If you have been charged with a crime, the ultimate outcome of your case is undoubtedly at the top of your mind. Unfortunately, you cannot simply make your problem go away. In several important respects, you are at the mercy of the court and an impersonal criminal justice system.
However, you are not entirely powerless regarding the outcome of your case. You have hired an experienced criminal lawyer who is committed to defending your rights. But your lawyer also needs your help. You can play an important role in your defense effort by doing these five things:
1. Tell the truth to your defense lawyer – It can be difficult for some people to come clean with their lawyer. Some are embarrassed by their behavior. Others may be accustomed to providing vague or evasive answers to those they perceive to be authority figures. Some people may also think that by admitting their guilt or admitting to certain actions, that the attorney may not defend them with passion and determination.
Not telling the truth to your lawyer can be extremely detrimental to your case. For a defense lawyer, few things are worse than not knowing the answer to a question that the prosecutor might ask in court. Your lawyer is asking you personal and potentially embarrassing questions of you not out curiosity or nosiness, but because the answers are relevant to your defense.
2. Follow the advice of your lawyer – Though the circumstances of your case are certainly unique, your lawyer has seen hundreds or even thousands of cases that are similar. He or she knows what is possible and what is not possible regarding negotiated pleas and mitigated sentences. You are free to disagree with your lawyer and ask penetrating questions regarding the advice you are getting. But remember that your lawyer has your best interests in mind.
3. Don’t talk about your case with anyone – Discussing your case with others is one way to unburden yourself of the stress and anxiety you have been experiencing since your arrest. But it is extremely important to not talk about your case with anyone other than your lawyer. That includes your family members and friends, as well as casual acquaintances. Police and prosecutors could interview them and gain information to your detriment.
4. Keep your nose clean – If you have been released on bond, personal recognizance, or pre-trial supervision, by all means, stay out of trouble. Judges do not look kindly on people they have turned loose, only to have them get arrested a second time.
5. Trust your lawyer – This follows logically from points 1 and 2 above. Remember this important fact: your lawyer wants you to obtain the best possible outcome. Lawyers are motivated to act in their clients’ best interests, and also because of the professional recognition and personal pride they earn by winning cases. Be assured that the advocate you have hired is fully committed to getting results for you. In exchange, put your trust in your lawyer
If you have questions about your situation or need representation after an arrest, speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.