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I understand lawyer is here to represent you and because they know the law, but, is a lawyer here to take decisions for you?

New York, NY |

My public defender is taking decisions about my case that I disagree with. For instance doing everything not to go to trial even though I want to. That I am willing to take the risk. The problem is that my attorney isn't ready to take the risk. I think because my attorney doesn't want to have to work hard on a case they could not have to do anything if I didn't want a trial... Isn't my lawyer's job to tell me what's going on, what ALL my options are, and then I choose what I want to do based on my options?

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Attorney answers 4


The ultimate decision on whether to go to trial or not is yours. Most attorney's (public defender's or even private) struggle to convince a client to do what they feel is best which often includes a plea.
Understand that 95+ % of cases are pleas and the risks are tremendous if you lose at trial.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


An attorney has the duty to protect your constitutional rights and to communicate with you in order for you to make informed decisions as your case progresses toward trial. Ultimately as the client you are the one that must decide which direction your case takes.

Try to communicate with your attorney so that both of you mutually understand each other and that you fully understand the consequences or your decisions.

Note: For informational purposes only. Seek an in person consultation with an attorney to be informed about all of your rights.


The decision on whether to plead guilty is yours alone. However, your lawyer must give you his honest opinion on what he thinks you should do. If you are not happy wth your lawyer ask the Judge to appoint someone else (he may or may not) or hire someone.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


An attorney's job is to analyze the evidence (strengths and weaknesses), explore any and all defenses and ultimately make recommendations to the client. It is up to the client to make the decisions, particularly the one involving whether to go to trial and whether to testify if the client so desires.