If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in the State of Nebraska, the best thing you can do for yourself is to retain the services of an experienced criminal lawyer right away so you can get started on your defense and to ensure your rights are protected throughout the prosecution of your case. While it is easy to focus on what your lawyer can do for you, take a minute to contemplate what you can do to help your criminal lawyer. One way to find out what you can do to help your attorney is to simply ask. In lieu of asking, the following list is comprised of common ways criminal defendants can help their lawyers throughout the prosecution of their case.
- Be honest. This is one of the most difficult things for many defendants. Sometimes it is because they live in a world where lying is second nature. In other cases, it is because they are ashamed of what they did and they don’t want to admit it, even to their attorney. Finally, some defendants fear their criminal lawyer will not do as good a job representing them if they admit their guilt. If you fall into one of those categories, keep this simple rule in mind: Your lawyer will not ask you questions for which he/she does not truly need to know the answer. However, if you are asked a question, that means your lawyer needs to know the truth in order to adequately prepare your defense. For example, if you are charged with sexually assaulting a woman, your lawyer may not ask you “Did you sexually assault her?” Your attorney might, however, ask you “Did you have sex with her?” The reason for asking the second question is because your attorney needs to know if your body fluids will be found in/on the victim. There is nothing worse for a criminal lawyer than being surprised at trial, so always be honest with your attorney.
- Participate in your defense. Ask your attorney questions. Offer suggestions. Give your attorney as much information as you can to help prepare your defense. Ideally, a criminal lawyer works equally hard for every client; however, the reality is that when a client seems truly vested in the outcome of his/her case, when it appears to really mean something to the client, the attorney might be motivated to work just a little bit harder.
- Follow instructions. This is not the time for a power play. If your criminal lawyer tells you to do something, or refrain from doing something, it is in your best interest to comply because your attorney likely has a good reason for the request. For instance, if your attorney asks you to stay in school, it’s because it will make you look good should you get convicted and have to be sentenced by the judge.
- Remain silent. Amazingly, this is one of the most difficult things for clients to do. People, by nature, want to talk, to confide in someone. Resist that urge. That guy in your cell can use everything you tell him as his ticket out of jail. Your girlfriend might use the same information to get back at you when she gets mad at you. Even your own mother could be subpoenaed and forced to testify against you.
- Stay out of trouble. This is simple — and the reason why should be obvious. Do not get arrested for another crime while your case is pending. Judges tend to frown on that.
- Trust your attorney. This is by far the most difficult of all instructions for many clients. Your attorney is bound by the attorney-client privilege to keep everything you say confidential and is bound by an oath to represent you to the best of his/her ability. Most criminal defense lawyers do the job because they truly believe in the notion that everyone is entitled to a defense. With all that in mind, try to trust that your attorney is on your side and there to help.
If you are currently facing criminal charges in the State of Nebraska, it is crucial you obtain representation as soon as possible. To consult with a criminal lawyer in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.