When you are accused of a crime, whether or not you are guilty, you can hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Meeting with such an attorney for the first time can be a little scary, but if you take a deep breath and follow the tips below, you can help ensure that the first meeting is as productive and helpful as possible.
1. Write down a list of questions.
During this meeting, the lawyer is going to have plenty of questions for you. However, you'll also be given a chance to ask the lawyer some questions. If your nerves have a habit of getting the best of you, writing these questions down beforehand can help ensure you don't forget to ask them. As the meeting progresses, you might find that a lot of your questions are answered without you even having to ask them.
2. Be honest.
Your lawyer will represent you and argue your case whether or not you actually committed the crime you are being accused of. To do the best possible job of this, though, they need to know the truth. Be honest and thorough when telling the attorney what actually happened, what your involvement in the crime was or was not, and so forth. If you think you might be too embarrassed to share certain details, you can always write them down and give them to your lawyer on paper.
3. Bring evidence of alibis.
There will be plenty of time later for your attorney to collect evidence. But for the first meeting, all you really want to bring along is any evidence you may have of an alibi. This can help the lawyer determine, right off the bat, how hard it will be for them to argue in your defense. Is someone accusing you of committing a crime in New Jersey when you have photo evidence showing you were in New Mexico that day? Bring it along. Did someone say you robbed a store, while you have five people who can attest that you were at a party when the store was robbed? Bring along their names. If you have an alibi, that's often the best angle for your defense attorney to argue, so they'll want details about the alibi early on.
If you follow the tips above when meeting with a criminal defense attorney, your case should move along more smoothly.