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Things A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Do For You That You Probably Cannot Do For Yourself


Millions of criminal defendants and plaintiffs in civil cases try to navigate US courts without a lawyer each year. According to research, in some states, up to 90% of litigants are “pro se litigants,” meaning they do not have a lawyer. There are many reasons why people handle their criminal and civil cases pro se. For example, some people choose to represent themselves to avoid the cost of hiring an attorney.

If you’re being faced with criminal charges, you might be considering handling your criminal case alone. But is handling your case pro se a good idea? This may seem biased coming from a criminal defense attorney, but the truth is that it is best for you to work with an attorney if you are facing criminal charges. Statistics show that working with a criminal defense attorney increases your chances of seeing a positive outcome from your case.

Still not convinced you should hire a criminal defense attorney to help you with your criminal case? Below are some things a defense attorney can do for you that you probably cannot do for yourself.

Make Full Use of Discovery

In the United States of America, criminal defendants have the right to obtain evidence from the prosecution. The prosecution also has the right to obtain evidence from the defense side. A criminal defense attorney understands the type of evidence the prosecutor is required to share during discovery.

In the US, the prosecution is required to disclose to the defense side any exculpatory evidence that is material to the defense’s case. This is evidence that, among other things, shows the defendant did not commit the crime and would reduce the defendant’s sentence.

Negotiate With Prosecutors

The majority of criminal cases in the US are resolved through plea bargaining. To be precise, approximately 90 to 95 percent of all criminal cases. If your attorney assesses your case and finds that a plea bargain is a possibility for you, they can help you negotiate with prosecutors. A qualified criminal defense attorney will know when not to accept an unfair plea deal and when to advise you to take the deal.

Find Ways To Delay Things

Depending on your case’s specifics, you may need to delay your trial. For example, if you have not gathered enough evidence or haven’t had enough time to prepare, you may want to delay your trial. Figuring out how to delay your trial might be challenging for you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with that.

Navigate the Local Courts

An experienced local criminal defense attorney can navigate the local courts quite easily, as they have been there before. They know the rules that the courts follow and the culture. They even know the prosecutors and judges. Because of their familiarity with the local courts, a criminal defense attorney will know how to prepare for court. Additionally, they will know what to do during court sessions and after your case has been resolved.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’re facing criminal charges in New York and need help from a qualified criminal defense attorney, contact the NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, at 917-414-8585.



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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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