If you have been arrested and charged with any criminal offense, it is important for you to begin searching for a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are released. Since criminal offenses can have strict sentences, such as prison time or large fines, if a person is convicted in a court of law, the last thing that you want to do is show up in court and attempt to defend yourself. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. However, you can't count on your criminal defense attorney to do everything on his or her own — you will need to participate. Do the following things to help strengthen your defense in a criminal case:
Be Upfront About What You Can Afford
The services of a good criminal defense attorney typically are not cheap, but they are worth it. Each criminal defense attorney sets his or her own rates, so when you are interviewing potential attorneys, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of the fees involved. Do not make the mistake of hiring an attorney that you can't afford since doing so will just waste the attorney's time and you will end up running out of funds before your case goes to trial. You are much better off being upfront about what you can afford to pay, so you hire an attorney that has rates that fit your budget.
Tell the Truth
When you begin working with a criminal defense attorney on your case, he or she will ask you a lot of questions about what led up to your arrest and being charged. If you want your attorney to be able to do his or her job, it is absolutely vital that you be completely honest and tell the whole truth. Criminal defense attorneys do not judge their clients, and due to attorney-client privilege, nothing that you say to your attorney can be used against you. If you lie to your attorney or stretch the truth, you are only hurting yourself and your case in the long run.
Avoid Speaking to the Police or Detectives
After you are charged and released, you may be contacted by police or detectives that are working on your case. If this happens, you should not make the mistake of speaking with them or giving them any information. All you have to do is provide the contact information for your attorney. In the event that there is a valid reason for police or detectives to speak with you, your criminal defense attorney will make sure that he or she is present in order to protect your best interests.