5 Things You Need to Tell Your Criminal Defense Attorney
When you have been charged with a crime, communicating effectively with your lawyer is one of the best moves you can make.
A lawyer can give you the advice and representation you need to fight your charge. But the only way that can work is if you’re completely honest with your lawyer. If you withhold information, your attorney won’t be able to give you a fully formed legal strategy.
It’s important to understand that what you tell your lawyer is strictly confidential. This right is your attorney-client privilege. Your lawyer could get into legal trouble for violating that attorney-client privilege.
Be sure to tell your criminal defense lawyer all the items we cover below.
1. Context About Your Life When You Were Charged
Your lawyer needs to know what was going on in your life when you were charged with the crime. Why? Because these details will provide important context that can help with your defense.
For instance, suppose you were under extreme stress. In this case, that would explain part of what happened before being charged with assault.
Or maybe you had just started taking a new medication when you were charged with a DUI. Perhaps that — and not alcohol — explains why you were swerving. These details are considered mitigating factors that help your lawyer fight for a reduced charge or lenient sentence.
2. Witnesses Who Saw What Happened
Was there anyone around when the incident in question happened? This information is important for two key reasons:
- They may be able to support your side of the story
- If they aren’t good support for your case, we will at least know to expect their testimony and prepare for it
3. Evidence You May Have
Evidence plays a key role in any criminal case. The prosecutor needs evidence to prove that you committed the crime you’re accused of. And your defense lawyer needs proof to show that you didn’t do it.
So, if you have any evidence in your possession, your lawyer needs to know. They may be able to use it for your case. And if it’s incriminating evidence, we need to know it exists to prepare your defense and keep you from accidentally incriminating yourself.
4. Who Knows About What Happened?
Even if you wish you hadn’t done it, you need to tell your lawyer if you have spoken to anyone about what happened. If you told them you did it, we need to know. If you told them any details about the case, we need to know that, too.
Here’s why: We need to know what to expect as we build your defense. We need to know who the prosecution may be talking to and who knows what. No matter what the reality is, knowledge will help your lawyer prepare the best possible defense.
5. Your Financial Situation
This one can be tough. Most people don’t want to talk about money. But this is an essential aspect of your relationship with your lawyer. That’s because, at some point, you will need to pay legal fees.
Your lawyer can help you understand what to expect to pay for your defense. And many attorneys offer flexible payment options that can help you handle the costs of your case.
Talk to Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.
It’s OK to be nervous about talking to your lawyer at first. But it’s essential to get to the point that you’re comfortable telling them everything about your situation. That’s the only way to move forward with your defense fully.
The sooner you start, the better chance you have of beating your charge. With that in mind, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer. Contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A., by calling 813-258-4800 or reaching out online.