In New York State, if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you are required to have an attorney present with you at all stages of your case after you are arrested.  If you are charged with a non-criminal violation, such as disorderly conduct or harassment, or a non-criminal traffic offense, you will not be required to have an attorney. However, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you is recommended as your lawyer will have the knowledge to determine if any of your legal rights were violated and how to best proceed with your case by way of a resolution or trial.