If you have been arrested or given a summons for a traffic or criminal offense you will probably need to seek the advice of an attorney. There are several things you can do that will assist you in allowing your attorney to do the best job possible for you.
In this four part series of "How to Help Your Attorney Help You", Attorney at Law Michael S. Davis discusses:
- When should I contact an attorney?
- What should I look for in an attorney?
- What should I bring for my appointment?
- What do I tell my attorney?
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
After you have been charged, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the complexity of your case your attorney will need time to properly prepare your case. In many cases your attorney will need to research the applicable case law and statutes that apply to your circumstances. Research can sometimes be a time consuming activity that requires more than just a cursory review of the cases. Often, in more complex cases, the attorney may want to actually prepare a written brief to present to the court that will give the judge deciding your case a better understanding of the issues. In these cases, the courts sometimes require that these briefs be submitted well ahead of your hearing or trial date.
In addition, your attorney needs time to consult with you about what happened in your situation so that he or she has a complete understanding of the circumstances and issues in the case. Many times more than one meeting with your attorney will be needed. This may involve talking to witnesses, police officers, victims and others such as lab technicians, breath test operators or others that may have had some involvement in the matter.
Depending on the case, you may need to have an expert in a particular field who can interpret, both for your attorney and the court, the result of certain types of technical evidence. It takes time to find and secure the services of experts.
You may also want to secure the services of a court reporter. Your attorney can arrange this but, it is best to arrange for this service well in advance of your trial date.
Remember, your attorney wants to help you and do the best job he or she can, but the old saying applies, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you do not take the time to help your attorney it makes it very hard for your attorney to help you. At the Law Office of Michael S Davis, we would be happy to discuss your situation at no cost and help you determine your best course of action.