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Ways You Can Help Your Attorney With Your Criminal Defense

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

After being charged with a crime, you hopefully hired an attorney you trust to help you receive the best outcome possible for your situation. While an attorney is in charge of your defense, your outcome is not completely dependent on what he does or does not do for you. Your own actions can have a huge impact on how your criminal case is resolved.

Steps That Can Help Your Criminal Defense

If you stay actively involved in the investigative and preparation process, you can increase your likelihood of a successful outcome in your criminal case. Do these things to help your attorney prepare your case for trial:

  • Be honest. Being honest with your attorney from the start is essential. You do not have to fear anything you tell your attorney because of the attorney-client privilege that protects your conversations. Your attorney needs to know everything with as much detail as you can provide—basically “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” Surprises due to lack of honesty on your part can hamper or ruin your attorney’s defenses.
  • Provide witness information and documents promptly. You want to provide witness contact information, documents your attorney requests, and any other information you have that would help your defense promptly. Your witnesses and your attorney can be better prepared if your case is investigated soon after you were charged.
  • Only talk to your attorney. You only want to discuss your case with your attorney. If the prosecutor or arresting officer contacts you, do not talk to him. Refer them to your attorney. Do not talk about your case with family or friends either.
  • Stay off social media. Do not post anything about your criminal charges on social media. Any statements can be accessed by the prosecutor and police—and used against you.
  • Don’t rely on discovery. While discovery of the evidence the police have against you can be extremely helpful, do not rely on it alone. You may not receive it early in the proceedings, and your attorney’s investigation into your case could uncover other defenses.
  • Be early for court. Be at all court hearings early—and for sure on time. You also want to dress appropriately in at least casual dress clothes. Your attorney can give you specific advice on how you should dress. You should also be on time for all appointments with your attorney to ensure you have sufficient time to discuss your defense strategy and other important issues in your case.
  • Stay in touch. Be certain to stay in touch with your attorney to know what is going on in your case. You also want to notify him promptly of your new address if you move.

Your attorney can give you specific guidance on how to best help with your defense. Always follow his advice and do not take actions without first discussing them with him. If you or a family member are charged with a crime, fill out our firm’s online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.


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