What should I do when meeting my lawyer?
The first time you meet with your criminal attorney, you are beginning your defense against the charges that have been leveled against you. Your lawyer will be seeking to understand who you are and what led you to be brought up on criminal charges.
When you meet with an attorney, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- This is a business meeting. Dress well, be on time, and give your attorney the courtesy they deserve for representing you in this case.
- Tell the lawyer who you are. You do not need to immediately speak about the case at this meeting. Giving the attorney a chance to learn about you can determine whether or not you will fit as a team.
- Let your attorney speak. There may be some things you are compelled to share, but let the attorney decide what aspects of the case are important to focus on.
- Share relevant information. The first meeting is privy to attorney-client confidentiality, and the attorney will be best prepared if all information is shared up-front instead of later.
- Listen to what your attorney says. If the attorney decides to take on your case, they will take the time to educate you on the charges you will be facing and what they may decide to focus on in trial. This is the time to make an honest assessment of your case and examine options that may be available for you.
- Read any contract presented. This will explain the attorney's fees and what they will charge you for their services. Make sure you are comfortable with any amount asked of you.
- Ask about the next step. The attorney that decides to represent you will provide you with advice and guidance moving forward. Figure out how you and the lawyer will contact one another and be sure to follow through with communication throughout the process.
Meeting with your defense attorney provides valuable time for you both to learn about one another and how you will work as a team moving forward. Your defense relies on you just as much as you rely on them, so be sure you hire an attorney you trust with your future and be sure to follow up with their requests or advice when asked.