Preparing to meet with your defense attorney can be a stressful time if you don’t know how to prepare. You only get one first impression. When meeting with a potential lawyer who may end up representing you, a good first impression is the difference between the start of a working relationship and a one-time consultation.
How to Prepare
How do you make a good first impression? Be prepared for your first encounter with a potential defense attorney. Also be prepared to be open and honest with your lawyer.
There is a lot of information your newly hired criminal defense attorney will want to know in order to begin building a proper defense on your behalf. Should you find yourself in a situation where you need legal representation, make sure you come prepared to the initial meeting with a few things including:
- Any charging documents the court gave you.
- Information about your appearance date.
- Bail papers.
- Police Report.
- If your property was searched, any paperwork from the judge that permitted the search warrant.
- Any information you feel will serve as evidence in your defense .
- The best way to contact you.
- Write down relevant background information about how you wound up needing a lawyer
- A list of the perceived witnesses or defendants. The lawyer or the lawyer’s firm will need to ensure he or she isn’t representing anyone involved in the case because this can cause a conflict of interest.
Questions to Ask your Defense Attorney
A good client will also come prepared with a list of questions to ask anyone he or she is considering as their defense attorney. This is the time when you really need to get a feel for the lawyer. You should ensure you feel comfortable and trust him or her. This will be an important relationship for period of time. As well, you are hiring the lawyer, which means they are providing a service to you. You deserve to make sure the defense attorney you hire is competent. Questions you might ask a lawyer at your first meeting include:
- What might your other options be?
- How many similar cases has he or she handled?
- What percent of his or her practice is in the area of expertise that you need?
- What problems does the lawyer foresee with your case?
- How would the lawyer go about handling your situation?
- What is the process: arraignment, filing of motions, motions hearing, disposition conference, trial?
- What is the anticipated timeline from start to finish?
- Does the lawyer ever plea bargain? What percentage of the time? Never?
- How would the lawyer charge for his or her services?
- Will the lawyer accept a payment arrangements or flexible payment options?
- Would the lawyer interviewing you be the one to handle the case, or would it be passed on to another lawyer in the firm?
- If other lawyers will be working on the case can you meet them?
Quite frankly, navigating the criminal justice system can be really scary, but if you do your homework and come prepared, you can find a great defense attorney that will go to bat for your best interest.
If you or someone you know needs representation that is experienced, tough and on your side, contact the Law Office of Kevin M. Cobbin. Call now at (904) 357-8448.
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