If you’ve been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you secure aggressive and experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side early-on in the development of your case can have a significant impact on the outcome. Depending on your charges, you may be facing expensive fines, legal repercussions, and even a prison sentence, in addition to consequences to your personal life, such as irreparable damage to your reputation. With so much at stake, you need a lawyer with a proven track-record of success and an exemplary knowledge of the law.
Even though your attorney is on your side and their job is to defend you, you may still be feeling uneasy about what information you should reveal to them, or how you know that they’re even good at their job! Fear not – we’re here to walk you through it.
In this blog, you’ll learn the 5 critical pieces of information you should share with your criminal defense attorney, as well as 5 questions to ask them about the criminal justice process and what you can expect as your case unfolds.
What To Share:
1. Complete And Accurate Details Of The Incident
Many people hide details from their defense attorney because they fear confessing, or they want to be seen in the best light, but it is important for you to know the advantages of telling your attorney as much of the truth as possible. Remember, they want to win! Their job is to get the best results for you, not to judge you.
First, they must have enough information to be able to build the defense strategy that has the highest probability of getting your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Attorneys know the law in a completely different way than the average person does, and without all the facts, they may not be able to pave the right path for a plea deal or for getting your case dismissed.
You should also remember that attorney-client privilege exists, which means that your lawyer cannot disclose any information that you shared with them privately without your permission or without a conviction that you may commit another crime. With more information, the more options can be created for you, the stronger your defense will be, and the more protected your interests will be!
2. Prior Criminal Record
It is important that you share your prior record with your attorney, even if you think it is irrelevant. The prosecution is likely to be aware of your record already and attempt to use it against you, so your attorney must be prepared for that. By not informing them, you will only hurt your chances of beating the prosecution.
3. Information About Witnesses
Witnesses can make or break your defense strategy, so it is absolutely vital that you tell your attorney about them. It is possible that they are able to support your side of the story and prove your innocence! If they have made statements against you, though, your attorney may be able to find reasons to attack their credibility, and therefore shed doubt over their version of the events. Either way, if you know of them, you should be sure to pass that information on to your attorney.
4. Communication With Law Enforcement
Hopefully, you invoked your right to counsel before speaking with investigators or other law enforcement officers. If you did not, it doesn’t mean your case is doomed; however, you must tell your attorney any information you did reveal to law enforcement. Again, you want your attorney to be as prepared and informed as possible so that they can anticipate where the challenges may arise in your case. After securing legal representation, you should not speak to law enforcement officers without your attorney present.
5. Other Relevant Details, Like Potential Alibis Or Evidence
A solid alibi could be the key to getting your charges dropped, so if you have proof that you were in a different location at the time the alleged crime was committed, be sure to share it with your attorney. Evidence also plays a major role, whether it proves that you are innocent or it is incriminating. Every detail is critical when it comes to crafting the optimum defense strategy.
What To Ask:
1. How Long Have You Been Practicing Criminal Defense?
A good criminal defense lawyer is one who focuses solely on that practice area, and has a significant amount of experience under their belt. They will likely have forged personal relationships with local judges and prosecutors, as well as law enforcement – all of which gives you an advantage.
2. Do You Have Experience With My Type Of Criminal Charge?
General experience is good, but experience with your unique circumstances is even better, so it’s best to ask about it up front. For example, if you were arrested for a DUI, a lawyer who focuses on DUI law or who has handled a high number of DUI cases is probably going to be able to represent you more successfully than one who only handles drug crimes or theft.
3. What Is Your Success Rate?
Would you want a doctor who had a history of botched surgeries to operate on you? Of course you wouldn’t! The same goes with your attorney – you wouldn’t want to hire one that wasn’t good at winning cases. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask about their record of success, especially with so much at stake.
4. Do Your Past Clients Recommend You?
Your criminal defense attorney should be able to provide you with testimonials from previous clients so that you can see what they have to say about their experience working with the attorney. If they cannot, you should feel comfortable asking them why.
5. Will You Handle My Case Personally, Or Will I Be Handed Off To A Paralegal?
Sometimes, attorneys will delegate tasks pertaining to your case to other members of their legal team, which is normal. However, you will want to make sure that your attorney is involved in making the critical decisions and is actively monitoring the work being done by other members of the team, if so. You have a right to know how much time and attention they will be personally dedicating to your case.
Trust Alatorre Law With Your Future
Our lead attorney, Javier Alatorre:
- Has a background of more than 18 years of legal experience
- Has handled countless criminal charges, such as drug offenses, property crimes, assault and violent crimes, and more
- Has a proven track record of success
- Has helped countless clients achieve the best results in their case, and can produce testimonials from their perspective
- Offers a personalized attorney-client relationship with 24/7 communication access
You likely have more questions you want to ask, and we encourage you to call today to schedule your free consultation, where you can get answers! Mr. Alatorre is fluent in Spanish as well as English, and financing is available. Criminal charges are extremely time-sensitive, so don’t delay!