When you’re facing criminal charges, it’s smart to put your case in the hands of a trustworthy and qualified criminal defense attorney. But without your assistance and cooperation, it’ll be difficult for your attorney to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Here are five things you can do to help your Indiana Criminal defense attorney help you.
Identify Your Goals. Your attorney will investigate and share with you the range of possible outcomes of your case. You should think carefully about both the ideal outcome and the minimally acceptable result. For example, if you are willing to accept a plea bargain as long as you serve no jail time, then your attorney should know that. Knowing your goals will help your attorney strategize a good defense and help you achieve an acceptable outcome.
Be Honest. It’s critical to be completely honest with your attorneys, especially if the information is embarrassing or doesn’t present you in a good light. Attorneys need this information to strategize your defense and avoid unhappy surprises from witnesses or the prosecution. Don’t forget that your conversations with your attorneys are protected by the attorney-client privilege, which means they can’t share this information with anyone.
Don’t Talk to the Police. It is never in your interest to speak to the police without your lawyer present. While police officers may be friendly to get information from you, remember that they are ready and willing to use anything use say against you. Even if you think you’re providing information that helps your case, they may use your statement out of context or otherwise find it incriminating. If you make an incriminating statement, you’re making it harder for your lawyer to achieve an acceptable outcome. Just exercise your Constitutional right to stay silent–and remain silent.
Avoid Social Media. As a criminal defendant, kick the social media habit until your case is resolved. Prosecutors and the police will almost certainly have an eye on your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media accounts, and they can legally use any incriminating information you put on there. Even apps such as WhatsApp or Messenger can cause problems. You’re creating a new problem for your lawyers to solve if you accidentally put damaging information on a social media account.
Follow Your Attorney’s Advice. Your attorney will give you a range of advice, from the key documents to collect to what to wear during a court appearance. Take your lawyers’ advice seriously–their experience has shown them time and time again the actions that can make or break a criminal case.