If you happen to find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you’re probably unnerved and anxious. No doubt, you might feel confused as well. You may wonder what is going to happen next. How serious is the charge? Will you be going to jail? All of these questions and many more probably race through your mind. As upsetting as it is to think you may face potential jail time, you can overcome this difficult time with the proper criminal defense. Your criminal defense is the foundation for your case. Here are 5 tips for working with your criminal defense attorney.
Don’t Talk to Anyone Except an Attorney
If you’ve been arrested, the first and most important thing to remember is to not speak to anyone until you get an attorney. Don’t even talk casually about what may seem to be unimportant details. Little details can add up and make a case against you. Everything you say without an attorney present can be used against you if you have been read your Miranda rights. The only thing safe to say is “I would like to contact an attorney.”
Find Someone You Can Trust
Trust is essential when working with an attorney. When trust is in place, you will feel free to open up and share your story. Finding someone who you believe is working in your best interest will inspire you to trust. Opening up to a stranger with your thoughts may feel awkward at first and not be easy, but it’s necessary so your attorney can help create the best strategy for your case.
Transparency and trust work together hand-in-hand. Transparency means you are forthright and honest with your attorney. Your attorney has confidentiality rules to abide by so you can feel comfortable telling the entire truth to him or her. It’s important to be upfront before going to court so that nothing comes out as a surprise. When attorneys know everything there is to know beforehand, they can prepare a solid defense on your behalf. Otherwise, if not, they may get caught by surprise if something is brought up unexpectedly.
Every detail is important in a criminal case, even ones that may seem irrelevant. As your attorney builds your case, some small seemingly inconsequential detail could form the crux of the argument. In addition, knowing all the details may provide your attorney needed information when the prosecution is grilling you. The more details you have that corroborate your story, the better able your attorney can work to defend you.
Understand How Plea Deals Work
Sometimes the criminal defense attorney and prosecutor will work together and come up with a plea deal. What this means is the person charged with the crime will agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Sometimes this is beneficial to everyone involved because it saves time, money, and minimizes risk for both parties. The prosecutor knows he or she will get a guilty charge, even though it’s for a lesser charge, and the defense won’t have to face the full consequences of a greater charge if found guilty. The defense has to weigh the pros and cons of making a plea agreement since there will be some type of consequence involved. Your criminal defense attorney will know what deal is best considering the details of your case.
For example, a person may face 5 years in jail for a crime IF found guilty OR they can work out an agreement to plead to a lesser charge that guarantees 1 year in jail. That means they will go to jail for 1 year if they agree to the plea. However, if they don’t want to agree to it and choose to fight it out, they may win the case and not go to jail at all, or if found guilty they may go for 5 years. Sometimes this is a difficult choice for people to make because you never know how a judge or jury will rule. However, your attorney can help give you advice about what may be the best route to take.
If you have found yourself in a compromising situation and in need of a criminal defense attorney, then contact us today.