For the average person, being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a frightening experience. Once the initial shock wears off, you start to think about the repercussions of a conviction for your future. If convicted, you face both judicial and non-judicial consequences. Judicial consequences are those that the judge sentenced you to pursuant to a guilty plea or a verdict of guilty at trial. Non-judicial consequences include things that occur as a result of your conviction, such as loss of employment opportunities, professional discipline, or the loss of driving privileges. With all of that at stake, you undoubtedly want to avoid a conviction if possible. The best way to do that is to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. There are still things you can do to help though. For example, consider the following five things you can do to help your La Vergne criminal lawyer with your case.
Be Honest and Forthcoming
One of the most difficult thing for many clients to do is to be honest with their attorney. While this is understandable, to a point, it can also make the attorney’s job difficult, if not impossible. After being arrested and accused of a crime, you may feel angry and distrustful of the system in general; however, remember that your attorney is on your side. The single most damaging blow to a defense is a surprise. Your attorney can potentially prepare to defend almost anything; however, if he/she gets a surprise out of left field in the middle of plea negotiations or trial, it can be devastating. Remember also that the attorney-client privilege means that your attorney cannot repeat what you tell him/her. Moreover, your lawyer won’t ask you questions unless the answers are important to your defense.
Listen to Your Attorney’s Advice
It is amazing how many people hire an attorney and then don’t listen to the advice the attorney gives them. Your attorney has both the education and the experience to know how strong the state’s case against you is. Consequently, your attorney will also give you advice on how likely you are to win if you go to trial and/or what the State is likely to offer in a plea agreement. To yourself a favor and at least listen to your lawyer’s advice.
Stay Out of Trouble
Whether you were able to bond out, or you remain in custody, while your case is pending, stay out of trouble! In theory, any additional trouble you get into while your case is pending is not admissible in the instant case; however, one way or another it is likely to become relevant. Picking up another charge or getting into additional trouble is certainly not going to help you.
It is not unusual for it to take weeks before relevant evidence becomes available for your attorney to review. It may also take that long, or even longer, before your attorney has a chance to depose all of the witnesses in the case. It may be frustrating to wait; however, try and be patient. It is in your best interest for your attorney to do a thorough job. Furthermore, as a general rule it benefits the defendant the longer it takes a case to make it to trial because witnesses can forget details or eve move and be unavailable.
After your attorney has reviewed all the evidence and interviewed the witnesses, you will need to decide how to proceed. At this point, you need to be reasonable. If the evidence is overwhelmingly against you, for example, and you know you actually committed the crime, you should consider accepting a plea agreement instead of insisting on going to trial because f you lose at trial your sentence could be worse.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced La Vergne criminal lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.