How to Prepare to Meet With Your Defense Attorney
Did you know 4.2 million Georgia residents have a criminal record? Getting charged with a criminal offense can be a terrifying time in your life. It may have you worried about your future.
However, this does not have to be the case. Meeting with an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney should be the first thing that you do. This can help save yourself and your future ahead.
Here are 9 vital tips for preparing yourself for meeting your defense attorney for the very first time.
9 Tips for Preparing to Meet With Your Defense Attorney
Before you step foot in the meeting room with your defense attorney, you should have completed the following 9 steps.
1. Bring All Vital Documents
First and foremost, you should have copies of all documents pertaining to your case. You should have your contact information written down, too. This will allow your criminal defense lawyer to add this to your file, so if they need to get in touch with you, they can. With your contact information, you should also write down information about your professional and personal background. Essentially, this should have anything that may help in your cases, such as any prior convictions or criminal charges.
You will want to make copies of all court and police documents that you have at your disposal. This can be anything from the form with the charges against you to documents talking about your bail. Anything that you get, you should make a copy for your defense lawyer.
If you have anything that can be used as evidence, such as documents, videos, or photos, make copies of them and bring them with you. Even if you have a witness list available, that should get brought with the rest of the files. This will allow the defense attorney to do their job much quicker than if you do not bring them.
2. Do Your Research
Before you head into your meeting, you should do your research. By doing your research, you should have a pretty good understanding of the fundamentals of your case along with some talking points to discuss with your lawyer. Your attorney will ask you about any relevant details to help better understand your case and how they should proceed.
3. Write Down Your Questions
When doing your research, you should also be writing down any questions you may have for your lawyer. This could be questions about what you may expect during your case or questions regarding the law around your case as well as any implications that certain defenses or strategies might have on the case’s potential outcome.
Remember that you pay your lawyer for their time, so this initial consultation is a great time to ask most of your questions. If you phone your lawyer after your initial consultation, you may be charged, so always prepare your questions ahead of time and be ready to take mental notes.
4. Dress for the Part
Dress your best for any legal consultation or proceeding. Just cleaning up your appearance will help you feel like you have the power to control what will happen to your future and will present you better to those who have sway over it.
5. Be Truthful
When it comes to your case, your lawyer is on your side and needs to know all the details to build your case. It is their job to create a defense around the facts of the story. Do not come into the consultation with half-truths or blatant lies.
You will want to be honest and go into great detail about the facts of the case. All information that you provide during this meeting is confidential and will help your lawyer get on the right track from the beginning.
6. Discuss Legal Fees
Typically, your first meeting is free since it is just a simple consultation to see if the attorney is a good fit for you. However, if you find that they are a good fit, you will need to discuss their fees, find out if they have payment plans, and how much money you might need upfront. It is best to get this talk out of the way once you decide that they are the ones perfect for your legal case.
7. Read All Documents You Sign
Do not sign any document that you do not read. If you have trouble understanding the legal jargon, do not hesitate to have your lawyer explain it in terms that you can understand. The lawyer is there to help you to comprehend all documents that need your attention and make sure you are able to make informed decisions. Never be afraid to ask your attorney what a byline or stipulation means.
8. Keep Your Records
You should always ask for copies of all documents and letters that your attorney prepares for you and your case. Any documents that pertain to your case or require your signature should be reviewed and retained for your records. To that end, however, it is your responsibility to keep these documents in a safe place to ensure that your case is not affected by privileged information being leaked.
9. Listen to Your Lawyer
When you go into your meeting, don’t take over the conversation. Let your attorney steer the conversation and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on any points you don’t outright understand. Your attorney will give you insight and knowledge based on their experience and training.
Hire An Experienced Attorney
The best way to prevent a criminal charge from disrupting your life is to hire a great attorney. At Schwartz Law, we represent you throughout every step of the litigation process.
We do more than provide you with a knowledgeable Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer — we hold steadfast in defense of your rights as a citizen.
Reach out to us now and get your free consultation. We’re ready to fight for you.