What kind of cases does QLA handle?

QLA handles criminal cases, as well as related family court cases such as custody and visitation. QLA also handles some related immigration matters.

Who is eligible for QLA’s legal services?

QLA is assigned by the Court to represent indigent clients that cannot afford to retain an attorney. To inquire about income guidelines and requirements, please reach out to QLA at 718-261-3047.

What’s the difference between the Public Defender and the District Attorney?

The District Attorney of Queens County files criminal charges against a defendant. A Public Defender is assigned by the court to zealously represent the defendant against those criminal charges.

What happens after I’m arrested?

After someone is arrested, several things may happen. First, the person will be taken to the precinct.  The police officer may issue a this person a desk appearance ticket (DAT) with a court date in the future to attend. If the police officer proceeds with the arrest, the person will be searched and their personal items kept for safe-keeping. The person will be issued a voucher with the items listed.

If the arrest proceeds, the person will be brought to the courthouse. There, the person will meet the attorney who will represent them at the arraignment. An arraignment is where the defendant will find out the charges against him. The district attorney may make an offer to resolve the case known as a plea offer. If the person is interested, the case may be resolved right at the arraignment. Sometimes, there is not an offer or the offer is not satisfactory to the person. In those cases, the person will receive another court date. At that time the judge will determine whether or not to release the person or set bail in a specific amount.

How do I find out who my lawyer is?

If your lawyer is from Queens Law Associates, call 718-261-3047 and provide the receptionist with your name and/or docket number. If your attorney is from the Legal Aid Society, call 718-286-2000. If your attorney is from the 18-b panel please call 212-676-0099.

The police took my belongings when I was arrested. How do I get them back?

At the time of arrest, the police will issue you a voucher with the property taken listed. Contraband cannot be retrieved. Some property may be held as arrest evidence and cannot be released until the case is resolved. For property that is being held as evidence, you will need both a property voucher and a district attorney release form.
For property that is not being held as evidence, you can go to the precinct of arrest with the property voucher to retrieve your property. After time, the precinct may send your property to the property clerk for storage. If the property is not at the precinct of arrest, the officers there can locate where it is being held using your property voucher number.

What should I wear in court?

Wear clothes that are modest, clean and which fit you well. Your attire should demonstrate that you understand that this is a serious occasion.

What time should I arrive to court?

Before entering the courthouse, there is a long line for security which often causes delays. Please get to court early, before 9am.

How can I find out what courtroom my case is in?

After going through the metal detectors, in the lobby there is a large brown cork board. This board holds the daily calendar for all court parts. Look for your name and the court part your case is listed under. You can also ask a court officer for assistance or go to room G-64 and ask for help.

How do I find out when my case is on next?

You can call your attorney or try putting this link in your browser and searching here: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcrim_attorney/DefendantSearch . You can also call the court house at (718) 298-0792.

What do I do if I missed my court date?

You should return to the courthouse where you had the court date as soon as possible, during business hours. It is possible the judge may have issued a warrant for your arrest. Contact your attorney for further information.

What do I do if I know I have a warrant?

If the warrant was issued by the court, you should go to that courthouse as soon as possible during business hours. Please contact your attorney for further information. Upon arrival at the courthouse, let a court officer know you have a warrant and they can direct you to the clerk's office.

Why do I have to keep coming to court when the police and/or complaining witness keeps failing to appear?

Despite popular belief, the complaining witness and police officers are not required for every court date. Routine calendar calls and other procedural matters do not require their appearance. The people\'s witnesses are only required to appear when needed to testify. By contrast, defendants are required to come to court each date. You can consult with your attorney for further information specific to your case.

Why do I always have a different lawyer?

Queens Law Associates has many lawyers working for the same organization. As such, members of the QLA team may assist fellow lawyers from time to time. Perhaps your attorney is performing a hearing, engaged in a trial, or ill. In such instances, other attorneys will need to fill in. Generally speaking, after arraignment one attorney will be handling your case. You can call QLA at 718-261-3047 to find out who is assigned to your case.

What language services are available?

QLA has staff members who speak Spanish, Korean, Cantonese, Creole, Russian, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu. We also have access to interpreters that can supplement any language needs. 

How do I locate someone in jail?

For someone being housed in a NYC jail,  please copy and paste this link into your browser: http://a073-ils-web.nyc.gov/inmatelookup/pages/common/find.jsf
For someone being housed in an upstate prison, please copy and paste this link in your browser: http://nysdoccslookup.doccs.ny.gov/

How do I post bail?

To post bail in Queens: Rikers Island Facilty at Hazen Street, East Elmhurst, NY 11370. Phone: 212-266-1500.
To post bail in the Bronx (at the barge): Vernon C. Bain Facility at One Halleck St, Bronx, NY 10474. Phone: 718-579-8314.

How do I visit someone in a city jail or a state prison?

For visitation information for someone in state prison please copy and paste this information into your browser: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/Visitation/index.html

For someone in NYC jail please copy and paste this information into your browser: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doc/html/visit-an-inmate/visit-schedule.shtml