How to Prepare for Your First Consultation with a Criminal Defense Attorney
Although facing criminal charges can be a scary experience, hiring a criminal defense attorney can provide you with an important advocate and resource during this difficult period in your life. To get the most out of your relationship with your criminal defense lawyer, you should take the time to prepare for your first meeting with your attorney.
Describe Your Background
Your first meeting with a criminal defense attorney is critical to understanding whether the two of you can have a good working relationship. Part of reaching this understanding includes describing your personal and professional background to your attorney. This can give your attorney a better sense of your concerns, goals, and needs for your case.
Don’t Write Anything Down
Although you might think that you can have a more productive meeting with your attorney by writing down details about your case and your charges so that you can remember them, any records you create may end up being used against you in court. However, your conversations with your attorney are protected from being used against you by the attorney-client privilege, while any notes and documents that your attorney makes are protected by work product privilege.
Have Copies of Important Documents
You should also have copies of important documents in your case, including the charging documents (complaint, criminal information, indictment, etc.), affidavits, bail papers, police records, or court documents. If you have a criminal history, you should also gather any documents that you have relating to your prior charges or cases. Finally, you should gather any important documents directly related to your charges. For example, if you have been charged with tax fraud, you may want to bring your personal financial documents.
Make sure to bring all these documents with you so that your attorney can review them.
You should also take the to identify any witnesses who may have relevant information, such as witnesses who can corroborate your story or confirm your alibi, or who saw the events underlying your charges, or who can testify as to your character and background. In addition, you should also alert your attorney about any witnesses you believe may have evidence or testimony unfavorable to your case.
Prepare a List of Questions for the Attorney
Finally, you may want to prepare a list of questions that you want to ask the attorney so that you don’t forget to ask them. Some of the questions you may want to ask at your first meeting with a criminal defense lawyer include:
- How long has the attorney been practicing law, and how long have they been practicing criminal law?
- How many cases involving the charges you are facing as the attorney handled?
- What is the maximum sentence you may be facing if convicted?
- What are your options for defending yourself against your charges?
- Are there any other options for resolving your case without a conviction?
- How often will you need to appear in court?
- How long does the attorney expect your case to take?
- How does the attorney charge for their services? Does the attorney take flat fees or payment plans?
Contact an Experienced Scotch Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC have successfully represented clients charged in Passaic, Wayne, Union, Plainfield, and throughout New Jersey. Call (908) 325-5571 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 1827 E. 2nd St., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, as well as offices located in Westfield, Newark, East Brunswick, Clifton, Cherry Hill, and Elizabeth.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.