If you've been accused of a crime, you likely need a criminal defense lawyer to argue your innocence or get you a reduced sentence. Undergoing a criminal investigation is stressful, but your attorney is your best friend during this trying time. However, you may be nervous about meeting with your lawyer, especially if this is your first brush with the law. Check out what you should do at your first meeting with your attorney.
Bring Facts and Necessary Documents
When you meet with your attorney, make sure you bring all the facts regarding the case. Even if you were at the scene of the crime, but you are innocent, you must provide all the honest facts so your attorney can build a strong case that can't be picked apart by the prosecution. If possible, write down your events of what happened or where you were at the time of the crime so you don't forget anything. Make sure to bring any necessary documents with you. If you are being accused of stealing an item, bring the purchase receipt. If you were across the country at the time of the crime, bring your hotel receipt.
Discus Potential Defense Strategies
You'll also want to discuss your potential defense strategies. If you are completely innocent, and there is plenty of proof of your innocence, your lawyer will likely suggest the denial strategy. In other words, you claim not-guilty because you had nothing to do with the crime in question. An admission is another strategy. In this situation, you'd admit some facts were true, but you are still innocent. For example, you may admit you were at the scene of the crime, but you didn't commit the crime. The last strategy is a confession, which is an admission of guilt. However, this also includes cases of temporary insanity or other disorders. In many cases, if you do confess, you'll get a reduced sentence.
Talk About the Trial
If you refuse to accept a plea bargain because you are innocent or believe the bargain is unfair, you will likely go to trial. Therefore, it's a good idea to ask your attorney what to expect in court, even if you haven't decided to accept a plea bargain or not. Your attorney is best suited to tell you what you can expect in court, what prosecutors/judges you may face, potential punishment if you lose, how it will affect your personal life, etc. If you do end up going to court, your attorney will help you learn how to answer questions on the stand without getting yourself into trouble, and they will also prep you for likely questions.
You don't have to wait to be arrested for a crime before you can talk to an attorney. You have the right to speak with one the moment you are a suspect, so make sure you contact one soon to protect your best interests. For more information regarding criminal defense, contact an attorney in your area today like those found at H. Charles Woerner, Jr. PA.