So, you find yourself in a rough spot and need the help of an attorney, but you aren’t sure how or what particular type of criminal defense attorney you need well here are some suggestions to help you find the one for you.
First and foremost, communication is the most important element in an attorney-client relationship. Having great communication with your lawyer will enable you to get more done in a and tackle challenges or surprises that your attorney may encounter at trial. And make sure if there are any factors like alcohol or drugs involved that you tell them.
Second, listen to what your attorney has to say. If they tell you to be quiet, be quiet. My dad worked in the courtroom for many years and he would tell stories of defendants who would just shoot off their mouths despite their lawyer telling them to be quiet and guess what happened to them? Nine out of ten defendants would end up in jail or received a harsher sentence because they would not adhere to the rules of the courtroom. Yes, I said courtroom, because every judge has rules for their courts. Some are more lenient, but others are super strict.
Third, practice transparency and honesty. Tell your attorney everything. Be honest, even if it looks bad for you. Why? Because it gives your lawyer a heads up so they can get in front of anything and everything that may come up at trial. Remember no surprises! If you made a mistake be honest about it. So, once again admit your mistakes when you make them. But most importantly if you acted alone don’t blame your third-grade teacher (or whoever) for your mistakes. And if you are going into court pleading guilty, be remorseful and apologize to the victim or the victim’s family if there is one. Standing there with a big smirk on your face while you are being sentenced does not build goodwill with the judge and may result in the higher sentence. Because the judge has the authority to overrule a jury’s verdict or even a plea bargain agreement. They have the final say over everything that happens in their courtroom. Plus, you never know if your case will be brought to the court of appeals and you don’t want your bad courtroom behavior to be what seals the deal.
Fourth, document everything. And I mean everything. You might think something as small as what a person was wearing is trivial. But in the long run, it might be the difference between an innocent or a guilty verdict. And pass everything you wrote down, gathered and document onto your attorney. Most attorneys have investigators who work for them, that will track down information, but you will be helping if you can remember things that could their investigation in another direction. Remember it might be the difference between guilt or innocence.
Building a strong line of communication and trust with your attorney assures that everyone involved will benefit, whether that be in an innocent verdict, probation, community service or less jail time. But remember being honest with your lawyer, will allow them to fight for you and to give you the best possible defense for your crime.