How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney

 In Criminal Defense

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney in NY and NJ

A criminal defense attorney is a type of lawyer who specializes in criminal law. They will play a key role for you if you are facing criminal charges, whether your charges are minor or severe. Criminal charges should be taken very seriously, as many convictions can lead to hefty fines and jail time. If you are charged with any crime, whether it is a traffic violation, misdemeanor, or felony, an experienced criminal defense attorney will craft a personalized defense plan and fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Many people understand the importance of having an experienced attorney by their side when facing legal issues, but another crucial step of the process is knowing how to choose the right criminal defense attorney to represent you and fight for your rights. At The Gallucci Law Firm, we want to provide all the information you may need at the time of an arrest, including how to choose a criminal defense attorney in your area. Mario Gallucci has handled and won some of the largest and most difficult criminal cases in NY, NJ, and the Federal Courts, and will stand by your side at every step of the legal process. Learn more below about what you should consider if you or a loved one is arrested and needs an attorney in NY or NJ.

When Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Choosing to represent yourself in a criminal case is extremely inadvisable, as most people lack the knowledge needed to reach a positive outcome. Handling your own criminal case adds immense stress and pressure to an already stressful time, and those who represent themselves are more likely to make self-incriminating statements. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have the courtroom experience that you need to ensure that your case is handled properly, and will help you avoid the bias from lawyers and judges that those who represent themselves often face. It is crucial that you seek out the assistance of a reputable and experienced legal team, such as our team at The Gallucci Law Firm, to help you properly navigate your case.

What Will My Attorney Do For Me?

Each criminal case is unique and involves many different variables, and only a specialist can provide the type of representation that every criminal defendant needs to get justice. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have the resources you need during this difficult time, and will guide you through the legal process. Criminal defense attorneys in NY and NJ do much more than simply question witnesses in court. For example, criminal defense attorneys:

  • Help clients understand the charges against them and their legal options, while helping them cope with the feelings that come along with legal issues
  • Provide comprehensive knowledge into local court procedures
  • Represent clients at all stages of the legal process
  • Examine the circumstances and evidence surrounding the case to build a strong defense, which includes talking to police and witnesses to collect information
  • Gather evidence to support their client’s defense
  • Negotiate the terms of a plea bargain 
  • Maintain contact with the client to keep them informed of any developments
  • Assist in the jury selection process
  • Participate in the trial to defend the client and work towards a positive outcome

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney in New York and New Jersey

The attorney you’re looking for will probably not be the same person who handled your will or helped you buy a house. These were all civil attorneys, whereas for criminal charges, you need someone who specializes in criminal law. When seeking out a criminal defense attorney in your area, you should look for an attorney who has experience in your specific area of criminal law, along with experience in both local and federal courts. It is also a good idea to choose a lawyer who is a member of well-known legal organizations, such as local bar associations. Mario Gallucci was raised in Staten Island and is familiar with all of the communities in the area, having built a reputation for strong legal representation in New York and New Jersey. We encourage you to consider the following criteria when looking for a criminal defense attorney to represent you. 

Expertise in Your Specific Charge

When choosing a criminal defense attorney in NY or NJ, it is essential that you choose someone with extensive criminal defense experience, including experience handling charges similar to yours. Do not be afraid to ask about the attorney’s experience during your initial consultation. This type of communication is key to ensuring that the attorney you choose will be able to properly handle your case. Mario Gallucci proudly practices criminal law in New York and New Jersey and is fluent in all areas of criminal law, including:

Experience in the Local Courts

The firm you hire should not only have years of experience practicing criminal law, but should also have substantial courtroom experience at several different levels. Though the same laws may be in effect throughout a state, procedures vary from one courthouse to another. The attorney you choose should be familiar with local court rules and procedures, and will also be familiar with how police officers perform in court before juries. Mario Gallucci has experience in the courts in both New York and New Jersey, along with courts at the federal level. This ensures that he will tackle your case with confidence and years of experience. 

Courtroom Skill

Criminal trials move quickly, and sometimes your attorney will have just seconds to make an objection that could impact the outcome of your case. It is important to work with an attorney who you have confidence in and trust. Does the attorney have a track record of success in both negotiating plea bargains and taking cases to trial? While many cases are resolved through a plea bargain, this is not always the case. Your attorney should understand the importance of a thorough investigation and should be prepared to craft a personalized defense that accounts for all the details surrounding your case and can be utilized in court. 

Member of Professional Organizations

An attorney who belongs to any number of professional associations and organizations is more likely to have the expertise needed to handle your criminal case. Professional memberships indicate an attorney’s dedication to their practice – choosing an attorney who is fully involved in the legal world ensures that you are dealing with a true professional. With over 30 years of experience in criminal defense and litigation, Mario Gallucci is a member of some of the largest and well-known legal organizations in the United States. 

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • New York State and American Bar Associations
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • New York State Trials Lawyers Association
  • Richmond County Bar Association
  • Staten Island Defenders Association

Communicative Skills

Going through the arrest and trial process can be a confusing and stressful time. You’ll want to hire an attorney who makes it easy for you to communicate with them and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you have. They should be willing to explain things to you in a way that is easy to understand. A consultation with an attorney is a great time to get an idea of their dedication to your case and the way they communicate. When planning for your consultation with The Gallucci Law Firm, we encourage you to bring as much information about your case as possible, along with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Legal Fees

While you should not base your attorney decision on the amount of money they charge for their services, it is crucial that you understand how fees work within the law firm that you hire. If a law firm is quoting you a very low fee, you will want to investigate the experience of that law firm. On the other hand, just because a law firm is the most expensive does not mean that they are the most qualified to take on your case. The best defense attorney will explain in simple terms how they bill and give you an idea of what to expect regarding their fees for services and the total cost of your defense.

What to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney

In general, most attorneys will schedule an initial consultation before they agree to take on a case. This meeting can be very beneficial for prospective clients who are well-prepared to personally evaluate the attorney prior to hiring them. Draft a list of any questions or concerns you may have about your case, the legal services that the attorney provides, and the attorney’s background. Here are some common questions you will want to ask:

  • How long have you practiced criminal law?
  • What are your educational and professional credentials?
  • Do you have experience with cases in my area of criminal defense? 
  • Do you have experience in the courthouse that will handle my case? 
  • What strategy do you suggest for my case?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
  • How long will the legal process take? 
  • Who else will be a part of the legal process?
  • Who do I contact if I have questions about my case? How quickly will I receive a response?

Trust The Gallucci Law Firm for Comprehensive Legal Defense in New York and New Jersey

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you need a strong defender to fight by your side and secure a positive outcome for your case. Mario Gallucci and The Gallucci Law Firm, based in Staten Island, NY, are here to navigate your case by your side and develop a personalized strategy catered to you. Renowned as one of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, Mario Gallucci has handled and won some of the largest and most difficult criminal cases in New York, New Jersey, and within the Federal Courts. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific case and determine your legal options. We are here to help you.

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