Have you been arrested? If so, you might be overwhelmed and frightened. First-time offenders usually have no idea what to expect from the criminal justice system in California.
Therefore, one of the first steps after an arrest is to contact experienced criminal lawyers to discuss the criminal offense. At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, your initial consultation is provided free of charge with the utmost confidentiality. Below are tips to help you prepare for your consultation with a San Diego criminal defense attorney.
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What To Bring With You to Your Initial Consultation with a Criminal Lawyer
Before meeting with our criminal defense attorneys, it can help to gather information for the meeting. This information will help us evaluate your case and provide better answers to your questions.
Information to bring with you to your initial consultation includes:
- Copies of all police reports and documents given to you by law enforcement officers or agencies
- Copies of all court-related documents you have received to date, including orders from the court and documents regarding bail or bonds
- Written contact information for yourself, including your full name, address, phone number, and email address
- A summary of your personal and professional background, including your education, jobs, and criminal history
- A list of witnesses with contact information and a short explanation of how the person is related to your criminal case and what information they might supply, including damaging evidence against you or an alibi for you
- A list of any evidence that you know about that could assist in your defense, such as potential videos, photographs, phone records, etc.
- Write down the events in order as you remember them that led to your arrest
If you do not have all of the above information or cannot access the information, do not let that stop you from scheduling an appointment with our office. The initial consultation is the beginning point of the process of gathering information. The main thing is to discuss legal representation to fight the allegations against you.
Be Prepared To Answer Questions About Your Case
It can help to write down important facts or information that could help the attorney effectively assess your situation. Some of the questions you need to prepare to answer include:
- Where were you, and what were you doing when the police officers arrested you?
- What did the police officers say to you before, during, and after your arrest?
- What comments or statements did you make to the police officers?
- Do you remember what you said before and after the officers read the Miranda Rights?
- What do you remember seeing or hearing?
- Did you see anyone else at the scene, or was anyone else involved in the matter, such as an accomplice?
- Did you say anything to other people about the alleged crime or situation? If so, what did you say, and to whom did you say it?
- Has anyone spoken to you about the situation? If so, what have they said?
- Have you tried to contact or had any contact with the alleged victim or their family members?
The attorney will likely ask additional questions based on the specific circumstances of your case. Remember, always answer the attorney’s questions fully and honestly. An attorney cannot provide the best legal advice and represent you effectively if you hide information from your lawyer.
Create a List of Questions To Ask the Lawyer
Meeting with a lawyer for the first time can be overwhelming. You likely have many questions you want to ask about your case and the criminal process. It helps if you bring a list of questions with you to ensure you do not forget anything.
Questions you might want to ask our lawyers include:
- How many years have you practiced criminal law?
- How much experience do you have handling cases involving the charges against me?
- How is your law firm different from other criminal defense law firms?
- What are my legal rights under the criminal justice system?
- What were the outcomes of cases you handled that were similar to mine?
- What options do I have for fighting the criminal charges?
- What would be the consequences if I plead guilty?
- What happens if I plead not guilty?
- What are the best-case and worst-case scenarios you foresee based on the information you have right now?
- How long do you anticipate it might take to resolve my case?
- How often will I appear in court?
- Will you handle my case personally? Who else in the law firm will be involved in my case?
- What is attorney-client privilege, and how does it apply to me?
- Do you see challenges or issues building a defense to the charges?
- What are your attorney’s fees, and how are they paid?
- What services are included in the agreement for representation for this case?
- How often do you communicate with clients about the status of their cases?
You could have other questions that you might want to ask that specifically relate to your criminal case. Keep in mind that the initial consultation may be limited in time. Therefore, arrange your questions in order of priority to obtain the most benefit from your meeting with a defense attorney.
When you prepare your list of questions to ask the attorney, it helps to leave space between each question on the list. The space allows you to make notes about what the attorney says so that you can refer to those notes as you decide whether you want to hire the law firm and how you want to proceed with your criminal case.
A Few Final Tips for Preparing To Meet with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is never wise to discuss your case with family members or friends. You only want to talk to a lawyer in confidence about the case. You could inadvertently cause your loved ones to become witnesses at your trial.
Also, do not post anything about your arrest, pending charges, or criminal cases on social media. It is best to stop posting on social media, including “checking in” or “commenting and liking” other posts. Right now, you want to keep a low profile and avoid any problems while you wait to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney.
Schedule a Free Consultation With our San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyers
We are here for you as you navigate the criminal charges against you. Call us at (619) 357-4977 to contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced San Diego criminal defense attorneys at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers. Let’s discuss the best way to fight the criminal charges you face.