If you are under investigation or have been arrested for a crime, the first thing you need to do is get a lawyer. A lawyer is your ally in proving your innocence or reducing your punishment. Check out these five tips you must remember when meeting with a criminal defense lawyer.
Bring All the Facts
Prior to heading to your lawyer's office, make sure you've gathered everything you need regarding the crime and the arrest. If you were there at the time of the crime, make sure you have everything straight regarding what happened, and write it down. If you were there at the time of the crime, gather all the facts about where you where, what you were doing, whom you were with, etc. Make sure you also write down everything that happened during your arrest. Even something that doesn't seem important to you can help your attorney. Bring your written information as well as any other documents, such as court papers, police reports, witness statements, etc.
Ask About Strategies
Ask your attorney about all the possible strategies you have at your disposal. For example, if you are guilty, pleading guilty may be your best bet to reduce your punishment. Make sure to take this opportunity to talk about possible defense strategies because there are a lot. However, they can be broken up into three categories: denial, admission and confession. Denial is when you claim you are innocent. Admission is when you admit some facts are true (such as you were there), but you didn't commit the crime. Lastly, confession is when you admit you did it. However, along with confession, there may be mitigating factors, such as insanity.
Listen to Your Lawyer
Your attorney is your best friend when it comes to your case, so you want to listen to them. They have your best interest at heart and want to get you the best results possible. One of the most important ways you to listen to your lawyer is by letting them talk for you. When you are being questioned by police, another attorney, etc., don't respond until your lawyer tells you what to say. It's too easy to think you're free and clear because you're innocent, but you may say something that sounds incriminating.
Let Them Protect Your Rights
Your attorney is there to protect your rights, which is incredibly important because, unless you are in the justice industry, you probably don't know all your rights. Most people know that they have the right to have a lawyer present, but did you know you can have a lawyer even if you haven't been arrested yet? The police may pretend to be on your side because they want to gain your trust. Only your lawyer is on your side, so let them protect your rights.
Talk with your lawyer on what to expect with the trial. They'll be able to tell you, based on your personal background and crime, what you can expect. They'll know what laws may be used against you. For example, just because someone is being charged for robbery that may not be the only law they have broken. Your lawyer will help you understand everything you are facing. Your lawyer can also give you an idea of what to expect for your punishment if you are found guilty and how likely you are to be found guilty based on your personal situation and the prosecutor/judge involved.
Don't think your lawyer is an enemy. Even if they are appointed to you by the court for free, they have a duty to do everything they can to protect you. For more information regarding trial lawyers, contact a local law firm.