Once you've hired a criminal defense attorney in Arizona, there are several important steps you should take to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. This process typically involves preparing for your trial, maintaining clear communication with your attorney, and understanding your rights and responsibilities throughout the proceedings.
- Understand the Attorney-Client Relationship: It's important to understand that your lawyer has a professional responsibility to act in your best interests. This includes keeping your information confidential and representing you to the best of their ability. Don't withhold any information about your case from them, as this may affect their ability to defend you. The attorney-client privilege protects the privacy of your discussions, so you should feel safe discussing all aspects of your case honestly and openly.
- Gather and Share All Relevant Information: After hiring your lawyer, start gathering all the necessary documentation and evidence related to your case. This may include photographs, emails, messages, videos, or any other pieces of evidence that could potentially prove your innocence or otherwise assist your defense. Make sure you hand all this information to your lawyer promptly. Do not hide any details, as undisclosed information discovered later could harm your case.
- Understand the Legal Process: Make sure you understand the legal process you're about to go through. Ask your attorney to explain the charges you're facing, potential penalties, and the court procedures involved in your case. This includes pretrial hearings, plea bargaining, trial, verdict, and potential sentencing.
- Maintain Regular Communication: Clear and frequent communication with your attorney is crucial. You should be updated on all developments in your case, and your attorney should be available to answer any questions you might have. If you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
- Preparation for Court Appearances: Your lawyer will help you prepare for any court appearances. This includes advice on how to dress, what to bring, what to say, and what not to say. Always be punctual and respectful in court. Your demeanor can have a significant impact on how the court perceives you.
- Discussing Plea Deals or Settlements: There may be situations where your lawyer advises you to consider a plea deal. Discuss these options thoroughly with your attorney, weighing the pros and cons before making a decision.
- Understand Costs and Billing: Make sure you have a clear understanding of your attorney's fee structure and billing practices. Keep track of your payments and ask for receipts. If there's something you don't understand in a bill, ask for clarification.
- Behavior and Compliance: Comply with all court orders and conditions of any pretrial release. Avoid any further legal trouble. Be aware that your behavior outside of the courtroom can also have an impact on your case. Your attorney can guide you on this.
- Prepare for the Outcome: Talk to your attorney about the potential outcomes of your case. Whether it's a plea deal, a trial, or an appeal, you need to know the possible results, including the potential for jail or prison time, fines, and/or probation.
- Be Patient: The legal process often takes longer than expected. Be patient and trust that your attorney is doing everything possible to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Remember, these steps serve as a general outline. Your attorney will provide you with specific guidance based on your case's details and circumstances. Also, while this guide specifically refers to Arizona, most of these steps are applicable in any jurisdiction.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Phoenix
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Arizona, we understand this is a very stressful and challenging time. The most important step you can take right now is to consult with an experienced attorney who has extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and how to handle misdemeanors. If you choose to work with our firm, you will always have direct access to your attorney and will work with one of Arizona's most knowledgeable criminal attorneys.
Our firm serves the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler and other areas around Arizona. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.