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If you've been charged with a crime, your main priority is to get those charges dismissed or win your criminal case at trial. And the best way to do those things is to have a good criminal defense attorney on your side.
But whether you win or lose your case won't entirely be on your lawyer's account. There are ways to can help -- and hurt -- your case, beginning from your first contact with police and ending with a jury verdict. Here's how to be an asset to your attorney in your criminal case.
Saying the wrong thing to law enforcement can mean your case is over before it began. Admitting to the crime or lying to investigators (which could garner more criminal charges) can negatively impact your prospects, so know what you should and shouldn't say to cops long before you even meet your lawyer.
The best way to help your lawyer win is to choose the best lawyer. And that doesn't always mean the most expensive. Public defenders can often have the most experience with prosecutors and judges. But don't go chasing a bargain attorney who is unfamiliar with criminal trials. Finding the right lawyer for you is the first step to winning your case.
One of the big reasons for picking an attorney you're comfortable with is the fact that you'll need to tell him or her your side of the story. The best way for your lawyer to defend you is if they know all the facts, even those that don't put you in the best light.
While guilt for a former offense isn't proof that you committed this crime, certain past convictions can affect current or future criminal cases. The last thing you want is for you and your lawyer to be blindsided by your record.
Knowing why prosecutors dismiss criminal charges generally can help you specifically. You can help your lawyer build your defense or attack the prosecution's case, perhaps avoiding a trial altogether.
Each criminal case is unique. If you've been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.