Choosing a Lawyer for Your Petit Larceny Case
If you have reached this page, then you no doubt have discovered that there are quite a few choices out there in terms of lawyers to represent you in your petit larceny case.
As a general rule, it makes sense that you want to find someone with experience in criminal defense. This is not particularly surprising, but the trick is finding someone who actually has experience in criminal defense (including petit larceny cases). The problem is that the Bar recognizes no real distinction among lawyers. New York does not recognize "specialties" in the practice of law as a general rule. Therefore, a lawyer who graduated law school five minutes ago is allowed, within certain broad limits mostly related to his or her own commitment to "sufficient study", to accept your case and lay claim to the ability to deal with your case as a lawyer with 25 years experience. Nevertheless, experience in the field is a rational consideration on your end, and something that you ought to consider.
Additionally, experience in the locality where you will be prosecuted is also a good thing to consider. Although the laws around New York State are the same, as a general rule, the manner in which they are applied varies from location to location, even among the courthouses in New York City. Local knowledge is a great thing. Knowing who to call, having the relationships with the players, and just being a familiar face can help make your experience in the system go smoothly and with less stress.
Things that aren't so important are loud claims of "aggressiveness" that seem to be so popular among various lawyer advertisements you see and various other bold marketing claims.
Finally, I have had many clients express appreciation for our lack of drama and fear mongering that seems to be quite common, alas. So try not to get too worked up if someone tries to tell you that you are doomed to be dragged off in chains to Rikers Island for a year if you don't hire him or her immediately.
Whether you choose to come to Shalley and Murray or not, I will tell you right now that you are not at all doomed. You need a guide. You need help. You need to review your case with a lawyer to make sure things are OK. But you are not doomed. This is not likely to be the end of the line for you. The prognosis is good. This is good for you, because not only is the news good in the end in all likelihood, but it is good news in terms of the cost. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is going to be able to advise you and help you through this without the need to spend 60 hours prepping the cross examination of a medical expert in a homicide trial. There isn't likely to be a lot of legal research involved. In short, there will be less time needed to be spent and that means less money your will need to spend to get highly experienced criminal defense counsel on your side. In our case, people are frequently pleasantly surprised at how affordable it can be to bring an experienced and established firm like Shalley and Murray into a petit larceny case.
Hi. This is Don Murray, partner at Shalley and Murray. If after reading the articles that interest you here, you would like to speak to me, please call the above number. We can talk over the telephone, set up a free in person consultation, or even set up a video conference over Skype, FaceTime, or our own internal video conference software.