The criminal justice system is a complex and vexing path that you don’t want to maneuver alone. You need the representation of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer to get yourself out of the distressing ordeal and to enjoy your liberty again. One way to ensure you find a good lawyer is to get yourself prepared for your first meeting.
Know what your lawyer wants from you
A criminal defense attorney such as attorney Michael Becker will first and foremost want to know you, your address, and how you can be reached. Consider writing down everything you expect your lawyer to ask about so you have answers prepared to make your case easier to defend. Expect to give detailed answers about your legal case when discussing it with your attorney.
Bring along all documents associated with your case. These include the document outlining your charges and court appearance dates, your bail papers, and all paperwork left by the police. A copy of the police report can also be very helpful to your case.
Sometimes, the criminal defense attorney may facilitate the process of gathering information by letting you fill out a questionnaire in advance. Be sure to fill out the questionnaire and return it to the attorney before the meeting. Also, provide copies of all documents that the attorney might have asked for in the questionnaire.
Some criminal defense lawyers will request a description of the events that took place. They will ask you to describe the allegations according to the police and your viewpoint. Note that events from the perspectives of the defendant and the police may vary by a significant margin, and this may help your attorney identify weaknesses in the charges facing you.
Reveal to your criminal lawyer all possible conflicts of interest. Let them know about the witnesses as early as possible. This will help you know whether the lawyer or their law firm represents someone on the other side.
Lastly, prepare a list of all questions you may have for your attorney on your first meeting. Do not be tempted to leave out some questions because you reckon they seem too trivial or irrelevant. In criminal cases, the slightest details can make the biggest differences.
You want to be confident and comfortable around your lawyer. Remember, they are working for you.
Questions to ask your criminal defense attorney
- How many cases have you handled before?
- Have you ever handled a similar case?
- What would you like to see to evaluate my case?
- Will you work alone or as a team?
- What is the typical court process for my type of case?
- How long will the case last?
- How do you charge for your services?
- What is your preferred method of payment?
- Do you ever negotiate plea bargains?
You can include as many questions as you wish to be sure you comprehensively understand what you are up against. The first meeting with your attorney should give you a general idea of how the case should proceed.