Lawyer Up offers emergency legal services
CRAIG D. FRAZIER Special to the AmNews | 1/4/2012, 6:23 p.m.
It could happen to anyone. You could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. From traffic violations to violent and nonviolent crimes, police are out there making collars. Government statistics show that people ages 16-20 are twice as likely to be arrested than be a driver involved in a car accident. In fact, for people under the age of 45, there are more arrests than vehicle accidents.
Data provided by the New York Civil Liberties Union indicates that police stopped 601,055 New Yorkers last year. Of that number, 85 percent were Black or Latino and many were arrested.
Immigrants who are arrested could face deportation. In cases of police contact, a lawyer could be an important ally against those who enforce the law.
Lawyer Up claims to be America's first urgent legal dispatch service, providing representation within 15 minutes of an arrest. Chris Miles founded the company in Connecticut. The service is now up and running in New York City.
"When you have a legal emergency, you don't get to make mistakes," said Miles. "Everything you do is watched, everything you do is on the record."
Their roster consists of lawyers that are pre-screened and recommended by the peers.
"The minute a person is arrested, he is under pressure physiologically and emotionally. At that point, a person can say things that are improper or unwise," stated attorney Andrew Schatkin of Lawyer Up. Schatkin has practiced law for 35 years in New York City, Suffolk and Nassau counties.
He continued, "I have handled a number of cases where the police have acted improperly in their arrest. It's important that people, especially people of color, be protected from improper police activity. When people have power, the potential for abuse always exists."
Attorney Sal Pazynsky is a former public defender and has been in private practice for the past nine years. Pazynsky said that he is a part of the network because Lawyer Up fills a niche. "Living in New York, it is very easy to get anything you want delivered at any hour. Now people can have access to an attorney 24/7 at a reasonable price," he stated
For more information, visit lawyerupnow.com. The service's personal plan, aimed at young people, costs $4.95 a month. Those who do not have a subscription pay a flat fee of $100 for the first call, which the company calls its "pay-in-a-pinch plan." For all clients, an operator checks contact information and processes the lawyer's initial fee of $250 by credit card for the first hour of service.