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Arrested in NYC? - NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

Former Manhattan Prosecutor Fighting for You

An experienced and skilled New York City (NYC) criminal defense lawyer can be the difference between a long jail sentence and getting your case dismissed. Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan Prosecutor with over 15 years of experience, will work tirelessly to get you the outcome that you need. We focus on criminal cases in New York City. Criminal cases typically happen when you've been arrested and you have an upcoming court date or the NYPD has contacted you as part of an investigation into you. Whether the charges against you are felonies or misdemeanors, convictions have consequences so your criminal case may be the last and best opportunity to protect your reputation and liberty.

The High Stakes of New York Criminal Law

Criminal convictions can be devastating and lead to life-altering consequences. You can lose your freedom, your job, your professional license, your right to vote, your ability to stay in your apartment, and you could make yourself vulnerable to civil liability. Even a brief detention (incarceration) in New York City often happens at Rikers Island, made notorious by chronic staffing problems and recent violence. Arrests, even for non-violent offenses, often entails being handcuffed, fingerprinted, and photographed. If you have prior convictions, you may even face enhanced sentencing and if you aren’t a citizen, you may face deportation. Any conviction, even to a low-level offense, can trigger the loss of certain rights and privileges or employment problems.

The Law Offices of Lance Fletcher defends clients facing criminal charges in all New York City courts including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. We defend cases before arrest (when the police want to speak with you), following arrest and at the arraignment, after the arraignment, and up to and including trial. We defend all types of criminal cases including those that started with a desk appearance ticket and all misdemeanors and felonies.

As a former Manhattan prosecutor, Lance Fletcher deploys a defense tailored to your needs by utilizing private investigators, medical and forensic experts, and conducting an independent investigation when needed to mount the most effective and aggressive defense possible. Contacts us for a consultation to discuss the details of your arrest and the plan for your upcoming court date.

The ins and outs of New York City Criminal Law

In New York City, there are two ways you may get arrested.

Desk Appearance Tickets. If you’ve been handcuffed and fingerprinted and released with a white piece of paper with a court date on it and that reads “Desk Appearance Ticket” at the top, you’ve been issued a Desk Appearance Ticket which was given to you instead of bringing you to see a judge right away. Desk Appearance Tickets became more common in the 2000s because they saved the City time and effort since by issuing a Desk Appearance Ticket, the arresting officer didn’t have to lodge you in a holding cell downtown and the City has much more time to draft and file charges.

Central Booking. If you’ve been handcuffed, fingerprinted, and brought to see a criminal court judge within about 24-36 hours of your arrest, you were brought to central booking for your arrest. Central booking is where you are brought for post-arrest processing and to wait to see the judge. From central booking, you are taken into a courtroom for arraignment. If bail is set, you are then brought to a detention facility such as Rikers Island. If no bail is set, you may be released from the courtroom. Depending on what your attorney says or doesn’t say, or what you say or don’t say during the arraignment could have significant consequences for you and your case going forward.

In New York, there are three group of offenses

Violations. In New York, violations are criminal offenses that are punishable by up to 15 days in jail and include charges such as disorderly conduct, jay-walking, and certain traffic tickets and other routine offenses.

Misdemeanors. In New York, misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and include offenses such as assault, DWI, theft of services, and criminal mischief (property damage).

Felonies. In New York, felonies are the most serious criminal offense and are punishable by over a year of jail and include offenses such as gun possession, felony assault, felony DWI, grand larceny, robbery, burglary, rape, and murder.

Some situations can be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on how the prosecutor files it. For example, if you are accused of damaging property and the damage is over $250, the prosecutor may charge this as a felony or misdemeanor. Additionally, some charges are generally misdemeanors but if it’s not your first time, it could become charged as a felony. For example, your first DWI may be a misdemeanor but your second one might be charged as a felony.

The Law Offices of Lance Fletcher NYC Defense Attorney Practice Areas

At the Law Offices of Lance Fletcher, we handle a wide array of criminal accusations ranging from non-violent offenses to violent felonies. Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan prosecutor, has over 15 years of litigating criminal cases in New York City courts.

Our practice areas include:

Accidents, Leaving the Scene

Assault

Obstruction of breathing and Strangulation

Burglary

Criminal Court Appearance Tickets - NYPD Summons

Criminal Penalties

Criminal Mischief

Criminal Contempt (violation of an order of protection)

Desk Appearance Tickets

Desk Appearance Ticket Tips

Disorderly Conduct

Domestic Violence

Driving with Suspended License

Driving: Aggravated Unlicensed Operation

Drug Possession

Drunk Driving / DWI DUI

Federal Crimes

Firearm Possession

Forcible touching (PL 13052)

Forgery

Fraud

Grand Larceny

Grand Larceny Penalties

Gun Possession Defense Lawyer

Harassment

Homicide

Identity Theft (if you've been arrested for Identity theft)

Immigration Consequences NY

Illegal Knives

Menacing (PL 12015 12014 & 12013)

Larceny

Lewdness & Exposure

Rape

Reckless Driving

Resisting Arrest (PL 20530)

Robbery

Sex Crimes

Sexual Abuse (PL 13055, 13060, 13065)

Stolen Property (PL 16540 16545 16550 16552)

Shoplifting

Stalking

Theft of Services

Warrants

Unlawful surveillance and upskirting

If you or a loved one is facing charges in NYC, contact us today for a consultation.

Finding the right NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime is about as serious as it gets. The effects of a conviction can lead to jail and a permanent record. In selecting the right lawyer for your case, you should consider many factors.

How many years has the attorney been practicing law?

Law school teaches you the general areas of US law because the law school doesn’t know what state their students are going to practice law in. Laws vary drastically from state to state and even cities and counties have their own local laws. Attorneys get most of their state and local experience from practicing law after law school so a recent graduate may still be very unfamiliar with what a NYC criminal case looks like.

Lawyers never stop learning. No two cases are ever the same so lawyers continue to learn year after year. Lawyers with more years of experience have seen more and can apply this experience to help you get the outcome that you need.

How many of these years were devoted to practicing criminal law in NYC?

“A jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech to refer to a person who has dabbled in many skills rather than gaining expertise by focusing on one.

If your charged with a crime, you probably want an experienced criminal lawyer by your side rather than a lawyer who handles family law and immigration in addition to criminal law.

Does the Attorney have unique experience such as being a former prosecutor in the same city where my case is?

They say that location is everything with property. So too with legal representation. A New York City lawyer is going to be a good fit for a New York City Case because they will be more familiar with local court room procedure and the different judges that are likely to preside over your case.

Has the Attorney defended a case like mine before? How many times?

Ask yourself, how many times has this lawyer handled a case like mine? Has the lawyer handled any cases that were more serious than mine? Experience defending similar cases means that a lawyer many be more familiar with certain defenses or strategies that work for the type of charges you face.

Does the Attorney have actual criminal trial experience?

Most criminal cases don’t go to trial. However, any criminal case could go to trial and it is often impossible to predict with absolute certainty which case will go to trial and which case won’t. So, it’s better if your criminal defense attorney has trial experience because that way you’ll be prepared in the event that you go to trial. Also, having actual trial experience will help your attorney understand if the prosecutor has a strong or weak case against you.

Who would appear with me in court – the Attorney on the website or a junior associate?

Would you be happy if you hired an experienced, reputable attorney only to be greeted by his/her junior associate in court?

Where is the Attorney’s office?

Does the Attorney work out of his/her home? Are they far away from NYC? Is there a place where I can meet the Attorney and discuss the case?

Is the Attorney willing to sit down with me for the consultation?

Somethings are best bought quickly over the internet but a quality Attorney probably isn’t one of those things. Sitting down with the Attorney is a sign that you and the Attorney take your case seriously because you’re both willing take the time to go over things properly.

Does the Attorney have a plan for my case that makes sense to me?

Criminal law can be complicated but the way your attorney explains it to you should not sound complicated. It’s important that you understand your legal situation and the plan for what your lawyer is going to do in a way that you could easily explain to someone else.

Does the Attorney have an informative website?

An attorney website is an excellent tool for seeing what areas the lawyer focuses on, what their experience is, and where they are located

It makes a lawyer more established because the lawyer is displaying their credentials and experience in a very visible and verifiable way

Do I feel comfortable with the Attorney?

This is probably the most important thing. The right attorney for your case should be able to explain the plan of action in a way you can understand. Because any attorney client relationship is based on mutual trust, the fact that you feel comfortable with your attorney is a good sign that you’re in good hands.

Any outcome in court can have life-long consequences. Having a criminal record can cause permanent employment, immigration, and housing problems. Getting the best representation means finding the right attorney for you and your case. Hopefully you find the above factors helpful. The main thing is that your Attorney fits your case and your situation. This fit comes from a combination of factors so it’s important to consider everything that you can.

Need to get it Dismissed?

Regardless of your charges, it may be possible to get it dismissed. Contact us to see if a dismissal might be possible in your case.

Outstanding Case Results

We work hard to get the right outcome. Our successful results speak for themselves.

No Case is Too Complex for Us

Facing criminal charges in New York City? It is to your benefit to have an experienced NYC Criminal Defense Attorney by your side.

Have you ever needed help from someone only to have had that person ask you questions that shows they don’t know any more about it than you do? You may recall a taxi-driver who asked you basic questions about how to navigate traffic, a politician who couldn’t answer a very simple question, or a person you thought could help you with directions only to discover they’re lost too. Sometimes these situations where you can’t be helped don’t matter that much because not that much is on the line. When it comes to your criminal case, don’t take a chance.

If you are accused of criminal wrongdoing and must appear in criminal court, it is to your advantage to have an attorney who has the most experience defending cases like yours in the same courthouse where your case will be heard. This is because arrest in New York City carries the risk of incarceration, loss of your professional license, employment problems, immigration or international travel problems, eviction, loss of access to your bank account, and other serious problems. While your case is pending in court, many of these problems can continue because the issue of your innocence or guilt is being decided in court. Cases generally end in conviction or dismissal. A conviction is when your guilt has been formally established. Initial problems caused by your arrest such as employment problems, loss of property, or immigration issues can become more permanent following a conviction. Additional consequences may follow. These include direct consequences of a conviction which can mean prison, probation, fines, and other penalties.

Things move quickly in court. At your arraignment, what you say or don't say can mean the difference between going home and being convicted. At subsequent court appearances, what you say or don’t say can keep you protected from or expose you to the most extreme consequences of the prosecutor’s case. As the court exists to settle disputes, different parties attend to fight for their right to be heard and see that their version of justice happens. These parties are you and your attorney for the defense, the prosecutor to represent the State, and the judge to adjudicate legal issues. The criminal court judge and prosecuting attorney often have extensive experience handling cases like yours but they are working hard for an outcome that could be catastrophic to you. Whether you have been arrested before or this is your first time, the steps you take in your defense can last a lifetime.

Getting your case dismissed is our top priority. Lance Fletcher, a former prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, is dedicated to the defense of people charged with crimes in New York City. Being a former prosecutor gives him a unique point of view when defending clients in court. We have successfully defended over one-thousand New York City criminal cases and we draw on our wide experience and background in criminal law. Working in both state and federal courts, we offer the resources and experience to handle any legal problem with unmatched service and personal attention. Click here to view our successful results. Kevin Jones (of-counsel) is an experienced NYC immigration lawyer who can provide advice regarding how your arrest might affect your immigration status.

Lance Fletcher is devoted exclusively to criminal defense throughout New York City including in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. He is trained in the time-tested art of courtroom advocacy and the latest technology, forensic techniques, and investigative strategies. In recent cases, Lance Fletcher has drawn on the fields of forensic photography, hand-writing analysis, forensic accounting, medical record analysis, video analysis, DNA and fingerprint analysis, and forensic psychology to advance his client's cases. We are prepared to respond to your case at once and take all the proper steps to ensure the best response to your charges. No two cases are the same and so our strong track record of success shows our ability to find a way to get our client’s charges dismissed or reduced time and time again. Depending on your situation, getting your charges dismissed or reduced is a question of filing the proper motion at the right time, successfully negotiating with the prosecuting attorney, or winning at trial. The Law Offices of Lance Fletcher’s consistent record of success has earned him respect throughout New York, in the National Trial Lawyer’s Association, client reviews and testimonials such as on AVVO, and with the judges and prosecutors with whom he works.

Criminal Defense. For our clients, a criminal charge in New York is a catastrophic disruption in their daily routine. Many are unable to sleep or concentrate at work. After meeting with us during the initial consultation, our clients often report finding peace of mind. Criminal defense is about more than the system, law, or best/worst case outcomes. It is about you. It is about getting you back to the life that you had before the arrest. During the initial consultation, we are able to give our clients an honest view of their situation and uncover defenses that our clients often didn’t realize existed. This is because a winning defense is often buried in the facts of the case. Criminal defense is as much about criminal law as it is about applying frank common sense to a given set of facts. In one of our client’s cases, we were able to get a dismissal by pointing out several problems with the State’s case. In another, we were able to get a dismissal by focusing on one serious problem in the State’s case. Although every case is different, the path to success and getting you back to where you were before your arrest starts with your consultation. Contact New York City Criminal Defense Attorney Lance Fletcher today.

Lance Fletcher became a New York City criminal lawyer because he cares about helping his clients who are facing life changing events. Because every case is an emergency, Lance Fletcher has appeared in court during unusual hours such as nights and weekends to fight for his client's release. Focusing exclusively on New York criminal defense, our office carefully and thoroughly prepares each case regardless of the severity of the charges. This preparation starts at the initial case evaluation which is when we meet with prospective clients to discuss the details of their case. Lance Fletcher prefers to meet with prospective clients to get a complete understanding of the circumstances that lead to the arrest. Our efforts continue as we prepare for court. This preparation routinely uncovers important facts that could lead to a successful resolution of your case. Our office takes pride in our reputation as thoughtful, skilled, and knowledgeable in the field of criminal defense. We can assist clients charged with a wide array of criminal charges, some of which are detailed throughout this site. Regardless of what you have been arrested for, our attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the results that you need. Contact us at 212-619-3900 for a case evaluation.

We defend clients against New York State and Federal criminal charges ranging from non-violent misdemeanors to serious felonies. Lance Fletcher routinely appears in all NYC criminal courts including in downtown and midtown Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx. We defend criminal cases including: Desk Appearance Tickets, Theft charges, Assault, Leaving the scene of an accident, DWI / DUI Drug charges, Sex offenses, Exposure, White collar crimes, Embezzlement, Domestic violence, Other misdemeanors, and Other felonies. If you haven't been arrested but you've been contacted by the police, contact us to discuss your options going forward. We can take steps find out more about the police investigation and defend you at any official proceedings.

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  • Charges were dropped because of Mr. Fletcher

    - R.A.

  • Thank you for the work you did

    - K. C.

  • Highly recommended!!

    - Thank you sooo much!!!

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Act Fast to Protect Your Future

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Damage control. Any New York City criminal case carries the risk of incarceration even if you have a clean record. Your arrest fingerprints, photograph, and arrest record could be discovered by others. Sometimes, your arrest might be covered in the press. A conviction could lead to incarceration and give future employers, organization, and governments the ability to deny employment, licenses, travel, and benefits. If you present the wrong evidence in court, it could multiply these problems. In fighting back, we carefully consider ways to reverse these consequences. Our careful understanding of New York criminal law allows us to look for important defenses, loopholes, technicalities, and other ways to fight for a complete dismissal or reduction of your charges. Drawing from years of experience in the courtroom, we can find the most practical and effective way to fight for the best outcome of your case. For some clients that mean getting the charges dropped. For others, it means avoiding jail. For us, it means victory.

When you contact us, we will get to know you and make sure we understand every detail about your case. We are prepared to send someone to speak with witnesses, analyze evidence, submit evidence of your good character, and file legal motions and pleadings to get your charges reduced or dismissed where possible. We can push back against the charges by submitting legal arguments on your behalf and negotiating with the prosecutor. If your case proceeds to trial, we are prepared to cross-examine the government’s witnesses and forcefully argue for an acquittal. Contact us today for a case evaluation.

In Pursuit of Success

New York’s criminal law traces its roots to our colonial heritage and reliance on common law. The common law, which we inherited from England, is a system of rules developed by judges based on the unique set of facts of a particular case. The “common law” stands for the idea that a judge can listen to your lawyer’s arguments and make a ruling. This ruling, if later adopted by other judges, is called case law which is, essentially, a new law. Case law, in addition to statutes, is the law of the land. A statute is a written law passed by the legislature. Statutes are set forth in a collection of laws on a particular subject such as the New York Penal Law. When your case enters New York’s courts, the outcome can be influenced by thousands of individual statutes and the cases interpreting these statutes. Statutes and case law form the framework for everything the prosecutor and judge can and cannot do in the course of your case.

A New York City criminal case starts when something happens that catches the attention of law enforcement. It could be because of a third party who called the police or something that the police observed directly. From there, numerous reports and actions can be taken by one or many law enforcement officers, each of whom have different motives, observations, and roles. When your case is prosecuted, it is sent to the District Attorney so that criminal charges can be filed in a local court. The District Attorney may be one individual or a large office with thousands of employees. Your case may be based on a simple set of facts or based on many different pieces of evidence including eye-witnesses, video surveillance, financial records, statements, and other facts. You could have one charge, or face hundreds of charges.

To help our clients, we determine the winning strategy. In some cases, this means taking immediate steps to challenge the legality of the charges and in others it means offering proof of any mitigating circumstances. Selecting the right strategy is everything because it will determine how the arraignment (the first court date) should be handled, and how every additional court date and any trial should be handled. We fight for dismissal not only in some cases, but in all. This is because regardless of whether there is a strong case against you or not, fighting for dismissal may reveal hidden defenses or weaknesses in the prosecutor's case. In pursuing our client's defense, we will look at every document, every relevant law, and every available procedure to obtain a dismissal or reduction of the charges. Contact us today for a Evaluation evaluation.

  • Macy's - Manhattan

    Client left without paying for two sweaters that were hidden in client's purse- Case dismissed, no criminal record, no fines.

  • Felony Assault - Brooklyn

    Client accused of assaulting a police officer. Client was a licensed professional facing a possible state prison sentence and, as a convicted felon, the end of his career. Outcome: All criminal charges dropped, no criminal conviction, no jail time.

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