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How to Prepare for a Consultation With a Criminal Defense Lawyer

How to Prepare for a Consultation With a Criminal Defense LawyerIf you have never met with an attorney, you may not be familiar with a free consultation. It is understandable if you are anxious or nervous about the first appointment with your criminal defense lawyer. At the Orent Law Offices, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible so that we can discuss your situation and explain how we can help you.

We also want you to receive the most benefit from your free consultation. With that in mind, we have compiled a few suggestions for how you can prepare for your free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. There is a lot that you can do to make the appointment productive.

However, we do not want you to feel overwhelmed. We understand that you may have many things to take care of right now.

Therefore, do not feel as if you need to do everything on the list below to prepare for your appointment with our law firm.

It is more important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal charge is a serious matter. Do not delay hiring a criminal defense lawyer because you feel like you need to have time to prepare for a free consultation.

Nine Ways You Can Prepare for Your Meeting With a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Nine things you can do now to be ready to discuss your situation with a lawyer include:

Be Ready to Discuss Your Background

criminal defense lawyerIn addition to discussing the criminal charges against you, you also need to be ready to discuss your background. The information about your life and any history of criminal charges could impact your current case. Being open and honest with your lawyer is the best way to help the lawyer give you sound legal advice. Everything you say during the consultation is confidential.

Prepare a List of Questions to Ask the Lawyer

You likely have many questions you want to ask an attorney about your criminal case. Writing down a list of questions before the appointment helps you remember what you wanted to ask.

Questions you might want to include on your list are:

  • Do you handle a lot of cases involving the criminal charges I am facing?
  • How often do your cases go to trial?
  • What is your fee arrangement?
  • How often will I need to go to court?
  • Do you see any problems with my case?
  • What are some potential outcomes for my case?
  • What are the potential defenses I could use in my case?
  • What do I need to do to hire you as my lawyer?
  • Are there any weaknesses or strengths in my case?
  • How long do you think my case will take to resolve?
  • What are the potential penalties for a conviction?
  • Are there options for a plea agreement or alternative to jail?

You can also make notes on your list about the information you receive from the lawyer.

Gather Paperwork and Documents

Make sure that you bring a form of identification to the meeting, such as your driver’s license or state identification card. You should also bring any documents related to the criminal charges, such as:

  • Police reports
  • Restraining orders
  • Hospital records
  • Felony complaints
  • Misdemeanor complaints
  • Indictments
  • Bail documents
  • Details about past criminal convictions or arrests
  • Evidence related to the crime, such as text messages, emails, and other documents

Generally, it is best to bring documents and information even if you think you are bringing too much paperwork. The lawyer can sort through what he needs during the consultation.

Prepare a Summary of the Incident

Prepare a written summary of the details of your arrest and the allegations against you. Try to remember as much as possible about the events that led to your arrest. Include dates, names, places, weapons, streets, etc.

Writing down what you can remember as soon after the event can prevent you from forgetting key details that could be important for your defense. The summary allows your attorney to quickly get up to speed so that he can begin asking you questions and obtaining additional information during the consultation.

Make a List of People Who Can Provide an Alibi

If you were with anyone during the time of the alleged crime, write down the person’s name, address, and contact information. Make sure to note what you were doing at the time of the alleged crime and your relationship with the person. The attorney will likely want to talk to this person as soon as possible to confirm the alibi.

Make a List of Potential Witnesses

Create a list of witnesses who might have information about the incident. Include their names, addresses, contact information, and your relationship with them. Add any relevant information, such as the person who witnessed the incident or has firsthand knowledge about the incident.

Stop Using Social Media Immediately

Stop use of all social media right now. Anything you post online could potentially be used against you in court. Prosecutors could also gain access to your emails, text messages, and other electronic communications.

Discuss whether you need to deactivate your social media accounts with the lawyer during the initial consultation. This step could make it more difficult for investigators to access lists of friends and old classmates to interview as they gather background information about you.

Do Not Discuss Your Case With Anyone

Do not talk about the criminal case, the victim, or any information related to the criminal charges with family, friends, or anyone else. Anyone you talk to about the matter could be called as a witness. Only discuss the criminal case with your criminal defense lawyer.

Do Not Bring People With You to Your Consultation

You do not want any distractions during your consultation with your criminal defense lawyer. It may also be uncomfortable for you to discuss the full details of the incident with another person in the room, even a close family member or friend.

You need to be able to be open and honest during the meeting. If you bring another person to the meeting, you could lose some of your right to confidentiality.

Call Our Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers work with you to develop a defense strategy that gives you the best chance of winning your criminal case. The first step is to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. The sooner we meet with you to discuss your case, the sooner we can begin working to protect your legal rights.

You do not need to face criminal charges alone. The prosecutor is convinced you are guilty and will work to obtain a guilty verdict. You need someone on your side who will fight to ensure that you are treated fairly and presumed innocent until the state proves their case according to Arizona’s criminal laws.

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Orent Law Offices Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Firm