Being charged with any crime is a frightening experience, and the outcome could have long-term consequences on the rest of your life. When you decide to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, it is important that you have confidence in him and in how he is handling your criminal case. Throughout your case, you want to understand what your attorney is doing to help you so that you can assist him when possible, know why he is doing what he is doing, and ensure that he is providing you with the best possible defense.
Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney to Understand How He Is Building Your Defense
You and your attorney are a team in developing your defense to the charges you face and in attempting to arrive at the best outcome you can realistically expect. Here are some questions that you should ask your attorney so that you understand what he is doing and why he is doing it:
- Has your attorney reviewed all discovery? A key component of your criminal defense is for your attorney to obtain all discovery in your criminal case and review it thoroughly. This includes the police report, witness statements, videos and audiotapes, photographs, and any other possibly relevant evidence. You should review any evidence with your attorney. You also need to know his evaluation of the evidence, including any important missing evidence and damaging evidence.
- What steps should you take? Often there are steps that you can take to help your defense and lessen your sentence. For example, there may be documents or other records that you could obtain that could help during your case or sentencing. Should you enroll in anger management, drug rehabilitation, or other classes? Find out from your attorney what you can do.
- What is your attorney’s strategy? It is critical that you understand what defenses your attorney plans to raise in your case and how strong he believes these defenses are. You also want to discuss his overall strategy in your case regarding building your defenses and the likelihood that your case will go to trial.
- What motions will your attorney file? Even if you know you are guilty of the crime that you are charged with committing, you may have procedural or constitutional defenses that could result in the case against you being dismissed or the charges reduced to a less serious offense. For example, if the police illegally obtained evidence being used against you, your attorney may file a motion to suppress the use of this evidence. You want to know what, if any, pre-trial motions your attorney plans to file and the likelihood that this will result in the charges being dismissed or damaging evidence being suppressed.
If you are facing criminal charges, call our Fairfax office today to schedule your free consultation to get your questions answered and learn how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you to build a strong defense.