Defense of the Accused and Incarcerated

The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo’s Criminal Defense Unit is responsible for the mandated representation of indigent persons charged with offenses in the City of Buffalo. That includes misdemeanors under both the New York State Penal Law and the Vehicle & Traffic Law, as well as D and E Felonies.

We represent all indigent defendants at arraignment in Buffalo City Court. We then continue to represent those clients whose cases are charged as, or are later reduced to, misdemeanors or below, so long as no conflict exists. We also continue to represent those charged with D and E Felonies that are later moved to the Superior Court. In addition, we represent approximately 1,100 clients a year whose cases are being adjudicated through the Treatment Courts of the Buffalo City Court, including Drug, Mental Health and Veterans Courts.

With thirty-one attorneys and sixteen support staff, the Criminal Defense Unit handles cases for more than twelve thousand clients each year, rendering it the highest volume indigent criminal defense practice in Buffalo.

The attorneys of the Criminal Defense Unit are dedicated to ensuring that each client assigned to the office receives the very best criminal defense representation possible, despite their inability to secure same through their own means. We utilize a “client-centered” approach with the goal of achieving the best possible disposition, after a thorough investigation of the facts and an examination of the law as applied to those particular facts.

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