Whether you are facing a traffic offense, a misdemeanor charge, or a felony offense, the result of your court appearance and trial could have a significant impact on your life.
Serious consequences, like time in prison, don’t just affect you. They also affect your friends and family. Even if you are guilty of the crime you have been accused of committing, there are several ways your defense can help lower the charges to a lesser offense or even get the charges against you dismissed.
The time you spend between your arrest and your appearance in court will have a significant impact on how well your attorney will be able to defend you.
Once you secure your attorney from the Miami federal defense firm Oberheiden P.C., you must do everything in your power to minimize any potential negative outcomes that come from your arrest.
Establish Your Priorities
Hiring a successful criminal defense attorney isn’t a guarantee that you will get the outcome you want.
You can’t expend your attorney to do everything and still have a positive trial without your assistance and cooperation.
You need to have a good rapport with your lawyer since you are a team. You can either make the task of defending you easier or harder.
Not following the advice or instructions you are given is definitely going to make the job harder.
When you are consulting with an attorney, make sure you feel like you can trust and respect whatever you are told. This will make it easier to follow all directives and work with your lawyer.
Talk About Your Goals
Once your attorney has taken on your case, you need to be very clear in your goals and expectations for the case.
If you are willing to accept a plea agreement, make sure your attorney knows what terms or concessions would be acceptable.
Letting your lawyer know what your goals for the outcome of the case may be will give a clearer perspective on the work that needs to be done in order to achieve the desired result.
While the goal would be a “not guilty” verdict, letting your attorney know your contingency solutions is helpful.
Discuss the Costs
Hiring an attorney isn’t cheap, but you can’t afford to run out of money mid-trial or process.
Hiring an investigator or experts takes up a considerable portion of your funds, and taking depositions also costs money and time.
Your attorney should communicate the extent of your need for these services, but you also need to be upfront about what you will be able to afford.
Attorneys will have different payment schedules or arrangements, so this should definitely be a topic of conversation during your initial consultation.
Speak Openly and Honestly
You will have attorney-client privileges that protect any of the conversations you have, so always be 100% honest if you want your attorney to prepare the best defense possible.
Whether you are guilty or not, a defense lawyer is contractually obligated to fight the charged against you.
There will be no holding back simply because you may tell him you are guilty of whatever you have been accused of.
Being honest with your lawyer also prevents certain surprises from hurting your defense or giving you a misinformed perspective on what could happen during the case.
Avoid Talking to the Police
It is the job of the police or investigators to get as much information as they can from you in order to strengthen the criminal case mounted against you.
If there are details or other information that you need to disclose, talk to your attorney first.
Your attorney can either talk to the prosecutor on your behalf with the information or he could decide that it is in your best interest to keep the information quiet. 4
You are not obligated to answer any questions from the police without your attorney present.
Give Your Information Right Away
Your attorney will need to speak to potential witnesses and gain access to any other documentation or helpful information to mount your defense.
You should be prepared to give the names and contact information of any individuals that may serve as a witness.
If someone doesn’t want to testify, you should still provide the information to your lawyer and clarify the individual’s potential role in your case.
Your attorney may need to subpoena the individual in order to have them testify at your trial.
The sooner you are able to give your lawyer the information needed, the more time you will have to build the case and follow up on any leads.
This will let your lawyer be better prepared at your hearing or trial.
Stay Away From Social Media
After your arrest and throughout the time of your hearing or trial, stay away from social media.
Do not post anything about the case or even what you think about everything going on. The prosecution or the police will find it.
You may not think a funny meme or your right to free speech is incriminating, but your words can be taken out of context or cause a great deal of unnecessary scrutiny.
Your safest option to just stay away from all social media outlets until after the case is resolved.
Your attorney’s ability to fight your criminal defense case successfully could be impacted by your behaviors following your arrest.
Follow these guidelines to avoid complicating your defense and creating extra evidence for the prosecution.