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Bring These Documents to Your First Meeting With Your Attorney to Help Make it Successful

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

If you are charged with a crime, it could be your first experience being involved in a court proceeding or needing an attorney. The whole process can feel terrifying and overwhelming. Your first appointment with your criminal defense attorney is an important meeting where you can learn what to expect in your criminal case and decide if the attorney is the right one for your case.

Collect These Documents to Bring to Your First Appointment

At your first meeting with your attorney, you want to make a good impression because he is also deciding whether he wants to represent you. You do not want to lose the opportunity to retain representation if you feel he is qualified to defend you, and you believe you could trust him—literally with your life. Here are the documents you should obtain and bring to your appointment:

  • Contact information. Your attorney will need to contact you in the future, so drawing up a list of contact information to bring to your appointment could be extremely helpful.
  • Your background information. Your personal and professional background could be an important part of your defense strategy. So you want to either write down this information or provide a current resume with this information for your first appointment.
  • Police report. The police report will help the attorney understand the charges against you. If possible, obtain a copy of it before your appointment with your attorney and bring it with you to your meeting.
  • Your bail papers. These documents will tell the amount of your bail and the conditions you have to meet to remain out of jail until your case is decided—something your attorney should know.
  • Property search documents. If the police searched your property, you want to bring a copy of any documents they left, as these could provide details regarding the charges against you and might be the basis of a possible defense against the charges against you.
  • Court appearance documents. You need to bring any notices of future hearings you received, so the attorney knows of upcoming court hearings he would need to attend with you.
  • Questionnaire. Some attorneys will send out a questionnaire to be completed before your first appointment. Fill it out completely and attach any requested documents as this will help the attorney give you better advice at your meeting.
  • List of questions. Since part of the point of your meeting is for you decide whether to hire the attorney, you want to prepare a list of questions to ask him to help you make this important decision.

If you have been charged with a crime, check out our case results and then start an online chat with our experienced criminal defense attorneys to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


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