. – and the costs vary widely. Get quotes from multiple attorneys so you understand your options. Also ask what expenses are included in the fees. You don’t want surprise charges for things like expert witnesses down the road.

Do they think your case can be won or charges reduced?

Any ethical lawyer should be upfront if they don’t realistically think your case can be beat. While it’s not what you want to hear, it’s better to know upfront rather than waste time and money. However, if the lawyer sees strong defenses that could get your charges dropped or reduced, that’s reassuring.

Will they take your case to trial if needed?

Some lawyers push all their clients to take plea deals. If you want to fight your charges at trial, make sure to ask if they’re willing to take your case the distance. Gauge their appetite for bringing cases before a jury rather than settling.

Do they have good relationships with prosecutors and judges?

Having rapport with prosecutors and judges can really help during negotiations and sentencing. Ask if the lawyer has good working relationships with the DAs and judges in your jurisdiction. If so, those connections may work to your advantage behind the scenes.

What’s their overall strategy?

A top lawyer will have an initial gameplan for attacking your case and getting the best possible outcome. Listen closely to the strategy they propose and ask questions. Make sure it sounds like an aggressive but viable approach versus vague promises.

Will they be handling everything themselves?

Some lawyers bring in outside help like private investigators or sentencing consultants. Others keep everything in-house. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Know what resources your lawyer will leverage and who they collaborate with.

What are possible outcomes?

Every case is different, but your lawyer should be able to give estimates on likely penalties if convicted at trial versus potential plea bargain outcomes. Understanding the range of possibilities will help you make informed decisions.

What are the next steps?

Before leaving the initial consultation, you should have a clear sense of the timeline and major milestoness in the case. Find out when the lawyer needs to receive key evidence from you, when motions will be filed, and when you’ll return to court.

Finding the right criminal lawyer in New York City takes research, asking questions, and weighing your options carefully.

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