Being charged with any crime, misdemeanor, or felony can have serious consequences that affect your life in many negative ways. If you are accused of a crime, whether guilty or not, your defense attorney is your best chance mitigating the potentially detrimental outcomes of your case. Defense attorneys work on your behalf to reduce or dismiss charges and ensure that you receive a fair trial if one is held.
But, your defense attorney can not be successful in this endeavor alone; they need your help to get you the best possible outcome for your criminal case. Even seasoned attorneys who are well versed in criminal defense cannot successfully defend you without your full cooperation and support. Consider you and your attorney a team, and your job is to provide support and follow advice.
Tell Your Attorney Your Goals
Your attorney will counsel you to learn your goals for your case and discuss possible outcomes. Your job is to be clear and concise with your attorney about what you are prepared to accept during this process and what you consider to be your ultimate goal. This will help your attorney devise a plan and shape your defense which will work towards achieving your goals in the case.
Be Truthful With Your Attorney
As a team member, you need to be honest with your attorney to achieve your goals. Your attorney’s job is to prepare the best defense for you, which means no surprises that can result from untruths. Remember, the attorney-client privilege protects your conversations with your attorney, and by being truthful, your lawyer can provide you with an honest evaluation of your situation and possible outcomes.
Speak Only Through Your Attorney
Once you have an attorney on your criminal case, do not speak to the police or any other agent who may be investigating without your attorney present. Investigators use a myriad of tactics to trip you up and to find holes in your statements, which is why your attorney should always be consulted and present when you speak to anyone, even if you need to provide critical information to the police on your behalf.
Provide Information Quickly
Any information you may have about your situation needs to be divulged to your attorney and the proper authorities immediately. Withholding information may negatively impact your case and your attorney’s defense plan.
Stay In Contact With Your Attorney
You should always be accessible for your attorney should they need to contact you. Ensure your attorney has all up-to-date contact information for you and that you touch base often to see if you need to do anything on your behalf. The more communication you have with your attorney, the better they can represent you during your criminal case.