Okay, so you may or may not have done something illegal. Now you’re in need of an incredible defense attorney. When you have begun to work with your attorney to make your case, it’s important to be open and honest, so he/she has all the facts to offer the best and most accurate defense. You may be skeptical of admitting guilt and there may be some other things that you’re holding close to the vest. To make sure your case is strong, there are some absolutely essential things that you need to disclose. Here are five things your defense lawyer needs to know.
Thoroughly discuss your criminal history.
Don’t hold anything back here. Seriously. We’re talking about even unpaid parking tickets. Any time that you have been in trouble with the law, whether you were convicted or not, discuss it all. Past incriminations can lead to a heavier penalty on your current case. If your lawyer is planning a plea bargain for you, this deal can be impacted based on your history. If you have had prior arrests or convictions for the same offense you are currently being accused of, this can also impact your sentencing. Keeping your lawyer in the dark can only hurt you, especially if the opposing legal team brings up hidden history during your case. Being blindsided and unprepared will surely negatively affect your lawyer’s ability to defend you.
Discuss your personal history with the victim of the crime.
If you were charged of committing a crime against another individual(s), talk to your lawyer about how you know this person(s) and what led to the offense. Divulge the complete nature of your relationship with this person, talk about when and how you met, how often you were in communication, and any other relevant personal information. Make sure there is no way the opposing side will have more information than your lawyer does. If the crime was not committed directly towards another individual(s), consider whether there are any people that will be a part of this case who you have a relationship with. Discuss all the people you know that may be playing for the other team.
Recount your story as told to the police.
There’s an important distinction to make here. There’s very likely a difference between what you told the police and how the events actually unfolded. When the police read your Miranda rights, they tell you that you have “the right to remain silent”. If you exercise this right, incredible. You’re one step ahead here. If you didn’t, remember you were told, “anything you say can and will be used against you”. This is completely true. Tell your lawyer everything you said to the police so he can prepare a strong defense, without contradicting anything you may have said prior.
Discuss all the facts you believe are relevant to your case.
Your lawyer will be thorough. He/she will ask you as many questions as they can to be sure they have as much information as possible. However, there may be details that are not covered or some facts you are not sure are important. As long as there is something that your lawyer does not know about the time of the event, you are doing something wrong. Your lawyer would rather spend time listening to details that may not be relevant than miss something that is. If you feel like some facts your lawyer collected were not relayed properly or maybe they did not understand correctly or missed a fine detail, go over it again until everything is clear for everyone.
It’s hard to admit guilt, we know. If you are in fact guilty of the crime you are accused of, it’s definitely smart to hold this close to the chest. Your lawyer needs to know what actually happened. What you discuss here is completely confidential and it will help create the best defense around the truth. It may be hard to believe in confidentiality, but your lawyer has your best interests in mind. If there is any evidence against you that may exist and that the State may have or be able to get their hands on, let your lawyer know so he can be prepared to see this in court.
This is not going to be an easy road and we wish you the best of luck. If you follow our tips outlined above, this is the first step on the path to the best defense. Make sure your lawyer is well informed, be open and honest, and trust that they will do and advise what is in your best interest.