Picture of door taken by Cristiano Betta
There are some important things that you want to go over when you meet with your lawyer for the first time. Every case is different and there is no right way to meet with your lawyer. When meeting with your lawyer you want to bring as much documentation as you have. Police reports, criminal complaints, probation violation notices, harassment orders are all useful pieces of information that your lawyer needs. It is also important to be honest. It is difficult if not impossible for your lawyer to accurately assess your case and give you quality legal advice if you are keeping the truth from him.
Here are a few things that you may want to cover when talking to your lawyer about your criminal charges.
- The charges that you are facing: This is an obvious topic of discussion and most interviews start here, but it is definitely something that you want to cover in your criminal case. Many times a police officer may tell you that you are being charged with one crime, but it turns out that you are officially charged with another. The official charges that you will be facing are listed on the criminal complaint.
- The police report: The police report is a good starting point in most cases. However, the police report is just that a starting point in assessing your case. You may discover that there is a lot more evidence the prosecutor has against you later on in the case.
- Witnesses that can help you: You will want to tell your lawyer about any potential witnesses that may be helpful in defending your case. You want to tell your attorney early on so that he can go talk to witnesses as soon as possible. Remember that people’s memory fade over time, therefore, it is important to let your lawyer know about any useful witnesses at the first meeting.
- The criminal process: the criminal process is long and confusing. You may want to ask your lawyer about the different court dates that are coming up and the point of the court events. By asking your lawyer about the different court events it can ease your nerves about going back to court.
- Tell your story: It is important that you tell your attorney what happened and where the police report is incorrect or is exaggerating. This will enable your lawyer to gain a better perspective on your case.
There is no one right way to meet with your lawyer. Each person’s situation is different because the facts of each case are different. It is important that you find a lawyer that you are comfortable with and trust.