It can be extremely frightening to be charged with a crime, especially if you are a first-time offender. You aren't used to having to deal with police, let alone the criminal justice system as a whole. Now, on top of all of that, you have to work with a criminal defense lawyer, which can be particularly overwhelming and confusing. However, preparing for that first-time consultation with an experience attorney is a very important part of the process. By being prepared, you will be able to alleviate a lot of the stress and uncertainty that lies head. Here are a few tips to help make your first meeting go a little bit more smoothly:
1. Treat Your Meeting Like a Job Interview (in a Sense).
You want to ensure that you show up to your meeting with your lawyer on time and dressed professionally. You will also want to make sure that you bring your contact information, information related to your criminal charges, important documents, as well as a list of questions that you may have about your criminal case.
2. Let Your Attorney Do the Talking.
While you will have your list of questions that you want to ask and plenty f information that you likely want to share with the lawyer, you should try to let the criminal defense attorney do most of the talking from the get-go. This ensures that the lawyer has a chance to get the background information that he or she needs on you and your case and allows him or her to focus on the most important and relevant facts.
3. Always Be Open and Honest with the Attorney.
This one is probably the most important out of all of the tips provided to you in this article. Throughout this first consultation with your attorney, as well as all subsequent meetings, it is crucial that you are as open and honest as possible with your criminal defense attorney. Honesty helps to make the process that much easier for you and the lawyer in addition to preventing surprises from cropping up halfway through the case. Remember, once you have retained a lawyer, anything that is said to him or her is protected under attorney-client privilege.
4. Ask for an Explanation of All of Your Options.
When you have been charged with a crime, you will likely have several different options to pursue. It is important that you ask for your attorney to present you with all of your options as well as their consequences. While your lawyer can inform you of the option that he or she feels is the best choice and offer legal advice to you, it is ultimately your decision in the end.