Locations Served

Bronx County Kings County | Brooklyn New York County | Manhattan Queens County Richmond County | Staten Island

Who We Are

The Criminal Practice of the Legal Aid Society provides representation in criminal trials and appeals as well as parole revocation defense hearings. Each year, the practice represents clients in approximately 220,000 indigent criminal cases in trial, appellate and parole revocation proceedings and serves as the primary public defender in New York City.

The Criminal Practice handles criminal cases at the trial level, ranging in seriousness from disorderly conduct to non-capital first degree murder. To be eligible for representation, clients must be financially unable to retain counsel, and subject to criminal charges in the State or City criminal courts in Bronx, Kings, New York or Queens Counties.

Most clients in the Criminal Practice are assigned to Legal Aid by the courts at arraignments, the first court appearance following arrest. Criminal Defense staff also represents current clients in administrative and civil proceedings related to their criminal cases, including school suspension hearings, property forfeiture proceedings, sex offender classification hearings, and probation or parole revocation proceedings.

The Criminal Practice staff provides legal advice and representation to members of the public who have not been arrested but need legal help on criminal matters, such as surrendering on an arrest warrant, appearing in a police-arranged line-up, responding to a court subpoena, or answering questions during a police investigation. People who need such help should contact the Criminal Defense office in the county in which they need assistance.

How to Get Help

At this time, The Legal Aid Society is offering remote services by phone. Call this location directly via (212) 577-3300, or reach us via our Main Number (212) 577-3300 or Helpline (888) 663-6680, staffed Mon-Fri 10am-3pm.

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Last Reviewed: April 22, 2020