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Crucial Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney


It is estimated that over 10 million people are arrested yearly in the U.S. If you find yourself arrested and charged with a crime, one of the best decisions you can make is to hire a criminal defense attorney. However, when it comes to defense attorneys, it is crucial to note that the choice of lawyer can significantly affect the outcome of your case. Finding the right defense attorney is vital for your case. The right attorney can make the legal process smoother and increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. To ensure you hire the right criminal defense attorney, you need to ask the right questions. The following are some crucial questions to ask before hiring a criminal defense attorney to ensure you hire the right attorney;

  1. How long have you practiced criminal law?

There are several benefits to having an attorney who has practiced criminal law for years and handled a good number of criminal cases. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows what to expect through all the stages of the legal process. They can anticipate the prosecution’s actions and strategies and use that in your favor.

  1. Have you handled cases similar to mine?

Apart from asking an attorney how long they have practiced criminal law, you need to ask if they have handled cases similar to yours. An attorney who has dealt with cases like yours can draw from their experiences. This can increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

  1. What is your success rate?

Ensuring the attorney you hire has handled a good number of criminal cases and has experience handling cases similar to yours is a good start. However, you also want to hire someone with a track record of successfully defending their clients. While such an attorney does not guarantee that you will achieve a favorable outcome, they are more likely to find the best possible outcome for you.

  1. How often do you defend your clients in court?

Many criminal cases don’t go to court. Most criminal cases are resolved outside of court through plea bargaining. However, you need an attorney who is prepared to take your case to court if necessary. If your case goes to trial, having an attorney who has defended a good number of people in court can improve your fighting chances. Additionally, a defense attorney with experience defending suspects in court can improve your negotiation position.

  1. What is your assessment of my case?

The right attorney should be able to provide you with a genuine assessment of your case based on their experience. However, no attorney can guarantee a particular outcome. What an attorney should be able to do is explain the strengths and weaknesses of your case. The right attorney should be able to explain possible challenges and the strategy they believe might work best.

  1. Are you familiar with the local courts?

It is helpful to have an attorney who has a rapport with the local prosecutors and judges. Familiarity with the local courts can help an attorney plan a better defense strategy.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

NYC criminal defense attorney Mark I. Cohen, Esq. is ready to answer all your questions. Contact us today at 212-732-0002 or by filling out our online contact form.



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The New York Criminal Bar Association
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2017
Avvo Reviews Mark L. Cohen


"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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