Need Help?

Call (212) 876-5500 as soon as you, or a family member or friend, are arrested, or if you believe that law enforcement contact is likely.

Unlike most traditional public defender offices, NDS can begin representation before a client is arrested. Early entry can dramatically improve the outcome of a case. We can intercede on the client’s behalf with law enforcement, negotiate surrenders where appropriate and enhance public safety for our clients, their families and communities.

Generally, court-appointed defense attorneys begin their work at arraignment, when a judge assigns an attorney to a criminal case. This occurs many hours, sometimes days, after a client is arrested. However, defense work done in the period between arrest and the first court appearance can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of a criminal case, and this systemic delay faced by indigent defendants puts them at great disadvantage.

Early entry into a criminal case allows NDS attorneys to interview clients and witnesses earlier, begin investigations, negotiate with law enforcement, and make other preparations before the client goes to court for the first time. NDS can also arrange a client’s surrender to law enforcement, facilitating a safe interaction with police for our clients. Occasionally, NDS’s ability to enter into a case early results in the police not making an arrest.