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Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan



July 23, 2020

Defense-based advocacy services for the purpose of plea negotiations and post conviciton pre-sentence phases with the goal of providing alternative sentencing solutions.


The objective of the Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan is to ensure high quality legal services for every individual represented under the plan.  Both constitutional and statutory law require New York to provide counsel to certain individuals financially unable to obtain counsel.  In Suffolk County, mandated legal representation is provided under the Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan, which was devised by the Suffolk County Bar Association and the Suffolk County Criminal  Bar Association pursuant to County Law Article 18-B.


Our implementation of a Holistic Defense Office combines an Interdisciplinary Defense Team who combine aggressive legal advocacy with a broader recognition that for people arrested and charged with a crime who cannot afford an attorney, that there are proper resources available such as social work, support and advocacy to ensure significant relationships are created and integrated in their representation.  The goal is to make a long term difference in the client community and address the collateral consequences that result from a criminal conviction.

Our current in-house team consists of:

  • Spanish Interpreter

  • Criminal Investigator

  • Social Worker

  • Regional Immigration Attorney

  • Pre-Sentence Mitigation Specialist

  • Consulting Trial Attorney and Support Staff

  • Eligibility Screening 

Our staff and Panel Members are committed to providing the highest-quality representation.





You must meet certain financial guidelines to be appointed Assigned Counsel.  If you cannot afford an attorney, you must immediately be screened for eligibility prior to your next Court Date.  If you qualify for a Public Defender, an attorney will be appointed to represent you for your current case in District Court by a Judge.

If you are financially incapable of retaining private counsel, you may request the Court to allow you to be  screened for the Assignment of Counsel.  Eligible applicants may qualify to be represented by The Suffolk County Legal Aid Society or The Assigned Counsel Defender Plan of Suffolk County if eligible.  




Your application will be reviewed for completeness and for satisfaction of the minimum requirements.  Your references will be reviewed and some or all of them may be contacted. All prospective applicants are screened by the Criminal and/or Family Screening Committee.

Membership is a privilege, not a right. Upon certification to the panel, an attorney’s conduct and performance are regulated by Article 18-B of the County Law, the Rules of the Appellate Division, and the rules and regulations of the Assigned Counsel Defender Plan.

Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan has an Immigration Unit that will aid appointed 18-B Attorneys in immigration cases. If you require assistance, please contact the Long Island Regional Immigration Assistance Center at (516) 560-6474. 


If you or a loved one is an immigrant read the following to stay informed!

Immigration Intake Form

Regional Immigration Flyer

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