What to Prepare When Meeting a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It is a frightening experience to be charged with a crime, particularly for first-time offenders with no prior experience with the criminal justice system. Preparing to meet with a criminal defense lawyer is an important step in pursuing the best possible outcome in your case. AZ Defenders offers information based on decades of experience about what to prepare for your first meeting with prospective counsel.

What to Prepare Before the Initial Meeting

Before you meet with our criminal defense lawyers to discuss handling the defense of your case, prepare the following in advance and bring it with you to the meeting:

  • Written contact information for yourself, so the attorney can get in touch with you.
  • Written information about your personal and professional background, along with any information about yourself that may have a bearing on your case, including prior criminal charges and/or convictions.
  • All police or court documents stating the charges against you or setting a hearing or appearance in court; documents concerning bail; any property search papers left by police; a copy of your police report if you can obtain it.
  • Any items that may be used as evidence, for example, photos, videotapes, or documents.
  • A list of witnesses helpful to your defense, who can corroborate your story, confirm your alibi, testify as to your character, etc., or any persons who have damaging evidence against you.

Questions to Ask the Attorney

Preparing a list of questions ahead of time, before your first meeting with a criminal defense lawyer, can help ensure that you get all your important questions answered. You may want to ask the attorney:

  • What are your options under the criminal justice system?
  • Does the attorney foresee any difficulties with constructing your case?
  • What are the best- and worst-case scenarios?
  • Will the lawyer be handling your case personally? Who else in the firm will be involved?
  • How often will you have to appear in court?
  • How long will it take until the case is resolved?
  • How many similar cases has the attorney handled, and what were the outcomes?
  • How strong is the lawyer’s expertise with your type of case?
  • How does the attorney charge for his or her services?

Be Prepared to Answer Questions

Your attorney must be your advocate to represent you effectively and must fully understand you and your situation. Expect to answer questions about yourself and the events leading up to your criminal charges, including:

  • What you did or did not do, saw, or heard, and who else was involved
  • What you said and to whom and what others said or did
  • Where you were when the police arrested you
  • How you were approached and what the officers said
  • What the police did leading up to, during, and after your arrest

Contact AZ Defenders Today

If you are facing criminal charges, your best chance for a favorable outcome is to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact AZ Defenders today for aggressive and dedicated representation in criminal defense matters.

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