There are two main things that may cause someone to have a need to contact a criminal defense attorney. (1) You are being investigated for a crime. (2) You are already charged with a crime. Here are some pieces of information that you should try to have ready when you first contact an attorney for advice:
If you are being investigated for a crime:
- The name of the police agency and/or investigating officer/detective who has contacted you.
If you know that you are being investigated for a crime because a police officer has contacted you wanting to ask you questions, it can be helpful to the criminal defense attorney to have information about the police agency and the name of the investigating officer who has contacted you for an interview. The attorney may want to contact the agency or officer on your behalf. Remember, do not talk to the police without speaking to an attorney first.
- The location the crime is alleged to have occurred.
It will be helpful to your attorney to have information about the location where the crime is alleged to have occurred, because this will inform them about what court you may be prosecuted in if charges are filed. This can allow them to give you specific information about the prosecutor and/or judge that might handle your case.
- The name(s) of the accuser or other witnesses who you know to be involved.
Before an attorney can give you advice, they need to ensure that they don’t have any conflicts of interest in the case. Giving them the name of the accuser or witnesses can help them rule out any potential conflicts. Also, going forward, if you hire the attorney, it will allow them to begin investigating the case right away.
If you have been charged with a crime, you should have the above information, plus the following:
- The court where charges have been filed.
If you can give the attorney you contact information about where the charges have been filed, they can give you better advice that is specific to the court where you are charged.
- Your case number.
If you are able to provide a case number to the attorney you contact, they can contact the court and gain information about the charges, bond, and court dates.
- Your next court date.
When you contact an attorney, it can be helpful to the attorney to have a good idea about how much urgency there is for you. For example, if your next court date is tomorrow, the lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer Grand Rapids, MI trusts, will want to get you into the office for a meeting same-day. If your court date isn’t for two weeks, it may be fine to schedule an appointment out a couple of days.
If you don’t have the above information available, don’t sweat it. It is important, however, that if you are being investigated for a crime or have been charged with a crime, that you contact an attorney immediately. Do not speak with the police without contacting an attorney first.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Blanchard Law for their insight into criminal defense.