Education and Legal Experience
Greg Cholakis graduated from Siena College in 1988 with a B.A. in English. While attending Albany Law School, Greg Cholakis worked for O’Connell & Aronowitz, one of Albany’s oldest litigation offices, working with and learning from some of the area’s premier trial attorneys. During his senior year, Greg worked for the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office. After graduating from Albany Law School in 1992, Mr. Cholakis was admitted to practice in New York State and Federal Courts, and commenced his legal career. He established a private practice in downtown Troy which he maintains to this day, dedicated to the representation of individuals entangled in the criminal justice system.
From 1993 through 2000, Greg served on New York’s Northern District Criminal Justice Act panel, representing indigent persons charged with crimes in Federal Court. In January, 1994, he became an Assistant Public Defender for Rensselaer County, and has served as Office’s Chief Assistant since 1997. He has gained extensive criminal trial experience, and has at various times supervised the office’s defense of major crimes, homicides, and drug felonies. He has also overseen the office’s participation in the County’s Domestic Violence Court as well as the County and Regional Drug and Alcohol Treatment Courts.
For the past two decades, the overwhelming majority of his legal experience has been inside the courtroom. He has appeared in town, village, city, county and supreme courts across the region, including those in Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Fulton, Montgomery, Orange, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington, and Ulster Counties. Greg Cholakis has represented literally thousands of individuals throughout his career; while this predominantly involves representing defendants charged with crimes, he has also represented witnesses in criminal proceedings and those suspected of crimes. He has served as legal advisor and advocate for crime victims.
Throughout his career, Greg Cholakis has gained significant experience in criminal matters ranging from minor offenses to capital crimes and everything in between. From petit larceny to robbery; from DWI to burglary; from forgery to assault; from sex offenses to homicide; from corruption to domestic violence; from first-time offenders to first-degree murder, he has represented individuals charged with virtually every kind of crime. Greg has been intimately involved with and personally directed many intensive criminal investigations. He has consulted and collaborated with expert witnesses in numerous and diverse fields, including forensic toxicologists, experts in the scientific field of D.N.A. evidence, mental health and substance abuse professionals, accident reconstruction experts, forensic pathologists and experts in the field of eyewitness identification. Through his work with clients engaged in treatment, Greg has had significant interaction and coordination with substance abuse and mental health professionals. This experience has given him significant insight into the source of and solutions to many of the problems affecting his clients, which can prove invaluable not only to the outcome of their case, but also to their long-term well-being. From years of experience, Greg Cholakis understands the importance of evaluating each client and case as unique, and works closely with them to determine the best way to achieve their particular goals. Whatever the particular situation a client may find him or herself in, Greg works hard to insure that they are professionally represented and their rights are vigorously defended.
Greg Cholakis has participated in numerous local, state, federal and national conferences on criminal justice matters, including those of the National Drug Court Professionals, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the New York State Defender’s Association. He has lectured town and villages justices on criminal law and procedures, and has been on the forefront of many of the pressing legal matters of the day. He has been actively involved with the Rensselaer County Regional Drug & Alcohol Treatment Court and the Rensselaer County Drug Court. He has served on the Rensselaer County Domestic Violence Court Advisory Committee and the Rensselaer County Mental Health Court Connections Committee. He is a long-time member of the New York State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, and New York State Defender’s Association.