If you have no previous experience with the criminal justice system, finding yourself under arrest and accused of committing a crime is a fairly frightening place to be. The most important step you can take when in that position is to make an appointment for a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Even that, however, can be an intimidating prospect if you have never before needed the services of a criminal defense lawyer. To help put you at ease, the criminal defense lawyers at Petersen Law Office discuss how to prepare for your consultation with a defense attorney.
Preparing for Your Consultation
If this is the first time you have needed a criminal defense attorney, you probably don’t know quite what to expect from the consultation. One thing you do not want to do is to make the mistake of assuming the attorney you are about to meet, or the consultation itself, will resemble what you have seen on television legal dramas! Set that notion aside. At the same time, criminal defense attorneys do tend to operate and act differently than many other types of attorneys you may have met. The consultation may seem less formal; however, make no mistake that your criminal defense attorney understands the serious nature of the situation. Some things you can do to prepare for your meeting include:
- Gather court documents – gather together any and all court documents or paperwork you have been given relating to your case. What you have in your possession will depend on where you are at in the case. If you have had your initial hearing, or arraignment, you should have been given a copy of the charging information that states, in legal terms, what criminal offenses that State has charged you with violating. You might also have been given a copy of the probable cause affidavit prepared by the arresting officer and/or documents relating to your bond. Finally, if you have anything indicating when your next court date is scheduled for, bring that with you. If you do not have any of these documents, do not stress. Your attorney can request copies of them once he/she enters an appearance on your behalf. It will facilitate a more productive first meeting, however, if you have any of them.
- Prepare a statement – We all know that details tend to get fuzzy over time. With that in mind, it is always a good idea to write down a statement regarding the accusations against you. If you were charged with assault, for example, write down exactly what happened – who started the altercation? Why did you become involved? If you are charged with a burglary, write down where you were on the day the burglary occurred. Did the police conduct a search and seizure of your home? If so, write down everything you remember about your interaction with them and how they conducted the search. Provide as much detail as possible because those details may become part of your defense.
- Make a witness list – If there is anyone that you think might be able to help with your defense, write down their name and contact information. This includes anyone from an alibi witness to your boss who could be a character witness. Your lawyer can sort through the names on the list and decide who is important.
- Write down questions – This is your opportunity to ask questions, about your case specifically and about the legal system in general. It can be easy to forget an important question though once you get into the consultation. To prevent that from happening, and to maximize your time with the attorney, write down all your questions ahead of time.
Contact Nebraska Defense Lawyers at Petersen Law Office
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Nebraska, consult with the experienced Nebraska criminal defense lawyers at Petersen Law Office as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.