How do I find a criminal defense lawyer?

If you can afford an attorney...

you may call the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Legal Referral Service at (212) 626-7373 (English) (212) 626-7374 (Spanish). You can also speak with friends or neighbors who may know an attorney, or check the yellow pages.

If you can not afford an attorney...

at your arraignment the court will appoint a lawyer for you from an indigent defense law firm like The Legal Aid Society or The Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem. Or the court may have appointed a private attorney from a panel of criminal defense attorneys operated by the Courts. These attorneys are usually called "18-b attorneys."

If the police are looking for you ...

in order to arrest you, or have asked that you come to the precinct for some reason and you cannot afford an attorney, you may call The Legal Aid Society office in the county of the precinct of arrest. An attorney will advise you and may accompany you to the precinct.