Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case can be the most important decision you make. When you call your attorney for a meeting, ask what types of documents you should bring with you to the meeting. If you have been arrested for a crime, it can be helpful to obtain police reports from the police agency that arrested you. This may actually save you some money because the lawyer will not have to get these documents. If you have already appeared in court and had charges filed against you or you have received a summons with the charges listed, bring that along to the meeting. Jot down your memories of the event while it is still fresh in your head. Write a list of witnesses who may have seen what happened or have other important information relating to your case, especially those people that the police neglected to contact.
When you speak with your attorney, provide all relevant information, even information that you think puts you in a bad light. The conversation you have with this lawyer is confidential, even if you decide not to hire the lawyer, so there is no risk that incriminating information will be provided to law enforcement (the exception is a plan to commit a future crime). Withholding important information, or changing facts may hurt you and your case in the long run. There may be important facts that you think are bad for your case that may turn out to be your best defense.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLIENT AND ATTORNEY
When you choose to hire a particular lawyer, choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Some attorneys claim to be aggressive and confrontational, but this approach is not the most effective one to use when trying to negotiate a favorable outcome in most criminal cases. Prosecutors usually have discretion when it comes to dealing their cases, and rarely give favorable plea bargains to hostile attorneys.
As a paying client, you have the right to be treated courteously throughout the duration of your case. Although criminal cases can often take from 2 months to a year to resolve, depending on the level and complexity of the charges, it is important that you are kept informed of the progress of your case. At the Cribari Law Firm, we will return you phone calls promptly and respond to your questions with honesty and compassion.