Being stopped, questioned by the police and/or arrested can be frightening. If you have been contacted by the police regarding a criminal investigation, you should speak to an attorney who can advise you of your rights before speaking to law enforcement. To speak to an attorney in one of our Criminal Defense offices call the number for your borough listed below.
If you, or someone you know, has been arrested and you have questions about a pending criminal case, contact your attorney or call the Criminal Defense Office in your borough to find out how to get help.
Criminal Defense Offices
Staten Island: 347-422-5333
If you are a youth 17 and under and the police have contacted you about an arrest, or you are a parent/guardian of a youth 17 and under call our Juvenile Rights Practice trial office in your borough and ask to speak to a delinquency supervisor. Like adults, youth have a right to an attorney and may request to consult with an attorney PRIOR to and DURING any police interaction. We do not advise meeting with police without consulting an attorney.
Juvenile Trial Offices
Staten Island: 347-422-5333
Civilian Complaint Review Board
If you feel your rights have been violated by a member of the New York City Police Department you can file a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) or by calling 800-341-2272.
You can also request assistance and information on our CCRB Complaint Clinic here.
Information New Yorkers need to be safe and informed while protesting.
New York’s criminal court handles misdemeanors and lesser offenses. The court also conducts arraignments and preliminary hearings for felonies.
Police encounters can be frightening and they have the potential to escalate. The most important aspect of the encounter is your safety so stay in control and remember to exercise your rights. You have the right to be free of searches, to remain silent and to ask for your lawyer-learn about your rights so you can be empowered. If you feel your rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) online or by calling 800-341-2272.
Procedures for prison visitation vary for city and state prisons. Find the information you need below.
If you are under 16 years of age, different rules apply when dealing with the criminal justice system. Learn more about the important distinctions.
Finding a lawyer to represent you on your Criminal case depends on whether you can afford a lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you will have one assigned to you by the court.
Arrests occur in many different situations, so it is difficult to predict the exact circumstances that someone who is arrested will encounter. Our guide provides general information about arrest processing in New York City, and what to expect in most cases if you are arrested.
You have probably heard on television the speech that is read after an arrest:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything that you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you free of charge.”
These are the “Miranda warnings,” which explain your constitutional right not to answer questions posed by the police and to have a lawyer appointed to represent you if you cannot afford to hire one.
The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.
Last Updated: 6 November 2019
2021 The Legal Aid Society. All Rights Reserved